As I was sitting at home Saturday with the kids watching the same episode of The Middle for the 34th time, I got a notification on my phone from ESPN that The Preakness was going to start shortly. I quickly grabbed the remote and put the TV on NBC so I could tune in and see if Justify get one step closer to The Triple Crown and sports history.
The scene was grim. Not for Justify, the actual scene was grim. Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore, Maryland looked more like the setting from The Walking Dead than it did one of horse racing’s biggest events.
There were roughly 134,000 people there and it was so foggy that you couldn’t see more than three or four people away from you. It had rained for hours and the track was covered in mud. Mike Smith, Justify’s jockey was wearing white from head to toe. I told my son that he was going to be covered in mud when the race was over. He didn’t put too much merit in my analysis and decided to go out and jump on the trampoline with his sister. I’m not a horse racing fan by nature but my love for sports keep me tuned in to events like these just for the pure rush of the race.
My kids came back in right as the race came down the home stretch and we watched Justify secure the win.
During the post-race interview Mike Smith was talking about the race and how proud he was of his horse. My son asked why he was still completely white and untouched by any mud. It was a great observation.
I couldn’t come up with an answer after I told him minutes earlier that Smith would be looking more like Rambo when he was hiding in the mud from Brian Dennehy’s goons than Casper The Friendly Ghost.
Then it donned on me and I had my answer. Mike Smith came out of the gates strong with Justify, quickly sped ahead of the other seven horses in the field and led the whole race. He wasn’t covered in mud because there were never any horses in front of him to kick mud up on to him. He led the race wire to wire.
After watching Justify command the track in Kentucky at The Derby and going wire to wire in Maryland we very well could see a Triple Crown winner again this year.
I was glad that my kids were asking questions and, if only for a second, seemed curious and inquisitive about a sporting event that they really didn’t care that much about. After the Q and A session was over and they went back out to jump on the trampoline (side note, I bet whoever named the trampoline did not have a really nice girlfriend or else it would’ve been called a Susanoline or a Rebeccaoline)
I went back to scrolling through social media to see what topics were keeping America busy.
Was that damn recording saying Laurel or Yanny?!? I mean come on people, someone out there has to be trolling us hard, right? I heard Yanny for two days straight every time that recording was played. Then I was in my car listening to The Pat McAfee Show on Barstool Radio (great listen by the way if you ever get the chance, found on XM 85) and they played the recording and I clearly heard Laurel.
I was convinced at that point that there were two different recordings and we as a nation were being fooled. Laurel and Yanny do not sound alike…AT ALL!!! How did I clearly hear both of them? Was this similar to the damn black/blue or gold/white dress debate we all had a couple years ago??? Now that I have heard both Laurel and Yanny multiple times I am just chalking it up to the fact that the human brain is the most sophisticated device that we have and, unlike nonmuddy jockey clothes, some things just cannot be explained.