Real Writing on Racing 💯
Beautifully written. I, too, felt very nervous yesterday. I was home with my two dogs and I said out loud, “This is such an important moment for this trainer. If she can’t win, I hope she stops trying and gallops home safely.” I couldn’t stand to watch but listened to the fractions and then heard the words that she had the race won. That’s when I looked up at the TV, clapped my hands, and then saw her fall.
Condolences to everyone who loved her.
It certainly transported me back to the same sick, horrified feeling I had after Go For Wand’s race in the Breeders’ Cup. Despite being an avid fan for 50 years, these moments haunt me and leave me questioning my love for the sport.
I don’t know how anyone could not feel that way in the aftermath of yesterday. She was clearly tiring but, at the same time, she was all heart in continuing to dig down deeper. I could feel the danger that was present in these conditions in real-time and was absolutely devastated that my concern proved to be warranted. I hate it that I was shocked but not surprised. Something feels incredibly wrong about that, even though the rational side of my brain knows that the same sort of thing can conceivably happen in a pasture (without human involvement involving racing). Nobody wants to feel as though they’re part of anything that would contribute to such a horrific tragedy taking place to these majestic animals we so treasure. So I’m left with the same gut-wrenching soul searching that has taken place after similar incidents in the past.
We all dread these moments when they invariably occur from time to time. I’m just not certain whether it haunts other people as much as it haunts me. I’ve had a lifelong love/hate relationship with sport/business of racing for this AND a multitude of other reasons.
Beautiful work as usual Chuck. My heart goes out to the trainer and the connections of this horse. The racing gods can be so cruel 😢😢
I feel the same way about not being a fan of any particular horse except from a breeding perspective.. There is a NY State Bred mare named Sayoh whose pedigree I thought was pretty intriguing and I wonder why nobody has picked up on that.
Chuck I felt sick yesterday she was special and I feel so sorry for the whole team. I Love horses and always will. I felt like I was right there walking beside you you wrote that so Good. Take care.
Very well written Chuck
I can’t imagine anyone else who could have written this tribute any better.
Well done Chuck- your writing is fantastic and captures the emotion we are all feeling. JD
I needed to read this..
Thanks, Chuck 🏇🏿🥲
Great piece Chuck… I watched on TV and couldn’t believe my eyes….I saw Ruffian go down in that match race on Live TV, and that’s what I went back to in my head. Both situations left an indelible mark in my mind.
Wow...I don’t anyone could’ve said it any better.
The easy part is the shock and the horrifying moment unfolding. Trying to lend perspective is so much harder. Thanks as always for generously sharing yours’ with us.
Amazing piece of writing Chuck - you captured the varying emotions of trainers in general so perfectly. Sad day for Melanie and for horse racing.
Chuck, thank you for this heartfelt tribute to Maple Leaf Mel. If you were 30 yards away from Go For Wand, I was about 50. I felt so awful on that chilly Saturday afternoon at Belmont 33 years ago. However, I must say that Brendan Walsh handled this impossible situation with all of the Class that Ron McAnally displayed after that BC Distaff. Nevertheless, now that you let us know that Billy Badgett was present on Saturday, I must question why a good man such as him had to tortured again with such incredible sadness.
Beautifully written my friend Chuck Simon... I'm thankful to have witnessed her in person but wish it would have been a different race.... may she rest easy!!!💔💔💔🏇🏾🏇🏾🏇🏾
Perfectly written Chuck. Your best work I have read to date. Inspiration holmes. RIP MM.