Home > Running Down a Dream > Chapter 15 - Winning Issues

Running Down a Dream
Bob Carson takes new owners from sales ring to turnout
written by Bob Carson

Chapter 15 - Winning Issues
'I Hear You Knocking'
By Dave Edmunds, 1970

Photo Source: Wikipedia

June, 12, 2010


Mariko appears to be a very good filly. Winning a stakes race under two-minutes is a big accomplishment for a 2-year-old trotter, a very big accomplishment. We are very fortunate. A race like this also brings a unique set of problems. Believe me, these are good problems.

First, our expectations go wild. Owners can’t help it; we always think this is just the beginning, we never grasp that the thrilling race we just watched may be the top of the roller coaster ride. Psychologically, we keep telling ourselves to “calm down, calm down,” but dreaming big dreams is just so much fun.

Second, the phone may ring with proposals to buy Mariko. Horsemen are a very smart group, they do not miss much. Trainers are always on the lookout for promising young horses to suggest to wealthy owners. When you have shallow pockets, it’s hard not to consider these proposals.

Tomorrow can be a long way away in horse racing. We have a perfect example close at hand. Once upon a time, almost twenty years ago, Jim owned a very promising, young stakes trotter. He was offered a hundred thousand dollars for the horse. He said no. Injuries came to the trotter. The buyers did not come back. The horse faded quickly.

You might wonder why owners would consider paying relatively big money for a horse with only one win under her belt. Think about this. At the yearling sales, a select group of people buy five or six yearling for a hundred thousand dollars each hoping to get a competitive horse. Those huge purchase prices are not guarantees of good racehorses. Many of those big ticket babies will never race competitively. Therefore, paying a similar amount (or less) for a horse that you know CAN win and is a lot closer to glory can seem like a great bargain.

So think about this, if you owned Mariko. A wealthy owner calls tomorrow and asks, “Would you take, oh….seventy five thousand for Mariko Hanover?” What would you say?

Either answer has consequences… sweet agony.

Thinking about jumping into horse ownership?

E-mail owners@ustrotting.com and we will get you more information to get started in the racing game. Click here to share this story with a friend.

Editor's Note: The views contained in this column are that of the author alone, and do not necessarily represent the opinions or views of the United States Trotting Association.

Bob Carson
Hoof Beats Magazine About the Author
Bob Carson's award-winning freelance writing has appeared in more than two dozen national publications. He is a steady contributor to Trot Magazine, The United States Trotting Association and Timeline Magazine. After more than 200 magazine articles and stories, his first novel, The Voyage of Mess (humor) was released in 2009. In 2005 he produced the documentary film, Touching Home (Minor League Baseball). In 2006 he received the Hervey Award for Journalistic Excellence and Best of Ohio Fiction awards. He has published Minor Trips (Minor League Baseball) since 1991. Bob Carson has owned harness horses for more than a decade, including a stint as a weekend trainer. He lives in Strongsville, Ohio, with his wife, Sue, and daughter, Katie.
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