Afterburner Forfeits Kentucky Derby Win

Churchill Downs, May 8, 2009 -- Afterburner, the three-year-old thoroughbred who shattered course records yesterday to win the 135th Kentucky Derby, has been disqualified on a technicality, thereby forfeiting his title and the $1.5 million winner's purse. Race officials cite Afterburner's groundbreaking posterior propulsion technique as the reason for the disqualification. Porter Gickle, Afterburner's owner, says he will appeal the decision.

"Granted, this is the first case of its kind," says Rex Worthrop, Senior Equine Adjudicator at the Derby, "but we feel we have no choice in this matter. The horse is more than merely flatulent."

Worthrop alludes to Afterburner's methane-propelled starting technique, a first-of-its-kind sensation developed by Gickle at his stables in Lancaster, Pennsylvania.

"There's nothing in the rule book – if you can find anything, I want you to show me the page and paragraph – that states that a horse can't break wind at the starting gate. My horse just happens to break a little more wind than the other horses."

Afterburner stunned spectators at yesterday's Derby with his highly unusual start.

"It was like watching a horizontal brown rocket on spindly legs," says Skinny Pete, a regular at the Derby. "The horse sort of crouched down before the gun, like he was going to spring. Then there was a tremendous bang, louder than the starting gun and fraction of a second after. Afterburner shot forward like he was shot out of a cannon. By the time his hooves hit the turf, he was already five lengths ahead."

Afterburner held the lead for the entire circuit, while his competitors closed the gap steadily, and won by a head.

A subsequent examination by judges of stop-motion photography of the start showed that Afterburner emitted what amounted to a vast explosion of methane gas through his rectum an instant after the gun was fired. This projected him forward, rocketlike, nearly 50 feet, providing the thoroughbred with the lead necessary to secure the win.

"I got the idea from a Discovery channel program I saw on the bombadier beetle," says Gickle. "That little bug, when confronted by a predator, twirls around and basically farts in the predator's face, making a loud bang. That usually scares the predator off, and the beetle can go about its business. At the same time, the beetle flies four-five times its own length in the other direction. I figured, if a beetle can do it, why not a $21 million thoroughbred racehorse? I had my trainers start Afterburner on a high-fiber, high-cellulose diet the next morning."

The final outcome of the dispute is still highly uncertain, but there is little doubt in racing circles that the judgement will set a new precedent as regards excessive equine flatulence at the starting gate.

By Ion Zwitter, Avant News Editor

Copyright © 2005-2505 All rights reserved.
Avant News contains satire and other fictional material, provided for entertainment purposes only. Disclaimer. Syndicate. Privacy.