DeRosa put up a piece today on the Zayat boys watching Bodemeister in the Derby. He concludes that they'd trade the $400k for a win, and I wholeheartedly agree. Watching them watch the race was infectious.
And I think everyone who has ever had a horse in a race - no matter what class of horse - can relate to it.
It brought me back many years ago now, when a friend who had never owned a horse before jumped aboard with me. He had been a huge fan and bettor since he was a kid and never once owned a horse. I went to a sale in Ontario without him (he lives on the east coast), and we split the cost of two colts.
One of them raced a couple of times soonafter and was pretty bad. I don't know what was wrong with him, but boy he was a bad buy. He had a couple of weeks off, and we slid him into a race at the ultra-bottom, a conditioned 5 claimer. It turns out this race coincided with a trip that Vern was making from out east. He drove out to the farm, spent a couple of days with the horses - doing what owners get to do, which makes the game so much fun - and it was race time.
I was home in Toronto and I called him on his cell. He was pumped. We were a longshot, but you'd never have known it. He was super-stoked to see his first live race as an owner.
A funny thing happened. The horse won. He paid $32.
I immediately dialed his phone number. He's no kid, and he's been educated all over the world for engineering. He's a professional fella. But you wouldn't have known it when he picked up the line.
He was absolutely pumped. He told me that when the horse was coming down the lane he was running down the tarmac, jumping around, screaming like a child. He said there were two elderly ladies beside him, and he was sure he scared them half to death.
I thought of that today. I don't know how anyone in racing does not get excited when you win a race, whether it a 5 claimer or a stakes event. Since that time Vern and I as owners have won some more races (lost a lot too), and at each one, the reaction is very similar.
A lot of us will never know what it's like to win a Derby. But I bet dollars to donuts we can all relate to it.
Fast forward to 4:00 to see the Zayat's watching Bode.
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