Thoughts on Racing

Dear Readers,

This is my great uncle Mel Peterson winning the 1947 Santa Anita Handicap “The Big Cap” as they say.

As they say, timing is everything.

Racing as a sport in my home state of California is in the news lately and the news is not good.

This week’s chapter has not been published yet. It didn’t feel right in light of the current news Any story has to have “bad guys” and they certainly appear in this story and in particular, in this next chapter.

I wanted instead to shed a light on the “good guys” in racing. The people who do love the horses they care for.

So if you will allow me – here’s a poem I wrote instead of the chapter. I promise to publish the chapter next week. It’s a chapter very dear to my heart. In the meantime, there is this:

In the Race Between Glory and Kindness

The wreath of flowers is draped over her sweaty shoulders

The winner’s circle is filled with winners – smiling – jumping – hugging

Winning. Winners. 

So much triumph

It feels like love

Victory. Victorious.

It is Glory


Is there any kindness in Glory?

Nine other mares prance and limp back to the barn.  They are cadre of the defeated.

Each mare walks alone

but for the one poor man, or one grubby girl who leads her

She feels the disappointment that she doesn’t understand. 

She hears the crowd roaring for the winner

One fifth of a second, one lean body length behind

One missed step from winning.

One shallow breath from Glory –

A hand reaches up, steadies her gnashing heartbeat

A hand, warm and strong on her neck  

The poor man – the grubby girl – with one gesture – offers

Offers forgiveness 

There is glory in kindness

One thought on “Thoughts on Racing

  1. I have not been in California for a few years now and have not kept up with the horse racing at all. (and im not real computer savvy) What is happening with the horse racing world. ? I know it is not what it used to be, exspecially with all the casino popping up all over. And so many new TB babies being born all season long, in hopes of a super runner (not)

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