This blog was supposed to be about the Horse of the Year award. I was gearing up all weekend to start the Horse of the Year talk this week. I was planning on doing the Horse of the Year, then next week Champion Three Year Old and so on to Jockey of the Year. But that changed with the news of Uncle Mo retiring. I know, we have read it on all the sites and everyone has an opinion (as we always do) but this is not about Uncle Mo or those so-called money-hungry bastards that own these horses. I will not talk about the corrupt trainers and the mass conspiracy to keep sick horses racing when they should be retired. Instead I thought I would opine about us…the fan.
We are a unique bunch and our sport of choice allows us to have more understanding than a normal fan of any other sport. We do not know, as fans, which pitcher should be put into a game to pitch against a certain team. We do not know if kicking a field goal would be the best decision in the game. But horseplayers…we know. It is our duty to know. After all, that is what it is all about. We have tools that allow us to “choose” the best race for the horse. A part of handicapping is knowing if the jockey fits the horse, if the horse fits the track and if the competition is fair. We are not just fans, we are educated fans. We don’t just watch the race and root, we study the performances, we watch tapes of previous races, and we stay informed.
This may be a bit misleading, and the fact that we are educated fans may be the reason we all feel like we know better. Yep, we know better! Todd Pletcher had no business…any business putting a sick Uncle Mo in that Classic race. We would have never done that! We would have first opted to put him in the Mile and if he was sick, we would have known and we would have scratched him! Todd Pletcher…HA…who does he think he is to know more than us. Pletcher is nothing more than the man that spends every day with Uncle Mo. He is a leading trainer at all of the New York tracks, a multiple eclipse winner and future hall of fame trainer. But surely, from my couch I am able to see things better than he!!
I sit at home and watch him work, I watch as Pletcher and Repole do all this work when all they really need to do is to call me! I have all the answers. See, my job is easy, I sit on the couch after all the training is done and the horse is healthy, cleaned, fed and ready to race and I say if the horse should race or not. I am so good at this job I don’t ever have to go to the actual track to do it. I can do it from the comfort of my own home. I can see through the screen that a horse is sick, that he should be scratched because of illness. I don’t need a vet or any blood samples…I just know these things. I do this same thing from the backseat of the car while other people are driving. I am the only one that knows when to turn, where to turn, who to cut off in traffic. I think this is what makes me such a great jockey as well. I know had I been riding Life at Ten instead of that jockey Johnny V, she would have won that classic last year. I know that if I had been riding Union Rags this year, he would have beat out Hansen and won the juvenile. Javier Castellano has nothing on me. What has he done compared to me??? I am the best back seat driver, sofa quarterback and day after handicapper in the world.
So, in regards to these heartless, know nothing, money hungry bastards known as Team Repole…we could have done your jobs better than you!!! Maybe next time they will call us. Ok…I may be over doing the sarcasm but sometimes, I just can't help myself.