Secretariat

Merry Christmas Horse Racing

Santa Claus has already gotten his COVID-19 vaccine, so he’ll be on his way once again on Christmas Eve. In his bag this year are some special presents for all his friends in horse racing. He made his list and checked it twice and thanks to our special connections at the North Pole, here is that list. ~ Steve Haskin

Merry Christmas Horse Racing

By Steve Haskin

 

  • Bob Baffert  — An office sign that reads: “Gimme the Success Without the Stress.”
  • Spendthrift Farm — A year’s supply of bubble wrap for Into Mischief.
  • Tiz the Law — A finish photo of the 2003 Kentucky Derby signed by Funny Cide, which reads: “These old shoes are still hard to fill; good luck in 2021.”
  • Gamine — A stall sign that reads: “Please Wash Hands Thoroughly Before Entering.”
  • Gary and Mary West — A check from Saudi Arabia.
  • Sol Kumin – Four bookkeepers, three accountants, two public relations agents, and a partridge in a pear tree.
  • Maxfield — A special elixir that removes or prevents warts, sores, fractures, sore feet, fever, mucus, infections, runny noses, and anything else that might prevent him from getting through the year with no setbacks.
  • All U.S. stallions standing in South Korea — A one-way ticket back home.
  • Steve Asmussen — An advanced GPS system to locate and track all his horses.
  • Maximum Security — Win photos of the Kentucky Derby and Saudi Cup with the title of the Gershwins’ big hit, “They Can’t Take That Away From Me.”
  • Swiss Skydiver — Copies of the top 20 current bestsellers to read on the plane all year.
  • NBC — A defective aerial camera (Please Santa, have Prancer and Blitzen stomp on it).
  • All those who passed on buying a micro-share in Authentic – A CD of the Katy Perry song “The One That Got Away.”
  • MyRacehorse.com — A CD of the Deborah Cox song “Where Do We Go From Here?”
  • To the anti-racing groups – An autographed photo of their two favorite “A Christmas Story” characters they can relate to, Scut Farkus and Grover Dill. And a message from everyone in horse racing: “Oh, fuuuudge.”
  • Secretariat — A 50th birthday he never got.
  • Santa Anita stewards – A photo of the finish of the 2018 Santa Anita Derby signed by Justify with the words: “Whew! Thank you.”
  • Enable — A recording of “La Marseillaise” and a DVD of the film “The Last Time I Saw Paris” to keep her from getting bored on the first Sunday in October.
  • Seth Klarman — A glossary of Wall Street terms in case he runs out of “catchy” names for his horses. Still waiting for him to name a horse Alternative Investment Market.
  • Kaneko Makoto Holdings Co. — To the owner of the history making group 1 winner Sodashi, a recording of “White Christmas.”
  • Zenyatta — An anonymous letter explaining why her fans never come to visit her.
  • Chad Brown — A print of the famous painting of General Burgoyne surrendering at the Battle of Saratoga.
  • Monomoy Girl — A stall sign that reads: “Miss you, Dad.”
  • Oaklawn Park — A thank you letter from trainers and owners all over the country for being the first racetrack other than Churchill Downs to be the center of the racing universe on the first Saturday in May.
  • Whitmore — A DVD of the movie “The Magnificent Seven.”
  • Mike Repole and Vinnie Viola — To racing’s newest New York Italian connection a $500 gift certificate to Bamonte’s restaurant in Brooklyn and a bottle of Vino Rosso compliments of the house (Anthony Bonomo of course is invited).
  • Christophe Clement — A DVD of the movie “Splendor in the Grass”
  • Spendthrift Farm, MyRacehorse Stable, Madaket Stables, and Starlight Racing — A welcome letter from the Guinness Book of World Records for averaging $1.7 million per start in 2020. So they earned approximately $50,000 a furlong. And that is an authentic figure.
  • WinStar Farm — An additional stallion barn and free lifetime membership to The China Horse Club.
  • Elliott Walden — A DVD of the movie “It’s a Wonderful Life.”
  • Racetracks all over the country — Finally and most important of all, a large sign to be put up at all front entrances at some point next year that reads “O Come All Ye Faithful.”

Ho Ho Ho. Merry Christmas!”

 

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23 Responses to “Merry Christmas Horse Racing”

  1. perimeister says:

    I’m late to the party. My list would also include:
    Juddmonte — A database and clerk to track its Gr.1 wins.
    Mr. K. Abdullah — a spiritual son.

  2. Matthew Wohlken says:

    Steve I thought you might get a kick out of this—sort of a “Happy New Year” story….on Jan 1 a first time starter named Catemaco ran, he’s a big guy, and was making his debut on his 4th “birthday”….breeder/trainer Kristin Mulhall came home and found him lying on the ground gasping for air and foaming thru the nose—and she performed an emergency trachiotomy on him, sewing it all up with dental floss—this was age four months—on Friday the 1st he went 1:09 FLAT—the only thing faster around here is a guy named Charlatan, or a gal named Gamine—Catemaco was named after a Mexican horse who was some kind of freaky-fast animal, which is fitting for such an unusual story.

  3. Jiffy says:

    Happy New Year, Steve! I love your list, which inspired me to add a few more:

    All the tracks–Traditional schedules for important races carved in stone so they can’t be changed. come hell or high water.

    The Belmont Stakes–The three furlongs that were stolen last year.

    Churchill Downs–A crystal ball that will enable them to see the ramifications of the questionable decisions that they make.

    NBC–Derby commentators who will not mention politics.

    Santa–All the Derby horses who were ready in May but not in September. They would produce the fastest sleigh ride ever.

    Tiz the Law–All the cheers from fellow Saratogians that he didn’t get when he won the Travers in front of empty stands.

    John Phillips and Walker Hancock–Special stocking stuffers to honor them for keeping their family farms going when so many haven’t.

    Rachel Alexandra–Just a pat on the head because she already has it all–a Horse of the Year title and an owner who truly cares about her well-being.

  4. Paula N Higgins says:

    JUST saw this! OMG I am laughing my head off over some of these!! Very funny and very true
    in many cases. Very creative. The one for Zenyatta made me LOL

  5. Amy Hurley says:

    Good list. Hope Santa delivered them all. I particularly liked the “present” for Seth Klarman. Some of those names are so appallingly boring that it makes it hard to root for the horse, let alone remember who the horse is.

  6. Coldfacts says:

    “Spendthrift Farm — A year’s supply of bubble wrap for Into Mischief.”

    Mares Bred –

    2010 – 44
    2011 – 54
    2012 – 50
    2013 – 210
    2014 – 203
    2015 – 210
    2016 – 218 – Authentic, Gemine
    2017 – 235 – Life Is Good, Dayoutoftheoffice, Mutassabeq
    2018 – 245 – Pending
    2019 – 241 – Pending

    In the last 7 years Into Mischief bred 1500+ mares. With more opportunities, a decent stallion is likely sire a few top class progenies. The celebration of Into Mischief should be accompanied by details of the overwhelming support he has received from breeders in the last 7 years.

    With a pending cap of 140 mares bred in a season. Many more stallion will get more opportunities and a few new stars should emerge.

  7. Profsdottir says:

    Thank you for another enjoyable column, Steve! I knew I could not be the only one with that reaction to Klaravich names. Not really a hedge fund term, but I’ve been waiting to see “Loss Leader.” Seems like a great name for a racehorse, even if not a name for a great racehorse.

    Hope you are having a chance to relax with your family, and very best wishes for a happy, healthy 2021.

  8. Coldfacts says:

    “Spendthrift Farm — A year’s supply of bubble wrap for Into Mischief.”

    Mares Bred –

    2010 – 44
    2011 – 54
    2012 – 50
    2013 – 210
    2014 – 203
    2015 – 210
    2016 – 218 – Authentic, Gemine
    2017 – 235 – Life Is Good, Dayoutoftheoffice, Mutassabeq
    2018 – 245 – Pending
    2019 – 241 – Pending

    In the last 7 years Into Mischief bred 1500+ mares. With more opportunities, there deent stallion is likely sire a few top class progenies. The celebration of Into Mischief should be accompanied by details of the overwhelming support he has received from breeders in the last 7 years.

    With a pending cap of 140 mares bred in a season. Many more stallion will get more opportunities and a few new stars should emerge.

  9. Coldfacts says:

    Not a fan of Christmas. I was always of the opinion you had career in Stand up.

  10. Davids says:

    How about replacing tune/lyrics of “Santa Claus is Coming To Town with “USADA is Coming To Town.”

    “You better watch out
    You better not cry
    Better not pout
    I’m telling you why
    USADA is coming to town

    USADA is making a list
    And checking it twice;
    Gonna find out Who’s naughty and nice
    USAD is coming to town etc

    Ho ho ho

  11. Mary Ellen says:

    Thanks, Steve, for brightening up a rather gloomy Christmas morning (rain washed away a foot of snow overnight, and knocked out the power for hours). The racing world did an incredible job of hanging in during 2020. Looking forward to a brighter 2021 (and hey, who do you like for the Derby?! LOL.

  12. Derek Manthey says:

    That was very enjoyable. Thank You Merry Christmas, Love the Burgoyne bit

  13. Tammie Carver says:

    Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!

  14. Mike Sekulic says:

    Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and Happy New Year Steve! Thank you for all the wonderful stories you have written!

  15. Kara says:

    Very merry funny, Steve!! And a welcome Christmas gift for all our imaginations! I second your gift of choice for NBC !!!! Please, since when do we have bird-vision!