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Zipse At The Track

It Could Happen in 2014


It could happen in 2014Ron the Greek, enjoying his new digs in the Middle East, takes to Meydan’s Tapeta surface like me to a well put together Italian Beef. The beautiful, then seven-year-old, never looks better leading up to the world’s richest race, and sure enough, he explodes on the far turn and rolls home a going away winner of the Dubai World Cup. His new connections are over the moon with the victory. His old connections celebrate in the victory, as well. His even older connections take great pride in the international victory, as does United States racing as a whole, who quickly claim a victory for America. Not so fast, says King Abdullah Bin Abdulaziz, who proclaims Ron the Greek’s big win as glorious proof positive of the state of racing in Saudi Arabia. The argument over Ron the Greek grows tension between American and Middle Eastern racing bodies, and eventually a special panel is enlisted to resolve the conflict. In a surprising twist, the nation of Greece is awarded the sole right to claim victory in Dubai.

It could happen in 2014 … I’m invited this spring to appear on the Jim Rome on Showtime program to talk about the upcoming Kentucky Derby. Pretty geeked up for my first television gig, I’m ready to get Down and Derby with Rome, but somehow things go terribly wrong. When I pick against his still undefeated gelding, Shared Belief, Rome’s mood quickly turns. At first, when he starts calling me “Chrissy Evert,” I naturally assume he must be talking about the 1974 Filly Triple Crown winner, but after a few more “Chrissies” are thrown my way, I realize he’s not only disagreeing with my analysis of the Derby, but he’s also questioning my manhood. Tables get turned over, chairs get thrown … it was quite the scene, man. Needless to say, I am requested to never set foot on the Jim Rome on Showtime program again.  

It could happen in 2014 … Wrong about the Derby, Shared Belief holds off Honor Code under the twin spires, to win the roses by a dwindling half-length. In the Preakness, trainer Shug McGaughey promises to stay closer to the California horse early, and sure enough, the pair hooks up on the far turn and battles headlong for the Pimlico finish line. The Preakness photo reveals Shared Belief a short nose in front of Honor Code, setting up a third meeting for the rivals in the Belmont Stakes. And this time, the Triple Crown will be on the line. With the best American rivalry in years unfolding and the possibility of the first Triple Crown winner in 36 years, racing becomes the talk of the sports world. I don’t watch, but apparently Claire Novak knocks ‘em dead on Jim Rome’s show. When Belmont Day finally arrives, pure electricity is in the air as Belmont hosts its largest crowd ever. In the race itself, Shared Belief spurts clear on the turn to open up by three lengths, but Honor Code is running hard on the outside. Just when it gets close inside the sixteenth pole, a solar flare hits and all transmission from Belmont Park is lost. Only those in attendance see the thrilling finish. I bemoan the fact that I missed it to coach pee-wee softball earlier that afternoon.

It could happen in 2014 … Armed with a sincere desire to take our families on an unforgettable vacation, experience a new culture, and witness the best turf race in all the world, Tony Bada Bing and I embark on a journey to France. Before we even arrive to Longchamp for the Arc, though, a small, but volatile international incident happens. Innocently attempting to enjoy an early meal at a Parisian bistro, we instead, and unknowingly enrage a nation. Between Bada Bing mangling the word croissant in a heavy Boston accent, and me repeatedly asking if they have any cheese that is less stinky, a growing horde of French nationalists become increasingly less hospitable. A laugh at the thought of eating a snail from someone at our table becomes the straw that breaks the camel’s back. The Prefecture of Police of Paris is called in, and Bada Bing and I are detained indefinitely. When our plight eventually arrives on the desk of President Obama, his one sentence response becomes a part of American history … “Let them eat snails.”



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Older Comments about It Could Happen in 2014...

LMAO! I never knew that they legalize marijuana in your neck of the woods?! ;) I loved it. Now this makes me really look forward to 2014.
probably the best thing i've ever read! good stuff Brian!!!!!
LOL! I hear the Italian Beef part has some truth to it!
This is too good!!
Maybe your best blog yet
And then... Rome's producer does the Robertson flip flop and you get the co-anchor chair.and then...Ken Ramsey hires you as his spokesguy when he travels the Kitten squad to Melbourne for the Cup and you cause another international racing meltdown when you confuse the Maktoum trainer w Jim Rome. or something like that.
I would stay away from both Rome and Paris if I were you, I think both of these are not only possible, but probable.
Stay away from France, and I agree, give Greece the win in the Cup and the purse money.
  • EP Taylor · Who will run this site, if Tony and Brian cause an international incident in Paris? The UN Security council will convene over the matter, and Buckpasser will have to fly over and represent the two of you, for your outrageous butchery of the word Croissant :) · 1426 days ago
You know the crazy thing is all this could really happen in 2014!
Wouldn't be my first international detention - Mexico '90, no kidding
You have a wild imagination, my friend.......love it!

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Meet Brian Zipse 

Brian has been a passionate fan of horse racing his entire life. Taken to the races at a very young age, he has been lucky enough to see all the greats in person from Secretariat, Forego, and Ruffian through Rachel Alexandra, Zenyatta, and American Pharoah. Before coming to the Nation, Brian displayed his love for the sport through the development of his horse racing website, which quickly became one of the most popular blogs in the game. 

The Editor of Horse Racing Nation from 2010-2017, Brian authored a daily column as Zipse at the Track, or ZATT for short, and added his editorial flare to the overall content of the website. Now a Senior Writer for HRN, Brian continues to contribute his thoughts on racing, as well as co-hosting the popular racing show, HorseCenter. A big supporter of thoroughbred aftercare, he serves as the President of The Exceller Fund.

Brian's work has also been published on several leading industry sites. He has consulted for leading contest site Derby Wars, is both a Hall of Fame and NTRA poll voter, and is a Vox Populi committee member. 

A horse owner and graduate of DePaul University, Brian lives just outside of Louisville with his wife Candice and daughter Kendra.


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