A Shot to the Midsection

Atlanta Falcons head coach Dan Quinn, Hillary Clinton, the producer of “La La Land” and Mastery are sitting in a bar.

“You won’t believe what happened to me,” Mastery says.


You will forgive trainers Simon Callaghan and Bob Baffert if they felt like they were punched in the stomach last week after separate incidents that do have a slight connection.

Callaghan had every reason to be ecstatic when his Grade I-winning 3-year-old filly Abel Tasman made her seasonal debut in the Santa Ysabel and turned in an excellent runner-up finish behind the top sophomore filly in the country in Unique Bella.

Imagine his surprise when he was informed the filly was being moved to the Bob Baffert barn as a result of a silks mix-up involving co-owner China Racing Club. Something Callaghan attempted to remedy in the walking ring, by the way, but the colors were not to be found.

One week later, Baffert sent out Mastery for his 3-year-old debut and he turned in an effort in the San Felipe that can best be described as American Pharoah-like. In the process, he stamped himself as the clear-cut Kentucky Derby favorite – for about 30 seconds.

Mike Smith felt something was wrong about 10 strides past the wire and immediately jumped off the colt and as this is being written Mastery is being prepared for surgery for a condylar fracture.

Whether you’re an owner, trainer, jockey, bettor or just a fan, this game can take you to the absolute heights in a matter of minutes, but can bring you crashing down even quicker.

Neither Callaghan or Baffert deserved what happened to them last week, for completely different reasons, and you can add these to the file marked “That’s horse racing.”


Our favorite tweet of the week came courtesy of Samantha Siegel, who co-owns the ace sprinter Masochistic along with Los Pollos Hermanos Racing.

The day before Masochistic suited up for the Triple Bend, she tweeted, “I don't care which partner's silks he wears, just hoping for a fast, safe trip from Masochistic tomorrow!”

The voice of reason.


Something is in the air at Santa Anita, and we’re not talking about the distinct odor of the backstretch on a busy morning or that wonderful aroma when you’re standing by the rail and the water truck goes by.

Uncle Frank, who spends much of his time in Florida these days, is reportedly hanging around Arcadia this week after leading Shaman Ghost into the winner’s circle following his victory in the Santa Anita Handicap.

Word around the campfire is that some changes may be taking place near the top of the Santa Anita Park program. Of course, this is the same campfire that said Marcellus Wallace had tossed Tony Rocky Horror through a window because he gave Mia Wallace a foot massage, which was debunked by Mrs. Wallace over dinner at Jack Rabbit Slims.

But we digress.


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