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 hate writing. I'd rather do laundry or go clothes shopping or even parlay the dentist into the proctologist. You think I'm kidding. Writing to me implies severe responsibility; writing means you cannot be hackneyed or ungrammatical. Sentences should be informative, profound, funny and, if possible, revelatory. Write what you know, they say. I know I hate writing. The dread of nonproduction ruins my sleep and narrows my already hermetic existence. Graphs, charts, Photoshop - those're fun. Writing...the best writing is the writing due right now: no extended death struggle. Red Smith said, "There's nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at a typewriter and open a vein."
So, honestly, I'm not a writer. Writers write. I write in earnest only a few times a year. I admire real writers, busy writers. This blog is written by Claiborne Farm's assistant trainer, I Stall.
Having said this, I have maintained my dignity by trying to eschew (gesundheit) the brilliant words of others to make a point. Famous quotes and sayings are constants in the status updates on Facebook. This really ticks me off - where's the work, the creativity? I mean, why should I wrack my mind for days or weeks when in no time I could just cop, for example, this admonition on funding from Benjamin Franklin. "He that goes a borrowing goes a sorrowing and, before too long, 12-step-progrommaring." Ben's face is on the hundy but he still should've used a "who" instead of "that."
Guess what. I've made a decision. I've decided to quit writing. For my health. I rarely write as it is, yet I need to stop even that. I am back to only hardcore isolated shack-in-woods-style handicapping, and all the effort that might've gone into the enervating process of writing has been funneled into the cybertreasure called Formulator. (Even remote forests have wi-fi.) Already, just by deciding to quit writing, my complexion has cleared. There is no shame in borrowing the thoughts of those whose brains outrun yours in a hammerlocked gallop. Others have already done the dirty work, the writing, either by lyric, sentence, stanza, dialogue, proverb, or just by the spoken word during an interview. It wasn't so hard, using their unapproachable wisdom for my own. And their quotes are so famous, as you'll see, that there's no need for attribution.
It's time you try and match the golden words of some of our greatest thinkers to my projected order of finish for the 136th running of the Preakness Stakes. Answers are below.