Trial Balloon

Trial Balloon: April 15, 2010 Archive

A Horse Is A Horse of Course

Posted at 6:00 AM on April 15, 2010 by Dale Connelly (39 Comments)

Radio Heartland has tickets to a concert by Martin Sexton at the Fitzgerald Theater on Sunday, April 25th at 7:30 pm.

Enter the drawing.
Obey the rules.
Good luck.

A racehorse named Zenyatta won the Apple Blossom Invitational in Arkansas last Friday and tied a mark set in 1948 by the Triple Crown winner Citation at 16 wins in a row. The six year old won this race as she usually does, charging past the competition down the stretch, taking the lead just before the finish line.

I don't follow horse racing and I really don't like to bet money on anything, but there is something irresistible about a come-from-behind victory. When I was a mediocre half-miler on my high school track tream, we had a runner nicknamed Goo-Goo who would wait for the last 50 yards and then sprint like crazy, often bringing in a dramatic victory at the tape. People like to say that exceptional athletes "make it look easy." Goo-Goo was talented but contrary - he liked to make it look hard.

Zenyatta is Goo-Goo's equine equivalent, although she's a lot better than ... well, any other creature on legs, it seems. Here she is winning the Breeder's Cup last fall.

A profile of Zenyatta in last week's New York Times revealed that she also dances, eats cake and drinks Guinness. Add all those quirks to the come-from-behind theatrics, and obviously this is America's reigning equine superstar.

There was a time in our history when the human-horse relationship was central to everyday life. Not so much anymore.

What's your history with horses?

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