Gratitude Redux

It is time again for my annual Thanksgiving holiday blog.  Perhaps it’s a bit cliché to make a list of things to be thankful for but it’s an important exercise nonetheless.  So here goes.  

Here is my list of things in the horse industry for which I am grateful.

Horseplayers. Again this year, you are at the top of my list.  Without you, there would be no financially viable horse racing business.  Please continue to let your passionate voices be heard by every means available to you.  You make the game better.  I know that ours is not always an easy sport to follow but we at the NTRA will continue to strive every day to give you more to be excited about.  And we will continue to fight in Washington to change antiquated tax laws to help you keep a little more of what you earn for your effort.

Owners.  Without your investment in racing, there would be no competitors. With returns harder and harder to come by on track, owners continue to support the game mainly because they love it.

Horses.  Without you, there would be no horse racing, period.  You are not simply the “product.”  You are literally the life blood of racing.  You are some of the last athletes on the planet who run purely for the thrill of the effort.  And we love you for it.  As an industry, we owe it to you to make your safety our highest priority.

Rapid Redux.  Last but certainly not least, special thanks go to Robert Cole and his 5-year-old horse, Rapid Redux.  On Monday, Rapid Redux recorded his 20th straight victory.  With that win, Cole’s horse eclipsed the modern-day North American record of 19 consecutive wins held by Zenyatta and Peppers Pride.  Also, Rapid Redux has won all 18 of his 2011 races, one short of the seasonal record held by Citation. Here’s to Robert Cole and to Rapid Redux. Winning 20 in a row is difficult for any horse.  Rapid Redux may not be a stakes horse and perhaps his connections are not high profile, but their success underscores an important point - that just about anyone can claim a horse for a modest price and enjoy priceless moments and thrills.  For that, I am truly thankful.

That’s my list.  What’s on yours?  Let me hear from you.

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