Sunday, August 14, 2011

Too Fast



The horses at Portland Meadows are slower than most. But they kick just as fast and just as hard. Perhaps that's a comforting thought because Charlynn Takeda never knew that morning would be her last. She never knew her death would be as quick as Secretariat could run the Derby or Native Diver could spread out a field in his wake.
She was just standing there by the hot walker when that loose horse blew by. A loose horse on the back side of a race track is sheer terror. If she'd known he was running unbridled, I wouldn't be writing this now.
But she didn't and her death was one swift kick and ironically, painless.
Portland Meadows is sad enough without this happening. And Jerry and Charlynn were the hardscrabble kind in a most unforgiving sport. They loved the life and now have paid the ultimate with death.
We don't know the name of the horse. We only know that Jerry insisted he not be put down. Jerry feels badly for the owners, the trainer, the groom. He's just that way.
Hard to say what happens now. If he started to drink heavily no one would blink. Jerry has to keep on...has to muck out the stalls, work the trainees, pay the bills, be the 24 hour caregvier. He has to do it alone now. It's what he knows and oddly it's what he loves. Like his wife, Charlynn.
Time for a few time-warn adages. The track has the highest highs and the lowest lows. Gotta pick yourself up and get back on...Things will be better tomorrow. But today, the clouds are a little darker over the track.
Hey,did you see that big 2-year-old that came in last night? He can run a little bit.

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