I will Fight Medina Spirit and I will Win

The grandstands at the 2006 Kentucky Derby (Photo by Richard Hurt via CC BY 2.0)

On Monday, the New York Racing Association banned trainer Bob Baffert from running horses at New York racetracks until the conclusion of investigations into Kentucky Derby-winner Medina Spirit’s failed drug test. After a sad third-place finish at the Preakness Stakes on Saturday, Medina Spirit will be unable to complete his Triple Crown of Shame at the Belmont Stakes next month on Long Island. 

Without a race to run, Medina Spirit is left exploring his next move. I have a suggestion for the most dishonest horse since Loki seduced Svaðilfari: fight me

Medina Spirit, I’m throwing down the gauntlet.

Come to New York anyway. Forget Long Island, it’s full of Long Islanders. Instead, come to Washington Heights and fight me — an adult, human man — in the street in front of my apartment. Unarmed of course. No cheap shit. I want a clean fight. Nothing below the belt, no eye-gouging or hoof scraping, no cattle rustling or mane pulling. Just man vs. horse. If you want to take a pre-fight drug test to prove you’re clean, I’ll allow it, but it won’t change the fact that you, Medina Spirit, are a junkie and a coward and I will demolish you.

Why would I fight a horse? Simple. For honor. You have disgraced our nation and the great sport of horse racing that we all know and love. The whole world is laughing at us. Horse racing is the quintessential American pastime. Every little boy and girl dreams of growing up to be a horse at the Kentucky Derby. For this generation, you have destroyed the dreams of millions of children with Medina Spirit posters on their wall and Air Medinas glued to their feet. 

For me, it was Scrimshaw, the tenth place finisher at the 2003 Kentucky Derby. What a horse. I was a kid then and wasn’t up to date on my equine analytics yet, but I knew a good, patriotic horse when I saw one. Could Scrimshaw have lost by less than 10½ lengths if he was riding the betamethasone, as Medina Spirit is alleged to have done at this year’s Derby? Perhaps. But Scrimshaw was a good ol’ American thoroughbred, a Texas Stallion of the highest caliber. Scrimshaw didn’t need betamethasone because he wasn’t a beta. He ran his races clean and lost them clean, an alpha to the end. Last I heard of Scrimshaw, he was back home in Texas, pulling down a clean $1,500-a-pop stud fee. Not quite champion rates, but certainly more than anyone reading this would get for their services. 

A recent YouGov poll suggests Americans are a tad arrogant when it comes to combat with the beasts of the animal kingdom. Which of the following animals, the poll asks, do you think you could beat in a fight if you were unarmed? Housecats, according to 72% of Americans, would get absolutely washed in a human vs. cat matchup. Medium-sized dog? Roughly half of Americans think Fido would be Fi-DONE if he ever crossed us. Then there’s the 6% of Americans who think they can beat a grizzly bear in unarmed combat, which is the kind of audacity you need to fight a grizzly bear in the first place. Elephants would be easily dispatched, claim 8% of Americans. Ludicrous. Where do you even begin with an elephant? You duck and dodge its tusks and stomps to what? Grapple one leg? Insanity. 

Medina Spirit, on the other hand, is a completely different story. Sure he is a 1,000-pound horse and I am a human man somewhere between 1/5th and 1/3rd of that, but Medina Spirit is a cheating junkie, which gives me the advantage. Juicing slows your reflexes and rots away your moral center. My all-natty, clean physique gives me the moral compass of a freaking nun. That’s why I’m challenging a horse to a fist fight. For God and country. 

Medina Spirit is not a victim of cancel culture, as trainer Bob Baffert claimed in his initial denials. But I will cancel this culture of cheating and juicing when I pound Medina Spirit’s face into the asphalt in front of my apartment.

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