Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Indulgences (not of the Papal kind)

I'm going to beg indulgence right from the start here as my head seems all over today and I suspect today's post will reflect that. At any rate, thank you in advance for being a kind reader and following my scattered thoughts.

I need to first kvetch a bit about the weather here in New England. With apologies to the many places out there who have it worse, this has not been a pleasant June here on the East Coast. RAIN. CLOUDS. And now, the typical summer pattern of warmish, humid days with destructive thunderstorms about the time everyone is trying to get home from work. *sigh* Please, oh powerful weathergods, give all of us, the beach-loving throngs, a sunny little break, okay?

I've not really bothered to comment on Michael Jackson's passing as it really doesn't interest me very much. I'm very sorry for his family and children, but that's where my interest ends. However, I read a very clever piece by BHL on Huffington Post today. Now I don't often agree with Monsieur Levy , but I love to read his work because he's an interesting writer (even in translation) and in person he is literally mesmerizing. (All that gallic charm, that je ne sais quois) His comment on Mr. Jackson's exit from this world stands out as unique among all the talking heads and pundits and is, therefore, worth reading.

And in other news...Calvin Borel is apparently no longer the jockey for Mine That Bird. This was all over the tweets of the horse folks this morning when it was announced. Since I'm just an interested fan and don't have to feign objectivity, I can ponder this development a little. As I've said, not a big MTB fan...BIG Calvin Borel fan. However, in this case, I wonder if Calvin is being 'done wrong' by his agents. I was amazed (and disappointed, frankly) when Calvin didn't have other mounts on Belmont Stakes didn't make any sense. He wasn't familiar with the track and Belmont is NOT like other tracks. MTB surely wasn't the freshest of the competitors that day, but I think he also had a bit of a bum ride when Calvin let him make his move too early--and he did that (in my opinion) because he was not aware of how big and wide those Belmont turns are. At any rate, I don't know who made that crucial choice not ride any of the earlier races that day, Calvin Borel or his agent. Maybe nothing was on offer that day and it wasn't an option, I don't know.

Fast forward to Rachel Alexandra at Belmont and Borel had two other mounts that day, I think. And he and Rachel rode to absolute triumph. He knew (a) how much horse he had and (b) when to pull the trigger. He was clearly confident and had a much better sense of the track than he had back on June 6.

So how does all this factor in to the MTB business? Apparently there's an issue with what mount he will be taking or considering for the West Virginia Derby which is MTB's next big start. Now obviously I don't know if this is Calvin Borel or his agent, but as the MTB connections stated, they need someone willing to commit to their horse for the rest of 2009. And who could blame them? Borel is certainly committed to Rachel Alexandra and that's not to be questioned, but I just have to wonder if he's being trotted down a garden path by his handlers. It just appears that there have been some less than optimal decisions made by Calvin Borel or his people and I hope it doesn't cost him great mounts in the future. I love watching him ride and I'd hate to see less of that big grin of his riding into the winner's circle.

So before the next round of thunderstorms intrudes on my electricity and dsl line, I'll publish this and be off. Stay tuned for some book reviews in the coming weeks (books old and new, equine and not) as well as what I hope will be informative updates on therapeutic riding and the fundraising efforts to bring back the Boston Mounted Unit.

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