Anees vs. Belmont Futurity Stakes


Is this an American Champion 2-year-old Colt, or what?

I’ve never been a horsey girl – marine mammals were more my thing when I was that age – but I do love watching a good horse race. I just love things where you pay really close attention for three minutes and then forget about it and get back to your life. So I’m pleased that it seems to be Horsey Day here on the Tournament of Everything. Obviously, a horse is better than the race, though. This is no chicken-or-egg debate – you can’t have a horse race without horses. And Anees was a great horse with an impressive pedigree. His grandfather was Alydar, who is in the U.S. Racing Hall of Fame! His great grandfather was named (alarmingly) Raise A Native! (I love baffling horse names. If I had a race horse, I would call her Cain’t Say No.)

1999 was Anees’ peak year: he won the Eclipse Award for American Champion 2-year-old Colt (they have very specific awards in horse racing, I guess), and he won the Breeder’s Cup Juvenile race (AND HOW!!!). His career earnings were almost $700,000, not that he would care because he is a horse.

Unfortunately, Anees came to a sad and early end: a paddock accident in 2003 at the farm where he was retired out to stud. He underwent emergency surgery and ended up in a cast all the way up to his shoulder. But broken horse legs are almost impossible to save, and the poor guy was euthanized a week later.


Belmont Futurity Stakes

In the history of Tournament of Everything (six weeks now!), I don’t think we’ve ever randomly picked two articles so closely linked. And yet, so completely far apart. I mean, how do you compare a horse race to a race horse? The Futurity Stakes, also known as the Belmont Futurity, is an annual thoroughbred horse race that showcases the best in two-year-old horses.

Not that I know a thing about horses or why a two-year-old mark was chosen instead of a three-year-old one but I do kinda find it intriguing that race creator James G.K. Lawrence set a standard so that we might determine the best two-year-old racing horse in the world. He may’ve also been a bit of a nut though cause originally these horses were nominated for competition before birth. Again, I’m not so down with horse racing. A bit too much on the cruelty towards animals for the entertainment of rich folks scale for me.

But I guess watching D’Funnybone’s win at last year’s race is pretty cool. At least for some people, one commentator writes how this horse gives him “butterflies.” I kinda feel left out from a whole sport here. But even if I didn’t care for the racing, it does look like they know how to throw one hell of a party over there in Belmont Park. According to Wikipedia, its inaugural race served up 12,000 pounds of lobster and 380 cases of Champagne. I’m sure I’d feel kinda uncomfortable around that type of crowd but shit, if I could put my self-righteousness aside for just a fucking minute here, I would check it out one year and have a blast.

As Racehorses Instead rightly points out, “Sometimes I need a break from politics.” At least this would feel more harmless than owning a horse like Anees, poor thing. Of course, I guess you could set it free. … Anyways, happy Friday people!

Published in: on February 12, 2010 at 10:23 am  Comments (2)  

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  1. When I used to cover horse racing for the London Free Press, I took a friend one day. As I was explaining the various classes of races, we came to the claiming races. I explained that every horse in the race could be claimed for $3,000 (the cheapest class for standardbreds at Western Fair). His first thought was to buy a $3,000 claimer and set it free.

  2. […] of this tournament, it’s Canada vs. Sweden, not racehorses (what’s with all the random racehorse entries?) vs. European industrial music. Put your love of music aside and vote accordingly. Sure, […]

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