Bad Breeding

May 26, 2003

One of the little ironies of the hype leading up to the Preakness a couple of weeks ago was trainer D. Wayne Lukas complaining that the Triple Crown was too tough. His main point was that the schedule was too taxing for a young thoroughbred. I wondered if there might be two D. Wayne Lukases, because the D. Wayne Lukas I remember is a trainer with the reputation of overworking his two year olds, leaving them woefully overtaxed to have a full year of success at three.

But there was something else he said a few weeks earlier that took me aback, and it got me thinking about what I see as a major and unaddressed problem of the thoroughbred industry—breeding practices.
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Annika Sorenstam

May 24, 2003

Tiger was right (well, and why wouldn’t he be, he was talking about golf). He said Annika should play four or five events to get a true measure of what she could do.

As for the few, the proud, the clueless, including the PGA tour official who said they’d be discussing adding “men only” to the rules of the tour, they need to open their eyes and see how great the PR fallout was from this. I know folks who never watch SPORTS (let alone golf) who were obsessed with how Annika was doing the past two days. And I know that I have new men on the tour to root for, starting with Dean Wilson and Aaron Barber, who showed us all that sportsmanship is still alive and kicking in golf. They also showed us that the PGA tour is not a personality-free zone, something that the PR mavens at the tour need to find a way to exploit. 

I’m glad Annika had the courage to try, thereby providing us all with the opportunity to enjoy the ride.  Isn’t that what being an athlete, or a sports fan, is all about?