12/30/2008 1:00AM

Rhymes to remember 2008

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The new year comes again on wings

To bring us lots of special things

Like Derby dreams, and Triple tears,

Economic woes and fears.

All trimmed with hopes of faster steeds

To thrill us with their noble deeds,

Glad it's over? Thanks a lot.

Two-oh-oh-eight is best forgot

By those thrown underneath the bus.

And then there's all the rest of us.

Eight Belles gone, Nashoba's Key

Will live in fondest memory.

Goodbye Bay Meadows, knew ye well,

Hooray for office space to sell

Instead of memories and lore,

Of 'Diver, 'Biscuit, Shoe, and more.

Thankfully, there's consolation

From a grateful racing nation,

For Ginger Punch and Tommy Town,

For Go Between and, yes, Big Brown,

Who hauled us to those giddy heights,

Then gave Desormeaux sleepless nights.

Hail to the Jones branch of the tree -

Aaron, Larry, Governor B.

A pair of Dutrows, Rick and Tony,

Dangerous with any pony.

No match for Bazes though, in force.

Get Russell, Tyler, Mike a horse.

Saeed, Sir Michael, Eoin Harty

They're the the life of any party.

Toss in John Sadler, Mike de Kock,

Bobby Frankel - he's a lock

To bring a smile to any face

Who bet Ventura, win, not place.

Hail Square Eddie, Charlie Cono,

Frankie flies - "Look out below!"

And over there, what could you want?

A brace of Chrises - Paasch, Clement.

Hail Jerry, merry Hollendorfer,

And in no partic'lar order,

Goldikova, Donativum,

Vineyard Haven, nice to see 'em

At their best when most it counted.

Gomez, Prado always mounted

Well for Pletcher, Zito, Mott -

Trainers who have now forgot

More than most pretend to know.

But never mind. On with the show.

Since others now deserve a hand,

A nod to Chantal Sutherland,

To Inez Karlsson, Carla Gaines,

To Anna Rose, and other dames

Who classed up any joint they played

And never failed to make the grade.

Asmussen Inc. was everywhere,

Six hundred wins, ain't hardly fair,

Unless your stable had Proud Spell,

Backseat Rhythm, Little Belle,

Good Night Shirt, or Mani Bhavan,

(I just like saying "Mani Bhavan").

Commentator, Cocoa Beach

On the march were out of reach.

Wait a While, Intangaroo,

Bid foes aloha, ciao, adieu.

Fatal Bullet, Colonel John,

Cost of Freedom soldiered on.

Let's hear a cheer for Carriage Trail,

Visionaire, Ekati's Tale,

Ramon Dominguez, Precious Kitten,

Pyro, Spirit One, Midshipman.

Rajiv Maragh, Princess Haya.

Too exotic? Okay, try a

Healthy dose of Kenneth Ramsey,

Big Mike Pegram, nothing fancy.

Troutt and Casner - WinStar guys -

Bobby Baffert, cracking wise

As Midnight Lute, shock and awe,

Unleashed a rousing last hurrah.

The West was won by Bejarano,

The East belonged to Castellano,

Velasquez and Velazquez, too.

And don't forget young Leparoux,

Who traded blows with Robbie A.,

Until they both parlayed Francais.

More highs than lows along the road

For Kip Deville and Music Note,

Conduit did, and Raven's Pass,

Were Europe's best on "dirt" and grass.

Perfection's name was Peppers Pride,

Even though she tried to hide

In mountainous New Mexico.

Where even Curlin wouldn't go.

But so what when he traveled far

Across the globe to go to war

For USA in UAE

And romp to brilliant victory.

His name and game were hard to beat,

As well as one without defeat:

Z-big, Z-bad, Z-ooh-la-la,

Zenyatta known to one and all

As statuary come to life

For Mr. Moss and Ann, his wife

To be the best in many a moon.

And best of all . . . not gone too soon.