It is 3:30 in the morning. I do not want to wake up. But I have no choice. Lookin’ For Peter is waiting. She’s a beautiful 3 year old Filly and I have been galloping her for months, getting ready for the first big race.
We are at a small track in Boise, Idaho. I own a small town newspaper not far away. The paper is just about bust now. The town is drying up, little advertising money and, well, everybody is looking at the new internet. In fact, the big drug store owner in town doesn’t like my politics and is pulling his $1,000 full page ad, which will do me in.
So I took a few hard earned bucks and purchased two race horses, El Raza and Peter. Raza was tough, once almost bit off my ear.
Peter was born to run and I got lucky.
To horse people, Fillies and Mares can be a bit unpredictable, one day a friend, the next day watch out or you may get kicked! Raza was the typical female with her moods but Peter more like a stallion, you knew what you were getting every day.
The pair cost me about $5,500 and I figured if the newspaper is going under might as well try something else. My X tried to get them but she already had taken enough from me so her lawyer probably said, let him have the horses.
However, this story is not about divorce it is about a big race coming up.
When I got tired of sitting behind a type writer, I’d always be on a horse and I trained my fair share over the years. Now, I guess I’ll ride the Pony Horses (race track lingo for the horses who accompany the race horses to the starting gate).
I digress. Back to the story.
I am in the barn now at 4:30. This time of morning is very, very nice, all the assholes of the world are sleeping. Nice morning, like I said, and wanted to blow Peter out (horse lingo) see what she’s got four days before her first race.
Didn’t want anybody to see what she could do that’s why I got up so early. The race we are headed for was a Maiden race for non winners coming up Saturday. The purse was small but you make your money betting at these small tracks.
I will remember that gallop till the day I die. She was in step with the rising sun, the wind and the setting moon. I was along for the ride and what a ride. I remember saying what a girl, long strides, good balance, probably better than dancing with Marilyn Monroe.
Race day Peter came in second, lost by a nose coming on so, so strong and another furlong and she would have won going away. It was a short race, five and half furlongs. And I am so glad she didn’t win because two weeks later she was in a 7 and a half furlong race going off at 22-1.
She won by 25 lengths, Peter crossed the finish line and the others were just rounding the clubhouse turn.
I put, as did the jockey, a substantial sum at the betting window and had a nice weekend. Peter went on to win her next seven races at low odds but bought me a 5 acre place in Eagle Idaho.
Maybe time to look for another winner.
Editor’s Note: Greg has many more horse stories to come, including how he met the original jockey of Secretariat, Ronny Roland, who lost his job to Ronny Turcott, for loving the bottle more than the horse.