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Author Topic: 7-30-06 Bob Verdi column  (Read 1178 times)
zooropa34
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« on: August 05, 2006, 03:07:14 AM »

A friend of mine who is not a horse racing fan(he doesn't dislike it, just doesn't know that much about it) forwarded me this article and asked for my opinion.  I didn't see any other posts regarding it so I thought I would post it.  Not quite sure what I think of it yet, but I was wondering if anyone here had any thoughts.
Keith

Bob Verdi
Sunday Column

July 30, 2006

Were it possible, Barbaro might want to have a word with that buffoon
of a jockey, Paul O'Neill, who applied a head butt to his horse the
other day in England.

Also, Barbaro probably would have something to say about all those
horses that have broken down and have been euthanized at Arlington Park
this season--19 and counting.

And what we really would like to hear from Barbaro are his personal
thoughts about how he won the Kentucky Derby in May and is now fighting
for his life, a life he donated to the thoroughbred racing industry
through no choice of his own.

But, of course, horses can't talk. So, we'll just have to stand by and
wait for bulletins from Kennett Square, Pa., where Barbaro is
convalescing. He must regrow the hoof on his left hind leg. If that doesn't
happen, then Barbaro will be put down and out of his misery.

Should that occur, no doubt people in the business will mourn the
tragic loss of such a "beautiful animal." Naturally, these animals are
especially beautiful if they can win, place or show, and when this dynamic
colt stormed to victory in the world's biggest race, the Run for the
Roses at Churchill Downs, he was more beautiful than ever.

Unlike a lot of other athletes, however, Barbaro didn't dance or pose,
pull out a felt-tip pen or a cell phone upon crossing the finish line.
He merely ambled over to the winners' circle then back to the barn,
while many two-legged animals around him preened, or cashed their tickets.

Barbaro doesn't have an agent or a union, and he could have used both
at Pimlico Race Course outside Baltimore, site of the 131st Preakness
Stakes, middle jewel in the Triple Crown. All eyes were on Barbaro, the
toast of the town. Maybe he would better his 6 1/2-length romp of a
couple weeks prior.

But shortly after being loaded into the sixth stall, Barbaro broke
through the gate. We'll never know why, but when a horse weighing 1,000 or
so pounds wants to do something, whips and blinders and saddles are no
deterrent. He can't be stopped.

Nor could the precious Preakness. Barbaro was returned to the post, off
they went, and maybe 15 seconds into the race, he pulled up, his right
leg hanging limp with what was found to be three separate fractures and
a dislocation. The track vet had examined Barbaro after he bolted
prematurely, and the jockey, Edgar Prado, said he felt sure his mount was
ready to roll for real. Thoroughbreds routinely fail to fire after
breaking through the gate as Barbaro did, but all you-know-what would have
ensued if he had been scratched. You can bet your life on that, or better
yet, Barbaro's.

If Barbaro were a ballplayer, he could have claimed injury on the spot,
gone to the whirlpool like so many of our uniformed heroes do when the
going gets tough, or filed a grievance with his association. But
Barbaro just obeyed orders, and besides, there is just a small television
window for the Preakness. The race must go on, because there is this thing
about regularly scheduled programming.

Barbaro's owners and trainers insist they are jumping through all the
medical hoops to save Barbaro because they love this beautiful animal
with all their hearts, and not because Barbaro might be worth $40 million
as a stallion, siring other horses capable of a win, place or show
while we cheer for them, from the bottom of our wallets.

We take Barbaro's handlers at their word because they have said and
have done all the proper things. But we also can assume this: Barbaro is
not trying to grow a new hoof and all those beautiful animals at
Arlington Park were not destroyed because they did not race often enough.

Copyright (c) 2006, The Chicago Tribune

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Round Table
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« Reply #1 on: August 05, 2006, 03:18:27 AM »

I don't get it. Is it me or is it just poorly written?
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They ought to return to Tampa and fix the mistake they made.
zooropa34
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« Reply #2 on: August 05, 2006, 03:21:24 AM »

I was kind of thinking the same thing, thats why I posted it.  I read that last paragraph probably 10 times and still don't quite get what point he's trying to make.  It seems to me to be another columnist who doesn't know all that much about the sport writing a column about a broken down horse because its the "hip" thing to do.  Very strange column.
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Round Table
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And then I saw her, coming out of the sun.




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« Reply #3 on: August 05, 2006, 03:39:39 AM »

Yes.  I read it four or five times  Huh
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They ought to return to Tampa and fix the mistake they made.
RunSuckerRun
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« Reply #4 on: August 05, 2006, 08:15:36 AM »

Sounds to me like he's either half in the bag or channelling the spirit of John Frank in this one.

-RSR
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Trackman
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« Reply #5 on: August 05, 2006, 08:41:13 AM »

It reads to me like the incoherent ramblings of someone who doesn't have a clue. Zooropa said it best in his second post.
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Trackman
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« Reply #6 on: August 05, 2006, 09:48:49 AM »

Why do newspapers assign non-horseracing writers to cover horseracing related stories? The Herald has Mike Spellman and Johnny Luesh. The Sun Times has Jim O' Donnell. The Trib has Neil Milbert and Dave Surico. All horse knowledgeable people. So why is Verdi allowed to write this column?

Spellman and Luesh are covering the Cubs and the Sox. JOD has an assorted mixed bag now that he's not on the Notre Dame beat (dumb move). Neil covers the Illini and a little horseracing. Surico is assigned to women's highschool badminton and other such nonsense. As soon as something bad happens, they send in the "human interest" writers.
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CLOCKERTERRY
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« Reply #7 on: August 05, 2006, 01:18:59 PM »

I think what he is trying to say is that horses are raced too often and pushed too hard. That's what's in the last paragraph. Unfortunately he didn't establish any basis for that conclusion with facts or numbers. Instead he just noodled around with several paragraphs of disjointed cynical hinting, where we are supposed to fill in the blanks with our imagination.

There's a reason Bob Verdi is retired and only writes the occasional guest column. His regular sports columns at the end of his career at the Trib were also semi-incoherent.   
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our favorite omen
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« Reply #8 on: August 07, 2006, 06:34:59 AM »

Bob Verdi has a full time gig with Golfweek Magazine as well as doing some part time work for the PGA tour.  I think he is just phoning in these Tribune pieces.  He was a very good sports reporter in his day.
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Valuist
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« Reply #9 on: August 07, 2006, 09:46:40 AM »

Bob Verdi has a full time gig with Golfweek Magazine as well as doing some part time work for the PGA tour.  I think he is just phoning in these Tribune pieces.  He was a very good sports reporter in his day.

Well it definitely no longer is "his day"
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Ted Womnt
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« Reply #10 on: August 10, 2006, 12:50:03 AM »

I think what he is trying to say is that horses are raced too often and pushed too hard. That's what's in the last paragraph. Unfortunately he didn't establish any basis for that conclusion with facts or numbers. Instead he just noodled around with several paragraphs of disjointed cynical hinting, where we are supposed to fill in the blanks with our imagination.

There's a reason Bob Verdi is retired and only writes the occasional guest column. His regular sports columns at the end of his career at the Trib were also semi-incoherent.   


If the his contention is that horses race too much then he is loony. Everyone knows why more and more horses break down nowadays,

1) Drugs, drugs and more drugs,
2) Breeding for speed, and not for stamina/inbreeding.
3) Being lightly raced and babied.
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