Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Breeder's Cup? I Want the Preakness!!

As we approach the Breeder's Cup this weekend at Monmouth Park in NJ, my thoughts turn to my own runners and if, someday, I can have a Breeder's Cup entry. First off, I'll say right up front that I don't know if my nerves could take it. I get amped up waiting for Wish to run here at Canterbury in a Maiden Special. I don't know how I would be able handle running for 100x that purse money. However, I'd be willing to give it a shot!

To be honest, I am much more interested in winning the Preakness. That's right, not the Derby, the Preakness. I think it may be because that's where it all started for me. My first exposure to big time racing was 20+ years ago in Maryland, as you may recall from a previous blog entry. When I was in graduate school at the University of Maryland training to be a bureaucrat (gee, that really took a turn, huh?), I punched tickets at Pimlico and Freestate Harness for spending money. The hours conflicted with school so I occasionally missed class to make sure I was there to handle the Tuesday afternoon throngs. More than half the time they didn't need me and I just sat around watching races. That wasn't too bad a way to spend a day, better than class - which is probably why I never finished my graduate degree.

To go back and win the Preakness would be a thrill. I have no grudges in Maryland, no desire to go back and prove something to anyone there. I think it may be quite the opposite. I love the state of Maryland and would like to win there for the nostalgia of it, personally. To give them a story of a part time ticket puncher that went on to win the Preakness itself. To win where it all began would mean a lot to me. I don't think that Sammy (above) is the horse that'll get us there, but you never know - grandad (Unbridled) won the Derby. He's still unraced going into his 3-year old season, so that works against him. The fact that he is a Minnesota bred doesn't help him at all either. But he is a big, strong gelding that could turn into something special - maybe special enough to carry a dream? We'll see when he heads back into training in February in Kentucky. That's what the winters are for up here - to dream about the spring and what may be.

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