My fellow horse racing fans, I have a dream, where all the
wonderful people in the Hoosier state enjoy the Sport of Kings. I have a dream
where the world’s greatest sport isn’t judged by perception, but, by the
quality of the equine stars and the amazing people that make this sport so
I know to some of you this statement might sound silly, but,
Indiana racing has so much to offer the wonderful people in this state. Indianapolis is currently brimming with
excitement, as thousands of people invade this city for the Super Bowl. Celebrities and stars are coming to the
Circle City to enjoy the atmosphere and everything the Super Bowl and the city
of Indianapolis has to offer.
I was invited to have a few drinks at one of Indy’s finest “hot
spots” St. Elmo’s Steak house. This invitation was from my dear friend and
Indiana Horse Racing owner Jack McGinley. Jack and I ventured into this sea of money and
celebrity. To my surprise, we ran into Espn horse racing analyst and football
analyst Randy Moss. Randy and I had a
brief conversation. I introduced myself
and explained how I was a fan of his and how I write this blog for Horse Racing
Nation. I got to thinking, here we are on the verge of the Super Bowl, yes, I
said the Super Bowl, one of the biggest events in the world, and what do Randy
and I talk about? The Sport of Kings of course. We discussed Derby hopefuls
Hansen and Algorithms. He told me how
now a days it’s impossible to figure out the Derby field before March or
April. Of course the “Super Colt” Rachel
Alexandra’s foal was mentioned.
After my conversation with Randy, Jack and I were sitting at
a table by the door and to our surprise in walks Eli Manning and Brandon
Jacobs, followed by the rest of the Super Bowl contending New York Giants. Eli
seemed quite personable, smiling to the patrons, signing a few autographs. The whole Giants team had an upbeat spirit,
they seemed quite friendly. I was sitting there a little star struck, I got to
thinking. My favorite moment of this night was the conversation I had with
Where am I going with this? Well, you see. In my 26 years of
living in this city, I’ve never seen such excitement. The J.W. Marriot has
the Lombardi Trophy gleaming on the exterior. The Westin Hotel is decked out
in the Super Bowl Roman Numerals. The
Hampton Inn has been turned into the Budweiser hotel, where everything in the
hotel is Budweiser uniformed. This city
is going all out for the biggest game in sports.
I love the NFL. I love most sports, but, there is no other
sport more exciting to me than the Sport of Kings. I’m sitting there on Monument Circle (a
fixture in down town Indianapolis,) on the circle they had the Super Bowl Roman
Numerals lit up with a light show, the sound track was sounds of the NFL, (great
plays over the past few seasons.) My mind was running at this time about the
most exciting races over the past few years.
The 2010 Breeders’ Cup was running through my mind, Trevor Denmon’s
desperate call of “ Here comes Zenyatta, Zenyatta, Blame, Zenyatta flying late,
Blame won it a head. The 2009 Preakness ran through my mind, The
Filly Did it! Then, every Breeders’ Cup
race from the past few years ran through my mind, from Goldikova to Uncle Mo,
from Big Drama to Zenyatta’s triumph in 2009.
I started thinking about all the wonderful races in Indiana
in 2011. Jardim conquering the likes of
Thiskyhasnolimit, and Country Flavor in the Golden Bear Stakes at Indiana Downs. Of course, there was Wilburn’s
jaw dropping performance in the Indiana Derby at Hoosier Park, in which he
dusted the Preakness winner Shackleford and eventual Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile
winner Caleb’s Posse. Who could forget
the great Indiana Bred “hope," Mack The Slew’s eye popping Maiden win and
stakes victory at Hoosier Park.
All these wonderful moments lead to this dream of mine.
My hopes and prayers are centered solely towards the
development and improvement in Indiana racing. The improvement of the way the
sport, and both Indiana tracks are marketed in Indiana, and the way the sport
is viewed in this state.
Indianapolis has it all. I hope one day that Indiana Downs
will see the same vision I have. I could see Indiana being a perfect setting
for the Breeders’ Cup. Yes, there will need to be extreme renovations to
Indiana Downs to support such an event. But, downtown Indianapolis has one
great attribute working for it, the people. Indianapolis is known for the
wonderful volunteers, “Hoosier hospitality” as it’s named. We’ve now successfully hosted several NCAA
Basketball Final Four’s, the World Basketball Championships, the Olympic
trials, the NBA Finals, and now the Super Bowl. It only seems fitting this
state known for “racing” should host the greatest racing sporting even there
is, The Breeders’ Cup.
I know this dream is far away from being possible at this
moment, but, all it takes is some Hoosiers in this sport to have a dream, a
dream like mine. Let’s market Indiana
Racing, let’s pack Indiana Downs and Hoosier Park, let’s show the racing world
we can support such an event as the Breeders’ Cup and let’s build on the
success this sport has had in Indiana over the past few years.
This is my dream, do you believe? I do.