I remember listening to a podcast (It think it was the TED Radio Hour) and they were interviewing Mike Row. Mike became pretty well known for his time hosting “Dirty Jobs” and he was talking about how virtually every one of the people he worked with on that show were happy. They may not have loved their dirty job each and every day, but were generally happy. When the host asked Mike what he thought the key to happiness was, his answer made me think (and laugh):
Set low expectations
If only I could apply that to the world of horse racing and horse ownership.
This was a big weekend for our little stable and a huge weekend if you take into account American Pharoah’s run for the Triple Crown.
Here were my expectations for the weekend:
American Pharoah – Win
Mo – Win
Don’t Tell Wayne – Struggle
Here is what actually happened:
American Pharoah – Win! What an awesome thing to watch! It made me misty eyed…so cool.
Mo – Fifth. Hugely disappointed…more on that later
Don’t Tell Wayne – Second! Big pick me up to end the weekend.
For Mo, my expectations were out of line. This isn’t’ the first time it’s happened…I’ve written about it before, but it can have an enormous impact on the aftermath of the race. If you stop and think about my expectation for Mo, it was to win under the following conditions: He was off 22 days after scratching sick the week before, this was only his 3rd start of the season, he had yet to race this year on the big mile track at Balmoral, he didn’t have his normal driver (although Kyle Wilfong has driven him in the past), he was coming off an minor injury and he was stepping up against a better bunch of horses.
Why the hell did I think he was going to win?
You know why? Because it’s Mo and that’s what he does. But even the best lose once in awhile (the Cleveland Lebron’s dropped the first game of the NBA Finals). I need to remember that. As I type this out, he is entered for this Saturday, which takes some sting off. I’m ready to see him race again and as much as I will try to set my expectations in the right place, I won’t be able to do it. The good news is that he has a lifetime win percentage of about 35%. If I was wrong last time, odds are I’ll be right this time.