There is a lot to recommend here. State budget woes are a problem that need to be dealt with, and possible tax hikes are always troubling, especially when Republicans start talking about them. Of course, the 50th anniversary of the City of Walnut had me reminiscing a bit. But then I came to that part of the missive dealing with something very near and dear to my heart, Santa Anita Racetrack. Here is what Bob had to say:
One of the most important parts of my job as a Senator is to represent the needs of the local business community. Economic development and small business growth in particular, is an invaluable part of our livelihood and quality of life. This month, I would like to highlight the Santa Anita Racetrack.
All well and good, I guess. A little on the earnest side for my taste, but what the heck. But as I read on the good vibes went south, turning to both shock and dismay.
Having originally opened on December 25, 1930, Santa Anita Park became known as "The Great Race Place" and was home to the infamous racehorse Seabiscuit.
Infamous? Seabiscuit? One of the most beloved sports figures of all time? We're talking Sandy Koufax class of sports hero here. Babe Ruth. Magic Johnson. Willie Mays. What's so infamous about Seabiscuit? That's like comparing him to Jack the Ripper or Sid Vicious or something.
Here is what the publicity release for Lauren Hillenbrand's classic sports biography Seabiscuit: An American Legend had to say:
Competing in the cruelest years of the Depression, the rags-to-riches horse emerged as an American cultural icon, drawing an immense and fanatical following, inspiring an avalanche of merchandising, and establishing himself as the single biggest newsmaker of 1938 - receiving more coverage than FDR, Hitler, or any other public figure.
In 2003 Universal Pictures released the movie Seabiscuit, which was inspired by the Hillenbrand book. You can view the trailer here.
At Santa Anita Park stands a statue of Seabiscuit. And every year thousands of race fans take the Seabiscuit tour, visiting the celebrated horse's stall and hearing all about his legendary feats. And having made trip myself, I can tell you there was nothing "infamous" about it. Bob? You owe this horse an apology.