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?)
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
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.
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!
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.
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.