You know who’ll be No. 1 in his gallop poll
I bought a yearling. A $160,000 quarter horse, and don’t be alarmed -- I had to ask, too -- for that price, I’m told it really is a full horse.
Obviously I don’t know much about these things, or for that matter breeding, but I know it’s important when it comes to picking a sire, as I tried telling my daughter before she got married to the Bagger.
I know the winning stock she came from, but I only knew of the old nag in the Bagger’s background, and you can imagine everyone’s concern in the family now while waiting for the 7-11 Kid to start talking.
I thought it best to get some help to pick a baby horse, and so when they conducted the big yearling sale at Los Alamitos, I gave the track’s owner, Ed Allred, the chance to buy a piece of my horse in exchange for some advice.
Ed insisted on buying 99% of my horse, paying for all expenses and also donating the first $50,000 the horse wins to the Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA. You can see what a tough negotiator he is. I demanded that he be a silent partner.
Ed shook his head up and down, and we had a deal.
FOR TWO days they paraded hundreds and hundreds of horses in front of a bunch of rich people at Los Alamitos, which explains why I wasn’t there.
Ed took my place and, thinking he had to remain silent, didn’t open his mouth as the bidding moved to $150,000. I’m not sure I would have been able to speak either if asked to bid $150,000 on an animal that has never run a step.
Later we would learn that Hall of Fame owner/breeder Spencer Childers, who almost never bids more than $30,000, had made the $150,000 bid because of his interest in developing a new breeding line.
“The fact that Spencer is 94, and will probably be 100 before one of these horses is ready to pay off in the breeding shed, is pretty optimistic,” said one admiring owner. “I don’t even buy green bananas.”
We got the horse at $160,000, though, because Ed coughed, and then the gavel fell -- much to the dismay of a group of five bidders, who had been talking nearby while deciding if they should go to $200,000.
The group offered Ed an immediate profit of $20,000 if he agreed to sell my horse, but since he’s a silent partner, he couldn’t get back to them with an answer.
So I now own 1% of a horse, and I guess in a way you could say Ed is co-owner. And the children’s hospital has the chance to bag $50,000 -- if, ironically, the youngster stays healthy and grows up to run fast.
I’m told my horse comes from Corona Cartel, the second-best sire in the business of what sires do. I also remember someone telling me the daughter married a major league baseball prospect, and as soon as he handed the 7-11 Kid a pumpkin, she dropped it.
I’m also told, though, that if you combined the winnings of my horse’s mommy and daddy, it’d be more than $800,000, so the only way the kids at the hospital don’t get $50,000 is if Ed really blew it when he picked my horse.
THE FIRST order of business was to name my horse, and knowing the first horse Ed owned was called “Beowawe,” it was left to me. So if the folks who keep track of this quarter horse stuff agree, it’ll be called “Kiddy Up,” to give the youngsters at Mattel’s something to yell when our little guy starts running.
Right now he’s in Arizona learning how to wear a saddle. I know after listening to the daughter get on the back of the Bagger for staying out until two in the morning drinking with the guys Saturday night, he’s already undergone such training.
IN A couple of months Kiddy Up will move to Ed’s farm upstate or our backyard in Placentia. Then I’ll pick a trainer, maybe sitting down with Jeff Mullins over a milkshake or two to go through a list of names.
Kiddy Up won’t start racing until May or June, and by that time Ed will probably have spent another $18,000 on his daily care. When you consider Ed already owns more than 500 horses and also bought another yearling for $485,000, what’s a few more carrots for my guy?
If Kiddy Up is really good, which means also competing against Ed’s bonus baby, then he’ll attempt to qualify for the $1-million Ed Burke at Los Alamitos next June, followed by the $1-million Golden State and the $2-million Los Alamitos. Win all three of those races, and he gets a $1-million bonus.
And then we start talking about building a hospital.
IT’S BEEN years, maybe a lifetime, since Aniceforo Hernandez, or Chon, or John or Juan -- as he is known to different friends at the Mini Gourmet Restaurant in Yorba Linda -- scored a goal in his weekly soccer game. He scored Sunday, though, because he was sick and obviously the goalie didn’t want to catch anything.
AS FOR Karl Dorrell and whether UCLA opted to finally surrender to Oregon on Saturday, he said his plan called for the Bruins to remain aggressive to the very end. I believed him after listening to his explanation, and worry now I’m the one who is surrendering.
CHECKS CONTINUE to arrive from those who would like to keep Santa Claus, a.k.a. Tom Lasorda, passing out toys at the Dec. 12 Mattel Children’s Hospital at UCLA Christmas Party. Robert (Larry) and Monika Norton, James and Elizabeth Peoples, John Britt and Edward Lomax are the most recent donors, with Lomax enclosing a note for Page 2 with his check: “Can Jeff Kent play Santa, too?”
We don’t want to scare the children, although he would make a great elf.