Sunday, October 11, 2009

Time to Wind It Up - Then Reload

September's bills are coming in and as they do it leads to the official wind down of the Fizzy Pop claiming group. Some of us will roll over our money into the next group and some are cashing out. When we first started this venture two years ago we were in a very different economic world. As the years have gone by the economy has gone south, layoffs have become commonplace, horse sales - by any measure - have tanked, purses or racing dates have been cut and the list goes on an on. I can't fault anyone for bailing out and cashing out a few thousand dollars if they can.

It makes me sad, not just the folks that leave my group but anyone that, though circumstances, can't get involved or stay involved in a pastime that they love. As I mentioned on the radio show the other night, ours is one sporting event you can go to and become an active participant if you choose. You may love baseball, but you can't sit in the stands and at the end of the game say, "Gee it was fun to be here, I think I'll buy my own team!" However after a day at the races you can say that very thing. And you don't need to buy your own team solo. Folks like myself and many others offer up the opportunity to band together with several people to bring down the cost of owning your own franchise. It is one of the things that racing can offer to it's fan base that no other sport can.

Just because we're winding down the Fizzy Pop group does not mean that we are going away, though. Those of us that are staying in are looking for others to join up with and start this ride all over again. You really can't help it. It ends up getting into your blood and becomes part of who you are. There really is no greater thrill in sports than to see one of your very own cross the finish line ahead of the field. The blur of activity as you make your way to the winner's circle is a moment that you just want to keep on reliving!

My trainer, Bernell Rhone, woke me yesterday morning (he had no idea I was on the West Coast for the weekend) with a mid-level Kentucky bred 2-year old filly that was being shopped. She had just broken her maiden at Turfway and shipped to Remington when her owners fell into some financial difficulty and need to sell her. She'd be a nice one to cultivate for a winter/summer run at Tampa and Canterbury. She's tops on the list right now, but I am being approached by folks all the time that have nice prospects or current racers for sale and I'm listening. You never know when the right one is staring you in the face.

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