Horse racing represents the two things I hate most: animal abuse and rich white people celebrating.
Nevertheless, congratulations to American Pharoah on winning the equestrian Triple Crown. Animal athletics represent what is pure and good about sports. Unlike the fame-driven phonies who play professional football and basketball and baseball, animal athletes are not guided by money or ego or even a basic comprehension that they're competing in a sporting event.
Literally the moment the Belmont Stakes ended, American Pharoah had already forgotten that an important race had just taken place. And five minutes later, the rest of America forgot that an important race had just taken place.
The worse thing that could've happened to the sport of horse racing, thirty-seven years later, was for a horse to actually win the Triple Crown. The build-up was suspenseful and spectacular. The actual moment was like, "Eh. Now what?" Sort of like Christmas morning or airplane bathroom sex.
But unlike Christmas and- too a lesser extent, sex- horse racing is horrible.
Baseball is just as boring as horse racing. But unlike the Kentucky Derby, if Miguel Cabrera breaks his ankle running to second base, the trainers don't come out to the field and shoot him. I mean, even North Korea waits for spectators to leave the stadium before killing its underperforming athletes.
To watch a prestigious horse race is not the equivalent of watching the NBA Finals. Rather, it's like viewing those adorable cat videos on YouTube. That's because- and I say this in a complimentary way, actually- horses are animals.
1973 Triple Crown winner Secretariat ranked #35 on ESPN's list of Greatest American Athletes of the 20th Century, ahead of sports legends such as Mickey Mantle, Lawrence Taylor, and Olympian Eric Heiden. Hall of Fame pitcher Sandy Koufax was #42 on the list, which, by definition, means he would've been #41 on a list of Greatest American Human Athletes of the 20th Century.
Interesting to note that famous horse racing jockey Bill Shoemaker was #57 on the list. Shoemaker ranks lower than the horses. Auto racing's Mario Andretti was #92. But yet Andretti's car is not on the list. That's because a car is not an athlete. And that's because a car, like a horse, is not a human being.
The fastest kitchen table in America might be the fastest kitchen table in America. Doesn't make it an "athlete." And I don't know what you call it when kitchen tables ski jump, but I know it's not "sports."
As a matter of fact, three horses placed on ESPN's list of Greatest American Athletes of the 20th Century. Somewhere a javelin-throwing panda bear, not on the list, is thinking, "I was snubbed."
To describe a horse as an "athlete" is insane. Even weirder is to label it an American athlete. Are horses granted citizenship? I never really thought of animals as having a nationality, though I'm aware of the Republican Party's insistence on building a giant fence around our border to keep out illegal Chihuahuas.
When talking about horse racing, sports pundits speak of the elite horses as having "a lot of heart" or a will to win. But I bet the horses also run fast because they're being whipped.
And why horse racing? Why not, say, guinea pig racing? That horses are fast is not a logical rationale. Hippopotamuses run twenty miles per hour. Hippos are fast. No, they're not as fast as horses. But other animals are. Explain to me why the Preakness is a legitimate sporting event, but put ten cheetahs on a track and it's a sideshow?
Horse athletes are forced to compete. Human being athletes have a choice... I mean, unless you're one of Archie Manning's kids. Human being athletes do it for the fame and the glory. Horses do it for the food. When a human being athlete is unsuccessful, he is cut from the team. When a horse athlete is unsuccessful, he is cut into meat.
When a human athlete's career is over, he or she usually gets a job in broadcasting or they make a living signing autographs or going on Dancing with the Stars. When a horse's racing career is over, it usually gets eaten... which, to be fair, is slightly less degrading than going on Dancing with the Stars.
Let's get real. Let's call this what it is. Horse racing is not a "sport." It's gambling- no different than blackjack or the lottery or getting into a car when Lindsay Lohan is at the wheel.
But it's 2015. We don't need horses for gambling anymore. Hell, people don't care what they're betting on, as long as they're betting. Every year during the Super Bowl, literally hundreds of thousands of dollars are waged on the opening coin flip! The freakin' coin flip! (My free tip for next year's big game? Tails.) The Breeder's Cup wouldn't be any less popular if they raced computerized robot unicorns, just as long as people can still play the trifecta.
It's time to put horse racing out to pasture. It's time. And don't feel too bad for the rich white owners with the funny hats who look so happy when their horses win the big race. Even without horse racing, those people will still be happy because they'll still be rich.
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