The ST Jinx?

- -

“Every time Sean or the Maryland Horse wrote about me, it never worked out well. But it’s nice to have the good horses to write about.” That text came through on my phone at 5:28 Monday evening. It was forwarded from Tim Keefe. I was washing lettuce.

I text, “???????”

He replies, “Forward from your man. Jack Fisher.”


You’ve heard of the Sports Illustrated jinx? Now, there’s the ST jinx. We wrote a nice feel-good story about our old friend Tim Keefe, sending out two decent chances in two graded stakes at Laurel over the weekend. Look, Keefe doesn’t get a lot of chances at graded stakes, it’s a big deal. And sure, he’s a friend our ours, so it’s easy. Call him up, bang it out, at least get something new on our site. The technology age. You need to constantly update your site and you need to find people who will pick up their phone.

We call Keefe. Write the story for our site. Done.

Keefe’s Red’s Round Table entered the Barbara Fritchie, streaking, 8-for-10 in her career. She’s speed. The biggest question is can she carry her speed 7 furlongs. She stumbles out of the gate, to her nose, and it’s over. She finishes last.

One down.

Eighttofasttocatch entered the General George, streaking, five wins in 2011. Breaking from the rail, going 7 furlongs, it’s a little out of his wheelhouse but he’s got a shot in a Grade II. He breaks, slips to last, then gets shuffled like penny in a fountain. He finishes fourth. A painful fourth.

That’s when Fisher texts Keefe to make him feel better.

It wasn’t supposed to end in tears.

Joe took his two home-based boys and my father, drove past Laurel to pick up Ryan from College Park, then backtracked to Laurel for a big afternoon, see Keefe’s Eighttofasttocatch and Graham Motion’s Toby’s Corner. They finish third and fourth behind a Rick Dutrow exacta in the $200,000 stakes. So much for the locals.

A day later, we’ve still got this rose-petal story on the top of our Website, with the positive, sky’s-the-limit headline, “Keefe eyes big prizes at home track.”

All he got was a slap in the mouth.

We feel terrible.

Then we get an email today from another old friend, Jason Cole.

“When you need inspiration after a day of wondering why you’re out here seven days a week, you go and read something written by the Clancy Brothers, for a shot of much needed encouragement in an industry not for the weak hearted.
P.S. Needed to vent thanks for all of the great reads.
– Jason

We’ll take it, at least he didn’t call us a jinx.