When the Breeders’ Cup rolled into Lexington, the world had all eyes glued to the bucolic settings of Keeneland. There were initial doubts until the masses watched as “Brigadoon” transformed into a horse racing machine. The fears were put to bed and the memories remain. Some more fond than others, and a few remain that leave the weekend in question.
Maria Borell arrived on the scene and captured America’s heart. – She led over a runner for the Breeders’ Cup Sprint by the name of Runhappy. The owner was a colorful one-of-a-kind man named Jim “Mattress Mac” McIngvale. I think everyone has a story about this self-made man, and his antics are known far and wide in the world of sports. – He has a certain flair for grabbing your attention.
Onward and upward. I was taken in by the media accounts of a pretty young trainer who appeared to be racing’s new darling. It felt like a “Rocky Balboa” story of a champ coming out of nowhere. – It grabbed my heart, and I started my silent backing of the Borell corner. – But after further debate, I came to the realization that “Mac” in all his crazy antics and sales pitches had to be smarter than to publicly dismiss a young and upcoming trainer. I had heard the stories of Laura Wolthers and taking back control of the string of horses again. – I was sitting on the bubble and found myself caught between feeling sorry, and this man must know something the public doesn’t. – This is a fine line as large as the Equator, and sometimes it’s best to sit on the sidelines and wait for the smoke to clear.
I was rolling along on Facebook and came across a story on US Racing’s site. It was shared by Derek Simon, and I found myself sitting at the crossroads again. I began my journey into the story and it is one you’ll have to read for yourself. – https://www.usracing.com/news/analysis/shocking-untold-story-maria-borell
In sports, we have to listen to the people we entrust with our athletes and go from there. If that were not the case, we would just do it ourselves. – Having not written the story, one has to wonder where the truth will be found. – This is meant to stimulate thought, conversation, and not just accept what we watched on Breeders’ Cup Day as the empirical truth. For me, I think back to how James McIngvale stood quietly and waited. He didn’t want to tarnish the race, the day, or the event. “Mattress Mac” has been know for speaking up and getting it out there. But he patiently waited and withstood the court of public opinion.
As a racing fan I’m sure that Ms. Borell had the best at heart at some point for her horses. – Maybe this is a misunderstood story, and she is still being manipulated by the media. But somewhere in the middle lies the truth. We as fans, keepers of the racing flame, and the next generation of the sport have to take in all the facts before we decide. – That may be the best idea for everything we do in life. Gather the facts, understand the issue, and only then will you be able to make an informed decision. – Mr. Simon is the editorial director at US Racing, and he has given us something to think about by sharing a story that was center stage on Halloween. – Take it all in and decide for yourself.