Archive for the ‘Horses’ Category

Cue the sad tiny violins…

Thursday, April 17th, 2014

Second day story on the Robert “Ratso” Rizzo sentencing. Not much new, but linked here for the historical record.

He developed a reputation as a micromanager who pinched pennies even as he burnished the city’s image, adding a miniature golf course and pristine playing fields.

Okay, the miniature golf course is the first good thing I’ve heard about him.

Taylor said most of Rizzo’s money and assets appeared to have been squandered on real estate investments and about 30 racehorses that would have cost more to care for than what they were worth.

I knew about Ratso’s horse racing, but “more to care for than what they were worth”? Hadn’t heard that before.

Word to my mother.

Tuesday, December 17th, 2013

A pair of flamingos might be the last to leave Betfair Hollywood Park when the Inglewood racetrack finally closes Sunday.

Random notes: November 22, 2013.

Friday, November 22nd, 2013

What a way to start the morning:

Jim Crane’s Astros ownership group filed a state court lawsuit Thursday against former Astros owner Drayton McLane, Comcast and NBC Universal, accusing them of fraud and civil conspiracy and accusing McLane’s corporation that owned the Astros of breach of contract in conjunction with Crane’s 2011 purchase of a 46 percent interest in the parent company of Comcast SportsNet Houston.

(Previously.)

Hunting rats. With dogs. In Manhattan.

The hunts are conducted something like a country fox hunt, but in an urban setting. Members say it allows their dogs — mostly breeds known for chasing small game and vermin — to indulge in basic instinctual drives by killing a dozen or two dozen rats each time they are let loose.

This is legal in Bloomberg’s New York?

The group sometimes gets tips from homeless people or police officers, Mr. Reynolds said. In fact, he said, some officers have gone from initially being suspicious of what they were doing to suggesting rat locations and wishing them luck.

A spokeswoman for the New York City Police Department said there was no information available on the legality of using dogs to hunt rats in the city.

Save horce racing! Put USADA in charge!

The United States Anti-Doping Agency is the last and best hope to return safety and integrity to the troubled sport of thoroughbred racing, members of the industry told Congress at a hearing Thursday.

The state of Alabama has granted posthumous pardons to Haywood Patterson, Charles Weems and Andy Wright. You know them better as three of the nine Scottsboro Boys.

TMQ Watch: October 15, 2013.

Tuesday, October 15th, 2013

Let us start off with one of TMQ Watch’s patented musical interludes. This one even has a small amount of relevance to this week’s TMQ:

You’ve got to love YouTube comments:

stephen scazzafavo 2 weeks ago
thumbs up for REAL COUNTRY none of this new age shiit

Yeah. About that, Steve.

Anyway, with that diversion out of the way, let’s get into this week’s TMQ, after the jump…

(more…)

Obit watch and random notes: December 28, 2012.

Friday, December 28th, 2012

For the record, your General Norman Schwarzkopf obits: NYT. LAT. WP.

I saw this a few days ago and intended to make note of it, but the holidays interfered. Donnie Andrews has also died.

Andrews was a legendary Baltimore stick-up man and all-around crook, who reformed later in life. Omar Little (of “The Wire”) was based on Andrews:

Andrews appeared on screen as one of Omar’s crew, and died in a shootout scene in which Omar leaps from a four-story building and escapes. Andrews said that really happened to him — but he had jumped from the sixth story.

The NYT would like for you to be concerned about the poor show ponies, who are frequently drugged to make them easier to handle. What makes this interesting, to me, is that yesterday the NYT ran an article praising Tattler’s Jet and his trainer; Tattler’s Jet was running his 460th and final harness race, in spite of an inflamed hoof. So. Running a horse for 14 years and 460 races, good; sedating show horses, bad.

Mongo no longer pawn in game of life.

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012

The LAT is reporting the death of Alex Karras. More later.

Random notes: September 21, 2012.

Friday, September 21st, 2012

Somewhere, deep within the Bronx, is a horse stable. Back in the old days (some twenty years ago) people went to the stable and rented horses for rides on a trail that runs past Pelham Parkway.

The stable has been condemned by the building department, and the owners of the property haven’t paid taxes since 2007. But just because the stable is condemned doesn’t mean there’s nothing left inside.

What remains? A horse, of course. A horse named Rusty that the residents are trying to “save”.

Rusty is a mystery to even those who want nothing more than to save it. The residents and animal activists at the rally did not know its age, whether it was male or female, or how it came to be living in the stable, which has no posted name but was once known as Bronxbuster.

Noted here for family reasons: Texas Tech men’s basketball coach Billy Gillispie resigned yesterday. Gillispie had coached the team for one year.

This doesn’t sound like a firing: Gillispie states he resigned for “health reasons”. However, the university was investigating “allegations of player mistreatment” (Mike Leach, call your office, please), and Gillispie’s performance last season was disappointing, to put it mildly.

(I apologize for linking to the Statesman, but the Lubbock newspaper’s site isn’t working for me this morning. Here’s the HouChron story, which is a little longer.)

(Edited to add: Slightly different story, also from the HouChron.)

(Edited to add 2: I couldn’t pull it up at work – I kept getting errors from a proxy, and I don’t think it was ours – but now that I’m home, here’s the Lubbock paper’s coverage.)

Randy Adams had a hearing before a panel of the California Public Employees’ Retirement System yesterday. Mr. Adams is appealing the decision by the system not to include his one year as police chief of Bell in calculating his pension. (Previously.) If Mr. Adams wins his appeal, he’ll get a pension of $510,000 a year, “making him the second-highest-paid public pensioner in California” according to the LAT.

So how did the hearing go?

He was asked if he was Bell’s former police chief.
“Yes,” he replied.
Did he send an email to a Bell city official saying, “I am looking forward to seeing you and taking all of Bell’s money?!”
“On the advice of counsel I am going to exercise my right to remain silent,” he replied.
For the next 14 minutes, the man who had been a lawman for nearly 40 years, a police chief in three cities, exercised his constitutional right against self-incrimination over and over, refusing to answer most questions.

Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but I’m not sure I understand California law. Does the Fifth Amendment apply in an administrative proceeding? Or is Mr. Adams taking the Fifth because he’s concerned that evidence presented in the administrative proceeding could be used against him in a criminal case? (Remember, Mr. Adams has not been charged with any crimes. Yet.)

Quote of the day.

Thursday, July 19th, 2012

From the comments thread on this article:

I’d MUCH rather have a brony watching my six than someone who was self-absorbed and thinking of little more than his image. Someone saying openly “I like this show” has conquered a fear of rejection and has faced down a few inner demons. Someone criticizing that person lacks courage, is pretty much guaranteed to have medical-grade skeletons in his closet, and is therefore a prime candidate for desertion under fire or is blackmail fodder.

(Hattip: Erin Palette at Lurking Rhythmically.)

Not easy, being a racehorse.

Tuesday, June 19th, 2012

This is:

a) Odd.

2) Makes you go “Hmmmmmmm.” when you start thinking about certain racehorses that may or may not have had a chance to win the Triple Crown.

…more than 30 horses from four states have tentatively tested positive for the substance, dermorphin, which is suspected of helping horses run faster.

Dermorphin apparently originated “from the backs of a type of South American frog” though the version of the substance currently in use is believed to be synthetic. (“There’s a lot out there, and that would be an awful lot of frogs that would have to be squeezed,” he said, adding, “There are a lot of unemployed chemists out there.”)

(“A lot of unemployed chemists out there.” I suddenly have this image of Walter White synthesizing frog juice.)

11 horse in Louisiana, 15 in Oklahoma, and six in New Mexico have allegedly tested positive. Note that there’s no evidence yet that any Triple Crown competitors may have used the substance; but also note that there’s no discussion about whether any of those horses have been tested for dermorphin.

Say it ain’t so, José.

Tuesday, June 12th, 2012

Long and fascinating article in the NYT. Apparently, the Zeta cartel has been laundering drug profits by purchasing quarter horses in the United States.

The affidavit said the Zetas funneled about $1 million a month into buying quarter horses in the United States. The authorities were tipped off to Tremor’s activities in January 2010, when the Zetas paid more than $1 million in a single day for two broodmares, the affidavit said.

Way to keep a low freaking profile there, guys.

Edited to add: More from the Statesman.

Administrative note.

Thursday, May 17th, 2012

Graduation is over. Back on your heads.

More seriously, the time for introspection has passed. (Also the time for action.) Expect a return to snark, guns, snark, cops, snark, pop culture, snark, art, and snark.

I still have a few things to finish up: thank you notes are being written and mailed, and I need to go through the photos and pull some out for posting.

In the meantime, frankly, things have been kind of slow. I’m not finding a lot of blog fodder; FARK has picked up most of the good stuff, including some “Art, damn it, art!” fodder.

Lawrence did send me an intriguing link yesterday about Rielle Hunter, equestrian, and how her father paid a hit man to kill one of her horses. That William Nack story rings a bell with me, like I’ve read it before, but I don’t remember where. Setting aside the John Edwards angle, it is a fascinating crime story. It reminds me of Skip Hollandsworth’s “The Killing of Alydar”, which was anthologized in one of the The Best American Crime Writing volumes, and which I also commend to your attention. (I believe the BugMeNot link on the side will let you read the full version of the story online, but BugMeNot is blocked at the office, so I can’t verify that.)

I would also like to add one final note, for the record: I will put my family, friends, and coworkers up against any other group of people for sheer concentrated awesomeness. Thanks, gang.

This is intended to enrage you. (Part 4)

Friday, December 9th, 2011

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management’s internal review of a wild horse roundup in Nevada found some mustangs were whipped in the face, kicked in the head, dragged by a rope around the neck, and repeatedly shocked with electrical prods, but the agency concluded none of the mistreatment rose to the level of being inhumane. [Emphasis added - DB]