Commentary

At least it's not soccer

Updated: October 25, 2008, 8:13 PM ET
By Jay Cronley | Special to ESPN.com

Here are the major results from Psycho Saturday where, near one point in time, horses were charging for the wire over the short brown stuff at Santa Anita; where T. Boone Pickens, was on the sideline of the Oklahoma State-Texas game -- he's a senior partner with the Cowboys -- seeming to explain how there were more billions where the others had come from before the market tanked; where somebody was running a kick way back against Oklahoma for about the fiftieth time this season; where Georgia was strolling through LSU's defense; and where Kansas fans were wondering what numbskull scheduled Texas Tech for Homecoming.

It's official, the Pro-Ride racing surface is the same as brown grass.

It looks something like freeze dried peat moss and gave rise to a Euro domination of the Saturday races, green and beige surfaces alike.

Here's one good thing about what's sure to be a Euro invasion for races over what amounts to freeze-dried grass races everywhere, in general, and to Santa Anita for a replay of the Cup next year, in particular: at least it's not soccer.

Elite-level American horses going to this surface for the first time, after a career on dirt, are well advised to bring your lunch. Being passed by six or seven synthetic specialists calls for a sugar cube fix.

On lower-level racing, lonely speed maybe the goods upon occasion.

In the higher income bracket, the Pro-Ride home stretch is highly conducive to slow lanes and passing lanes, like the LA freeways.

The specifics of Pro-Ride and other products like it will give birth to new breeding statistics, bloodlines for the short, brown material. Being a great dirt horse like Curlin is now approximately one-third the battle to become known as one of the all-time greatest.

How many winners on manufactured surfaces will move to the real dirt for a change?

Oh, maybe for a Triple Crown try now and again.

On the whole, it appeared to be a very healthy weekend, with horses gliding steroid-free over the friendly main track. Here's what the Euros are thinking: Wax it up and let's do it again.

Write to Jay at jaycronley@yahoo.com.