Monday, March 22, 2010

The Forward March of March Ennui

After a spring-fever inducing stretch of ridiculously glorious weather, the clouds and rain have descended for a day that I've decided is best spent lying low and staying in. I'm actively engaged in a death/grudge match against my unruly sinuses and that has lead to a minor episode of March ennui. (see also, Spring Sklunklishness...)

I usually save my most robust and lingering bouts of ennui for August...August's august ennui, I like to call it. But this March I find myself feeling a bit like August, where you're trapped between the two seasons and just can't wait to be fully moved into the next one. We're all totally over winter but spring is just teasing us, tempting us with sunshine and unseasonably warm, balmy days.

Right. That's me done whingeing.

So now on to the subject of my March equine ennui. What I can't shake these days is utter lack of excitement over the way the KY Derby field seems to be shaping up. Either/both of you who read regularly know that I'd expressed some interest earlier this year in Jackson Bend as a Derby contender--and he is still on my radar--but no other horses are, at the moment, really piquing my interest.

Typically by now I'd have four or five horses that I'd be watching, (ogling maybe a more apropos term) and they'd move up and down in the little Derby stable I keep in my head. (Don't try to tell me you don't do the same...I know you do.)

This year is different though. And I'll admit I come at this from a slightly screwy angle. (Shocked, aren't you?) I look at many, er, unusual and unquantifiable things when I'm picking a Derby candidate. Pedigree of course, wins and distances of course. But more arcane things like how I feel about the horse's connections or trainer...what their name is (and does it resonate with me?) color he or she is and whether I'd want to ride them. Ok, ok...stop your laughing right now. I'm surely not suggesting that I have any interest in being a jockey, but would I like to take them over a fence or five...or have a good hack on them across hill and vale?

Don't think it hasn't crossed my mind that I (or anyone) would be ridiculously fortunate to ever put a leg over on any of these thoroughbreds. And while I fully appreciate that, it's not the point. Just like with lovely shoes, you don't want just any trite old designer label, you want the one that suits you and makes you feel pretty, empowered. The same holds true for me with the horses.

For example...Smarty Jones and Funny Cide. Loved their stories, did of course cheer them on, but am not really very partial to chestnut colts/geldings. Therefore, I'd not be very interested in hacking about on them. Whereas, say, Empire Maker, Macho Uno (or Macho Again!) or Medaglio d'Oro or *be still my beating  heart* Zenyatta or Rachel Alexandra, I'd practically pawn an appendage to stand within arm's length of them, let alone ride them.

Sometimes it is the horse's name that resonates with me. I'm a fan of the Storm Cat progeny often and other lines who use cat or kitten. El Gato Malo is a horse I'll always have a little thing for, as is true with names like Hold That Tiger or Wishful Tomcat. (And yes, I'd love to have a good long ride through the countryside on any and all of these!)

In really examining the last couple of years of the Triple Crown races, I've been a bit of a contrarian, quelle surprise. While I like Calvin Borel immensely, Mine That Bird (along with all his Bird horse ancestors) never caught on strongly for me and I didn't think the little gelding was all that. I'll also admit to not being overly enthralled by Curlin (though the Snow Monkey LOVED him) or Big Brown. None of them caught my fancy. I was much more intrigued by Desert Party or Pioneer of the Nile and the like. I know it's courtesy and tradition to keep the Derby winner as your horse throughout the weeks of the TC, but that doesn't always work for me. A friend long ago chastised me severely for this "lack of loyalty," but to me it seemed more like bandwagon jumping than anything if I hadn't been with the horse before the Derby.

And I guess that's the long and short of it...none of the present Derby field has even remotely captured my imagination (save, to a smallish extent, Jackson Bend) and so I'm left  to drift in a sea of uncompelling--though very nice--horses, but none is my "glass slipper horse"--no horse is yet, just the right fit. Thus my March equine ennui marches ever forward...

If you want to make a case for "your" horse...I'd love to hear it! Enlightenment and impassioned persuasion are most welcome.

1 comment:

sid fernando said...

Maybe the glass slipper will come in the shape of Awesome Act? We do have some karma with Grant.