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*this* John W. Hays' take on things and experiences

Posts Tagged ‘Kentucky Derby

Longest Shot

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We have very mixed feelings about horse racing, given the harsh aspect of the sport taxing thoroughbreds to sometimes fatal degrees, contrasted against the awesome spectacle of the power and beauty of the equine athletes and teams of humans supporting them. The Kentucky Derby race is one of the biggest exhibitions.

Yesterday’s 148th running of the race was epic for the long odds overcome by the winning horse, Rich Strike, and jockey, Sonny Leon. The fact that the horse was 21st on a list of eligible racehorses for a race that only allowed 20 to run right up until the last-minute scratch of Ethereal Road.

The drama of the long-shot win was bolstered by the fantastic way jockey Sonny Leon navigated Rich Strike through the pack from so far back to find space along the rail and outrun the two leaders battling each other unaware of the additional challenger.

I suspect Rich Strike will not be such a long shot in the next race of the Triple Crown series, The Preakness Stakes in two weeks.

Yesterday wasn’t a day when Cyndie did any racing but she did get outside and walk in one direction into the labyrinth at 1:00 p.m. to contribute to the wave of peace for World Labyrinth Day.

She also stepped her way both down and back up the significant hill between the labyrinth and our house, which is an impressive feat all by itself. Between her heroic effort on the driveway the day before, and all of yesterday’s steps, she is looking a lot like a champion in the marathon of knee replacement recovery.

In this case, she was far from being a long shot.



Written by johnwhays

May 8, 2022 at 10:18 am

Two Minutes

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It sure seemed like the fastest two minutes. Yesterday afternoon, Cyndie and I watched the Kentucky Derby with a new perspective. We have four horses living with us now who started their lives as racehorses but went on to become neglected and ultimately taken on by a rescue organization.

Ultimately, we are not supportive of the breeding of animals for the purpose of racing them for a few years. At the same time, we recognize the fascination with the power and speed of Thoroughbreds.

The Derby is referred to as “the most exciting two minutes in sports.” The 2021 winner was “Medina Spirit” with a time of 2:01.02.

Check out the images posted on The beauty and athleticism are mesmerizing.

It’s intoxicating. Until we consider the rest of the lives of all the horses at all the racetracks around the world.

We are giving our hearts to four rescued Thoroughbreds with the hope of allowing them to reclaim their wholeness as equine beings, living safely and comfortably for the rest of their lives.

If they choose to run, it’s a brilliant spectacle. Given their own choice on our property, it has never come close to lasting two minutes at an all-out sprint.

We’ll probably watch the next two Triple Crown races to see what transpires, but it is with conflicted hearts. After yesterday’s race, we walked out into the field with our four Thoroughbreds to recalibrate. There was nothing but walking and grazing happening, but they were no less impressive creatures.

Zodiacal Light, Pleasant Mix, The Yellow Sheet [Mia], and Gate Swinger are all champions in our eyes.



Downright Summery

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Warm, sunny days have been few and far between this spring, which makes yesterday special, relative to the competition. It was almost hot, at times, and there was enough sunshine to get burned, which I did a little bit, after sitting on the deck with our visiting friends, Jeff and Renee. We celebrated Jeff’s birthday with some berries over Cyndie’s homemade pound cake slices, and a lesson in the cribbage board-game, “CrossCrib®.”

Out of respect for those who were on the wrong end of an overwhelming scoring feat of 31-0, I’ll let the losers remain anonymous, but Jeff got a sweet birthday present in the win and I enjoyed the perk of being his partner.

Seeing our guests roll down the driveway on their motorcycles was inspiration for Cyndie to pull her convertible out for a thorough polishing, while I assembled and installed the pump and filter in our landscape pond.

I found Cyndie very agreeable when I suggested we celebrate my waterfall accomplishment with a convertible ride to the nearest Dairy Queen for a treat.

The buds on trees are hinting that leaves aren’t far off now, and we drove past several lawns being mowed for the first time, marking visible milestones in this year’s hesitant transition out of winter. Walking Delilah across the hill of our back yard, I quickly discovered our grass is definitely in need of a trim, too.

After a melty ice cream treat, Cyndie got us home just in time to turn on the 145th Kentucky Derby horse race and see a historic ending. In a first for the Derby, the first horse to cross the line in the muddy slop was not the official winner.

After race stewards reviewed the running, they disqualified Maximum Security for interference, bestowing the victory on 65-1 long shot runner-up, Country House.

The first leg of the Triple Crown is in the books. Can summer be far behind?



Written by johnwhays

May 5, 2019 at 8:40 am