• DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    DRINK TO THE LASSES: Notes from a Woman's College Womb
    by Mary Beth Ellis
  • Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Twentysomething Essays by Twentysomething Writers
    Random House Trade Paperbacks
This area does not yet contain any content.
« Life's Mysteries | Main | Cookies and Unicorns Were Had »

Notes From the Back of a Black-Eyed Susan, Edition V: The Baffert Strikes Back

We (Heart) EquiDaily UPDATE:  Hello, fellow horseracing fans, and thanks for the link, kids!

Annnnnnnnnnd here we are at the 135th Preakness Stakes... on tape delay.  When the race was actually run, I was shining a laser pointer at John Glenn's head and saying "um" every fourteen seconds. Because it's my job, that's why.

When I type "tape," I use this term literally, and I use "literally" literally, unlike 99.99% of the population, because I mean... I watched this on a tapeThe Colorado Art Ranch believes in communing with Tetanus Magic walls, but not DVR's.  We were, however, equipped with a middle-of-the-line VCR.  I imagine if I dig around long enough, I will also uncover an Atari marinated in New Coke.

So I had an opportunity to record the race, but not necessarily the means.  Have you bought a blank VCR tape lately?  Try it.  If you haven't met  your condescension 'n' disbelief quota for the day, I heartily recommend that you try it.  I had to go to a thrift shop to find one, rifling through a Casio keyboard, a complete set of Richard Marx CD's, and an absolutely terrifying wedding dress.

You're welcome.

-Super Saver in his stall:  "Whatever."  He's ordered his pina colada, it's late to arrive, and he is Not Happy.

-Odds.  Look fast, 'cause you ain't gonna see 'em very often.

-Bob Costas goes for a beige look.  Bob just doesn't care anymore.

-"Hey, Remember The Kentucky Derby?  You Know, That Thing?  With the Horses?"

-Somebody calls Calvin Borel "The Rail Man." The less said about this, the better.

-"This is the story of a man triumphing where he had long been denied."  Awesome,  I was so hoping for a feature on a sixteen-year-old Miley Cyrus performing lapdances on Dad-aged gay men, NOT THAT THERE'S ANYTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

-Welcome to Louisiana, where, according to NBC,  everybody lives in shacks and the horses are held together with twine.  In Cajun country... jambalaya eats you.

-Calvin crying again, some more.  Last year's Derby footage checks in on his parents:  Yep, still dead.

- Feature on Super Saver's owners; NBC has happened upon their kitchen as they were quite spontaneously gazing at a newspaper picture of Calvin Borel!  "We're gonna have to have that one framed."  On an acting scale, this is somewhere right below "infomercial audience member" but just above "hostage video."

-"Hey, Todd Pletcher:  Susan Lucci Just Emailed to Call You a Loser" montage.

-Rerun of Todd watching the finish of the Derby.  Quote:  "whoo."  Todd, dude, chill.

-Pimlico looks so nice from overhead.  It's almost like you can walk through the parking lot and not get shot at.

-Calvin calls a reporter "sir."  Calivn hasn't yet received the memo from Chris Christie that the press is to be mocked, fed tofurkey, and rolled in a tiny little ball.

-Footage of Super Saver coming off the plane at Baltimore.  He is told that his luggage is in Nebraska, but offered three pretzels and a paper carry-on tag for his trouble.  Super Saver rails at a customer service representative and demands free miles and a seat upgrade.

-Hey, you know what I really don't care about?  The French Open.  Man, I hope there's an in-depth discussion on what's up with that.  And guess what?  There totally is!

-LaQuinta cements itself as my hotel of choice FOREVER by advertising itself with film clips from Phantom Planet, a Mystery Science Theater 3000 classic.  It is, however, a poor commercial choice for the Preakness, because now I'm sad that there aren't little puppet heads in the corner, flinging derision at the fashion choices of Nick Zito.

-Calvin Borel is called "unflappable" directly before an abundance of footage of him crying all over Donna Brothers.

-This coverage is horribleI don't know what Natalie Morales is wearing, I have no idea who Carrot Top has bet on, and, most importantly, who is, and who is not Jewish. I DEMAND PERTINENT INFORMATION, NBC.

-Bob confirms that the  Pimlico was once called "Old Hilltop."  But not anymore.  Because the hill is gone.  Oh, man, I can't believe I missed this live.

-Point Given shout-out as GARY STEVENS! is introduced with the word "aforementioned."  GARY STEVENS! had a good long talk with his bad self and is going with a striped tie this time.  Bold!  He and Bob Costas took advantage of Men's Wearhouse's two-for-one deal on khaki suitcoats.  I grapple with my devastation that there's apparently no footage of this.

-Paddy O'Prado self-advertises by stretching his neck out of the stall.  "I'm a grey, people!  Bet on me, little girls and drunks with no clue!"  I refuse to be delighted by him.

-Caracortado, loosely translated, means "Scarface."  Oh, that's not very nice.  Go ahead, name the horse "Cellulite Ass" or "Enormous Hairy Mole."  See how many stud fees you get.

-Paul Atkinson, how YOU doing?  My housemate and I attempt to ascertain an accurate measure of his hotness, but the producer has chosen the interview spot by virtue of its most direct contact with the burning rays of the sun. Paul is squintin' away in TalkingHeadaville.

-Donna Brothers opens a big fat portal right into hell:  "GARY!, you know all about how rare loyalty is in this business," she says.   See, this is what separates me from GARY STEVENS! If I were GARY STEVENS! I would take this toss-back as an opportunity to begin a diatribe with the words: "Exactly, Donna. Let me tell you something, punks who picked me last for the kickball team in grade school" and ending with "...until the handle breaks off, and nobody will hear you scream."

-Breaking:  Dale Romans has no neck.  This is not at all mitigated by the fact that he is wearing a turtleneck vest zipped all the way to Canada.

-At last:  Information we can truly use.  Since I haven't tasted my own bile yet today, I am inordinately pleased to see the reclusive  Lindsey.  Freaking. VONN on a television screen, reaching from beyond the Closing Ceremony grave to ruin my life for a full five minutes.

Why is our mental feng shui so rudely upended by Lindsey today?  It is very important for us all to know that she is appearing in last episode of Law and Order.

So... that's all it took, after all this time, to kill off Law and Order:  Lindsey Vonn.  Why has no one told me?

-Bob confirms that Lindsey Vonn "goes with the chalk" and picks Super Saver to win.  Lindsey:  "...Chalk?"

-Drama Update on the whole business of replacing Garett Gomez with Martin Garcia on Lookin at Lucky.  Tom calls it a "much publicized breakup."  They set their Facebook status to "It's complicated" and returned each other's Wii games and everything.

-Footage of Bob Baffert saying "He's not going to get fired or anything like that," ten minutes before firing him.

-Requiem for a Dream, producers, really?  We're gathering music from ice dance routines now? Could you not get the rights for Carmen?

-Bab Baffert and... some unidentified, bored child in a sweater vest who Costas says is named "Bode," after Bode Miller.  Well, that went well, Bode's parents. I suggest that Bode form a support group for children named "Tiger."

-Costas goes to Donna in the jock's room, where she stands with....  Garrett Gomez.  This is not at all uncomfortable.

-"Speaking of the receiving end, Todd Pletcher..." Again, the less said about this, the better.

-GARY STEVENS! says "Sweet win," which is now my new ringtone, and pretty  much calls Bob Baffert's hair an idiot for not firing Gomez  sooner, like maybe five minutes after he said he wasn't going to fire him instead of ten.  Only GARY! can get away with this.  GARY!, and Chuck Norris, and Chris Christie.

-Footage of the Zac Brown Brand playing "Chicken Fried" as an honor guard conquers the infield.  But the important thing is... what does Lindsey Vonn think about Heroes getting the axe?  Bummed, or what?  I can't go on living without a full report.

-You can tell a lot about a network by the sponsors it courts for a specific program.  According to the past two and a half minutes,  NBC thinks that I'm into creepy, financially savvy babies and that I have a large prostate.

-Calvin has a stuffed horse named "Smokey" riding on his dashboard.  Smokey's like, "Are you going to hold me out the window and scrape me against the curb?"

-Bob Costas and Calvin Borel, always a scintillating combination.  Bob:  "Let's tell all the other jockeys and trainers what your whole entire race strategy is.  You're not going on the rail this time?"  Calvin:  "No." Bob:  "Are you suuuuurrre you're not going along the rail?" Calvin:  "No."  Well, I'm sure that won't whip back around as a Craptacular Decision.

-Name Super Saver's Brother!  Well, how very rare for one Thoroughbred to be half-related to another.  Lookit the skippy baby foal, everybody!  He has a short little tail and everything!  And I'm sure he won't harbor any resentment at all over any of this!

I suggest "Bode."

-Jillian Michaels has a new show, Jillian Michaels Comes To Your House and Yells at You Until You Cry.  Perhaps if Jillian is lucky, Lindsey Vonn will agree to appear, and then it will immediately be canceled.

-Feature by the media on how the media never lets Todd Pletcher alone on the whole Lucci thing.  I'm glad we've put this to rest now.

-GARY STEVENS! rescues us all by announcing that compared to Super Saver's Walk of Non-Shame into the barn, "every other horse was just kind of lackadaisical."  GARY! confirms that it's important to hate the game, not the playa.

-So... Todd Pletcher, are you going to win the Triple Crown?  Ever?  Like, ever?  Because, seriously, you never win the Triple Crown.

-Donna Brothers talks to Nick Zito about Jackson Bend:  "So, everybody's wondering why you're running your horse back in the Preakness, seeing as he blows chunks and all."

-Paddy O'Prado continues to confirm that he is, in fact, a grey.  His head bobs back and forth between Bob Neumeier and Dale Romans, all, "Am I in the shot?  Are you sure?  Because it's very important that I'm in the shot.  What if I told you I had a large prostate?"

-Shout-out to my old POST*, Tampa Bay Downs.  Wave of nostalgia for overflowing toilets and getting hit on by the jockey riding the final also-ran in the ninth.

-Kent Desormeax.  At the end of time, Kent Desormeux shall be heralded as the one and only jockey who can wear the most hideous silks and not look like he might be better used as a windsock.  Fuchsia, extremely upsetting yellow, Cosby sweaters-- he defeats them all.  When I own a horse I'm getting Desormeaux-only silks.  I'm putting him in solid navy blue, because he is so totally a winter.

-Bob Costas:  "This is not an accusation, but..." He then proceeds to accuse Kent Desormeaux of screwing the Triple Crown, horseracing, and the United States of America forever and ever amen by pulling up Big Brown.  Kent begins yelling quietly, as only Kent Desormeaux can, about his children, and also invents the phrase  "thoughtful to think."

Bob's hand is resting on Kent's back as though they are preparing to tango.  Kent is staring at the back wall as though he is preparing to go medieval on somebody's microphone-holding ass.  This makes the Garret Gomez interview look like two fifteen-year-olds deciding what kind of frozen yogurt to get at the food court.

-Bob Baffert announces that he is  going to see if  he can, quote,  "get his Preak on."  Oh, Bob, no-- think of the children.

-Dude who won $900,000 by betting on Super Saver is taking Lookin at Lucky for the Preakness. Well, what does he know.

-Calvin Borel's nostrils.  Thanks, director.

-I just realized that Calvin's whip, when he holds it straight down his leg, comes up to his waist.  It's like half his height.  All weaponry should be so chosen.  Soon as I can afford it, I'm buying a longbow, but only if it compliments my belt.

-The side effects include of Lovaza include "burping."   Come on, Lovaza, you can do better than that.  Check out some of Alli's action.

-Oh snap, guess what I saw:  Bob Baffert strolls into the prom with Martin Garcia  on his arm, and shakes hands with Gomez.  Garrett is riding Dublin today.   I heard that he and Bob and their dates were going to share a limo and then a group dinner at Olive Garden before the prom, but Garrett's mom got mad about the party room Bob rented at the Holiday Inn, and now they're not going to even get their picture taken by the balloon arch together.

-Riders up:  Somebody actually shoves Javier Castellano in the general direction of Aikenite.  He takes this very well.  Me, I would have dropped the whip, dropped the helmet, and started windmilling.

-Call to Post.  Do these trumpet dudes have to take special lessons for the really, really long form of this instrument?  Is this a decision made at the upper reaches of band camp, or is it something you do in your father's footsteps?  I can think of absolutely nothing else right now.

-YES I CAN!! It's the U.S. Naval Academy  Glee Club!  It's a Glee Club!  It's a GLEE CLUB!!!! In uniform!

...Oh, there are chicks.  Never mind.

-Caracortado is taking these teeny little mincing steps in the post parade.  Butch it up, kiddo.  You won't get away with that on the backstretch.  They'll throw you against the linoleum wall before you get your blinkers off.

-Speaking of enormous weaponry, First Dude is a son of Run Sarah Run and named for Todd Palin.

-Round three for Avodart and its tender breasts.  It's laid out like an episode of 24 (also canceled, also possibly due to Lindsey Vonn), with the doctor in one tiny box, the large prostate-haver in another, and the large prostate itself sliding down the other side of the screen.  I would say that this creates a sense of gripping action, but it just doesn't.  It only makes me slightly itchy, and upset.

-We have a "broke his maiden" from GARY! This is now my new ringtone.

-Mike Battaglia hopes that GARY! doesn't get angry at him for bringing up Thunder Gulch for basically no reason.  GARY! jovially lets him know it's all good, for he will reserve the beating for the employee parking lot.


-Dublin breaks from Gate 12, sees a shiny object somewhere to the right of the Atlantic Ocean, and decides to check it out.

-Everybody's drifting off First Dude, who is running like my three-year-old nephew after an entire sleeve of Peeps, only in a less controlled manner.

-This field needs to put in applications at FedEx, because it just shoved Calvin Borel in a box, sealed it with duct tape, addressed it to "Way the Hell in the Back," and threw him on a truck bound for mid-pack.  Stamped "Next-Day Air."

-Lookin at Lucky, you Triple Crown-ruining slut.

-Well, there's GARY STEVENS!' red tie.  Bob Baffert stole it.

-INS asks for Martin Garcia's birth certificate, Social Security card, or driver's license.

-You know who totally needs to be interviewed right now?  Garrett Gomez, who has had the Day from Awesomeville.

-Lookin at Lucky is completely dwarfed by both outriders' ponies, the just-finishing Northern Giant, and Martin Garcia.  He's the Richard Hammond of the Preakness.

-Bob Baffert takes a moment to speak with each individual person in the infield before deigning to speak with the NBC reporter.  The Baffert will turn his face to the camera when The Baffert is ready to turn his face the camera.

-Calvin Borel, looking as if he's just exited a particularly restful session of electroshock therapy.  Wha happen', Calvin?  "He had a perfect trip."  A perfect trip to Rip Up Your Ticket Town, via Oh, Sorrysville.

-Bob Costas confirms that the weather is nice and the race was exciting.  The President of the Maryland Jockey Club takes personal responsibility for both:  "Thank you!"

-Man, nobody's called the Woodlawn Vase the! most! expensive! trophy! in! sports! yet.  I miss thee, Preakness cliche.

-Woodlawn Vase in hand, the owner of Lookin at Lucky bubbles that Martin has given "the horse the ride that we knew he needed to prevail."  Gomez BUUUUUUUUUUUUUURRRRRRRRRRRRRN! Seriously, where is Garrett?  Have we checked the nearest liquor store?  The Everclear aisle?  Because that's where I would be, silks and all.

-Costas? Not everything is about baseball, you know?  Most things, yeah-- life, sex, food, politics, and quite possibly furniture shopping.  But not horse training.  Back it down off of the dugout.


-...Oh yeah, the Belmont.  As if you care.

*Piece of &^$@ track

the good and the beautiful at:  mbe@drinktothelasses.com

EmailEmail Article to Friend

Reader Comments (17)

[...] click here for the latest:  Notes From the Back of a Black-Eyed Susan V:  The Baffert Strikes Back [...]

[...] Mary Beth’s annual Preakness Tape Delay Recap has arrived. The usual suspects are smacked around. Share and Enjoy: [...]

For me, the best part of the races are reading your recaps, silently giggling at my desk until funny little tears spring from the corners of my eyes and I have to pretend to sneeze just so my co-workers stop looking at me like I'm nuts.
And yes, I do care about the Belmont, simply because it causes massive traffic jams as far back as my house and it's impossible for me to get to Blockbuster or Home Depot with all of the out-of-towners driving cluelessly up and down Hempstead Turnpike looking for the damn racetrack. It's right there, where all the grass is.

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKa

BEST summary of NBC's horrible terrible awful coverage I've read.

May 17, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterLinda

Beware of the power of Lindsey Vonn... Go here and see:


However... your coverage of the race was spot. on.

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

I don't care if she's singlehandedly cured cellulite, balanced the national budget, and thrown herself in front of a nuclear bomb. Lindsey Vonn is more than welcome to bite me.

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB

Marvelous - as always!

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHollee Chadwick Cady

Does ANYBODY appreciate such pathetic efforts at humor?

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterchasham

This year I actually watched the race (since JTP was here and had the TV on to watch it "live"). Your commentary is SO MUCH BETTER than watching it. I don't have a clue what to look for but you see it all and I enjoy what you write about it. It would probably be more fun to watch the tape after reading your commentary.

May 18, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterHunter House Mom

I'm assuming you're referring to NBC's "pathetic attempts at humor," because if you're referring to this blog, um.... (points upward)

If this kind of writing is not your cup of tea, just click away to something that is. There is no need to be nasty and insult not only the author but those of us who stop in regularly.

But if you do mean NBC's coverage... I apologize for misunderstanding you... yep, we don't have much choice, and just have to put up with it and enjoy the positive aspects of it.

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPatty

Love it - spot on, all around!

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterSuperfecta

Thanks babe. Y'all come back now for the Belmont :)

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterMB

I KNOW... I completely agree with you. I just had to laugh when I saw that article after your initial post. Too funny!!

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterCathy

That's enough of THAT sh*t track!!

May 19, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterPelcher

[...] Mary Beth’s Events and Readings ← Notes From the Back of a Black-Eyed Susan, Edition V: The Baffert Strikes Back [...]

Just want to say what a great blog you got here!


May 22, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterWagoThatt

[...] PM:  Todd Pletcher, mighty pissed. Hey Todd!  Why didn’t you win, Todd? Todd!  You suck, [...]

Comments for this entry have been disabled. Additional comments may not be added to this entry at this time.