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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Beast of Burden Needs Mother's Little Helper

Talk about insane…on July 14, the Rolling Stones are playing a concert in Belgrade, Serbia, in front of about 100,000 at the Hippodrome, the state-run racecourse. Just a few yards away are stables housing nearly 300 horses, including thoroughbreds that race every Sunday from April to October. Rather than move the concert to another venue, officials have decided to dope the horses with diazepam (or as it is known in Serbia, Bensedin) apparently left over from the good-old-days in 1999 when NATO air strikes led to most of the adult population of Belgrade to cope by downing these tranquillizers. Lovely…

Harness racing driver Dave Palone, who drives primarily at The Meadows just south of Pittsburgh, grew up in the same small town as I did—Dry Tavern. I kid you not. That was the name of our town, and he and I played on the same Little League baseball team (I could dig up the picture later). If you follow harness racing, you know he is a big deal, with 11,404 lifetime wins, third behind only Herve Filion and Cat Manzi as the winningest drivers. On April 10, he was involved in a track accident that left him with a broken femur, but fortunately, it is not a career-ending injury. You can view a news report (with graphic video of the accident) here, courtesy of Pittsburgh’s KDKA .

Did anyone have Slew’s Tizzy and Starbase in the Coolmore Lexington Stakes? The two longest shots in the field (40-1, and 36-1, respectively) paid a whopping $1,002.20 exacta, and the 10-cent superfecta (completed with third-running Forty Grams and fourth place Trust Your Luck) paid $4,856.40.