I was quite surprised when I’ll Have Another pulled out in front at this year’s Kentucky Derby. An equal source of surprise was learning of the death of Adan Fabian Perez, 48, on Monday afternoon.
I pulled up CNN’s web page when on break at work, and read their first report on the mysterious death of a groomer, which was ruled as a homicide, at what’s called the ‘Backside’, socially speaking, at the Churchill Downs horse racing grounds. An unknown killer (either from within the community or from without) had left Adan Perez’s body at Barn No. 8, which is close to that of I’ll Have Another.
The homicide puts a damper on the glories and ecstasy seemingly achieved on this 138th run for the roses (if my math is correct, the first Kentucky Derby race must have taken place in 1874). Not that I’m the sorta person that would have ever kept up with these matters, but getting some historical perspective might be a good approach to getting a handle on what may have happened to Adan Perez, who came from Guatemala in 2008 to work with the horses.
What’s most interesting here is the social/class angle, which many writers in recent articles are making light of. All we see on TV is the glamour, the glitter, beautiful southern belles, Kentucky bourbon swilled by the barrel, well groomed horses breaking out of the gate in the flash of excitement; all of this whizzes by our screen when the gun goes off. But poor workers carry the burden in the background, prepping the horses to look pretty on TV, for viewers who only want to experience the controlled excitement behind bourbon-bleary eyes.
We hear of some altercations in the Backside just after the emotionally-charged derby, in the late hour of Saturday and into the wee hour of Sunday. Authorities suspect a connection exists between these altercations and what happened to Perez, but they can’t find one yet. Wilson Perez, Adan Fabian’s son, last talked to his father by phone at 11:30 PM Saturday night. Wilson said that his dad seemed normal, and was out at a restaurant celebrating after the dramatic victory of I’ll Have Another. And yet we must conclude, it was anything but a normal night for Adan Perez.
Speculation about who the murderer is makes me think we should call in Jessica Fletcher (Angela Lansbury) from Murder She Wrote fame; it has that kind of ambience to it. But, we need to remind ourselves, this is no TV show, rather it’s a real homicide case, involving a man, who by all accounts, appears to be a good man. So who and why would anybody have a grudge against Adan Perez anyway? Was money involved? Perhaps an unpaid wager on the Big Race? Nothing of this fashion has been suggested in the news?
What a bringdown! A near perfect race, then this. The manner of death has not been disclosed. Adan’s body was discovered in Barn No. 8 at around 5 AM the day after. Therefore, Perez must have been killed between 11:30 PM and 5 AM. And I suspect, he wasn’t killed in Barn 8, but rather murdered elsewhere, then left at this obvious location, which is nearby where I’ll Have Another celebrated his hairline victory. This was no coincidence; the culprit purposely wished to put a damper (a curse) on what looked like a perfect race.
The main clue behind this take, is the proximity of the placement of the body to I’ll Have Another’s stall. The social/class issue rears its ugly head again, but I don’t know exactly why, friendo? I sense that class is tied in somehow, but this is only intuition kicking in, that’s all. The rich verses poor dichotomy pops up (because of the writings I’ve been reading), and I can’t let it go! Was the culprit’s motive socially charged as a fount of anger against the wealthy horse race promoters unleashed? *(Jessica Fletcher calls it this way, I imagine?)