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a racy tale - Preakness @ Churchill Downs 5/4/12

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Dave Anderson had a nice story of the race yesterday. Thought you might like to see it.

Hello Kit. Yesterday was quite a day! I've probably watched different videos of the race a dozen times since then to see if I could spot Mario Gutierrez and I'll Have Another weave their way among 19 other horses to fame and glory. Fortunately my TV held up long enough to see the race as it happened and Mario was almost crying as they tried to interview him while he was slowing the horse down after the race. Meanwhile, I'll Have Another was perfectly behaved- as if to say "you tell him boy!"And so I watched and rewatched the race, again and again, over the time since then, to see if this was just a matter of a very skilled rider and a very skilled horse running a race or if it was more than that- namely the love between an animal and a man.

I conclude that the two were actually one from the time the race started. It was as if they had one mind rather than two and their thoughts coincided with each step.Both evidently knew that they had to get to the rail before the first turn (from so far out- the 19 post position- that they needed an auxiliary gate to load them into) and so they did the impossible (at least it hadn't been done in 138 years of the Run for the Roses that a horse so far out in left field he needed binoculars to even see the rail, let alone get there before losing all that ground going wide around the turn- or, alternatively, starting so slow so as to be able to get to the rail but losing so much ground in the process that it would be impossible to win) and weaved their way in front of and behind furiously running horses in an apparently effortless stop and go manner and so were two wide going into the turn. That in itself was the most amazing of feats. Normally one can't ask a horse to stop and go like that as they mostly have only the ability to go faster on a dime when the jockey asks them to do so. But if the jockey asks a horse to slow down it's all over and they start fighting each other. (The horse says, "What are you doing?", the jockey replies by shouting, "Slow down!", the horse says, "you're crazy!" and so all the effort goes into arguing and little is left for actually running.) So this appeared to be more of a common will rather than a set of instructions from jockey to horse.

And that's what I call love. It was like they both just melted and flowed effortlessly to the rail.And so, they were about seventh and at the rail going into the turn in what was one of the fastest starts in Derby history. And, as importantly, they didn't have to cut anybody else off or interfere with their race. In that sense it was miraculous- just what you'd expect from the power of love!Anyway, no doubt I'll watch more videos of the race between now and the Preakness as everybody starts talking about a Triple Crown Winner- although the announcers on CBS immediately started talking about Bodiemeister probably being the favorite to win the Preakness. Ah, man always seems to get way ahead of himself!

I'll admit Bodiemeister and Mike Smith ran a whale of a race on the lead, but the fact remains that they were out of gas as the loving pair passed them and won by 1 ½ lengths- and didn't appear to even be breathing hard after the race was over.That sort of reminds me of a favorite line of mine, that I use whenever someone starts suggesting that it's tough to be a Christian. My stock reply is, "If you think that's tough, you don't even want to think about what is must be like going through life without God and without Hope in the world".

Anyway, love wins and there is nothing superior to God's love for us! Granted we only love him because he first loved us, but at least we recognize that fact and so are like the horse in harness with the Lord at the reins, with his kindly yoke and light burden. We are happy to do His bidding- and there's nothing finer than a Happy Horse! I'll Have Another appeared to be perfectly contented as Gutierrez choked back the tears.One of the highlights of my day came after the race when I found that the cashier that sold me the tickets (I ended up driving over to Presque Isle Downs to get them as Jack had other plans yesterday) had made a mistake. I'd gotten the card you sent ... the day before and so all my scribbling regarding the race was on the card as I read off what I wanted.

I figured that if I'll Have Another won, I might as well bet a dollar exacta ticket with him on top and the other five horses I though had the best chance to win in the second position (a $5 bet), since the exacta in a race with twenty horses was bound to be large. So I picked Optimizer because it was a Lukas trained horse, Creative Cause because he only finished a nose behind I'll Have Another in the Santa Anita Derby, Gemologist because he won the Wood Memorial and because he'd never lost a race, Take Charge Indy because he'd won the Florida Derby, and Union Rags because everyone was talking about him being the favorite (he actually went off as the second favorite). I didn't include Bodiemeister because I figured he'd be out of breath long before the race was over. He turned out going off as the favorite- and didn't run out of breath nearly as soon as I thought he would.

And so I knew I'd lost that $5 bet. But before throwing the ticket away I checked it again just to be sure and here the gal that sold me the ticket either heard me wrong or else typed in the wrong number in the totallizer and so there was #6 instead of #8 on the ticket. I had a winning exacta ticket after all! I just laughed and said to myself, "Oh Lord, you are such a prankster!" It was like he was saying to me, "You see Dave, you spend all that time reading, calculating, comparing, contrasting and cogitating, and here I am, giving you as much as you made on your win bet just because I want to. All it took was for me to make the cashier's ear hear 'six' instead of 'eight' ('or maybe I caused her finger to move over a couple of keys- I'm not telling you all my secrets!'). And since I knew you'd take the ticket back if you knew what I'd done, I blinded you a little so you wouldn't think of looking at the numbers before putting the tickets in your wallet."

Ah, that DID make my day!So I have to drive back over to Presque Isle Downs to cash in the winning tickets today but I'll probably smile the whole way- at the Lord's prank rather than my own efforts. Actually, I'll probably spend the time thinking that if the Lord can alter the cashier's hearing, he, no doubt can improve yours as well. I just don't know how to make that happen, but then again, I didn't know how to bet the exacta either and yet I have a winning ticket.

God is so kind of funny to us.

Kit (still hoping and praying to be able to hear before the gathering together)

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