Met a gentleman from New York on St. Patty’s Day, sitting at a picnic bench in Sarasota, Florida, enjoying a bagpipe band. If it’s ever possible to enjoy bagpipes. Although, Bonn Scott, former, now dead lead singer for AC/DC played a mean set of pipes on It’s A Long Way To The Top If You Want To Rock And Roll. I digress, much too early in the blog. I expected to digress much later.
This man and his wife were visiting Florida, and had actually been looking for an Irish festival of some sort, a good reason to have a beer before one p.m. We started talking and he told me, although he was a doctor by trade, he’d had a book written about him. I asked what his claim to fame was, and he told me he and five former high school friends had each put up five thousand dollars and bought a racehorse back in 1999. A risky investment, but the price was right.
“We would never have made the purchase price,” he told me, “if the horse hadn’t been a gelding.”
So life happens and all of a sudden this horse, with little credentials, is in the 2003 Kentucky Derby.
“I wasn’t going. The cost, the hassle, and we’re not picked for anything. Least likely to succeed, maybe.”
This optician, John Constance, finally was convinced that he needed to see the end result of their effort. His buddies encouraged him to show up, if for nothing more than a good laugh. So he did.
“One of the greatest days of my life,” he remembers. “Funny Cide pulls off the biggest upset ever and to this day holds the tenth fastest time in Derby history.”
The horse, still living in Derby Park, is the highest grossing winner of any New York bred horse. $3,204,485.00. Not bad, but divided six ways, and after you pay that little guy to ride him, after trainers and handlers, it doesn’t come out to a fortune.
“People come up to us all the time and ask us what we did with all that money when we sold him. We have to set them straight. You don’t make money on selling a gelding. If he hadn’t been fixed, we’d have made a ton of money.”
It has nothing to do with murder mysteries, or literature in general, but it’s still a great life rule. If you want to make a lot of money, don’t let them cut you off!
(The Killer Nashville Guest Blog series is coordinated by KN Executive Director Beth Terrell (http://www.elizabethterrell.com/). To be a part of this series, contact Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org.)