In a darkly satiric story in The Onion, Kentucky Derby winner I’ll Have Another says he hopes that he won’t have to run another race like that one.
Suddenly I realized my old buddy Mario was on my back, but he was really quiet, not talking to me at all, and I was being led somewhere with a lot of other horses—I could hear them and smell them, but someone put something on my face that only let me see straight ahead, so I had no idea who these guys were or where we were going.
The horse says he finds himself being led into a small stall, not like the usual one, and then suddenly a horn sounds and all the horses start running furiously. I’ll Have Another just gets caught up in this terrifying situation.
Everyone was just running in a big pack. I wasn’t even sure where I was going, but the guys behind me seemed to be trying to catch up and the guys in front of me were going as fast as they could. And all of a sudden, Mario started yelling and wailing on me. Like, hard. I think he had some kind of stick. And I was like, oh, crap, if he’s scared, too, whatever’s happening must be pretty bad. So I just got out in front of everybody, and before I knew it, who or whatever we were running from was apparently gone.
Then suddenly everyone stops running and he’s surrounded by jubilant fans and owners.
It was terrible—if anything it was worse than the running part. First of all, Mario was laughing and smiling, and that was pretty devastating, because just a couple minutes before he was beating the crap out of me, and now he’s all happy? What the f***? They put delicious plants around my neck, but they didn’t let me eat any, and everyone surrounded me, and I don’t remember much after that. All I know is, I hope I never have to go through anything like that ever again.
Of course, he did: the Preakness was just two weeks later.
One can only wonder what it’s like being a racehorse. The Onion‘s take on it may be not very far from reality for these gentle animals.