A victory conversation

May, 19, 2012
Over at the Doug O'Neill barn after the Preakness, everyone hugged everyone.

Some people even made their fist bumps blow up. The mood was stirring. Not as stirring as a Kentucky Derby winner taking down the Preakness in the final jump, but what do you expect from humans?

Much is now expected of I'll Have Another. Dozens of people stood and watched him take a bath outside the barn. They laughed and pointed and took pictures. They did this because they want to be able to say to their grandchildren, "I saw a Triple Crown winner rinsed off with a garden hose."

There's that much at stake.

I know because I laughed and pointed and took pictures.

As he was led into his stall, the significance of what's on the line now was revealed to I'll Have Another.

First, of course, the call came in from the president of these United States.

President Barack Obama: It's a significant accomplishment you made today. I'm running for re-election.

I'll Have Another: I am ineligible to vote. I'm only 3. Plus I'm a horse.

President Obama: Still, it was something. Good luck in New York. A lot of people are counting on you.

IHA: I'm aware. The grandchildren speech.

Big Brown and Smarty Jones called in together.

Big Brown: Don't let the humans objectify you.

IHA: Too late. A bunch of humans who have nothing to do with Team O'Neill took pictures of my privates. Then they made fist bumps blow up.

Smarty Jones: They're so stupid. Don't fall for that pressure they'll put on you. I had the weight of the whole industry on my back when I turned for home.

Big Brown: No wonder you lost a four-length lead.

Smarty Jones: At least I didn't quit.

IHA: Guys.

Smarty Jones: They're gonna tell you a Triple Crown will save the game and bring racing back to its glory days.

Big Brown: Like we want to live through another Depression.

Smarty Jones: The only thing a Triple Crown will do is sell a few more magazines and books. You already did your job in Baltimore.

Big Brown: You created buzz, son.

Smarty Jones: You put fannies in seats. New York is gonna be a zoo. Wish I could be there.

Big Brown: Wish I hadn't quit.

Smarty Jones: Don't be so hard on yourself. You got the first two. The third one is for the humans.

IHA: I think I see what's going on here. Thanks, men.

Smarty Jones: Horses.

Big Brown: Animals.

Back at the O'Neill barn, people got close to the stall and took more pictures. They were told not to use a flash. The handlers didn't want I'll Have Another spooked.

Too late.

Kenny Mayne

Kenny Mayne -- known for his offbeat style, dry humor and unique sayings -- has served a variety of roles in more than 10 years with ESPN. He currently provides features to SportsCenter and "The Mayne Event" segments to Sunday NFL Countdown.



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