R.I.P., Sort-of Namesake of Two Average-Sized Non-Metal Dudes

Posted in Horse Racing, music at 12:37 pm by

Much in the same vein as a post of mine from some time back, I’m sad to see that the AP is reporting that 1982 Kentucky Derby winner Gato Del Sol has died:

PARIS, Ky. (AP) — Gato Del Sol, the winner of the 1982 Kentucky Derby and the second-oldest living Derby winner, died at 28.

The horse was euthanized Tuesday because of age-related infirmities, owner Arthur Hancock told The Associated Press.

“My life’s dream was to win the Kentucky Derby and he realized that for me,” Hancock said. “He was a sweet horse. He’d never bite or kick. It was really a fairy tale come true.”

…The oldest surviving Derby winner is now Genuine Risk, who in 1980 became only the second filly to win the race.

In 1982 Gato Del Sol, a gray horse trained by the late Eddie Gregson and ridden by Eddie Delahoussaye, went off at 21-1 in the 19-horse Derby field and charged from last place to win by 2 1/2 lengths over Laser Light.

Gato Del Sol of course inspired David Grubbs‘ band Gastr del Sol, originally a one-off project to record latter-era Bastro songs, then became a vehicle for a collaboration with Jim O’Rourke, which later ended in acrimony. And you thought the world of horse racing was nerdy and complicated! Anyway, Gato Del Sol lived a lot longer than the band named after him, and horsey fans will miss him.


Checkmate, Death: Ingmar Bergman, Tom Snyder RIP

Posted in Chess, Cinema, The World Of Entertainment at 3:58 am by

One of the few advantages — if you could call it that — of being an insomniac is the ability to find out about important or interesting news stories before your neighbors are awake. Which brings us to what I suppose is today’s third important death after Mike Reid and Bill Robinsonthe great Swedish film director Ingmar Bergman.

There are no details as of yet, but AP is reporting that he died this morning in Faro, Sweden. As Bergman (above) was one of the most influential stylists of the 20th Century, I’m sure there will be lengthy obits in tomorrow’s papers chronicaling his fantastic career. Over the course of that career, Bergman’s films won 7 Academy Awards (for “The Virgin Spring,” “Through A Glass Darkly,” “Cries and Whispers” and “Fanny and Alexander”), though he is probably best known for the iconic “The Seventh Seal,” in which Max von Sydow plays chess with Death.

Which in turn inspired “Bill and Ted’s Bogus Journey” in which the heroes of San Dimas High played Death in Battleship and Twister, among other challenges. Um. Anyway, you can read about Bergman’s fantastic life and work in his Wikipedia entry.

Update: Bergman’s full AP obituary is now available.

Double Death (?) Update: AP is now reporting that Tom Snyder has died. So forget about the rule of threes, I guess. No mention in the brief obit of his interview of Johnny Lydon, one of his funnier moments.


Big Unit to Fix Big Pain-in-the-Back

Posted in Baseball, Medical Science at 6:59 am by

(still not Randy Johnson)

Since my roommate is up at Cooperstown playing some Hall of Fame-related gig this weekend, I thought I’d take the opportunity to get back on the CSTB baseball beat. And what more inspiring news this morning could I find than the story that Randy Johnson’s 2007 campaign is over, thanks to the herniated disk he’s been suffering through all season. But fear not, fans of der Big Unit! Like his favorite band Thin Lizzy (at least according to former 2nd Hand Tunes employee Jeremy Pickett – hey dude!), he’ll be “fighting [his] way back” to make spring training next year (from AP):

“I have no intention at this time of retiring,” he said at a news conference Friday. “I’ll cross the bridge of surgery and be willing to go through the process of rehabilitation again because I know I can still pitch. And I love pitching. It’s what I’ve been doing since I was 7 years old.”

Anybody else having a difficult time imagining Randy Johnson as a 7 year-old? Yeah, me too.

In other non-Big Unit baseball news, Barry Bonds hit 754 against the Marlins in the Giants’ 12-10 win, while A-Rod went 0-for-2 in his quest for 500 against the Orioles in the Yankees’ 4-2 loss. But I’m sure you knew that already.


Anna’s Quickie (Non)-Divorce

Posted in Baseball at 2:36 pm by

This just in from CSTB reader Maura Johnston:

Tabloid favorite Anna Benson no longer wants to divorce Baltimore Orioles pitcher Kris Benson.

On Tuesday, she dismissed the divorce petition she had filed last week in Atlanta, attorney Jeffrey B. Bogart said in a press release. Instead of splitting, she expressed a desire to reconcile her marriage.

“Anna did a lot of soul searching over the weekend, and it is her desire to repair her marriage,” Bogart told ESPN.com.

Though it wasn’t specified as terms in the filing, it now appears the Orioles batboys are safe.


When You Absolutely, Positively Have to Get to SxSW Overnight

Posted in Get Out Of Jail, The Law, The Morning Commute, Total Fucking Terror at 10:45 am by

I went to Austin last weekend, obstensibly for SxSW, but mostly to have fun with my friends who live there. That said, if I had to miss a flight, it doesn’t make much sense to do what Cat Chow did (from NBC-5, Chicago):

A Chicago woman accused of stowing away on a plane to attend the South by Southwest Festival faces a federal charge.

Catherine “Cat” Chow, a 33-year-old artist, was on the standby list for a flight from St. Louis to Austin, booked through American Airlines. When she found out the flight was full, Chow snuck past gate agents, boarded the plane and hid in the bathroom, authorities said.

Chow told authorities she “knew what she did was wrong, but wanted to meet with her friends in Austin . . . to participate in the South by Southwest activities,” documents said.

Airport police said they found marijuana and six antidepressant tablets without a prescription label.

Chow was charged with boarding an airplane without permission, a federal crime, and two state misdemeanors, possession of marijuana and possession of a dangerous drug.

Chow was being held in the Travis County jail on a $3,000 bail.

On the one hand, I feel sorry for Cat Chow as she seemed like a cool person (disclaimer: met her once or twice when I lived in Chicago, saw her play with Plastic Crimewave Sound a couple times) and a good artist/designer. On the other hand, sheesh, what a bad idea.


Doc Self-Medicates, Goes to Jail

Posted in Baseball at 11:40 am by

Dwight Gooden’s troubles with the law continued today as the Associated Press reports he has been ordered held without bond for violating his parole stemming from the not-too-good idea to flee a DUI stop:

Gooden, 41, pleaded guilty in November to speeding away from police after a DUI traffic stop in August 2005 and was sentenced to three years probation. On Tuesday he went to a regular meeting with a probation officer where he admitted to using cocaine, according to Jo Ellyn Rackleff, a spokeswoman for the Department of Corrections.

“He went to his regular meeting with his probation officer, admitted to the officer that he had used cocaine. She did a drug screen, and he tested positive for cocaine,” Rackleff said.

Gooden’s more recent scrapes with the long arm of the law include an arrest in March, 2005 for misdemeanor domestic battery after cops alleged he punched his girlfriend in the face. Gooden was additionally arrested in February 2002 for drunk driving.

And yes, thesmokinggun.com has a collection of the Doc’s mugshots.


Ladies of Long Island, Take Note:

Posted in Baseball, History's Great Hook-Ups at 10:13 am by

“To say I’m a lot more mature at 30 than I was at 24 or 25 is an understatement.”


Juvenile Jinx Jars Jocular TV Jerk

Posted in Horse Racing at 11:00 am by

Two bits of bad news for Kentucky Derby watchers this week (yes, worse than the news about the new corporate sponsor): hopefuls Stevie Wonderboy and Sorcerer’s Stone are out of the running. The former, owned by retired talk-show host Merv “Elevator Killer” Griffin (above), continues the streak of Breeder’s Cup Juvenile winners, um, not actually doing anything (from the Courier-Journal):

Stevie Wonderboy will miss the May 6 Kentucky Derby after suffering a hairline fracture in his right foreleg during a workout yesterday at Hollywood Park, trainer Doug O’Neill said.

The injury, which is not considered career-threatening, ensures the continuation of one of racing’s most infamous streaks: No Breeders’ Cup Juvenile winner has won the Kentucky Derby.

Losing the champion colt from the Derby trail is a double blow to racing, which had hoped to get extra mileage in the mainstream media because he is owned by entertainment mogul Merv Griffin.

“I think I just got punched in the stomach,” Griffin said.

The Harry Potter-named Sorcerer’s Stone is also out, with an ankle injury (also from the C-J):

Sorcerer’s Stone, the Louisville-based winner of the Grade III Arlington-Washington Futurity last fall in Chicago, has been knocked off the Kentucky Derby trail with an ankle injury, trainer Pat Byrne said yesterday.

Byrne said a “very tiny” bone chip was detected at the top of a sesamoid in the colt’s left foreleg. He said the X-rays were being sent to a Lexington clinic for another opinion to determine whether surgery is necessary. Byrne said it’s possible the injury could be treated with time off and a “blister,” a procedure where a counter-irritant promotes healing in the affected area.

Aside from hoping these horses get back on their, uh, feet soon enough, their entertainment industry names are pretty cringe-worthy. Makes me long for the days of Derby champions such as Hindoo, Brokers Tip, and Jet Pilot.


Baltimore Welcomes Anna Benson, Horses Quarantined

Posted in Horse Racing at 3:52 pm by

Okay, sure, the headline is a cheap shot. Yet, somehow I couldn’t help making the association when I saw this very sad, strange tale from the Associated Press:

The home of the Preakness is eerily quiet this week, the result of a quarantine that has raised questions whether troubled Pimlico Race Course in Baltimore can regroup in time to host the middle jewel of the Triple Crown.

An outbreak of equine herpes at the 136-year-old track caused three horses to be euthanized and led several states to ban the shipment of horses into or from Maryland. Although a horse was linked to the virus yesterday at nearby Laurel Park, there have been no new cases at Pimlico since Jan. 19, and the track intends to lift its self-imposed quarantine next Wednesday.

But can Pimlico ultimately replace the cautionary yellow tape currently surrounding several barns with the bright yellow Black-eyed Susans that symbolize the Preakness?

“I have no concern about that whatsoever,” Lou Raffetto, chief operating officer of the Maryland Jockey Club, said yesterday. “Given the nature of this virus, I don’t think this will be an issue by the time we start the spring meet in April.”

The virus, known as EHV-1, often produces respiratory problems and fever, and it can cause pregnant mares to abort their fetuses. The most severe version attacks the nervous system and can lead to paralysis.

Fortunately for Pimlico, equine herpes usually runs its course in a month to six weeks, according to Dr. George Allen of The University of Kentucky’s Gluck Equine Research Center.

“It would be unlikely that what’s going on now at Pimlico would extend into the spring racing season,” said Allen, who has made a career out of researching the disease.

Anna Benson was unavailable for comment, but rest assured she’d have something hilarious to say on the matter.


R.I.P., Namesake of Short Metal Dude

Posted in Horse Racing at 9:55 pm by

The Louisville Courier-Journal reports that Danzig died yesterday. No, not this Danzig:

this one :

Danzig, one of the most prolific sires of modern times, was put down yesterday at Claiborne Farm near Paris, Ky., because of the infirmities of old age. He was 29.

At the time of his death the compactly built son of Northern Dancer led all North American-based sires in number of stakes winners (188) and percentage of stakes winners from foals (.185). Danzig’s offspring have earned more than $101 million on the racetrack.

Claiborne stallion manager Gus “Not Ed” Koch was quoted in the Daily Racing Form: “He was never a mean horse, but you wouldn’t turn your back on him. He was always ready to go. ¦ I loved him. I’ll be honest with you — I loved Danzig.”

The North Side Kings were unavailable for comment