This I Believe

For the last couple of years, NPR has been running a series called “This I Believe,” in which listeners submit and read essays about their beliefs and values. I generally turn to sports radio when these segments come on; I am not much given to proclaiming my own beliefs, nor terribly inclined to listen to others doing so.

Sitting at my desk this afternoon, grading quizzes, I heard the familiar theme music, and the phrase stuck in my head: This I Believe. So here goes.

I believe that horses are remarkable, beautiful creatures, whose privilege it is ours to witness.

I believe that a day at the races, whether it’s Saratoga or Aqueduct, is a soul-feeding, energizing, intellectually satisfying, social experience.

I believe that jockeys are among the most courageous people on the planet, and that their skill, strength, and intelligence equal or surpass those of any other athlete.

I believe that our political leaders are unworthy of that characterization, and that their petty turf-war squabbles mean more to them than the livelihoods of thousands of people in this state.

I believe that the workers on the backstretch are reason alone to keep racing going, so that they have a place to work and, more importantly, to live.

I believe that racing is as important financially, culturally, and historically to this state as any other industry.

I believe that failure to reach agreement by Wednesday at midnight is a betrayal of the responsibilities that those in Albany have to the people who elected them.

And I believe that this Thursday, there will be racing at Aqueduct, because I don’t believe that anyone involved could look at himself in the mirror after putting thousands of people out of a job, and out of a home.

5 thoughts on “This I Believe

  1. *applause, applause, applause*I too have to believe there will be racing in NY. Even though I’m here in frozen ice covered KY I can’t begin to fathom my beloved sport without racing at Belmont, Aqueduct, or Saratoga. Tracks where the ghosts of the mighty legends run and the echos of those who were champions in their own hearts live as well as home to people whose lives depend on the tracks to support their families. I just want to hang my head in shame to think that it can come to this and try not to cry for the senselessness of it all.

  2. Eloquently stated. It is possible that an agreement won’t be reached until a shutdown becomes reality. I certainly hope this doesn’t occur, we have three entered in two races on Thursday. NYRA is right to demand a settlement rather than another extension.

  3. I believe that bigots (YES! BIGOTS) who rale about illegal immigrants in the US of A could not get one out-of-work citizen to replace them at the jobs they do at the tracks and horse farms around the country.

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