Home > Running Down a Dream > Chapter 18 - A Disappointing Finish

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

Chapter 18 - A Disappointing Finish
'Don't Go Breaking My Heart'
By Elton John & Kiki Dee

Photo Source: Wikipedia

September 30, 2011


Horse racing is a series of peaks and valleys. In a lot of respects, the unpredictability is the part of the charm (for some of us). Mariko’s race today was a valley. Jim and I were already putting the money in our thinly stretched bank accounts. The “Keystone Classic” division we drew into only had six horses. We had high hopes of beating them all. We did not beat any of them.

Mariko had the outside post (6). The driver (a very good driver named Brett Miller) eased her to the back of the pack. Mariko was a good ten lengths back by the first turn, and that was where she stayed. It turned out to be a very boring (and frustrating) race. The horses basically stayed where they were and circled the the mile. It was sure fun to watch Mariko win in Chester; this race, however, was not great viewing.

Keystone Classic - Mariko

Here is an interesting side note. When Mariko Hanover began her early training, Marty and the staff remarked that Mariko was basically a clone of our other horse, Whisk Hanover. Whisk has been terrific – if she gets in the mix of a race, when she drops back, she does not like to chase horses. Some horses race well when they save their energy and make a furious rush towards the end but others don’t do this as well. Mariko seems to have this trait (but it’s still early).

In the three races Mariko has done well, she started well. In the three races she has not done well, she started at the back. This may just be coincidence. It also might be maturity. It’s frustrating to know your horse can race faster but for some reason it is not in the cards that particular day.

Hey, for five minutes we were glum, and then we look back at Mariko’s season and smile. She did great! Now Mariko is off to Marvin Raber’s beautiful farm deep in Amish country for several months of resting and growing. She will return around February to start training for her three-year-old season.

Next up is another race for Fantail. We are still iffy on this pacing filly. We think she has shown enough and has a strong pedigree so we will probably retain her as a three-year-old, but we sure would like a few more signs we are making a wise decision. We will know soon.


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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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