Our Eclipse Awards Opening Monologue

Once again having not been invited to host the Eclipse Awards, I humbly submit what would have been my opening monologue for Saturday’s big event.

“Welcome to the 2016 Eclipse Awards at beautiful Gulfstream Park in Florida. As I look out at the crowd, I don’t believe I’ve seen more Trump supporters in one place since last weekend’s Dallas Cowboys playoff game.”

“2016 was a great year for exciting match-ups, including Arrogate vs. California Chrome, Beholder vs. Songbird and Steve Miyadi vs. Alex Solis.”

“Speaking of jockeys, Chantal Sutherland was back in the saddle last year. To return she had to lose 160 pounds – her ex-husband Dan.”

“Frank Stronach is here.”

(pause for applause)

“Frank is the architect of the Pegasus World Cup. A lot of people, including yours truly, laughed when the Pegasus concept was first announced and figured Stronach had a better chance of getting that Pegasus statue off the ground than this race, but we were wrong and next Saturday’s race is shaping up as a great one.

“Interestingly, the combined wealth of the 12 people who originally bought the Pegasus stalls is only exceeded by the combined wealth of the 12 people Trump has nominated for his cabinet.”

Speaking of Trump, we were surprised he didn’t begin yesterday’s Inauguration speech with ‘Don’t Ask what Russia can do for you, but what you can do for Russia.’”

(pause for boos)

“Chad Brown is here and he’s the Las Vegas odds favorite to take home the Eclipse Award for leading trainer. Training is a stressful job, and Vegas also has an over/under prop bet as to how long it will be before Chad’s hair is as white as Baffert and Pletcher.”

“You may notice Baffert is being followed around by a film crew doing a documentary. I heard the tentative title is ‘The Kaleem Shahshank Redemption’”.

Trainer Ron Ellis couldn’t be here tonight. Today he did one of his occasional stints as an analyst on TVG. In case you missed, he had a fascinating discussion with co-host Paul Lo Duca about steroids.

“Art Sherman is here. If you think I’m afraid to make fun of Art – you’re absolutely right!”

“Steve Crist and Andy Beyer are this year’s co-recipients of the Eclipse Award of Merit, and these are two men who elevated both horseplaying and turf writing to an art form.

“We’re reminded of the time back in the day when Andy got so engrossed in betting the races one day that he forget to eat. By late in afternoon he was hungry and went up to the concession stand and said, ‘Let me have a hamburger and a coke, and a coke and a hamburger.’”

And now it’s time for our first Eclipse of the evening. Presenting the award for leading sprinter are the multiple Eclipse Award-winning executive columnist for Daily Racing Form Jay Hovdey and Miss Meryl Streep.”

(cue music and exit stage left)

Well, maybe next year …

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ratzkym@yahoo.com @TashmanMortyS