Photo: Don August
Four days in Southern California, might as well as be four days on the planet Neptune. The sun is always shining, which naturally scares me. We go months without seeing the big yellow ball in Chicagoland during this time of year, so feeling the heat on the back of the neck while I tried to formulate the early Pick 5 was distracting. Zeewat knows what I mean. And where was all the smog? I never got to wear my Breeders’ Cup colored surgical mask ... although all the rubber gloves at the airport, and in the airplane, made me feel sufficiently clinical. I'm thankful that no one asked me to bend over.
The traffic there should be outlawed, and what’s with the lack of a “highway”, “interstate”, or “route” in front of the road names? When someone tells me to get on the 10, I assume they’re not liking my pick of the seven horse.
Santa Anita makes up for the surrounding craziness, if only just a little. I could stare at those mountains for hours, every track should have a Clocker’s Corner, and the percentage of beautiful people out there even tops that of winters at Hawthorne. Should it be a permanent home to the BC, or even host for three years in a row? No way, man. The Breeders’ Cup was meant to be a traveling roadshow, and that is how it should have stayed. Could you imagine the World Championships at Suffolk? Talk about a wicked pissah.
And call me biased, but can’t they get this main track right? Thursday and Friday were little more than a parade of front-end winners. They had to water the track more on Saturday than an over eager school kid trying to make his second grade science project grow. Seeing Rafael Bejarano using everything he had to urge on Goldencents to grab the lead before the first turn from his far outside post of the Dirt Mile was the smartest thing I saw all week. Poor Princess of Sylmar had absolutely no shot on this track when she broke slow in the Distaff. The Stancos are great people and should have gotten more for their hundred grand supplemental fee than a dozen BC hats.
Beholder was long gone and deserves all the accolades, though, because it ain’t easy to win in the Breeders’ Cup two years in a row. Which makes the Saturday runs by Wise Dan, Groupie Doll, and Mizdirection all that more of a treat. The Doll is just that, and never mind that Wise Dan rolled by my super duper longshot supremo pick of Za Approval. It hurt less ripping up those tickets, which seemed so valuable just seconds before, because it was to Dan. Let’s hope my daughter won’t need braces for an overbite.
Speaking of bites, as an American racefan, I feel a little chewed up by the invading horses from across the Atlantic. Remind me next year to play every single European in the grass races. And don’t even get me started about London Bridge. I mean I really had serious Euro envy. True story … another gentleman and I walked up to the last open urinal minutes after another big Euro win, and just when I was prepared to fight for it, he said, “Cheers” in a heavy English accent. I zipped right up and left with my wanker between my legs, so to speak. At least Kathy Ritvo’s big horse had no such problems.
Mucho Macho Man was all that and then some. He came close last year, and got the big job done this time. Let’s face it, this horse has more good stories connected to him than John Steinbeck. It was for sure a fitting capper to the Cup.
As for me, it was shoulda, coulda, woulda at the windows. I went horizontal, when I should have went vertical, if you know what I mean. But you know what? Flying home yesterday with a fat man on my left, and a ninety-pound, male flight attendant continuously banging the drink cart into my elbow, I realized it was helluva trip. 2014? Bring on the Cup!