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June 22, 2012



Justice finally done.
Of course when the average thoroughbred's heart weighs nine pounds and yours weighs 22 you oughta be setting some records.

Frau Pferdestall

There are some big hearts here at JOM.


A horse is a horse, except mine, of course.

Danube of Thought

A guy I knew had winning tickets for all three races, and instead of cashing them in he had them mounted together on a plaque. I'll bet he's happy he did. I believe I've read that a number of people did that.

hit and run

princess hit and run went to horse riding camp this week. I took an early and very long lunch to go see their horse show. She did awesome.

When she grows up, princess hit and run will do something involving animals for a living. There really isn't any doubt about it.

Jim Eagle

One of the top 5 atheletes I ever had the pleasure of watching. His stride was remarkable especially the way he would lead with his right front leg.

Big Red, one hell of a horse.

The other 4, in case your curious:

Willie Mays
Oscar Robertson
Gordie Howe
Roman Sebrele


While we're at it, can we give Armando Galarraga back his perfect game?

I still get choked up watching those Triple Crown races on youtube, and always remembered how quickly Secretariat went from last to first in the Preakness, like when they went to warp speed in the old Star Wars movies:


Of course, if they made mistakes with 1973 race, maybe they made some in other races too? Maybe Canonero II was really 1:52.


Maybe we could correct some other mistakes of the seventies. Recount on the 76 election? Whip inflation now? That whole John Travolta thing?


Ignatz-I did not know that. It reminds me of something I read about Johnny Weissmueller. Unusual heart.

Plus you gotta love that finish to the gospel music.

Jim Eagle

The stride, the right lead:

Beasts of England

'Justice finally done.'

Posted by: Ignatz | June 22, 2012 at 02:05 PM

Equine Growth Hormone. When does he testify before Congress?



Maybe we could correct some other mistakes of the seventies.

Hah, Peter. Maybe disco? Never happened.


--When does he testify before Congress?--

He's probably still voting in some Dem precinct somewhere so no reason he couldn't testify I guess.


ESPN did that 100 Greatest Athletes special a few years back and Secretariat was included, somewhat controversially. I forget what number he was. But they interviewed a CBS sportswriter who had talked to Nicklaus after the Belmont where Secretariat won by 31 lengths - a miracle. Nicklaus said he was alone in his living room watching the race, and that he cheered and wept to see it. The sportswriter said "Jack, you've been striving for perfection your whole life. Now you have seen it."

Who wouldn't weep?

Great ESPN coverage of that Belmont here (long but worth it).


Dave (in MA)



Also, "He's moving like a tremendous machine!" is up there with "Do you believe in miracles?" among the most memorable calls in sports.


Why is that horse running?


Here's Secretariat in the Belmont with Chic Anderson's "tremendous machine" commentary. Still raises the hair on the back of my neck.


((Big Red, one hell of a horse.))

wasn't "Big Red" Man O' War's nickname? I have a lovely old children's book called "Big Red" which is about Man O' War.


4:05 doesn't even look like he's being given full rein, and no whipping either. I hate it when jockey's use whips.


The sad thing is Sham with his 18 pound heart probably would have won the triple crown if he had not had the misfortune of being the same age as Secretariat. Pretty close seconds in the Derby and the Preakness and only faded to fourth in the Belmont because he tried to leg it with Secretariat down the back.

Beasts of England

'He's probably still voting in some Dem precinct somewhere so no reason he couldn't testify I guess.'

Posted by: Ignatz | June 22, 2012 at 03:40 PM

Well, he won't need a photo ID...

Patrick R. Sullivan

I just discovered something about Man O' War I hadn't known. He was originally named My Man O' War when he was a foal, to honor her husband by Eleanor Robson Belmont. The reason for his absence is that he was serving Woodrow Wilson's AEF in Europe (at the age of 65).

The Belmont's sold the horse and the name was shortened by its new owners. Maybe one of the few poor judgments by the man who built Belmont Park (and also the original NYC subway, the IRT).

Beasts of England

Has dublindave noticed that the jockey in the film above is an African American?


4:05 doesn't even look like he's being given full rein, and no whipping either.

The 4:05 isn't a real race - it is a famous short film created in 1878 from a series of photographs by Eadward Muybridge. It was commissioned by Leland Stanford in order to determine whether a galloping horse ever lifts all four feet off the ground at the same time. As the photos show, the horse does lift all four feet off the ground at some points.



But, why the long face?


Porchlight, thank you, I'm blushing because I didn't know that.


That's okay, Chubby. I only recognized it because I took a photo/film archives class in grad school and Muybridge's work is represented in an major archival photo collection here on campus at the Harry Ransom Center. The course was taught by the archivist in charge of the collection. In fact one of the horse stills is among the famous photos etched on the glass exterior walls of the building, so I've walked by it many times.


...in other words, I should have put "famous" in quotes, because it's probably only famous if you're a photo or film nerd like I used to be. ;)


I thought it was a film of Secretariat :)

Danube of Thought

I'm on the side of "horses aren't athletes."

I watched that Belmont by myself, and I was glad I was alone. I felt as though I had seen something unique and permanent.


The WH announced today that Mooch will be leading the US delegation at the London Olympics... barf.


BTW I'm on the side of "cows aren't athletes" and should not be a part of the Olympics.


(9I'm on the side of "horses aren't athletes."))

I think as metaphors go, the jockey and trainer are like coachers and coaxers, who can either bring out the best in the athlete -- or not. Secretariat must have had great people working him.

Ralph L

When she grows up, princess hit and run will do something involving animals for a living
Steakhouse chef?


Gee will Mochelle carry the flag?


The Olympics at the top level are the ultimate snob-fest. Pomp & circumstance and everybody groveling. Best seats in the house for free, and the section except for the big events is usually empty anyway.

Great lounges at every venue. Parties, invites to the Olympic Village to schmooze. They also reserve the best hotels in town and someone else pays the bill; the networks, fans, and local citizenry.

Princess Shopping Cart will have a whale of a time.


Romney will be there too, with his Olympic connections, will not be faded into the background and overshadowed, I imagine.


The stride, the right lead:

JIB & Dave (MA)

WOW! What an extraordinary horse.

Of course, the favorite in our family will always be Seabiscuit. - the little horse that could - followed by the great John Henry.


matt-in 96 I was GC of a public company so one firm gave me tickets to the closing ceremony and we sat next to the australians who were so fun. Another offered me their box for the womens Gymnastics Individuals Finals.

The next year we got bought out. I had my youngest. And went on to be chief chauffeur and cook.

I knew my life had really changed when my eldest asked me when he was a teenager why so many people called me for advice.

hit and run

Steakhouse chef?

Heh. That right there is funny.



Richard Black of the BBC is bemoaning the closing of the RIO-20 Enviro-summit.

"Insipid"; "a failure of leadership"; "shamefully devoid of progress."

Those are a few of the descriptions Richard highlights as the conference, which Black wishes had won control over all the economies of the world under 1 enlightened group of elites, dissolves in relative failure.

Anyhow, Richard Black highlights his BBC story with this photo:

That feather headdress had me wondering.

Authentic AMAZON INDIAN HEADDRESSES, of the Yanamamo etc, seem to run from the many hundreds to many thousands of dollars, I suppose possibly due to the rarity of the feathers used from Endangered Species. And if the headdress the young man is wearing is instead a cheap knockoff, one wonders from where did the species come, were the plucked critters humanely treated, and are the artificial colors used toxic and harmful to the environment?

Gawd forbid if they're actually non-biodegradable plastic.

Too bad I can't ask Richard for clarification though. As usual, the insipid Richard Black, shamefully devoid of progress in the Internet age, exhibits a gross lack of leadership by disallowing comments.


Ok- I am screaming this from the mountain tops.

They have created the Future Earth Alliance with that insipid name to put the desired policies into place going forward. They don't think they need a treaty.

They have accreditation in education at all levels internationally to be the enforcer for the vision of emotion first plus collectivist mindset plus constant environmental crises of one sort or another.

They don't think they need a treaty.

And given who is bemoaning the lack of a treaty and how weak Rio was, they want us to be relieved with our guard down.

Don't do it. Please.


Suggested Headware for Richard Black's next BBC Stories:

The Environmental Destructiveness of English Breaky.

The Inhumanity of HorseRacing.

Environmental Degradation to the Ecosystem due to Tea Cultivation.


daddy, where is James Cameron in that photo?? Shouldn't he be doing the Yanomami Mamba?

I believe a few of those feathers are from Norwegian Blues.

It is a putsch.

Much new secrecy in Rio, too, rse. NGOs are being shut out of meetings with no effective resource.

Well, Peter's press.

Checkout Bishop Hill for Richard Black unethically also working for an NGO @ Rio. This is our press.


Here I am, matt.

Dancin' so these poor guys won't have electricity. Tomorrow I jet home to my mansion.

All the best,

Jack is Back!

Chubby ,

Secretariat was also referred to as Big Red.

And, DoT, why aren't exceptional animals athletes? Do you think the Jockeys are? Or the Indy, Nascar and Formula 1 drivers? You do not have to be human to be an athlete of. unparalleled caliber.


" where is James Cameron in that photo?? Shouldn't he be doing the Yanomami Mamba?


See next thread.

If I'm not much mistaken I think Cameron's doing the Gravy Bowl from Cab Calloway, because he's creepy and arrogant and racist.


I've seen a whole lot more fat, out of shape baseball players than Formula 1 drivers.

Danube of Thought

"You do not have to be human to be an athlete of unparalleled caliber"

Well, that's the issue: you either do or you don't; take your choice.

Are greyhounds athletes? Eagles? Hummingbirds? Cockroaches? Penguins? Pythons?


Horses and greyhounds compete in what, were they humans, would definitely be labeled as athletic competitions, so I can see the case for calling them athletes; they compete against each other in organized events to see who is the fastest. They're obviously not human athletes but Secretariat certainly seems more of an athlete than say, some fat ass designated hitter.

Eagles are used in central Asia for falconry, which is more a sport than a competition, but the rest of them may be agile or amazing but they don't compete.

East Bay Jay

Remember sports on TV in the 70s? It was almost entirely local, a 'game of the week' on the weekend and Wide World of Sports (where I believe the 73 Belmont aired). MNF, national sports on a weeknight, was considered a one-off, successful as much for the personalities in the booth as the game.

And whatever happened to 'snow'?


I don't see how race horses don't get classed as athletes; to me, Secretariat's performance in the Belmont is still probably the greatest sporting performance of all time. How many sports performance records aren't even close to being broken 40 years later? (DiMaggio's hitting streak is another matter entirely; the game is very different than it was in his day). I remember watching the Belmont and being completely astounded. ("Secretariat" is a great movie; every time I watch it I get chills watching the Belmont).

Beasts of England

Formula One drivers are fine athletes. Try shaving a few hundredths of a second off of each lap, pull four or five lateral g, rapidly accelerate to 200 miles per hour and then drop down to a near stop. And do so for a solid ninety minutes or more...

Good stuff.


I go back and forth. The "animals aren't athletes" argument resonates, but Secretariat was a giant, almost human. Surely he would be the exception.

Song for the night - local band:

The Reivers - "Secretariat"


@disillusionist I agree that Secretariat's Belmont is the greatest sports achievement I ever saw.

OTOH I think the movie is a crock of shit.

Danube of Thought

"Secretariat certainly seems more of an athlete than say, some fat ass designated hitter."

He couldn't hit big league pitching. And Ted Williams said hitting a baseball was the most difficult thing an athlete could be called upon to do.

If competition is the test, the Doyle Brunson is on solid ground when he says poker players are athletes. But then you'd have to include those who compete at chess, checkers, mumbledypeg and tiddlywinks.


--He couldn't hit big league pitching.--

Could Cecil Fielder run a mile and a half in 2:24? Could Cecil Fielder run a mile and a half, period?
Michael Jordan hit big league pitching about as well as Secretariat could have with a bat in his mouth, so presumably he wasn't an athlete either.

--If competition is the test--

No, competition in an athletic endeavor is the test.



On the question of horses as athletes, I offer the following evidence in the affirmative:


I hope you will turn on your speakers and watch the whole thing.

If you remain unconvinced, I will call our Ann and Mrs. Romney as additional witnesses for the defense. :)

Danube of Thought

"No, competition in an athletic endeavor is the test."

But we have no agreement on what is an athletic endeavor; if we did, there would be nothing to discuss. I begin by saying that athletic endeavors are limited to those in which humans compete with one another. Cecil Fielder could not compete with Secretariat in a footrace any more than Michael Phelps could outswim Flipper. But of course every living thoroughbred could outrun Fielder, and every living porpoise could outswim Phelps.

If Secretariat is one of the 100 greatest athletes, where does Affirmed rank? Man O' War? Where are the great greyhounds and eagles, whatever their names may be?

For my money, Secretariat is probably the greatest racehorse in history. But I'm content to leave it at that.


I'll admit the area becomes grey.
Athletic competition could conceivably include great bull frogs, since every year they have the jumping frog contest a few miles down the road from me in Calaveras County, but horse racing is a very prominent, widespread and ancient sport which I'm willing to make allowances for not least because unlike greyhound racing it involves a symbiosis of human rider and horse athlete.
I will gladly concede that harness, greyhound and pot bellied pig racing each reaches further and further into the grey area until it fades to black.

Danube of Thought

You're far too reasonable, Iggy. Hell, I was just getting warmed up.

I am more than willing to concede the beauty of the performance, JeanD, but I will hold steadfast to my position if only for the honor of meeting our Ann and Mrs. Romney.


if animals can be heirs, why can't they athletes?


early 15c., from L. athleta "a wrestler, athlete, combatant in public games," from Gk. athletes "prizefighter, contestant in the games," agent noun from athlein "to contest for a prize," related to athlos "a contest" and athlon "a prize," of unknown origin. Before 1750, usually in Latin form. ...))

animals in nature contest for prizes all the time, the prizes being either their supper, their mate, their territory, or their life

1630s (athletical is from 1590s), "pertaining to an athlete," from L. athleticus, from Gk. athletikos, from athletes (see athlete). Meaning "strong of body; vigorous; lusty; robust" [Johnson, who spells it athletick] is from 1650s.))

doesn't say anything about the qualities associated with the word pertaining exclusively a humans


--You're far too reasonable, Iggy. Hell, I was just getting warmed up.--

Well DoT, when I thought of the bullfrog example I figured I better acknowledge a fuzzy line somewhere, before I looked too big a fool.


Re: the question of whether horses are athletes...

Horses have their own personalities, abilities and intelligence. Like any athlete, what makes a talented horse into a winning horse is its unique competitive spirit – its desire to win. Nonetheless, all that talent and spirit will leave you at the starting gate without a good trainer and a capable jockey who is suited to the horse.

There is an old saying in the sport of kings:

Good horse, good jockey – good race.
Good horse, poor jockey – fair race.
Fair horse, bad jockey – bad race.

It takes the combination of a talented horse with a desire to win, an intelligent, able jockey who knows the horse, and a savvy trainer to set the strategy to make a great race. None of that takes away from the inherent athletic ability of the horse.


@Ignatz Since you brought M. Jordan into it I'll quote Bob Feller. When some people actually took Jordan's ill advised foray into baseball seriously Feller said this, "He couldn't hit a curve ball with an ironing board".


In the Olympic equestrian events it is always referred to as the horse and rider as a team.

Hickstead was one of the most amazing horses ever, and he and Eric Lamaze were welded together as one. It was an international tragedy when that horse died. The same can be said about a lot of horses.

Most athletes are not sui generis. They have the right coaching, weight training, or whatever is appropriate to their sport. Practice and repetition lead to excellence in man or animal.

The best seem to have outsized horsonalities and an intelligence and vivacity to them that rises well above the ordinary.

Are frisbee dogs athletes? Maybe....Not sure with greyhounds..not real smart most that I've met. We were doing rescue until the meatheads came into the family and got to know a lot of dogs.

So what defines sport? What defines an athlete? Hell if I know...


--So what defines sport? What defines an athlete? Hell if I know...--

Me neither matt, but like Potter Stewart, I know it when I see it and if that 'tremendous machine' wasn't an athlete, probably the greatest one I ever saw, I'll eat my hard hat. :)


"I'm on the side of "horses aren't athletes."

I watched that Belmont by myself, and I was glad I was alone. I felt as though I had seen something unique and permanent."

You did.
It was CRIMINAL that his handlers let him get too fat in retirement and he foundered. CRIMINAL

Have Blue

Sorry of the OT but TEST.

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