I managed to get hold of some of the letters that figures in the world of harness racing sent to Santa this year. We’ll see if they get what they asked for.
Dear Santa, please shut the yaps of all the people who are determined to make me a running joke. I won the Messenger and earned $327,000 this year; only eleven in my division earned more than that. Wake Up Peter, Doctor Butch and Rockin Amadeus are three who banked less than I did. Make them zip it, Santa.
Dear Santa, please bring us a slots license for Christmas. We’ll be lost without it.
Dear Santa, Please provide me with the speed, intestinal fortitude and good health to crush that stuck up bitch Bee A Magician, the same way I crushed Check Me Out this year. I chased the latter around for two years until I finally caught up with her in the BC. This year I embarrassed her in one start after another. Allow me to snap Bee’s phony winning streak the first time we meet and continue on from there, Santa.
Dear Santa, what is it about me that race track execs and owners don’t like? I’m charming and personable, and I win lots of races. What’s not to like? The Pennsylvania tracks are dark now and Yonkers is falling right in line with that little SOB, Jeff Gural—nobody wants me, Santa. Am I supposed to race for a hundred bucks a start at Monticello? If that’s the case, I might as well go back to California. Please induce the powers that be at Yonkers to love me again, Santa—like they used to.
Dear Santa, please bring a major dose of cold and wind with you when you depart the North Pole. It would suit me just fine to race in 25 degree temperatures all year. On those bitter cold nights I go right to the top and leave the rest of the field scratching for breath. I own the fastest mile ever at M1 in January. How about a year-round cold wave, Santa.
Dear Santa, I need you to pump up my fertility quotient. This is getting embarrassing; they keep bringing me back to the racetrack because I can’t get it done in the shed. A little juice please, Santa.
Dear Santa, I’d like a full season of Brian Sears sitting behind me. Montrell makes some odd decisions and I wind up getting blamed for the results.
Dear Santa, a full four-year-old campaign bereft of drama would be nice.
Dear Santa, please bring me the gift of eloquence this year. Make those words dance off my tongue during post race interviews, to the point where the clowns asking those dumb questions can’t get a word in edgewise.
Dear Santa, please bring me a SON that can trot fast and stay on the track. Enough with the fillies; I need a son, Santa!
Premier Kathleen Wynne
Dear Santa, please get these insufferable harness racing people off my ass. If I get another letter from that blusterous windbag Robert Burgess I’ll scream.
Dear Santa, Richard Hans is a nice guy but let’s face it, he ain’t got a clue. Get me away from this crackpot and out of Maryland, now, Santa.
Dear Santa, I’m sick and tired of doing all the speed work to set the likes of Panther Hanover and Fred And Ginger up for fast marks. Please bring me a dose of stamina so I can finish.
Dear Santa, let’s face it, I’m an oversized, blue-blood trotter that set Takter and friends back $360,000, but I haven’t come close to earning my keep. Please get my trainer out from behind me; I don’t want to wind up like Guccio. Yanick would do just fine, Santa.
Dear Santa, please book me for a few trips to the US next year. I’m bigger than the OSS. I’m so sick of reading over the top quotes from Team Takter about that diva, Shake It Cerry. I’ll crush her if given half a chance.
Dear Santa, please spare me all of these posts, letters and articles from fools who are convinced I’m employing black magic to step my horses up.
Dear Santa, anything you can do to make life miserable for that unbearable SOB Jeff Gural would make my Christmas oh so jolly. Ho! Ho! Ho!
Dear Santa, please book me for a few Grand Circuit drives next year. I’m sick and tired of being a non entity on the NA scene. Yonkers, Yonkers, Yonkers. Even Cory Callahan has passed me on the yearly money list. And that little weasel who wears the same colors as Callahan is starting to get on my nerves. I hope they put his new hip in backwards. Time to expand my horizons, Santa.
Dear Santa, how about a little respect and a permanent home. I’m the top all-age money generator among pacing sires on the planet but they bounce me around like a rubber ball. First my overrated little brother takes my spot in New York, exiling me to the letter writing capital of NA—Ontario. Then I get booted out of there and moved to Pennsylvania. I just want a place I can call my own, Santa.
Dear Santa, you might be expecting a plea for pain free hips, but I’d prefer a good press agent. I’m the top driver in the sport—just won another DOY award—but all I hear about is booting horses. Yeah, my foot might slip out of the stirrup occasionally and brush a hock, but that happens to Yanick, Brian and Dave Miller just as often as it does me, and nothing is said about it. Send me a skilled press agent who can spin these clowns out of my life, Santa.
Dear Santa, please send me a speedy little gelding who can scoot around the track at Delaware, Ohio and doesn’t need to be managed for stallion appeal. I’d win the Jug with him and stick it to all those stuffed shirts in Ohio who think their little country fair race is the end all and be all. And maybe you could wring the neck of that cretin who didn’t vote The Captain tops in his division while you’re at it, Santa.
Dear Santa, please drop a lump of coal in the stocking of everyone who made noise about me being over the hill. I’m the only driver in the top 25 with fewer than a thousand starts, and you have to go a long way down the list to find another. Get these clowns off my back, Santa.
Dear Santa, they welcome Pena in Pennsylvania and the likes of Eckley and Mosher in California, but I’m still persona non grata everywhere, despite all these years of doing penance. Please send me a hearing officer with the gumption to give me a second chance, Santa.
Wake Up Peter
Dear Santa, please get me over to the Burke Barn. My conceited stablemate Captain T keeps calling me a loser. Maybe Burke can turn things around and get me a few wins.
If I Can Dream
Dear Santa, a little company would be nice. Muscle Hill left New Jersey for Pennsylvania and Vintage Master just decided to stay in Ontario. I’m getting lonely, Santa. Please send me a buddy.
Dear Santa, please bring me my first retirement check. I turn 27 next week. Will these people ever be satisfied. I beat Dorunrun Bluegrass and Jake And Elwood in the 1991 BC. Do you think those two jokers are still working in the shed. I need those retirement papers, Santa.