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« Breeders' Cup, Part III: It Goes On and On and On and Oooonnnn Edition | Main | Hug a Vet Today »

Breeders' Cup, Part II: Very Special Ramon Dominguez Interview Edition

Saturday, 12:30 PM: Annnnd we're back. Did you miss all this?  Yeah, I just got done jamming a Crock-Pot fork into my own nostrils, myself.

12:31:30 PM: What are your expectations for this glorious day, broadcast panel?  I expect we won't get past the top 90 seconds without somebody pimping footage from yesterday's fight, that's what I expect.

12:31:31 PM: I should start charging for psychic readings.

12:33 PM: Attention Jerry Bailey: we've not yet passed the one-year moratorium on using Tiger Woods as a Standard of Awesome.  Put it away.

12:34 PM: I'm... I'm pretty sure that's Pirates of the Carribbean music they're using behind race footage to set up the fight footage.  What a grand use of the rights permission budget.  Better choice:  "Yakety Sax."

12:35 PM: You know what, I never do tire of this image of Calvin Borel distance-punching Javier Castellano with his face.  I am going to make a screen grab of it and post it on my office door during PMS,  not unlike the way in which Alan Shepard's secretary warned his fellow astronauts that The Icy Commander was not pleased.

12:36 PM: "So, let's advance the story!"  Yes, Joe Tessitore, let's.

12:36:30 PM: Oh... by "advance," he meant "stomp into the ground again, some more, until it is the very paste of organic matter."

12:37 PM: Also, Life at Ten continues to make her way to the finish line.

12:37:30 PM: Josh The Pilot enters the room just as Randy Moss says, "She was cramping."  He leaves immediately.

12:38 PM: Now we have an opportunity to talk about Zenyatta!  Finally.

12:39 PM: "Throughout the entire day, we'll tell you what Zenyatta's doing."  I'm fairly sure what she'll be doing right up until about 6:25 PM:  She'll be pooping, or she'll be hanging her head out over her stall door carefully considering her next poop.  But you... you keep me updated on that, ESPN.

12:41 PM: Juvie Turf:  BTW, Bobby Flay's horses are way more important than the other horses.  He's been on Eddie's Million Dollar Cook Off.

12:42 PM: Zenyatta:  Still has a tail.

12:44 PM: It's Kenny and Hank!  Sad Horse and Horny Horse are decently separated, but the B side of The Watery Martini Band's latest 45 continues to serve as the music of choice to cinematically score the odds.

12:44:25 PM: Oh... oh no.  Rough Sailing is down.  Oh, not good.  Jockey Rosie Napravnik is up and walking around, though.

12:45 PM: Pluck, trained by Todd Pletcher, wins, but to a near-silent crowd and the almost total disinterest of ESPN, because Rough Sailing has gotten up and tried to keep running before falling again.  Oh, geez.

12:46 PM: Jerry Bailey immediately and properly blames the entirety of Europe for the spill, because the exercise riders, jockeys, and trainers from across the pond have been complaining that the turf wasn't watery and surrender-y enough.

12:47 PM: I mean, you have to hand it to ESPN, which will travel to the edges of the known universe and back to add another tether to the  Zenyatta Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade balloon:  Mike Smith (WHO IS RIDING ZENYATTA)  is speaking to Rosie Napravnik.  This provides an excellent opportunity to provide live shots of  Zenyatta deigning to acknowledge the existence of the ground:  She's looking at it!!!111!!ones!!11

12:49 PM: Sprintin' time.  Trainer Carl O'Callaghan is Irish, and proves it by wearing a cap, being poor when he reaches America's shores, and looking like an 84-year-old Gen Xer.

12:51 PM: Joe's Post Parade Profundity, sponsored by Jessica Simpson: "At the Kentucky Derby, there's only one post parade.  But you come to the Breeder's Cup, and this scene repeats itself fourteen times."  Well, yes.  Also at EVERY SINGLE RACE TRACK ON EVERY SINGLE DAY OF RACING.

12:53 PM: Slightly more people in the grandstand today.  That's good.  But Jerry Bailey just said "thrust."  That's bad.

12:54 PM: Ramon Dominguez refuses to twirl, point, or otherwise do anything with his whip which a seven-year-old would also do on her way out of a baton recital.  Ramon is referred to as "a cerebral jockey."  If that's what it takes to be "a cerebral jockey," Laffit Pincay would have been a freaking genius.  Laffit Pincay would have flat-out head-rammed anyone who asked him to make sex-ay with his whip for the ESPN promo camera.  Ramon slides by with a folded-arm stare.

12:55 PM: Interivew.  Of.  The. Weekend:

JERRY BAILEY: (long, involved question about possible bias on the track)


RAMON DOMINGUEZ'S HORSE: (chuff, chuff, chuff, chuff)

JERRY BAILEY:  ...I'm not sure Ramon can hear me.


RAMON DOMINGUEZ'S HORSE: (chuff... chuuuuuuuuuuuffff)

EVERYBODY WATCHING: That is the smartest thing any living object has said in the past 55 minutes.

1 PM: Touch Screen Randy busts out his index finger.

1:02 PM: Big Drama needs to drop back, because much as I enjoy your average British accent, if I have to hear Trevor Denman uncork one more "Big Dramer," I shall place my torch in my momo's boot and look for aggro.

1:03  PM: Ramon Dominguez finishes ninth.  His horse is all, "...chuff?"

1:09 PM: Hank is twice referred to as "Hammer."  How very unfortunate.

1:11 PM: GARY STEVENS!:  "Nothin' says lovin' like Rock Hard Ten semen for your mare's oven."

1:12 PM: That notwithstanding, Coolmore is now my favorite stud farm, because it shows me pictures of fooooooaaaaals, with their morning hair manes and short little tails.  Fooooooaaaaals!

1:13 PM: UPDATE on the condition of the Churchill Downs spires:  They are still there.  Nick Zito confirms that "When you see those spires, there's something about them."

1:14 PM: I have yet to see a non-awkward trophy presentation.  They've got fourteen of these.  I mean, it's not like it's a one and done.  That's almost an entire football season's worth of attempts to do this without making me and everyone in earshot want to die on the spot of proximal  humiliation, and ABC, ESPN, and the whole entire Breeders' Cup Board of Directors are looking an awful lot like the 2008 Detroit Lions.

1:17 PM: "When you think of horses?  You think of Kentucky?  And when you think of Kentucky?  You think of horses."  This commentary is sponsored by Cheech Marin and High Times Magazine.

1:18 PM: I'm really, really glad that somebody thought to get Rick "Restaurant" Patino's take on the fact that there is horse racing in Kentucky.  This segment needed a moral compass, and by gum we've got one:  Rick pronounces the proper order of priorities in life as, quote, "God, family, basketball, horseracing."  Disappointingly, Rick is not immediately sucked right straight into hell by the Fallen Angel of "...Seriously?"

1:23 PM: It has been a demonstrated fourteen seconds since Jockey Brawl 2010 has been mentioned, so let's roll tape!

1:25 PM: ...Oh sweet merciful niblets, is this entire weekend on a time loop?  Because it's all rushing up into my face like a sitcom flashback:  The light pole porn, the celebrity chef knob slobbering, the gate-loading FAIL, the solidly disappointing Kraft Macaroni and Cheese which comprised my dinner.

1:26 PM:  Jim The Nephew has this cartoon movie, Spirit: The Brave And Wild  Plains Horse And His Generically American Indian Friend Defeat Some Mustache-Wearing White Men, Learning Many Important Lessons Along The Way, and the horses don't talk, because that would be stupid, but you can tell apart the girl horses from the boy horses because the girl horses have slantier eyes and also wear mascara.  I have until now regarded this as somewhat unrealistic, but then there's Goldikova.

1:25 PM: Can't have a discussion of another horse without a Zenyatta cram-down, who stands with her head hanging out of her stall all, "I can order Latisse from an online Canadian pharmacy too, honey."

1:27 PM: Randy Moss And His Touch Screen, on anti-death threat Facebook Account Patrol, carefully suggests that "not from a sentimental point of view, but from a value point of view," a 4-5 Zenyatta might just not be the highest-paying choice in the Classic.  Death threats rain down upon his Twitter account.

1:27:30 PM: A stunned Joe points out that Zenyatta has captured so much attention!  She's pulling in almost all of the handle!  Why could this be?

1:28 PM: Extended shot of Zenyatta standing very still in her stall

1:28:30 PM: Oh... um... "The Making of Secretariat."  Well, that's fine, I guess, although I cannot imagine why ABC-ESPN might sanction a 90-second advertisement for a Disney movie.

1:30 PM: Turf Sprint.  Okay, I have to look up the lineage of "Unzip Me." Mm-hmm, mm-hmm... Mom is "Escape With Me" and Daddy be called "City Zip."  See, you don't get this kinda-subtly-dirty-but-not-quite kind of homage to the English language in any other sport.  The XFL tried its gallant best, but all we got out of that was "He Hate Me," which isn't quite the clever lyricism you're going to find in, say, a Tudor Minstrel.

1:32 PM: Trainer Bret Calhoun classes up the joint with a detailed discussion of abscess draining.  I very quietly, very deliberately put down my dish of vanilla pudding.

1:35 PM: Call to Post sounds like what I imagine the Call to Post would sound like at a meeting of the High Times editorial board.

1:37 PM: Yakov Smirnoff was apparently consulted to provide the broadcasting notes on the field, as Unzip Me is described as having "very much early speed."

1:37:30 PM: Post Parade Fashion Don't Alert:  Julien Leparoux's silks don't match his horse at all.

1:38 PM: Aw, sweet, Patrick Valenzuela is wearing the Jockey Cam!  It's the My Follicle, Myself Show!

1:39 PM: Oh dear, three greys in this race. There needs to be a Coupled Entry Grey Option for emergencies like this.

1:40 PM: Robby Albarado wins the internet for having the most self-conscious, least silent-movie quality to his Living Mugshot.  No twirling whips, no "....Llllllladies" smirk, no Justice League hip poses-- he's just standing there, kinda swinging his arms and darting his eyes side to side, all, "Can I have my firstborn child back now?"  He might as well be standing in line at the DMV-- at the bathroom at the DMV, for he also looks deeply pained.

Eventually he succumbs to a nervous second-grader style stance--hands under armpits--but, after tiring of this, he timorously holds up one index finger.

"He comes with the trash talk," Jerry says upon seeing this massive show of arrogance.

1:41 PM: Robby's mount, Central City, is still attached to his lead pony and loping along at a forty-five degree angle.  He looks like I did the night of my twenty-first birthday, when I found it necessary to earnestly convince the random Stanford Hall resident walking through the lobby that I could probably  drive if I really wanted to. Well, if he doesn't win here, Central City has a bright dressage future.

1:42 PM: The infield looks so lonely.  "One puking UK student?" it says.  "Just one?"

1:43 PM: The last two liveblog entries mentioned drinking, and that's because I need one to numb the shock of the fact that ESPN is actually doing something useful here-- showing the route of the race, discussing the condition of the turf, and touching on probable jockey strategy.  The anchors are discussing the race at hand.  I give it thirty more seconds.

1:43:30 PM: Oh.  I just noticed that the odds for the Classic are constantly along the side of the screen, which is pretty much the next best thing to having a Zenyatta Stall Poop Cam in a little box above the crawl.  Zenyatta, not unlike God and Lady Gaga, is with us at all times.

1:48 PM: This overhead replay of Jamie Theriot's winning move on Chamberlain Bridge is just magnificent.  It shows the viewer that the jockey must make dangerous, split-second decisions, and I imagine that if someone took my picture from thousands of feet in the air, the effect would be tremendously slimming.  I must speak to my agent about this.

1:56 PM: Trophy presentation is relatively squirm-free, right up until the owner says "'Preciate it," pretty much as if the mayor-elect of Louisville were handing him his receipt and a 10% off coupon for next week's Thursday Buffet.

1:56:30 PM: Well, that makes it a broadcast-- we have a heartfelt discussion of abscesses in the winner's circle.


"The Quest for Perfection" is:

A.  The ironic title of some college douchebag's fantasy football team

B.  The name of the first two pages of a goth fourteen-year-old's novel about a sparkly vampire who falls in love with a goth fourteen-year-old

C.  ESPN's justification for Zenyatta's existance

Text your answer and RUININGEVERYTHINGFOREVERYBODY to code 666.

...chuff? at:  mbe@blondechampagne.com

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Reader Comments (4)

This can only mean .... Part Trois?

November 14, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterJen

The Quest for Perfection” is:

A. The ironic title of some college douchebag’s fantasy football team

B. The title of the first two pages of a goth fourteen-year-old’s novel about a sparkly vampire who falls in love with a goth fourteen-year-old

C. ESPN’s justification for Zenyatta’s existance

The answer is B only if the 14 year old goth is named Perfection.

November 15, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterstarnarcosis

Well, MBE, you’ve done it again. Thanks!

Before the suits ruined the BC by doubling the number of days & races, this used to be an enjoyable outing. Now, it takes 48 hours for racing to showcase its greatest moments:

*****BC Bigwig To Mr. B. Flay, Winning Owner of Insignificant BC Race That Didn’t Exist Five Years Ago:

“Bobby, you want one of these Duraflame Trophies? Have Two! It used to mean something when there were only 8 of them. Now we hand out 16 of them, which means that their value has been reduced by 50%! Doesn’t that make you feel good - that you’ve spent @ $5M on horses, trainers, vets, & transportation costs, and in return, we hand you what USED to be considered an exclusive honor? And wait until there are 32 BC races! What you just won will have even less prestige!”

Fair-Haired Flay: Hisses with narcissistic exasperation… sounds like the fries being grilled in his lugubrious lounges - or Calvin Borel, 15 minutes after….

*****The Jockey Fight In The Winner’s Circle: My Giants (12½ favorites) just lost to the Cowboys. Since it took 3 beefy Louieville Lugs to subdue Calvin (weighing @ 110 lbs), I’m asking the Jints if Borel can be their new strength-conditioning coach;

*****The entire contingent of asleep-at-the-switch Vets & Stewards who didn’t notice that Lifeless At Ten was half-dead prior to his race (at the same time that Jerry Bailey’s hair was justifiably on fire as he was strenuously pointing this out, on ESPN).

Kentuckians: This is an exhibition of your state taxes, at work (now you know what it’s like to live in New Jersey).

Lifeless’s owner got screwed out of $60,000 (refundable entry fee if horse is scratched by Non-Comatose Stewards). I’ll bet she can’t WAIT to enter another beast in this or any of the other future 64 BC events.

Gallop Poll: Potential New Horse Owners watching the 2010 BC telecast are now, inexplicably, less willing to return calls from breeding outfits;

*****ESPN’s hopelessly pathetic, brainless Tessitore…often mistaken for a former car parker at Monticello (a bush harness track in the Adirondacks that is often mistaken as the last of the Great Borscht Belt Hotel Ruins; see YouTube videos, “Abandoned Institutions”)…lost the coin toss for ESPN’s coverage of the AHPPL (Appalachian Hobo Ping Pong League) & ended up, instead, with the Daily Racing Form’s past performances.


Tonight’s race at Wodonga (Australia) was just now run, between only two horses - Sayah & Stellar Command.

(This was preceded by an imaginatively named race: “Drink Drive Bloody Idiot Maiden.” That’s what I love @ the Aussies, they’re such insufferable stuffed shirts.)

Background: At race end, they post an immediate order of finish on the TV screen (hopes are high that someday the A/V-inept Americans will figure out how to do this).

Back to the “Match Race”: It’s over.

Order of finish - posted on the screen by the Resident Track Wit:

“1st: Sayah - 2nd: Stellar Command - 3rd: PHOTO.”

Somehow, with these 16-20 horse fields, the race callers keep it all in their head as to what the rest of the order of finish is – who came in 3rd, 4th, 5th, etc.

This spirited race caller - who for the last minute had repeatedly stated the names of only TWO horses - out of sheer habit tried to continue to call out the rest of the finishers:

“And – ER - that’s it! There’s no more!”

A gentle roar of laughter arose from his coworkers in the booth.

Good evening.

November 16, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterDon Reed

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November 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBreeders’ Cup, Part III:
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