You heard some derivative of the phrase over and over yesterday:
"I've been around horse racing a long time, and I've never seen something like this."
"In all my years covering sports, I haven't had many days like this."
And, so, here are some of the best words used to describe the shocking scratch of I'll Have Anotherfrom the 144th Belmont Stakes, robbing him of a chance to become the 12th Triple Crown winner.
There's no better place to start than with Wright Thompson of ESPN. He lingered near the O'Neill barn and caught the mood of the camp. Beautiful, as always.
Tim Layden covers the ponies as well as anyone, at least on a large scale. The Sports Illustrated senior writer understands what this means. Impeccable reporting meets mastery of the language.
Yahoo senior writer Pat Forde cut his teeth in Louisville, and you don't last long there if you can't cut it as at least a part-time turf writer. He sees The Scratch as yet another galvanizing factor for those who conspiracy around every corner in horse racing.
Los Angeles Times columnist Bill Dwyre has known Doug O'Neill for years, and covered the rise ofI'll Have Another as the hope for so many who care about the sport. He captures their sadness.
Our own Peter Schmuck says scratching was the right move because the last thing the sport needed was another Barbaro moment.
New York Times writer Joe Drape has led the coverage of horse racing's ills, and the spotlight he's put on the sport may already be causing change. Here's his take on I'll Have Another.
Andrew Beyer, of the Washington Post, brings the true insider's perspective: injuries are a common part of horse racing. He also takes up for O'Neill and his composure during the last few weeks.
Beyer's colleague, Sally Jenkins, obliterates O'Neill and the current culture in horse racing. Few people write so well angry. Few people write so well, period.
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