Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Donato on Donato: The "American Dream" Horse

After a lengthy and excrutiating vision quest that I did not even know I had ever embarked upon, I have finally found my totem, my animal equivilent and spirit guide. He is a majestic creature fusing power, elegance and the ability to make women quiver while making tons of money over short periods of time.

When last seen, my animal equivlent (who just so happens to share my name, Donato) was outperforming his peers out in Hollywood, acting the part of the unrivaled winner for a single scene that netted him $16,800.

Donato, for those who have tired of my subtle metaphores, is a horse (of course, of course). But not just any horse ... a race horse. On top of that though, he is the classic American tale of a smalltown boy who went west to make it big, and after many trials and tribulations, has found success.

Donato grew up in rural Kentucky, and soon knew that no shore-less state that cannot even effectively identify the color of its grass could hold him. Luckily he received a letter from Bob Baffert, one that I can only assume arrived by owl, Harry Potter style, telling him that he was indeed a racer. All of a sudden, those mile-long bursts of speed began to make sense. With destiny in sight it only took one spirited fight with his dam before he was off to Hollywood ... Park.

Like with most inspired young dream-followers, Donato soon found that Hollywood had a seedy underbelly that he would have to sift through before finding his salvation. That's where his lemons come in — come off?. (Shiver) This story took a turn that I didn't want it to, but there is no sugar coating the facts.

Our hero is a gelding. Early speculation stands that the decision came to stop the droves of fillies who would jump the fence at breezes and workouts just to run stride for stride with the thoroughbred. I have chosen not to feel bad for him though, as he has just saved more than half of what will be his career earnings by avoiding child support payments for any future foals.

Like most super beings, Donato has a sidekick, a starry-eyed kid who does not constantly get captured like most sidekicks, named Joel Rosario. Think of the Donato/Rosario pair like a giant Japanese robot and its youthful driver. Except instead of battles with angels, unresolved daddy issues and a 10-year-old teammate whose superpower is "bitch" like in the Evangelion series, these two have a solid working relationship and I imagine Rosario to be an angry, jaded badass who constantly chews a stogie and barks angry, cuss-filled encrouragement to only his favorite horses.

Why do we keep giving world-destroying technology to children?

Before Rosario, Donato was lost, competing in races and just sitting in the middle of the pack. It was clear he had the potential — he was close to the betting favorite in most of his races — but could not break through. It can be realisticly assumed that Donato was burdened with overthinking. I suggest he was overcome with the philosophy of racing itself (I believe Jean Baudrillard spent a few years writing about this exclusively), or was busy calculating the strides per second it would take to pass the next horse, not taking into account the limited time he had to actually accomplish the feat. Rosario immediately identified the problem and told Donato to stop being such a "wanton nerdbaby" and to "just run this wholly unremarkable race so that you can get oats and I can stop hitting you, you $#!@&."

And run he did. In fact, in the first race the pair ran together, Donato stayed in first place from the gate to the finish line. Donato had finally realized his potential, and made the $13,800 that would get him out of the septic spill that he called a south central Los Angeles apartment. In their second race, a rivalry formed. Donato was doing his whole, "stay in front of everyone until I win" thing, but was passed by No Stadium in the stretch, ridden by Garrett "Dastardly" Gomez.

Who put marbles in front of almost every starting gate?

Donato finished second and, to his credit, did not use the $5,600 prize to eliminate the new competition "with bullets and fire," as he put it.

The pair last raced on March 17 at Santa Anita in a Starter Allowance race, and Donato was such a favorite that he was only paying 40 cents on the dollar. As everyone knew he would, he ran the entire mile in the lead, finishing fast enough to make it back to the stable before his scotch got warm. The kid is a pro now. The sprinter hass got two wins in three races this year, and is poised to begin a career year out in California. Perhaps we will even see a graded stakes performance out with the big boys soon. Either way, lets hope he makes that skrilla now, because as much of a stud as he is, he won't be earning those fees upon retirement, even if the fillies will still not take nay for an answer.

Matthew Donato did only just enough research to jump to the conclusions reached in the article.

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