The Inquiry

Actual, real-life jockey Gary Stevens, who plays dead jockey George Woolf in Seabiscuit, had a spill over the weekend. He was racing at Arlington in Chicago-- winningly, might I add-- and his mount, Storming Home, shied right at the wire. He slammed to the turf and was clipped by a horse or two. The stewards hit the inquiry light, and disqualified the win since Storming Home (who I'd like to nominate into the Ironically Named Equine Hall of Fame), in the act of spooking, interfered with the rest of the field.

I may be the only person in America who has yet to see the footage of this, and frankly I prefer to keep it that way. The stills alone were horrible enough. I was sitting there in front of the computer with my hand over my mouth when I saw Stevens laying on the turf, all those hooves flying overhead. At that point in the race, everybody's pouring these horses down the stretch at a good thirty-five, forty miles an hour. It is not a good place to be thrown. And here's the Powerball kicker: Stevens is lying there with a collapsed lung and a broken vertebra, barely able to breathe, and-- he wants to know what's going on with the inquiry.

That's a jockey.

August 19, 2003

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