Longform

Paradise Lost

Page 6 of 6

He says he's eating better -- had a full coffee mug of cereal this morning instead of his usual half-cup. The accident, he insists, is already out of his mind. He watched the replay just once. "What happens, happens -- you've got to push that out," he says. "That race is done."

He's tired, and his body hurts. He's been at the track for eight hours when he should be getting some rest. Tomorrow, he will fly home to Illinois. But they're lining up at the starting gate for the eighth race, and Kaenel just has to watch.

He walks, alone, to a television monitor and sits down. The race ends in a photo finish. Tall Pines, the horse he would have been on, takes second. He keeps looking at the screen, not saying a word, as well-wishers tell him he would've won.

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Bruce Rushton