What were the odds a Kentucky Derby winner would “sit out” the second of the Triple Crown races?

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Everybody loves a good sports comeback story, but what about when the story’s about someone (or, in this case, some horse) that no one ever expected to even be in the race, let alone win; but while Red’s amazed by the story, Black’s more focused on the initial mindset and subsequent decisions.

While growing up, Red would watch the Kentucky Derby with our dad, although now she’s more interested in movies about horse racing. In fact, one of her favorite movies is “Seabiscuit,” which tells the real-life story of a horse (not to mention a jockey and a trainer) that overcame all odds by beating the Triple Crown winner War Admiral by four lengths in a two-horse special race.

Even if the movie is on in the background (she’ll never convince Black it’s just “white noise” and not distracting), the recreated scenes in the movie always make Red stop and watch. But nothing quite prepared her for watching the real-life video of Rich Strike seemingly coming out of nowhere, as she was far back in the field for much of the race.

Watching Rich Strike expertly and elegantly weaving, at increasing speed, in and out of the “lanes” at Churchill Downs left me in awe of the athleticism of the horse and skill of the jockey. But, at the same time, I couldn’t help but laugh as it reminded me of busy Texas highways with drivers that insist on ducking and weaving through traffic at high speeds.

Black, on the other hand, appreciates the statistics – Rich Strike was not only a long shot (80-1), but the second greatest longshot in Derby history, with a first-time Kentucky Derby jockey and trainer. And what that meant was, against all odds, including not training at a high-profile stable and without an extremely wealthy owner, they came to the gate a bunch of “no names” but with an extraordinary combination of ability, preparation, and a commitment to never give up.

Less than a week later, Rich Strike’s owner, Rick Dawson, shocked the horse racing world by announcing they wouldn’t be running the Preakness, the second leg of the Triple Crown, explaining it was part of the original plan to give Rich Strike more recovery time and rest between races. And when Red asked her if she believed that, Black explained,

If it is true, it makes sense. And, even if it was not part of the original plan, it still makes sense. After the Kentucky Derby, they said they only enter races they think they can win. So, following that logic, they will get more press if they do not run the Preakness than if they do and do not win. And, will get more excitement going (and time to train) if they run Belmont. Regardless, stating they are doing what is the right decision for the horse is something great to see.

Even though there will not be a Triple Crown contender this year, this season already has a winner that will go down in history … with a made-for-movies Cinderella story.

Some things never change, like our Thanksgiving routines. But that’s ok, as Thanksgiving’s about traditions, so it seems only appropriate that we’d like to repeat what we’ve told you before …

We'll keep this simple and to-the-point … Happy Thanksgiving!

Sadie Hawkins Day started as a made-up holiday in a comic strip called Li’l Abner, but Black finds the idea of women needing a “special day” to feel empowered is … well, comical.

Comic strip or reality show: A group of bachelors participates in a foot race, and whoever's caught by the single woman in the race will become her husband.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: We may be sisters, but except for growing up with the same parents in the same house in New York, that may be where the similarities end; especially in terms of dating "protocol" as Black never thought twice about asking boys (and later men) out on a date, while Red never gave it any thought, accepting the convention that boys did the asking. (She did make an exception for her senior prom but was shocked when he accepted.)

Keep Reading ...Show less

Tomorrow’s Election Day, and our thoughts about the importance and challenges of voting haven’t changed since last year (see below) – although the stakes may have gone up. (Think Roe v. Wade and how the Supreme Court has sent it back to the states.) Black wishes more states offered referendums so we could vote on specific issues instead of trying to find the candidate that most closely represents our positions and then actually stays true to their word. Which, unfortunately, makes voting much harder than it needs to be …

So many people have fought for the right to vote, yet so many don't even bother to vote.

BANTER BITE BACKSTORY: Like many of us, Red can come up with a whole list of reasons why she didn't plan to vote this Election Day, but what she thought was a sarcastic comment from Black would point out the challenge of balancing philosophical beliefs with reality.

Red, being that former straight-A student, remembers the first time she voted and how she felt it was her civic responsibility, but that she'd never just vote by party line (for her, it was never that simple, especially not these days). That each vote needs to be a conscious one. But that takes lots of "homework", so unless it's a presidential or gubernatorial election, she tends to sit out most of them. Which she felt was just fine, until Black pointed out,

Keep Reading ...Show less