As long as I've known trainer Wayne Catalano, he's been a man of action, a man on the go, with the vitality of men half his age.
In fact last weekend I saw him for a second just before a stakes race at Arlington, looking dapper in a suit as he accepted good-luck wishes from fans before dashing his way to the box seats to watch his charge, Aurelia's Belle. eventually capture the Grade III Arlington Oaks.
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All seemed good for the 11-time Arlington training champion.
Turns out, that wasn't the case.
Hard to fathom:
Earlier in the day, Catalano had told a few people at Arlington that he wasn't feeling right, and at the urging of his wife, Renee, went to see a doctor Sunday.
Now he finds himself in critical condition at St. Alexius Medical Center in Hoffman Estates suffering from a severe case of pneumonia.
On chicagobarntowire.com, his daughter Shelbi Catalano-Hill, posted this about her dad, who turned 58 on Thursday:
"He has very severe pneumonia and an infection in his lungs making it difficult for his body to produce oxygen to circulate. He is paralyzed at the time being to help his lungs and body relax while machines support him. My dad is being so incredibly strong, as he always is. He is so full of life and always positive. We will be strong and stay positive for him."
We all will.
There's no good segue from a story like that, but …
Final British Open thoughts:
• People are talking that after his win Sunday, Rory McIlroy now has the potential to capture maybe six to eight majors in his career.
I say double that.
• My man Rickie Fowler will have a major title under his belt by this time next year.
Very much under the radar this week is an LPGA-sponsored golf event taking place in Maryland -- the inaugural International Crown, in which the top women's teams from eight countries are competing.
I'm going to be keeping an eye on this one.
Because in two years it will be held at Rich Harvest Farms in Sugar Grove, site of the uber successful 2009 Solheim Cup.
Numbers and results:
Darwin Barney: .230, 2 HRs, 16 RBI = DFA'd.
Gordon Beckham: .224, 7, 29 = ???
Sitting next to him in the dugout before a game and him wondering what golf club he'd use to make it into the right-field bleachers.
From chimpan A to chimpanzee:
On a scale of 1 to 4 of my enormous heads, I give "Rise of the Planet of the Apes" three enormous heads.
And gotta say: Andy Serkis, who plays Caesar, should get an Oscar nod.
He wasn't Roddy McDowell excellent, but he was excellent nonetheless.
What's more incrediBull?
That the Bulls could actually be players in the Kevin Love sweepstakes or that Gar Forman has been with the Bulls for 17 years now?
They said it:
"Owners and trainers, especially those who compete at the highest levels of the sport, overwhelmingly prefer dirt tracks. This dirt track will allow (us) to be more competitive in attracting the top horses and Triple Crown and Breeders' Cup contenders."
-- the folks at Keeneland, where the process of replacing its synthetic track with a dirt one is steaming along.
Wish they were saying the same thing:
The folks at Arlington.
Kaner lighting it up in a beer league.
Love of the game, indeed.