The Good, and the Ugly

In today’s Saratogian, Michael Veitch writes about Evening Attire’s victory in the Queens County on Saturday and links it compellingly to the racing franchise debacle, throwing darts squarely at New York State’s three political, ahem, “leaders.”

With the clock winding down on the New York Racing Association’s license to
conduct racing, Evening Attire was a noble reminder of what this game is really
all about.

As he began his long drive a few furlongs from home, he made me
forget the franchise cauldron we’ve been dealing with the past few years.

I was thinking only of Evening Attire, a thoroughbred who kept telling his trainer
that he wasn’t done, that he didn’t want to stop racing, and that he loved being
out there on a late autumn day on a New York track.

A track that has been maligned by so many people, yet has served racing so well for more than a century.

None of his opponents had even seen a racetrack when he last won
this very race.

But there was Evening Attire, kicking on in the final furlong to win for his New York friends one more time.

Gov. Eliot Spitzer, Assembly Majority Leader Sheldon Silver, and Senate Majority Leader Joseph Bruno are three New Yorkers who hold the fate of this game in their hands.

You could mention Evening Attire to them, and they would probably figure you were talking about tonight’s dress code.

Had they been at the Big A Saturday, the Evening Attire that is so widely admired might have drawn them to the heart of the franchise issue.

The horse. (Saratogian)

Pillorying Spitzer, Bruno, and Silver has become all too easy, but I thought of them on Saturday afternoon, as I helped children of the backstretch workers choose Christmas gifts at Anna House for their family members. As the children made their lists of family members with a volunteer, they were told that they could also choose a gift for themselves. Virtually without exception, the children chose their own gifts last, making sure that they had first taken care of their families; the children ranged in age from three years old to pre-teen. One family, who brought their four-month-old daughter, asked me to hold her as they picked out clothes and toys for her. As a third-grade girl mulled sweaters for her mother, she asked me, “Which of these do you think is the warmest?”

As children walked out with shopping bags of donated toys, clothing, and gifts for their parents, siblings, and grandparents, I couldn’t help but wish that the unholy triumvirate up in Albany could see it. It was hard not to think about them in their well-heated, luxurious homes with full closets and full pantries, playing politics with the lives of people whose ability to take care of their children hinges on whether they’ll be employed in three weeks. I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: they should be ashamed of themselves.

3 thoughts on “The Good, and the Ugly

  1. TeresaThis is the ugly side of the franchise debacle that makes my blood boil. To make people worry day to day about having their jobs is outrageous. Of course, if you’re in Albany with your $80,000+ part-time government position this stuff doesn’t even cross your mind.

  2. Couldn’t agree more. I wish that more people were writing about this angle of the whole tawdry situation–I can’t believe these guys can sleep at night. Thanks for the comment–

  3. It’s Monday and I still get a happy grin when I think of Evening Attire’s win on Saturday. What a stretch run! I love that guy! I hope Edgar Prado stays his jockey, too. There I go, smiling again…thank you, Evening Attire.

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