To Live the Horseplayer’s Life

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 | 11 APR, 2013

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Steven Pressfield is an author, perhaps best known for his work The Legend of Bagger Vance that went on to become a movie. In another Pressfield book, The War of Art, he quotes Telamon of Arcadia a mercenary of the fifth century B.C. Telemon said, ”It is one thing to study war, and another to live the warrior’s life.” I have adapted that quote for the horseplayer to read, “It is one thing to study horse racing, and another to live the horseplayer’s life.” Here are twenty signs that you are living the horseplayer’s life.


1. You know more about Rick Pitino’s Kentucky Derby bound horse than you do his basketball team.


2. Breaking news in your world consists not of world events but of post position draws for key races.


3.  You wake up at 5 AM, brush your teeth, grab your morning beverage of choice, and immediately sit down to check for the latest horse racing news.


4.  You would need a calendar to tell you what weekend in May is Memorial Day weekend but you know exactly how many days until live racing returns to Arlington Park.


5.  When people were talking about the Final Four you wondered if they were talking about Orb, Verrazano, Goldencents, and Revolutionary.


6.  You’ve watched Oxbow so many times on race replays you see the Calumet Farm colors in your sleep.


7.  Solid apps like Dropbox, Evernote, and Google Maps aren’t getting used nearly as much as Today’s Racing app from Equibase.


8.  Naming one college basketball player who competed in the Final Four would be difficult, but you could easily name the workout partner of Flashback.


9.  From January to Labor Day you no longer attend Saturday evening church services opting instead for the Sunday 9 AM service when there is no chance of interferring with the post times of the Wood Memorial, Kentucky Derby, or Arlington Million.


10. You couldn’t name one interesting fact about Major League Baseball or the NHL. But you do know recent workouts for Departing and Uncaptured and the races they are pointing towards.


11. Your google calendar has very little information relating to work but is full of the dates of key races.


12. Paid time off is strategically used to handicap and wager on Monday racing at Delaware Park.


13. You haven’t seen a DVD new release or a movie in the theatre for months, but you watch Let It Ride and Jockeys on Netflix instant que on what seems like a weekly basis.


14. Summer plans begin taking shape but you’re careful that nothing interferes with post-times at Arlington Park.


15. While other people bookmark sites like CNN, ESPN, and Google, your bookmark toolbar is full or horse racing sites like equibase, Brisnet, The Bloodhorse, TwinSpires, The Paulick Report, DRF, and more.


16. You didn’t watch the horrific injury to Louisville’s Kevin Ware, but you did rewatch the Louisiana Derby multiple times to analyze Sunbeam’s poor trip.


17. The first thing you do on Sunday morning is download the PPs for Wednesday’s card at Keeneland. You finish watching Keeneland’s Sunday card live and begin immediately handicapping for Wednesday’s races.


18. Network television and cable channels can’t hold your attention, but you’ve pored over race replays of the Risen Star and the Lousiana Derby multiple times.


19. You have no idea who Michigan beat to advance to the Final Four but you know exactly who finished second between Black Onyx and Crop Report in a key race at Gulfstream Park back in February.


20. Nothing excites you more than thinking about Normandy Invasion getting a second crack at Verrazano.