Every so often, we will be addressing a few things: comments, decisions, people, whatever that – for one reason or another – should be tossed into the literary “muck pit.”

It is in the spirit of cleanliness, recycling, and protecting the environment that we offer this service of “addressing the muck” – free of charge. After all, someone has to do it, right?

And, it didn’t take long for us to find a few pounds of, well, manure.

Here is a look at our “21th Edition”:

Just the other day, we wrote an edition of the “Muck Pit,” and we promised you the “Good; the Bad; and the Uglies.” Well, we ran out of both time and space and we didn’t finish up with “The Uglies.”

So today, we will give you a heaping spoonful and finish up our thoughts with:

The Uglies:

Death sucks.

Earlier this week, I got word that Gene Logan, of Midway, had passed away after a rather long stay at the Thomson-Hood Veterans Center in Wilmore. He was 91 years old. The former Army Sergeant in the Korean War had fought and won many battles. On this day, he laid down his guns; hung up his boots; and headed home. He lost his fight against time, alright. Like we all will. But he won a lot of hearts along the way.

Mine included.

You see, Gene Logan was the kind of man that every man wants to be. Or, at the very least, should strive to be.

If Gene Logan ever had a bad day, you would never know it. He was the calmest person I ever knew. Strong, stoic and the epitome of stamina. Every day I saw him, he stood upright, as if standing at attention, and smiled.

If Gene Logan ever had a bad word to say about anyone, you would never hear it. He was a man of few words. And, the ones that he allowed to see daylight were chosen with absolute care and forethought.

If Gene Logan got up, he got up early. He put on his working clothes. He put on his working boots. And, he put on his working hat. Truly, he was a working man. Sometimes, he would go to his day job. Worked security at Johnson Controls in Georgetown. After that he went to his real job. Worked every day at the farm. He set tobacco; cut tobacco; housed tobacco; stripped tobacco. He was a tobacco farmer. But he also raised sugar cane. Cut sugar cane. And, cooked homemade molasses. He was also a cattleman. He was a farmer.

If Gene Logan lived a full day, he lived it as a family man. He loved his first wife, Lila Mae. Till the day she passed. Till the day he passed. And, he loved his second wife, Doris Ann, too. Till the day she passed. Till the day he passed. He cherished his children. Loved his twins, Denise and Doug, to the day he died. My dad would call them De-Niece and De-Nephew. They all laughed every time he told it. And, he told it a lot. And, even though Gene Logan never had grandchildren of his own, he adopted every one he could put his heart on. Including mine. He loved them so.

If Gene Logan lived a full life, he lived it as a religious man. Every time the church doors opened, he would be the one to open them. Sat in the same pew every time. And, when it was time to close those doors, he was the one to close them, too. Every time. He was staunch in his beliefs. He never wavered. He was a stayer.

If Gene Logan lived — and surely he did — he did it the right way. Honest. True. Loyal. To one and all. In other words, Gene Logan was the kind of man that they simply don’t make anymore. A good one.

But I never knew Gene Logan as Gene Logan. From the first day that I remember on this Earth until this very day, I always called on him as “Uncle Gene.” While he was not my “Uncle” in the form of blood or kin, he was my “Family.” Just as much as my family is family.

Gene Logan, you see, is the man I was named after. The man that I always followed after. And, the man that I always looked up to. Both figuratively and literally.

I always wanted to be as strong — mentally and physically — as Uncle Gene. I never was.

I always wanted to be as tall as Uncle Gene. While he was probably 6-foot-1 or 6-foot-2 in length, he looked like a mountain to me. He would stand up to anything or anyone,  and he certainly would stand up for what he believed in. I never measured up.

I always wanted to be as handsome. That square chin. That forever tan. That strong back. I never looked that good, on the inside or the out.

I always wanted to make him and his best friend, my dad, proud. Proud to be their son and “nephew.” Proud to be somebody that they would approve of and proud to call their own. I was so proud of them. I doubt that they were of me.

This week, I lost my “Uncle Gene.” I lost a big part of my past. I lost a huge part of my dream. I lost.

This week, the world lost Gene Logan. A considerable loss, even if you didn’t know him. Because, truthfully, you knew him in your heart and soul simply because you know someone just like him. That fits that description. That honors that code. You know the man of whom I write. You knew him, because you know another one just like him. And, you know, too. We all lost.

This week, the clouds are a bit more gray. The rain chills a bit more to the bone. The winds cut a little deeper. This week, the world lost a good man. And, they just don’t make them like that any more. Not like “Uncle Gene” Logan.

Goodbye, until we meet again.

(The colors of Barry Irwin’s Team Valor Stable / Photo by Holly M. Smith)

The Uglies:

Barry Irwin.

Did anyone read the “Commentary” in “The Paulick Report” penned by that noted and artistic fellow Barry Irwin? It is entitled: “Commentary — Horse Racing: We Gonna Have a Sport or Not?”

If you didn’t waste your time reading his garbage, I’ll say you a lot of time and effort. Here are a few jewels from this masterpiece:

“Sport is characterized by a challenging dichotomy that threatens its very existence as a viable enterprise worthy of both participation and widespread appreciation.”

What? The hell? Is that crap?

But let’s not linger. Because here comes the good part:

“Lovers of sport, both the players and the audience, want a sport that is conducted on a level playing field so that they can trust and believe in the results.

“Cheaters in sport lack the faith in their own skill set to think they can win on the up and up, so they seek an edge.

“Hence organizers of major sports implement guardrails to protect the honest athletes and the viability of the contests.”

OK. OK. OK. Here’s is where we have to step in. This is written, mind you, by a guy who owns a horse that was disqualified from a race at Keeneland, the most sacred of all alters, for a positive test result.

Not long ago, mind you. Just last April.

Last April, Talk Veuve to Me — owned by Team Valor International, Barry Irwin and others — was disqualified after winning an allowance race when a test came back positive for the prohibited anti-bleeder medication aminocaproic acid. A drug more commonly known as Amicar. A drug that has been strictly prohibited in Kentucky since — get this — 2012. It is a Class 4 drug that calls for a Class C penalty.

Barry Irwin’s horse was disqualified. For cheating. Moved from first to last. Purse money removed.

Kettle. Meet. Pot.

But, let’s look at the bright side.

I guess, Barry Irwin — a supporter of Water, Hay, Oats Alliance — can speak (and, in this case, write) with some validity about cheaters. After all, his horse was found to be one. A convicted one. A proven one. I guess he knows — first hand — when one loses the “…skill set to think they can win on the up and up, so they seek and edge.” He knows. His horse trainer — who is ultimately responsible for all that happens under his shed row and watch — did it. Knowingly? Not knowingly? Doesn’t matter. The horse tested positive. The horse was disqualified for cheating.

Yet, there is more from “Barry The Hypocrite:”

In writing to support the so-called “Horse Racing Integrity Act” that is currently being debated in the U.S. House of Represenatives, at the low Subcommittee level, Irwin writes:

“It behooves those who have worked so long and tirelessly, invested so much time and money and put their hearts and souls into legislation designed to bring enhanced integrity to our sport and to best ensure the well-being of its athletes to be aware of these wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing and to meet them head on in the light of day in order to expose them and their motives for what they are.”


Question here.

Does Barry Irwin really have the guts to suggest that he is one of those people who have “…worked so long and tirelessly, invested so much time an money and put their hearts and souls into legislation designed to bring enhanced integrity to our sport…”


Trash bag. Where’s the trash bag?

An owner whose horse was disqualified less than a year ago for cheating? How does the “Water, Hay, Oats Alliance” even keep this guy in the mix? How do you allow him in your own ranks? Does credibility not mean a thing any more?

And, truthfully, how does Barry Irwin call out Churchill Downs, among others, as being one of the “…wolves dressed in sheep’s clothing…?”

The truth is very simple. The facts tell the story.

Fact: Barry Irwin hired Rodolphe Brisset to train some of his horses. The same young man who served as an assistant to the infamous Patrick Biancone. The same young man who served as an assistant at the same time that BianconeMbecame the focal point of an investigation by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority in 2007 when his barns at Keeneland were raided by investigators commissioned by the Kentucky Racing Stewards at the time.

Fact: Cobra venom, which is prohibited by state regulations from being on any licensed racetrack grounds, was found in a crystalline form in a refrigerator in Biancone’s barn during that raid. Do we need to remind anyone that snake venom is a neurotoxin that can mask pain when injected into a joint or nerve?

Fact: On Sept. 17, 2007, Dr. Rodney Stewart — Biancone’s veterinarian at the time — was suspended for 5 years by the Kentucky Horse Racing Authority.

Fact: On Oct. 4, 2007, Biancone was suspended by the KHRA after reaching a settlement with the regulatory body.

Fact: Brisset was the trainer of record when Talk Veuve to Me tested positive for a prohibited drug while racing at Keeneland.

Fact: Barry Irwin has the audacity to call out others.

Wolf. Meet. Sheep’s clothes.

Fact: Barry Irwin is a hypocrite.

The Uglies:

Ray Paulick’s journalistic ethics stink, even worse than a true Muck Pit.

How does anyone run this “Commentary” without disclosing the “facts” about the author?

How does anyone maintain the credibility of its’ content when it allows this person to write this “Commentary” calling into question the actions of others without full disclosure.

Simply put?

You don’t.