Between this and the doping, I don’t think I can let my children watch horse racing anymore. At a meeting of House Republicans in Baltimore on Friday, Mike Pence offered a vaguely perturbing, folksy anecdote about Triple Crown winner American Pharoah once biting him on the arm, turning it into a dopey metaphor for resilience and also evidence that Republicans could take back the House, or something like that. I didn’t quite catch the last bit, what with my ears having fallen off and my brain filling slowly with earthworms.
“American Pharoah bit me so hard on the arm I almost collapsed,” Pence said. “I just gritted my teeth and smiled because you know what, in our line of work, you’re going to get bit sometimes, but you keep fighting forward. And we did.”
While American Pharoah was being fitted for a pink hat, just hours after he had signed a two-year deal to become the third Krassenstein brother, a McClatchy reporter talked to someone who had been on-site in Kentucky for Pence’s visit with the horse in 2018. He is quite sure none of this happened:
But farm manager Dermot Ryan, who was there as Pence was presented with an American Pharoah halter, said Friday it would be out of character for a horse he described as “sweet.”
“If he gave someone a nasty bite, I’d know it,” Ryan said. He said Coolmore’s Ashford Stud in Versailles was “very honored” to have the vice president visit and called him “very pleasant.”
(I am pro violently gnawing Mike Pence’s arm off and take no pleasure in reporting this.)