54 Reasons
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54 Reasons Why I Lost

Many years ago while I was in the office of Chick Lang at Pimlico during Preakness week.  In the office was a list of 54 Reasons why I lost the race.  I was at Pimlico on another occasion with Mary Eppler and she had the same thing in her barn so I made a copy. I later gave a copy of this list to Prince Salman of the Thoroughbred Corporation at his request after a conversation that he and I had about why horses lose races.  I decided to share this with the world so here are the reasons why we lost the race.

"IíVE HEARD EXCUSES"

1. THE WEIGHT WAS TOO MUCH.

2. HE HAD A BAD POST.

3. HEíLL DO BETTER NEXT TIME. HE NEEDED THE RACE.

4. THE EARLY PACE WAS TOO MUCH.

5. THE CROWD SCARED HIM.

6. HE JUMPED OVER A HOLE IN THE TRACK.

7. HE GOT PINCHED BACK AT THE TURN.

8. THE JOCKEY DID NOT RATE HIM.

9. HE WAS TOO CLOSE TO THE EARLY PACE.

10. HE LOST TOO MUCH GROUND ON THE OUTSIDE.

11. HE WAS KNOCKED OFF STRIDE COMING OUT OF THE GATE.

12. THE JOCKEY MOVED TOO SOON.

13. THE JOCKEY MOVED TOO LATE.

14. HE WAS NERVOUS.

15. HE DIDNíT LIKE THE TRACK.

16. HE WAS CLIMBING, NOT RUNNING.

17. IT WAS TOO DEEP ON THE RAIL.

18. HE WAS GIVING AWAY TOO MANY POUNDS.

19. IT WASNíT HIS DISTANCE.

20. HE WAS TRYING TO BEAR OUT ALL THE WAY.

21. HE WAS TRYING TO GET IN ALL THE WAY.

22. HE WAS BLOCKED IN THE STRETCH.

23. THE TRACK WAS TOO DEEP.

24. ANOTHER HORSE CLIPPED HIS HEELS.

25. HE AINíT THE SAME HORSE HE WAS EARLIER.

26. HE WAS RUINED BY THE HARD TRACK HE CAME FROM.

27. HE JUST DIDNíT RUN HIS RACE.

28. THE TURNS ARE TOO SHARP.

29. HE SHOULD HAVE GONE TO THE LEAD.

30. HE SPIT OUT THE BIT.

31. THE SADDLE SLIPPED.

32. HE LOST A SHOE.

33. IT WAS THE FIRST TIME HEíS BEEN AROUND TWO TURNS.

34. THE JOCKEY LOST HIS IRONS.

35. HE WASNíT WEARING HIS MUD CAULKS.

36. THE JOCKEY HIT HIM LEFT HANDED.

37. THE JOCKEY SHOULDNíT HAVE HIT HIM.

38. HE NEEDED A STRONGER HAND RIDE.

39. HIS SIRE WAS ONLY A SPRINTER.

40. HIS SIRE COULD ONLY WIN AT A MILE AND A HALF.

41. THE JOCKEY HAD TO TAKE HIM UP.

42. THE JOCKEY ALMOST FELL OFF.

43. THE JOCKEY DID NOT FIT HIM.

44. HE LEFT HIS RACE ON THE TRAINING TRACK.

45. HE NEEDS A REST.

46. HE WAS FRACTIOUS AT THE GATE.

47. HE NEEDS HIS RACES CLOSER TOGETHER.

48. THE ASSISTANT STARTER HELD HIS TAIL.

49. THE JOCKEY WAS ASLEEP WHEN THE GATE OPENED.

50. HE WALKED OUT OF THE GATE.

51. HE STEPPED IN A HOLE.

52. HE NEEDS BLINKERS.

53. HE RUNS BETTER WITHOUT BLINKERS.

54. HE JUST DIDNíT RUN HIS RACE TODAY.

I sent out an Email to many people who like thoroughbred horseracing to see if they could add more excuses.  Here are some of the responses.

Suzanne added:

He had no shadowroll / He had a shadowroll for the first time
He couldn't see well with the cloud cover
He was preoccupied
His mind wasn't on the race
The jockey wasn't good enough for him
He was off his feed