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Sat, Dec 27, 2014

Royal embarrassment -- Queen’s hoss is a druggie

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A sports celebrity flunking a drug test normally is not big news -- just a sad sign of the times -- except when the sports celebrity happens to be a racehorse belonging to Britain’s Queen Elizabeth.

The horse, a 5-year-old filly named Estimate, recently tested positive for a banned substance, according to various news dispatches.

Estimate, like Lance Armstrong, denied any knowledge of how the drugs got into her feed bag.

Estimate won last year’s British Gold Cup. Perhaps she, like another frisky little filly, Lindsey Lohan, simply couldn’t handle the fame.

Or maybe she just fell in with the wrong crowd.

While having a drugged hoss on their hands is an embarrassment for the Royal Family, the good news is that the chemically-enhanced Estimate has signed a major league baseball contract and expects to be ready for spring training.

I’m kidding. In Britain they take drugged professional athletes more seriously than we do here -- no “10 strikes and you’re out” over there.

Estimate’s racing career is probably over.

The important thing now is for her to get herself straightened out and hopefully go on to live a good, productive life.

The shocking news about Queen Liz’s narc-nag coincidentally broke as I was re-reading a fascinating book about Paul Revere’s famous midnight ride. According to legend, he galloped through the countryside shouting, “The British are coming!”

Not so, claims David Fisher, author of “Paul Revere’s Ride.” Paul never yelled “The British are coming!” because most New Englanders of the time still considered themselves British.

What he really yelled was, “The Regulars are marching!”

Also, Paul didn’t ride alone. A second rider, William Dawes, also headed out to alert the Minutemen about the British being on the move. But Dawes apparently dawdled, and is relegated to an historical footnote, while Revere galloped off to immortality.

Another rider Paul recruited that night to help sound the alarm was “Nathanial Baker, who was on his way home from courting his fiancee Elizabeth Taylor.”

That’s not the same Elizabeth Taylor who a couple of centuries later became a famous movie star. As far as we know.

Paul, after getting the ball rolling and the bells tolling, wasn’t able to complete his midnight ride because he was captured by a British patrol. Along toward dawn they released him, but kept his horse, Brown Beauty.

The last Paul saw of his faithful seed -- described as “a big, strong English saddle horse, very fast” -- she was being ridden away by a Lobsterback, off to Lexington and Concord and a date with destiny.

Brown Beauty was never seen again.

I’ve always been intrigued by Paul Revere, as we’re distant relatives (his maternal great-grandmother was Martha Woody). My ancestor’s difficulties with the Brits might explain why I’ve never cared for the Royal Family of Freeloaders.

I continue to be puzzled by our obsession with the mooching monarchs, including Prince William, his mate Kate, and their royal toddler, Prince George.

George turned 1 the other day, and a London tabloid devoted 24 breathless pages to the occasion. Forget the Changing of the Royal Guard; the Changing of the Royal Diaper is now the hot ticket.

One writer said George looks like Winston Churchill. I assume that means the little nipper is bald and pot-bellied, and keeps a cigar clinched in his jaw.

Back to the two fillies -- the troubled Estimate and the stolen Brown Beauty: I hope the former gets the help she needs, and as far as the latter is concerned, England still owes my family a horse.

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elizabeth, embarrassment, larry woody, queen, royal, taylor
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