A Day At The Races

by Ed Meyer

posted on September 30, 2010 in General Discussion | No Comments >>

The races… A place where fortunes have been won and lost, and most people gather to look for one, while the other may happen.

A man who trained a small barn in Kentucky toiled every moment it seems. He never complains, and keeps a very nice shed row on his 10 acre spread. He is a proud man, a man who is a third generation horseman. He was very upset at the subdivision of $400,000 houses that were going up across the road. He was quietly upset, as it would possibly spook his horses. They wouldn’t get proper rest, and he feared they wouldn’t be happy horses. He never once cared that he didn’t like it. It was his stock that mattered.

The first three homes went up without a peep. They were the wine-drinking folks that looked across the way at the man in the field. They kinda liked it… It reminded them of a movie or something…. This was until one day a man was jogging past his farm. Every morning at 6 a.m., and he had on the finery of the day, he looked as if he stepped out of a catalog. Until that rainy Saturday, when the trainer was taking two horses to the track to race, the man stopped and watched, and introduced himself.

The trainer greeted him kindly, and explained what was going to happen on this day. The jogging yuppie-fella liked it so much, that he said he was going to go to the track and watch his horses. He would bring the kids, and who knows, they might get a kick out of this.

An hour before post, and the man shows up. The trainer was in the grandstand talking on a cell to his groom, who would be bringing up his runner. The neighbor got excited, and was even invited in the paddock while he saddled and the kids could see it up close. They loved the sights and smells, and the flashy silks in the owner’s colors… With a few minutes to post, they all gathered on the apron to watch. Well, just like a movie, the horse won by three lengths going away…. The kids cheered, and the dad was enamored. He was so taken, that he stayed to watch the other big horse run, and win as well…

The man across the street came jogging the next day. But this time he had on scrubby clothes. He wanted to get closer to see what was going on… He liked the game so much, that he wanted to claim a runner. Hell, they were neighbors and it would make him look friendly. The one horse grew into a stable of 15 runners. The trainer still lives on the land, but he also has a new home due in part to their success. In the most unlikely of places, at the oddest of times, two men met and a partnership was formed. They race in flashy green and white silks, and do quite well… They have come a long way since that day in the rain, and have been friends ever since.

I just read the other day that the trainer had passed away. I ran into his partner and friend, and asked him who would be handling his horses. He just smiled, and said he was getting out. They would all be sold. There was no place in the game anymore without his friend. It was his operations, and going on would be an insult. He said it would be like trying to rekindle the Beatles without John, or how long did it take the Yankees to forget about the Babe? The fact is, he was in it for reasons other than money, and two men made a happenstance into a strong relationship. They will be missed, and when I see any green and white silks, I will remember the days of two men, who in a field became the most unlikely of friends.