Sunday, May 06, 2007

Street Sense and Serendipity

I work every Saturday now. Which is OK with me, as it’s part of my Very Cool Schedule that allows me time during the week to write. Like most anything, though, there’s a downside, and it rolls around every year starting the first Saturday in May.

This is because Saturdays in a veterinary hospital are incompatible with watching the Kentucky Derby. Sigh.

Yesterday, I worked the “fourth doctor” shift. While 3 other veterinarians saw regularly scheduled appointments, I fielded walk-ins and emergencies with my fabulous partner-in-crime and one of the best certified vet techs in the world, Amber. (I’m not saying this just because I think she’ll read this. Amber kicks serious ass as a CVT, and not only that, she’s fierce on skis, a surfboard, or a bicycle, too. You see her on the road, all you’ll see is her dust). Yesterday was a typical Saturday—there's no end to the trouble critters get up to on the weekends—and so we’re bulldozing along from eight AM until three PM. Then we find ourselves looking around for our next emergency. What’s this? Nobody waiting to be seen. Five minutes until the next patient is expected. We haven’t had a chance to eat lunch yet, and…post time is 3:04.

Heat up the frozen tamale, grab a glass of water, race upstairs where the little TV lives. They're off! A colt named Hard Spun leads almost from the start. Actually pulling away from the field, too, just when most early speed sputters and fades. Rounding for home, and it looks like Hard Spun for sure, when out of nowhere charges a dark brown horse: Street Sense, coming from far, far back in the pack, 19th in a field of 20, then he turns it on and passes 18 horses in an eighth of a mile. Catches Hard Spun, and wins going away.

Can I just say? Damn.

Along with the excitement came a little bittersweet, too—because watching Street Sense’s walloping performance, I couldn’t help but remember the brilliant Derby run last year. And to realize again how much the world of racing lost when it lost the great, gallant Barbaro.

No time to reminisce much, though. The race over, we ran back downstairs, just as our next patient walked through the doors. Of all Derby Saturdays for the stars to align, I’m glad it was yesterday, because that was a helluva race.

And at the Preakness, two weeks from now…could the stars possibly align twice, for us as well as for a beautiful dark brown colt? We’ll see…


Anonymous said...

Reminds me of a day many many long years ago in Mariposa.....Miss you my friend!

Christine Fletcher said...

Miss you, too! That was a fun Derby Day. I hope your party this year was a blast -- I'm bummed I couldn't make it!