peter pan stakes

Here is a letter from Belmont Stakes (gr. I) winner, Tonalist:

Hello horse fans,

Boy, this is awkward. I realize most of you probably hate my guts—I get that—but I figured that with few days to cool off, maybe you hate me just a little bit less? Hey, I get up everyday, have my shoes put on and go to work just like everyone else. I’m just a colt who likes to eat, sleep, run and poop like any other hot-blooded American.

So everyone wants to know if I feel bad about spoiling California Chrome's Triple Crown, and if it’s fair that I even had a chance to be in the race since I did not run in the Kentucky Derby or Preakness, and if it’s true that I am a Communist. To which I say, which one was California Chrome again? I’m terrible with names and don't get to watch TV, so please forgive me if I come off as dense, but I honestly didn’t have time for introductions that day.I’m sure he’s a good dude, and if it makes you feel better then yes, SORRY FOR WINNING.

As for fairness, well, you’re asking the wrong critter. I just show up, go a little crazy and wait for that gate to open so I can run, run, run. I try to stay out of the politics, but when I had to run in the Peter Pan Stakes last month, did I complain because I was the only horse in the race coming back from a three month layoff while battling a lung infection? Did I complain when it rained and made the track all muddy and unfamiliar? You best yourhorse’s ass I did, butwhatareyagonnado?

You know what’s really unfair? The fact I had to miss the Derby and the Preakness, that’s what. Ever since I was a yearling all I’ve wanted to do was win the Kentucky Derby. I hear you get carrots delivered to you anytime you want for the rest of your life…is that true? Can someone please confirm this for me?

Look, whomever this Chrome fellow is—wait, was he the big baywith the white shadow roll and horrendous gas? No?—I’m sure he’s over it and munching on his unlimited, hand delievered carrots that he will enjoy for the rest of his life. So no, I do not feel bad, and neither should you.

If all goes well then I’m sure we will meet on the track again soon and you people will be all like, “Yeahhh go California Chrome you rock” and “Boooo Tonalist I hate you and your fresh legs and that stupid star on your face that looks like South America” and whatever will be will be.

Maybe we’ll race each other in the Breeders’ Cup Classic this Fall and if he beats me I can say, “but poor me I had to twavel awl the way fwom the East Coast and he just had to dwive down the stweet…it’s not fair!” WOULD THAT MAKE YOU FEEL BETTER? WOULD YOU THEN BE ENTERTAINED? Forgive me, I’m just a little tired of answering the same question. Us Tapits can be a touch temperamental at times.

Anyway, it’s 4:00 and I don’t see anyone preparing my bucket so I’m going to sign off and work up a tantrum—FOOD FOR THE BELMONT CHAMP, MAYBE?! ANYONE?!—so thank you for letting me get this off my chest and clear the air. Sorry again if I ruined your Triple Crown party. Time heals.

Warm regards and fresh legs,


Photo credit to Jay Moran.