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Breeders Cup 2015
Kentucky Derby 2017

HRN Original Blog:
The Weekly Tout

Breeders' Cup-A Growling Good Time

Mucho Macho Man wins the Breeders' Cup Classic
Photo: Don August



I blew out of work an hour early so I could go home and get set up. I had my new gizmo phone logged into Twitter, I have ten followers. (I know it’s pathetic, join me on Twitter at @WeeklyTout.) I logged onto my on-line wagering account and was ready to rock. I had FaceBook (search for Johnnie Carrier) all ready for me to boast and brag about all my winnings. And I did because I hit with a place showing of Blueskiesandrainbows and hit a nice one with Outstripped in the Marathon and the Juvie. Turf. And the rest of the night was right out of central casting looking for a lovable loser. “I’m really starting to think that I should save my money for liquor, because I’m not the next Nicky Arnstein,” I twittered.  (Is that the past tense of tweet?)


I was cruising along like a virtual Johnnie 2.0 and enjoying the races when my wife, Dawn came home from work and was not speaking to me. Verrazano lost; I asked her what’s wrong. My Conquestadory solidified my nickname as ‘Fourth Place Johnnie’, still no answer from the old stone wall. I had 35 minutes before Princess of Sylmar raced in the Distaff and I was determined to get to the bottom of this.


She finally opened up as NBC’S Tom Hammond talked about his first Breeders' Cup. “You growled at me last night.” I was dumbfounded. I had no idea what she was talking about. “I was trying to turn down the heater in the bedroom.” And I asked her, “What she was doing,” when she told me, I allegedly growled at her. I growled at her?! Bob Neumeier was making his pitch for Royal Delta and I was roaring with laughter because I must have been sleeping when all of this went down, I didn’t remember a thing. Laughing wasn’t a good life choice by the way, no matter what Neumeier said.  


How can I tweet that I growled at my wife. I can tell you because we’re close but a tweet? That seems a little too personal.  It really didn’t matter because they were at the gate and I was going to make up my losses with this race. They broke from the gate and the Princess broke very poorly, she was last. So far last that early on I knew she wasn’t going to do it this day. I wanted to growl as a joke but by the look on her face, I knew it wasn’t the time. I didn’t have a dime on Beholder and I had to apologize? This first day of the Breeders' Cup was a tough one. But I’ll recoup-she can never stay mad at me.



It was a little less dramatic, but that was fine with me. My son, the recent college graduate, has been home with us until his job at Killington, Vt. ski resort begins mid-November. We watched the races and knew from the replay that Johnny V wasn’t coming back to race the rest of day. Yet the ladies and gents on NBCSN kept trying to build drama as if the Big V was Lazarus. That man was hurt. Something else was hurting and that was my wallet. It’s not that I’m a bad horseplayer, there are so many great horses in each race and anything can happen in the land of horses racing. And I was living proof of that.


Being a student of philosophy and having a BA in the field, my son Dave can overwhelm me at times. It was the same frustration I felt when the so called stewards of Santa Anita pulled She’s a Tiger down for a slight bump coming down the home stretch. I was yelling all the way and I had me a winner until the track reversed the order of finish. And that was the start of the day.


Then my son started. “Ya know Dad, you’re just like Epicurus.” And that was the last thing I understood because he went on and on about my self indulgence and my excess’s in my life and how sometimes they lead to disappointment and frustration. I had to interrupt him because I wanted to explain that it was a horse race and that I thought I won. AND YES, THAT LEADS TO PAIN AND FRUSTRATION!


And that’s how it was for the rest of the day until the Classic. I had a nice size bet across the board on Will Take Charge. And again, I was caught up in the moment, and I still think that Will Take Charge won that race by less than a head bob. Again victory was taken from me.


The racing was exciting, but it’s not the same as being there. Breeders' Cup? Yeah, I’ll make it someday, but I only hope I don’t have to growl to get there. 



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Older Comments about Breeders' Cup-A Growling Good Time...

Even if you only cashed two tickets, then that's 1 more than I did all BC Saturday. Now I know why BC and the Triple Crown series are held 6 months apart... so fans can have time to replenish their funds to feed the ponies.Derby is just 6 months away! Save up!
Cashed two trifectas and a big double bet and still did not make money...the BC is super tough?
If you are lucky, you only have one marriage ... there is always another Breeders' Cup.

Meet Johnnie Carrier


With 10 years of writing a humor column for his home town paper under his belt, Johnnie Carrier has decided to try something different. He is a graduate of the Ringling Brothers and Barnum and Bailey’s Clown College Class of 1977 and traveled the West with Circus Vargas in 1979.

 In the 80’s, Carrier lived in New York City and Boston, but he settled down however in the smallest city in Massachusetts late in the decade and married Dawn Luskin in ’88. David was born in 1991 and has been blessed with his father’s sense of humor, but luckily his mother’s good looks.

 Racing has been more than a casual interest having lived so close to Saratoga. He started going to the track at a very young age with his parents and has tried to instill that passion into his son by taking him at the same age. In 2003, Carrier started to write as a freelance writer with the North Adams Transcript and can be followed there at the paper’s website.  


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