A Cat Picks the 2014 Preakness

May 16, 2014

By Adele

Only the most heartless brute would want to dash the hopes of a horse with a shot at winning the Triple Crown, so I’m betting my treats on Kentucky Derby winner California Chrome, the odds-on favorite at 3-5 in the 10-horse field, to win the Preakness Stakes May 17 at Pimlico (4:30 p.m. ET on NBC).

But as always with horse-racing, there’s a bit of drama going on in the barn. “Chromie,” as they call him, has a blister in his throat that makes him cough. His trainer said it was there for the Derby and didn’t get him down, so let’s keep our paws crossed.

Also, it’s been raining, uh, cats and dogs in these parts, and the track may be muddy. Chromie has never run in mud, but he’s never been finicky about the surface, so I hope he’s good with getting his hooves dirty.

He drew the 3rd post position in a field of just 10 horses.

I’ve got a couple of other favorites. A filly named Ria Antonia is the only girl in the race, running from pp 6 with Calvin Borel on her back. They say she’s no Rachel Alexandra (who beat the boys back in 2009) and she has the worst odds at 30-1, but if Chromie can’t pull it off, I hope Ria does.

My pick to show is Ride on Curlin (odds 10-1), although he not only drew the widest post position (10), but he’s in for a rude surprise when he’s mounted this time by Joel Rosario and sees his Derby jockey, Calvin Borel, on Ria Antonia’s back.

Another horse to watch is Pablo Del Monte in pp 9 (odds 20-1). He had earned a last-minute spot in the Derby when Hopportunity got scratched, but took a pass. More rested between his races, he’ll be fresher than Chromie, but does he have what it takes to win a Triple Crown race?

May the best horse win, and all cross the finish line safely.

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Boy’s Best Friend is His Cat

May 15, 2014

By Max

Cats Working salutes Tara Triantafilo, a gray 6-year-old tabby and former stray in Bakersfield, CA. Tara went all “Big Cat” on a vicious dog larger than her to single-pawedly save her 4-year-old human, Jeremy.

Jeremy was minding his own biz playing in his front yard when a neighbor’s 8-month-old Lab-chow mix decided to drag Jeremy away by the leg. It was all caught on security cameras.

Jeremy was toast until Tara sprang seemingly out of nowhere and launched herself at the dog, chasing him off her property. Watch it…

Jeremy’s wounds needed 10 stitches. Tara only got her tail in a fluff. News reports say Jeremy’s mother Erica also got bitten on the leg, but it’s impossible to see how, since she didn’t show up until Tara had the dog on the run.

The dog is now sitting in quarantine at animal control, serving out a 10-day sentence until his execution. His owners gave him up willingly, which makes me wonder if this wasn’t his first offense.

When the Triantafilos took Tara in as a young stray, they probably never dreamed she’d repay the favor. In addition to Jeremy, she also lives with 2-year-old twin boys and a 4-year-old Husky mix named Maya.

So far, Maya has had no comment on the incident, nor do we know her whereabouts while the attack was going down.

Erica says the kids treat Tara pretty rough, but she puts up with it. Sure, after living on the street, she figures a little tail- and ear-pulling and occasionally getting sat on are small prices to pay in exchange for a forever home.

Tara’s video went viral; I saw it on CBS. It was pretty insulting to see how the talking heads found it so TOTALLY INCREDIBLE that a cat could do anything selfless.

The Bakersfield Californian had the most complete story (with pictures), but you have to answer a few questions to read the whole thing.


Karl Rove Knows Brain Damage

May 13, 2014

By Cole

Even though nobody knows yet if Hillary Clinton will run for president, Karl Rove’s not wasting any opportunity to get his digs in.

Back in December 2012, when she was secretary of state, Hillary spent 3 days in the hospital having a blood clot dissolved after she sustained a concussion. She left the hospital wearing dark glasses (standard protocol), and continued working.

On May 8, before an audience in Los Angeles, Rove implied that Hillary had suffered a “traumatic brain injury,” which is the clinical term for “brain damage,” although Rove now cravenly denies he was going there.

Hillary has shown no diminished ability to count, as Rove has when he claimed her 3 days in the hospital was 30.

Hillary’s shown no physical impairment, which is more than anyone can say for Rove’s former idol, Dick Cheney, who’s essentially been one of the walking dead, kept alive by artificial means, for years.

By Rove’s standards, the absence of a healthy functioning heart should have disqualified Cheney from office for both terms.

The only one showing signs of mental impairment here is Karl Rove, which White House spokesman Jay Carney aptly pointed out, recalling Rove’s inability to grasp that Obama won in 2012.

Every time Rove opens his mouth, he just reinforces his own irrelevance. If you stood him alone in a forest spouting lies, nobody would hear him.


A Cat’s Picks for the 2014 Kentucky Derby

May 1, 2014

By Adele

Ahhhh… can you smell the fresh hay? Triple Crown season is my favorite time of the year. Why does a cat like me have this thing for horses? Could I have a case of hoof envy? I wouldn’t mind having a set, if they had claws.

The Kentucky Derby is this Saturday, May 3 (beginning at 4 p.m. on NBC), and I’ve been poring over the contenders, searching for the next Triple Crown winner.

Unfortunately, Hopportunity has already been scratched because he just turned up with a sore left front leg, but if it heals he could turn up later to try for 2 out of 3 at the Preakness.

Wicked Strong is one of the human favorites, running in post position 19 with 6-1 odds. He was originally named Moyne Spun, but his owners started calling him Wicked Strong in 2012 after the Boston Marathon bombings. Of whatever he wins during Triple Crown season, 5% will be donated to a fund for the Marathon victims.

Personally, I think this is all too much pressure to lay on a horse, and Wicked has shown it by running a few disappointing races already this year, so I’m not betting my treats on him, but I wish him luck.

The odds-on human favorite is California Chrome, in post position 5 at 5-2, but he’s not my pick either.

To place or show, I’ll be rooting for Ride On Curlin, who will have the wily Calvin Borel in his saddle. This is sentimental, because Ride On is the son of Curlin, and he has Storm Cat in his family tree on his mom’s side. He’s finished no less than 3rd in 8 of his 9 previous races. He’ll be in post position 18 with odds of 15-1, but if 3-time Derby winner Borel can steer him to the rail, Ride On Curlin could make it.

My pick to win is Wildcat Red. He’ll be in pp 10 with jockey Luis Saez. Wildcat has won 4 of his 7 lifetime races, and has never finished farther back than 2nd. His odds are also 15-1.

One other horse I’ll be cheering with all paws crossed to place or show is Medal Count in pp 13 at 20-1 odds. He’s a distant cousin of the amazing Barbaro, who never recovered from his tragic freak accident in the 2006 Preakness, as well as Eight Belles (the filly ran 2nd to Big Brown in the 2008 Kentucky Derby, only to fracture both front ankles and get put to sleep right on the track, I still have nightmares.)

May all the horses and jockeys cross the finish line safely.


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