Dateline: January 29, 2017

The racing world is still buzzing after yesterday’s dead-heat between California Chrome and Arrogate in the inaugural running of the $12 million Pegasus World Cup, while the country is still reeling after the announcement that Donald Trump and Mike Pence have resigned as President and Vice-President after only eight days in office.

First, the important story.

Arrogate and California Chrome were sent off as 6-5 co-choices in Saturday’s Pegasus and they did not disappoint the overflow crowd at Gulfstream Park on a beautiful Florida afternoon.

Leaving from his inside post, California Chrome went right to the lead under Victor Espinoza, while Mike Smith took up a tracking trip in third through the early stages. Arrogate was up to engage the front-runner at the head of the stretch, and the two battled head-and-head the length of the stretch in a race for the ages.

It was nearly five minutes before the result was posted, with the photo finish camera ultimately unable to separate the pair at the wire. It was six and a quarter lengths back to third-place Keen Ice and the final time of 1:45.29 for the mile and one-eighth journey shaved a second and two-fifths off the previous track record.

“I’m so proud of Chrome,” a tearful Art Sherman said in the winner’s circle. “And Arrogate ran one helluva great race himself. What a treat for the fans to see these two battle it out.”

Bob Baffert echoed Sherman’s sentiments after giving the trainer a hug once the finish had been posted. “Both of these horses really laid their bodies down out there,” he said.

“What I’m going to do now? I’m going to Disneyworld!”

Frank Stronach gave out dual Pegasus trophies along with Conor McGregor and was ecstatic following the race.

“What a tremendous day of racing,” Stronach beamed. “This proves that the Pegasus concept is a sound one, and next year we plan to have a sprint, a race for fillies and mares and at least one on the grass.”

The only downside concerning the race was the fact that due to wall-to-wall coverage of the resignations, The Pegasus World Cup was not broadcast on NBC as was previously scheduled.

The announcement that Trump and Pence would be stepping down came only three and a half hours before the race. While no official statement has been made as to the reasons, several news outlets including CNN are reporting that the CIA had found a direct link between the Trump campaign and Russia, including a quid pro quo arrangement.

“We need to put this behind us,” said President Paul Ryan in a televised statement to the nation on Saturday evening. “It’s time to seriously get to work on the important issues that face the United States.”

In a related story, Rosie O’Donnell, Morgan Freeman, Rob Reiner and Whoopi Goldberg have all returned to the United States after moving to Canada immediately following the January 20 inauguration.

For his part, Donald Trump has not made any statements following his resignation as Commander-in-Chief. He did, however, post one tweet at 3 a.m. Sunday morning.

It said, “I want to apologize to the country for my actions and congratulate California Chrome and Arrogate on a terrific race.”

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ratzkym@yahoo.com @TashmanMortyS