Friday, March 14, 2008

Claimed!

Well, through the good offices of our trainer, GRS#1 has claimed it's first horse out of Tampa Bay Downs. Today we picked up Fizzy Pop, a 4-year old Florida-bred Slew Gin Fizz gelding out of Pop Pop B.B. Gun ( a VERY silly name for a mare, in my opinion). He finished a fast closing 4th today in a $10,000 claiming event after being held up in the stretch. It was a nice effort in a 6.5 furlong event. I would expect him to come back at 7 furlongs or a mile, probably at the $12,500 level where he has proven competitive in the past.

It was a pretty exciting day. As most of the partners share an office building with me we all watched the race together. They all knew that we were dropping a slip and as the managing partner, it was my call to make. As we watched the race unfold, he really didn't threaten much. Fiz seemed to be in good striking position turning for home, but got caught up behind horses backing up and ended up having to move around the field to get a clear shot at the wire. The top two beat him by a length and a half, but he just missed third by the smallest of noses. The phone rang less than a minute after the race. Our trainer, Bernell Rhone, had called to tell us that we had the horse. We had to win a shake, but we did and The Fiz was ours. He said he galloped out and pulled up well and while he liked his race, he thinks he needs to go a little longer. When I talk to Bernell in a few days, we'll have a little more information about how he came out of the race.

Stage one of the process is over. Now stage two begins: communicating with the trainer to see how he is progressing; working with him to determine his next race; sorting through and paying the bills; keeping the partners abreast of the progress through steady communication; keeping and disseminating timely financial statements. And then once the horse is back up here I want to get the partners together and take them on a tour of the backside, visit with the horse and trainer, have breakfast in the track kitchen - give them a feel for what it's like to really be involved. I don't know if they'll appreciate the sights, sounds and smells of the backstretch like I do, but I want them to have a taste. I want to provide this team - and every team I captain, with the fullest racing experience that I can.

Now we're in the game for real. Now it's MY responsibility. I'm nervous, but a good kind of nervous. I'm nervous like I was before a big baseball game, football game or track meet. A nervousness that is sparked by competitiveness and a drive to succeed and, yes, a certain fear of failure. I savor this opportunity and am thankful for it. I look forward to making the most of it.

4 comments:

Valerie said...

Congratulations, Ted, and good luck with Fizzy Pop! I was surprised when I read your post because last year my OTB friends and I won a healthy win bet on Fizzy Pop at Tampa Bay on a complete fluke--we joked that we like the odd name, and wouldn't you know, he won! I can't remember the exact amount, but I know it was over $20. I'll be rooting for you!

Ted G said...

Thanks, Valerie. What are the odds of that?! He has won a couple of times at big mutuel payoffs: 10-1; 6-1; 14-1; and even a whopping 71-1! How would you have liked to have had $10 on him in THAT race?! The good (hopefully), the bad and the ugly (hopefully NOT too much of those) will be shared right here. It should be a fun ride.

Jason said...

Congratulations on the claim!

I'm just a stranger -- and a relatively new racing fan -- who stumbled on your blog last week. I look forward to reading your progress reports and following your story from out here in Santa Anitaland, for both entertainment and educational purposes.

Regards,
Jason

Ted G said...

Thanks, Jason. I have some Southern Cal experience through the PWMNBN (see earlier blog posts). Please feel free to drop me a line (ted@grevelisracing.com) with any thoughts and/or questions you may have. I'm going to be as forthright and honest as I can - I hope that it helps!