By John Montone

NEW YORK (1010 WINS) –I’ll take Pumpkin over California Chrome any day.

Another year another Belmont bust as Affirmed still stands as the last Triple Crown winner, barely beating arch rival Alydar in a race for the ages.  But that was 37 years ago. People who are now living off Social Security checks were still wearing form-fitted leisure suits to the local disco back then.

So California Chrome spit the bit, but we did get a good horse tail this week when Pumpkin, a 6-year-old Chestnut gelding broke loose of his reins and bolted. Who says geldings have no…cojones?  The riderless run took Pumpkin into Central Park where a plumber, who happens to own some horses — that’s why fixing a toilet costs as much as plastic surgery….the plumber/horseman, jumped off his $1700 bicycle and jumped onto Pumpkin’s carriage.

The plumber/horseman was able to steer Pumpkin to a park exit at 57th and 5th then purposely crash the carriage into the door of a taxi which was just swinging open as a passenger was getting out.

With the horse back in his rider’s hands the two sides in the city’s carriage horse debate issued bland and predictable statements.  NYCLASS which wants to ban the carriage biz said, “Carriage horses and busy New York City streets simply don’t mix,” while the horse riders association pointed to the cameras and microphones and said all the media coverage is proof  that such an incident is quite rare.  And no one was hurt, not the horse and not the passenger in the cab.

Now while I don’t wish anyone any harm, I was interested in the passenger’s close call since he happened to be New York Mets Centerfielder, Matt den Dekker.  It’s bad enough my team is suffering through yet another miserable season, inept at the plate, bungling on the bases and with the arms of its vaunted young pitchers spending more time in MRI machines than on the mound.  But the indignity of losing a player to a runaway animal might be more than this fan could take.

den Dekker…DL…Hit By Horse.

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