A photo of Preakness-winning jockey Jose Santos has Stewarts questioning who was in Santos' hand as he crossed the finish line aboard Funny Cide last Saturday.
The photo, which we found compelling despite the fact that it's clearly a compilation, depicts a popular rock-and-roll icon in the space between Santos' right thumb and his other fingers.
Two attendees at a local Star Trek convention, Stewart Feldman and Stewart P. Stimson III, both termed the photo "whack."
Santos couldn't be reached for comment, but by repeating, "Please leave a message after the beep," his answering machine seemed to acknowledge that the jockey was carrying something in his hand. Further, this reporter imagines that the answering machine meant to say that Santos had, "the ring, bringing the vendor." When we tried to confirm this, the answering machine abruptly hung up.
The Star Trek Stewarts plan to discuss the photo at the "Are UFO's Real?" seminar later today.
Said Feldman, "I've looked at [the photograph], and it looks very whack."
The wedding photographer we hired to examine the photo magnified it for a closer look. "Now that I look at it, it's pretty interesting. I definitely see something in his hand. It's either The King himself -- or one of his better impersonators!"
The photographer couldn't explain where Elvis had been for the last 25 years or how he got to be six inches tall -- but it was really, really hard for us to think of anyone else to ask.
Although Santos' answering machine seemed to admit that the jockey was carrying "the ring, bringing the vendor," no one could figure out what that meant. So we just all kind of decided that it would make more sense for this story if the imagined phrase was, "the King, singing 'Love Me Tender' ". So that's what we're going with.
The Maryland Racing Commission's posted rules do not specifically prohibit a jockey from carrying a miniature singing Elvis.
Some jockeys have been known to use illegal, battery-operated devices. However, this would be the first known instance of a jockey using a shrunken rock star.
Leonard Nimoy, signing autographs at the Star Trek convention and an expert on strange phenomena after hosting TV's "In Search Of..." series -- found the photo "interesting".
"Until they say who it is, I'd hate to say who it could be," said Nimoy, who was shown the photo this week. "But it is suspicious looking. It looks highly unusual. I've been wondering ever since I saw it . . . who it could be. I don't know who else it could be. All I'll say is: Viva Las Vegas!"
Santos crosses the finish line Saturday aboard Funny Cide in the Preakness at Pimlico
The hand, magnified 5X.
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