The Churchill Downs countdown clock says it’s only 1 day, 6 hours, and 7 minutes until the first Saturday in May, better known as the Kentucky Derby.
This year, we at Beagle House have a special interest in the race, because one of the 2010 Derby horses is Ice Box. You might remember that one of the house hounds is also named Icebox–his hunting name when he was with the Clear Creek Beagles and before he retired to our house. So in this year’s Derby we have the ideal exacta Box!
Naturally, we were delighted when Ice Box won the Florida Derby by a nose in a real thriller. Now, we’re keeping paws and dewclaws crossed that he can run a winning race again on Saturday.
And here is our Mr. Box in his most recent performance:
CCB Icebox, also known as Mr. Box in our household, was surprised to learn that he was even in the race, which he thought was for three-year-old horses, not seven-year-old beagles. But, being a game sort, he takes his involvement as an honor and has been buckling down to some serious training. Early each morning, while his packmates are still snoozing, Mr. Box is up at exercise, beginning with his all-important stretching routine:
After a good breakfast–breakfast is very, very, very important in Mr. Box’s training regimen–it’s outside for the most strenuous part of the workout. Fortunately, Mr. Box’s friend Bingo has volunteered to serve as both pacemaker and wrestling coach. From a lifetime of experimentation with various workout programs, Mr. Box has come to the scientific conclusion that this one is the best. Step one: wrestle with Bingo and Harry.
For strength-training, Mr. Box advises pulling a human around your neighborhood at least twice a day (Helpful Training Tip: It’s easier if you let your companions do most of the pulling. This is called “Being Smart”):
There’s also the Biscuit-Eating Exercise, because, as Mr. Box says, “It’s not good running in the Derby without some fat reserves!”:
Mr. Box does have a secret weapon in his Derby training arsenal, revealed publicly here for the first time. It’s the Paper Towel Run. Step one: grab a paper towel out of the garbage can.
You’ll need plenty of rest after this strenuous exercise program. Or at least Mr. Box does. After all, Derby contenders need to be relaxed in order to make their big stretch run, right?
Good luck to all on Derby Day, especially the horses. May everyone come back safe and sound, and here’s hoping Ice Box comes home the winner!