For nearly four decades Ernie Munick has been giving his heart and mind to thoroughbred racing. He is a writer, a vlogger , a musician, but most devotedly a handicapper and horseplayer. He can be seen twice a week on the NYRA Network's RACEDAY, and his videos for the Breeders' Cup can be found by clicking here.
I debated whether to show you this. I run the risk of coming off kooky and self-indulgent. But neither is new to me, kookiness or self-indulgence. It can't be coincidental that that my longest relationship was with a girl named Mimi. Every day I found myself saying, "Mimi, I...Mimi, I." Me me I.
It's lucky I checked my junk folder this morning. Hidden among the usual Smith Micros, Cheap Tickets and #1 Dating Sites was the press release. It's my favorite kind of racetrack press release, the quotes: just the comments from the connections of the stakes winner and often from the second- and third-place finishers, and sometimes even from the also-rans. This press release comes before the track recap of the race is even written (always extremely well written by NYRA, I might add), allowing outside media to shape the surrounding exposition as they like. Even in my teens, when I bought three or four dailies a day, I scanned for quotes first, then went back to enjoy my favorite newspaper writers. The quotes are the flavor.
What's weird is that the quotes are always sent to my inbox, but the ones from this morning - another red flag; who gets post-race quotes in the morning? - I salvaged from the scrapheap. This could be an elaborate prank - yet when I questioned a few of the parties involved, I just got these eerie vacant smiles, no recognition. The eyes weren't there.
Look, I think the horse is too slow. He'd have to get at least five or ten lengths faster. Even Da' Tara ($79) and Sarava ($142.50) packed bigger figs before they entered the Stakes.
But I do love Jose Espinoza.
His winning percentage is misleading. He doesn't ride that many logical horses and even fewer public choices. I find him eminently reliable. He rarely gets in trouble. For years now, he's delivered atomic prices on Belmont's turf courses. Jose, the Other Espinoza, the NYRA journeyman, the Stealth Bomber, winning the Belmont Stakes - that would blow up the cool meter. But all this seems way way woo woo to me. See for yourself.