|A victory cut short|
By Funny Cide
As told to Jim Armstrong (Special to Page 2)
With the Belmont Stakes almost here, I thought I'd take a minute to whinny a little letter to all my fans out there. It's not like I've got anything else to do, if you get my drift. The stable next door, where that hot little chestnut lives, shakes all day long. I'm supposed to get a thrill out of passing road apples and rubbing against the fence in my stall.
I hear everyone is jazzed about this Triple Crown thingie. Great. Glad to hear it. I'm thrilled for you, Slim. But what's in it for me? No wait, let me guess. Another apple. What do I look like, a flippin' algebra teacher? Yo, I've got your apple right here. Unfortunately, that's all I've got right there.
LeBron James has never made a layup, but he gets 90 mill for tying his shoes. That's rich. What do I get, huh? I win the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness, and I can't even get a hearty handshake from that gorgeous gray three stalls down. They say the Derby is the most exciting two minutes in sports. I don't know about that, but it's the most exciting two minutes I'll ever experience.
Mike Tyson can go around attacking women, biting off people's ears and threatening to eat their kids, but did they ever think about doing to him what they did to me? No. And here you thought Rick Carlisle got jobbed by the Pistons.
I know I'm famous and all now, but I have to tell you, some days I get really bummed. I feel like all I'm good for is watering the plants, fertilizing the lawn and keeping the guy with the shovel in a job. Heck, I might as well put flowers in my mane and tiptoe through the damn tulips.
They tell me being gelded is for my own good, of course, that it helps me focus on running. Right. Uh-huh. What am I, stupid? For their own good is more like it. They're the ones cashing those big, old checks after I kick booty on race day. I see them drinking champagne up there in the clubhouse with all the beautiful people. Me? I get a bucket of cold water thrown on me and another friggin' apple shoved down my throat.
Let me tell you something, my man. I'm a nice guy, but one more apple and somebody is going to get kicked where it hurts. Or, in my case, where it doesn't.
You know why I won those two races so easily, don't you? Because I was mad. I'm talking big-time PO'd. You should hear the other horses talk trash to me while we're walking to the post. Empire Maker calls me Sleepy Hollow. God, I hate that guy. Scrimshaw says not to sweat it, that I'll be able to adopt. Even my own stablemates diss me. Yeah, like I want to be shooting pool with a rope.
After this weekend, I'll be getting ready for my next race. It's not like I have a choice. My owners plan on running me until I'm 64 or until O.J. 'fesses up, whichever comes later. I'm only exaggerating a little, you know. John Henry won the Santa Anita Handicap when he was 9, and I could have beaten him in my sleep. Which reminds me. When it comes to things to do when the sun goes down, sleep is highly overrated.
Well, I've gotta go now, America. They tell me I need my rest before Saturday's big race. Not! You and I both know I'm going to dust those plowboys without breaking a sweat. I might even go Secretariat on them and lap the field, just to stick it in Empire Maker's grill. I figure, if he gets faced again, they'll make him eat apples for a week.
So what am I going to do then, after I win the Triple Crown? What else?
I'm going to have a cigarette.
Jim Armstrong, a sports columnist for the Denver Post, is a regular contributor to Page 2.