(Rep. Michael Meredith)

We are now embarking on a new “feature” that we hope to continue each Monday for the remainder of 2023. We are calling it “McLean’s Monday Musings & Muck Pit.”

Editor’s Note:

As for this week, we have “slip and slides”  into the second work day, so for this week we are calling it the “Tuesday Tidbits.” Now, back to our regular programing. 

It’s some of our thoughts and reflections about what has happened in the horse world over the past weekend, and, perhaps over the past week. Some are good thoughts. Some may be afterthoughts. Some may call them our “Monday Morning Quarterbacking” thoughts. And, yes, some will be our figurative “pitch fork tosses” into the proverbial “Muck Pit.”

So, without further adieu, here’s our next few pitches (and some fork):

(Representative Michael Lee Meredith / Photo From Facebook)

Plaudits Galore for Rep. Michael Meredith:

I’ve known Rep. Michael Meredith (R-Hart County) ever since he first came to Frankfort as the elected State Representative from rural Hart County and District 19 in 2011.

My son, Brad, who was working with me at the time as a Legislative Agent in our Capitol City, came into my office one day and said, “Dad, you’ve got to meet this guy who just got elected. You are going to love this guy. He’s your kind of a guy.”

Like most of the time, my Brad, who was a natural-born lobbyist and truly one of the best I have ever seen work the halls, was right. Absolutely correct. Right on the money.

I liked Michael Lee Meredith upon first introduction. Love him today.

Simply put, and as Brad so accurately depicted:

Michael Lee Meredith is my kind of people.

He is humble. He is hard-working and industrious. He has a great sense of humor, and can laugh at himself with a few of his very own “farmer stories.” Love the time when he basically ignored his father-in-law’s warnings and instructions and, ultimately, knocked over a rick of hay bales in the barn with a tractor. As a result, Michael Lee had to hand stack them back. One by one. By himself.

Blood. Sweat. And, tears. All shed that day, to be sure. But lesson learned. The hard way.

Most of all, though, Michael Lee Meredith is country smart; loyal; honest; and committed. In short, he is the perfect person you and I — and everyone else in this Commonwealth — should want in Frankfort, KY. and helping lead our government of the people. By the people. For the people. He is truly “Our People.”

On Monday, Rep. Michael Lee Meredith, once again, proved exactly why he is so well liked, and better yet, respected. As the new main sponsor of legislation that would allow and permit “wagering on sporting events” in Kentucky (House Bill 551), Meredith took to the House floor on Monday to explain his legislation and answer questions from his colleagues.

Calmly. Cooly. Collectively. Intellectually. He navigated the process like a seasoned and veteran Captain in a sea of hurricanes. He explained the bill in detail, leaving no doubts as to why Kentucky should pass the legislation. He answered every question with both courtesy and correctness. He stood in the middle of the room, poised and polished, and performed his best presentation. Ever. To date.

And, when it was time to vote, HB 551 got 65 affirmative, “YES,” votes and plenty enough to move the measure to the Kentucky State Senate now with enough power and persuasion to seek final passage. That’s 65 strong, and more than anyone thought possible or probably. That was and is impressive. Damn impressive.

Never mind that 38 other states have already passed legislation allowing for wagering on certain sports events.

Never mind that every state that borders Kentucky — with the lone exception of Missouri — has already moved ahead and given its’ citizens the right to do something that they have done for years, either in Las Vegas or illegally with their local bookmaker.

One must remember this is Kentucky, where, for generations, the preachers and the bootleggers teamed up to keep the vast major of the “Bourbon State” legally dry, and without alcohol sales. How else could you explain that at one time Christian County was “wet,” but Bourbon County was “dry?”

One must remember this is Kentucky, where the great Mark Twain once said, most accurately:

“I want to be in Kentucky when the end of the world comes, because it’s always 20 years behind.”

On Monday, Kentucky may have taken a giant step forward and reduced our lag time to a mere 10 years behind the norm. On Monday, Rep. Michael Lee Meredith may have led our Commonwealth into the 21st Century. Finally.

We can only hope and pray now that the Kentucky State Senate follows course and the lead of Rep. Meredith. We can only hope and pray that the Chamber that privately, and sometimes publicly, promotes itself on being the “more mature” and “contemplative” body in the General Assembly will have the courage and foresight to follow suit and finally pass legislation that will permit sports betting in Kentucky.

If the 38 members of the Kentucky State Senate will allow Rep. Meredith the opportunity to explain why HB 551 is both needed and warranted? If the 38 members of the Kentucky State Senate will just pause, listen and consider the reasons that Rep. Meredith has developed and outlined?

Then I think HB 551 has a great chance to pass on its’ own merits. It is time. It is due. It is the right thing to do.

And, if that truly does happen? Finally?

Then nobody deserves more credit and applause than the “Man from Hart County.”

He has given his best. He has given his all. The “Gentleman from Hart County” has given his heart.

(Tapit Trice captures the G3 Tampa Bay Derby last Saturday / Photo Courtesy of Tampa Bay Downs)

Could Tapit Trice Give Pletcher His, Um, Third Kentucky Derby Win?

Last Saturday, trainer Todd Pletcher — who looks as loaded for an Alaskan bear hunting trip this year — captured the G3 Tampa Bay Derby with a young, aspiring and rapidly-improving colt by the name of Tapit Trice.

Despite being swarmed and blocked for much of the race, rider Irad Ortiz, Jr. finally was able to find a pocket of freedom in the late stretch and the duo roared to victory with an impressive late kick.

After the race, many Kentucky Derby “experts” wondered if the colt was as good as he looked in the stretch, or has inexperienced and void of any speed as he looked throughout much of the race.

I say look at the horse’s overall record. In 4 starts now, Tapit Trice has 3 wins and a third.

I say look at the horse’s turn of foot speed and gallop out. He went from being left at the gate and dreadfully last and 8th at the top of the stretch to run-away winner by 2 lengths.

I say look look at the horse’s pedigree. Sons and daughters of the great Tapit normally take a few races for the bulb to illuminate. But when they do light up? They can be high beam all the time.

I say we all had better take a longer look at this colt and consider accordingly. He’s on the move and improve.

Going into this year’s Kentucky Derby, Pletcher has 2 previous wins in the “Run for the Roses.” He won with Always Dreaming in 2017 and with Super Saver in 2010.

Going into this year’s Derby, Pletcher has what is shaping up as a mighty-impressive trio of possible contenders in 2022 Juvenile Champion Forte; G3 Sam F. Davis Stakes winner Litigate; and now Tapit Trice.

How ironic would it be for Pletcher to win his third Derby with a horse named “Trice?”


Possible, too.

Very possible.

Shesterkin Deserved Better in G3 Tampa Bay Derby:

If not for some unfortunate luck, and, perhaps, some very questionable riding tactics, we may be sitting here today chatting about another Pletcher 3YO colt, too. We may have been talking about the sudden talent and emerging presence of Shesterkin.

On Saturday, the son of Violence (does that sire line ring another bell or two for Pletcher this year?) looked like he could be making a winning move along the rail in the 11/16-mile Stakes.

But just when it looked like he may have a chance, Shesterkin suddenly wasn’t given a chance. Zero chance.

As the game-time leader, Dreaming of Kona, began to tire quickly in the stretch, Shesterkin was guided to the rail by jockey Edgard Zayas. As Kona began to gasp, and weave, Zayas began to choke. The rider stuck to his only plan and stick to an attempt to go through a tiny hold along the rail.

As things turned out, that opening was not sufficient. Not even for a minature to fit through.

As things turned out, Shesterkin was stuck. In behind traffic that was going nowhere fast, and stuck on a gameplay of failure.

As things turned out, Shesterkin finished 7th and was beaten abut 61/2 lengths.

As things turned out, nobody is talking about Shesterkin and, instead, are raving about Tapit Trice — who came running free wily on the outside.

Too bad for Shesterkin and his connections. He deserved so much better. He deserved a chance. He deserved a better rider.

Don’t know what is next for Shesterkin. But, for me, I will be betting back the next time.

For sure.