The Twitter banter between horses, jockeys, trainers, and owners in 2011 promises, to put as lyrically as possible, to rock. Especially interesting will be the venom between horses. Anything can happen and the @replies start now:
Zenyatta19-1: How my Eclipse Awards taste @RachelAlexandra?
RachelAlexandra: @Zenyatta19-1, Nag.
UncleMoMoney: @Zenyatta19-1, What you doin’ in Jan. 2012?
Zenyatta19-1: @UncleMoMoney, Win the Derby ... THEN we’ll talk.
BoysatTosconova: @UncleMoMoney, @Zenyatta19-,1 @RachelAlexandra, What about me?
Zenyatta19-1: @BoysatTosconova, Perhaps if you were named MenatTosconova.
Blame: @Zenyatta19-1, tell me, how does that ‘1’ feel, baby? Sorry to crash your party #kickedyourbutt.
Zenyatta19-1: @Blame, If I had your trip I would’ve won. My jockey choked! They should add that to his Hall of Fame plaque #kickedyourbutt.
LifeatTen: WTF???!!! Have they resolved this ordeal yet? What has Ray Paulick written about me today?
RachelAlexandra: @LifeatTen, something about you once being named Unreadable. Girl, you got dissed! Thaz cold, sistah!
LifeatTen: Hey, @RachelAlexandra, where were you in the Beldame?
RachelAlexandra: @LifeatTen, where were you in the Personal Ensign?
LifeatTen: @RachelAlexandra, where were YOU in the Personal Ensign?
Then, of course, the jockeys. What could they possibly say to one another?
JavierCastellano: Hi everybody! Como estan?
CalvinBorel: @JavierCastellano I’ll #%$&^*# kill you!!!!!!!!
BC2010_Marathon: This never would have happened if I weren’t a race. I hate myself!
BCClassic: @Marathon, Here, here!
I’m not sure what to think of 2011. On the surface there’s absolutely nothing to look forward to. The main beef with this 2011 — and it’s only eight days old — has everything to do with takeout.
Takeout needs to be on the conscience of everyone. When Santa Anita president George Haines tells Daily Racing Form that, “Maybe the top point-one percent of the handicapping world has that in their equation — what the takeout is — but for the most part, people are looking at handicapping winners.”
People need to know about this, everyone from the $2 bettor to the “point-on percenters.” Otherwise positive change for the engine that drives the sport will always play understudy to indifference.
I get that the ones in the one percentile, those who make a living playing the races, really give a damn about takeout, but isn’t this a slight to all horse players when takeout figures creep up even it is by one or two percentage points?
There are libraries books to read about playing the races, of which I have read few. I’d encourage anyone to read “Exotic Betting” by Steven Crist. There’s a well-done chapter on takeout within its covers that taught me a lot about and how the horse player gets jobbed by the business.
Let’s give horse players a holiday this year: Takeout Free Day to make some cash and raise awareness to this ever-growing ignored elephant in the room. Who will step up? What say you?!
To be swallowed by this sport is to own it and more people should learn its nuances so that when Santa Anita bumps takeout it’s not merely skimmed over for the next video of Zenyatta dancing.
Zenyatta19-1: I can dance if I want to! ... Cuz ur friends dont dance and if they dont dance well theyre no friends of mine!
MenWithHats: RT @Zenyatta19-1, I can dance if I want to! ... Cuz ur friends dont dance and if they dont dance well theyre no friends of mine!
Brendan O'Meara is the author of the forthcoming book "Six Weeks in Saratoga: How Three-Year-Old Filly Rachel Alexandra Beat the Boys and Became Horse of the Year. You can learn more at The Blog Itself, follow @BrendanOMeara, or go to his web site http://www.brendanomeara.com.