Monday, August 31, 2009
Sunday, August 30, 2009
He is no longer the "other Bird".
Summer Bird flew out from underneath the shadow of Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird Saturday with a surprisingly easy 3 1/2-length victory in the Grade 1, $1 million Travers Stakes over a sloppy Saratoga track in Saratoga Springs, New York.
Hold Me Back, the longest shot on the board at 17-1, rallied from last to be second, 1 1/2 lengths ahead of Quality Road, the 3-2 favorite. He was followed in the order of finish by Charitable Man, Warriors Reward, and Kensei. Our Edge, who set the pace for the opening half-mile, was eased.
The Travers victory coupled with his win in the Belmont Stakes in June should put Summer Bird atop the 3-year-old division heading into the fall.
"To me he is the champion colt right now," said winning trainer Tim Ice.
Considering Summer Bird didn't make his first start until March, that's quite an achievement.
"For him starting his first race in March, to be where he's at now could only show what a great horse he is," said Ice, who trains Summer Bird for Drs. Kalarikkal and Vilasini Jayaraman.
Summer Bird is the 30th Belmont Stakes winner to also capture the Travers. The last one to do it was Birdstone, who happens to be Summer Bird's sire.
When Birdstone won the Travers, he did it in a driving rainstorm that had developed just moments before the race began. Saturday, Summer Bird had to do it over an extremely sloppy track made that way by heavy rains Friday night and day-long showers on Saturday.
But from the time he left the gate, Summer Bird showed jockey Kent Desormeaux that the slop was not going to be an issue. Expecting to be next-to-last in the seven-horse field, Desormeaux found himself a relatively close fourth as Our Edge set the pace, stalked by Jim Dandy winner Kensei.
Summer Bird was four wide on the first turn and then moved up into a stalking third while remaining four wide down the backside. He was simply galloping through the sloppy surface while Our Edge ran a half-mile in 46.88 seconds. Kensei, took over from a tiring Our Edge at the half-mile pole while Desormeaux maintained a hold on Summer Bird.
"I could have went to the front at the seven-eighths pole," Desormeaux said. "For at least a half a mile I had him under restraint."
Leaving the five-sixteenths pole, Desormeaux decided to open the race up and began to ask Summer Bird for run. By the quarter pole he had a length lead, and turning for home he continued to widen his advantage.
"I thought, let's stretch them out from here and force them to keep up with me instead of allowing it to be a European style of race," Desormeaux said. "With that being said, I got to my breaking point where I thought it was time to go, which was the five-sixteenths. I let him go and he took off full of run."
Ice says people have been calling his horse the "other Bird" for a while, but he doesn't really care anymore.
"They can call him the other Bird if they want, but he's won the Belmont and the Travers," Ice said.
"Take it from there."
Summer Bird covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:02.83 in the slop.
If you want to watch the race - http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=styQg1knCas
Friday, August 28, 2009
Saturday, August 22, 2009
* The piece shown is Circus Acrobats (1981) by George Segal and was recently gifted to the Princeton University Art Museum from the George and Helen Segal Foundation.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
by May Swensen
We move by means of our mud bumps,
We bubble as do the dead but more slowly.
The products of excruciating purges
we are squeezed out thin hard and dry.
If we exude a stench it is petrified sainthood.
Our feet are large crude fused together
solid like anvils. Ugly as truth is ugly
we are meant to stand upright a long time
and shudder without motion
under the scintillating pins of light
that dart between our bodies
Monday, August 17, 2009
Sonnet in Primary Colors
by Rita Dove
This is for the woman with one black wing
perched over her eyes: lovely Frida*, erect
among parrots, in the stern petticoats of the peasant,
who painted herself as a present –
wildflowers entwining the plaster corset
her spine resides in the romance of mirrors.
Each night she lay down in pain and rose
to her celluloid butterflies of her Beloved Dead,
Lenin and Marx and Stalin arrayed at the footstead.
And rose to her easel, the hundred dogs panting
like children along the graveled walks of the garden, Diego’s**
love a skull in the circular window
of the thumbprint searing her immutable brow.
*Frida Kahlo – Mexican painter. The piece shown is entitled Self Portrait with Monkey and Parrot (1938)
**Diego Rivera – Mexican artist, husband of Frida Kahlo
Sunday, August 16, 2009
by Allen Ginsberg
In the foreground we see time and life
swept in a race
toward the left side of the picture
where shore meets shore.
But the meeting place
it doesn’t occur on the canvas.
For the other side of the bay
is Heaven and Eternity,
with a bleak white haze over it mountains.
And the immense water of L’Estaque* is a go-between
for minute rowboats.
*L’Estaque – Fishing village in France
Saturday, August 15, 2009
If you know anything at all about me you know that Santana runs through the very core and fabric of my life. So, of course, I have to show a few photos of him at Woodstock, which was pivotal and groundbreaking to/for his career.
Click on the link below (hit "watch" right under Carlos' picture), turn up your speakers and listen to Santana playing "Soul Sacrifice" at Woodstock (simply A-M-A-Z-I-N-G!). Santana's set (yes, the band did play more than just one song) is also regarded by those who know anything at all as THE highlight of the festival:
Thursday, August 6, 2009
From Dave Matthews web site:
"In Dave Matthews Band's continued effort to give back and support charities and socially conscious companies worldwide, they have forged a relationship with TOMS Shoes. TOMS Shoes was founded on a simple premise: With every pair you purchase, TOMS will give a pair of new shoes to a child in need. One for One. Since their beginning in May 2006, TOMS has given over 150,000 pairs of shoes to children in need through the purchases of caring customers. Because of their growing support, TOMS plans to give over 300,000 pairs of shoes to children in need around the world in 2009. Dave himself was so inspired by TOMS work that he got involved and has created his own design that we are now pleased to be offering in the official store. What easier way to get involved? Buy your pair of Dave Matthews designed TOMS today and you will not only be getting a great pair of shoes for yourself, but you'll be providing a pair to a child in need all in one easy step! Click here to find out more about TOMS Shoes. We are happy to be working with a great company like TOMS Shoes and excited to be able to offer these limited edition, vegan friendly shoes."
url to purchase either of the shoes shown above -
Wednesday, August 5, 2009
Architects of a New Dawn: when you bring up this website click on the video that says "What is Architects of a New Dawn?" - the video is impactful and Carlos shares some thoughts starting at 2:50 on the video (he says more throughout the 6:12 of the video).
Tuesday, August 4, 2009
Monday, August 3, 2009
Saturday, August 1, 2009
'Twas, by and large, a chalky week at the races. There were a few "medium paying" races on a couple of days but, alas (and alack), the phrase for the week was "chalk, chalk and more chalk". What's a longshot bettor to do? sigh....
Oh well, the morrow starts a new week - perhaps the horse gods will be kinder.