Below is the result of a wonderful conversation between In Over My Head, Danny and myself.
February 27, 2014
In Over My Head (“Mo”): Is this thing on? (looking at the recorder and laughing)
Shawn: How long have you planned on saying that?
Mo: Ever since you guys said you were going to come down and interview me.
Danny: You seem to be in a good mood today.
Mo: Everyday my friend. I won a qualifier yesterday into the teeth of the Polar Vortex. How many horses can say that?
Danny: Not too many!
Mo: In Over My Head: 1. Polar Vortex: 0.
Shawn: That is a pretty impressive feat. Let’s get down to business. The first question is a rather obvious one: What are your goals for this year?
Mo: I know last year we all talked about setting a goal based on the number of starts, not necessarily the number of wins. We had talked about double digit starts, and we knocked that goal out of the park. I think I had about a dozen starts.
Danny: You had 14
Mo: Thanks Danny. Anyway, I’m thinking about really setting the bar high this year. I’m gunning for 20 starts.
Shawn: Wow, that’s a big number!
Mo: Sure is, it will give you guys lots of opportunities to come and watch me race. I know Danny will be there, right?
Danny: If you race 20 times, I bet I’ll be there for at least 15 of them.
Mo: That’s dedication right there. Do you plan on making a race this year (looking at me)?
Shawn: Atlanta is about 750 miles from Balmoral you know. I’d love to be there, but it’s tough.
Mo: Air travel, maybe? I can hop on Kayak.com…try and find you a reasonable flight…
Shawn: I promise you that I’ll make it to a race or two this year. If it makes you feel any better, I usually talk to Danny until he gets to the Illinois/ Wisconsin boarder after each race.
Mo: Really? What the heck do you guys talk about for that whole time?
Danny: If you did well, we just talk about how great you are. If you did poorly, we find a way to justify it and then end up talking about how great you are.
Mo: I need to get on THAT call! Sounds like fun!
Shawn: It’s a labor of love sometimes. Particularly when you make a break going into the first turn and get beat by 50. You had us worried sick in your last start last year.
Mo: I got run into!
Danny: We’re just saying that sometimes the conversations are really a lot of work. That was one of them. It’s even harder when I’m not at the track to get the report on the ground.
Mo: I see. Well, I appreciate the support. It’s always good to know people are watching.
Shawn: Speaking of people watching and paying attention to you we wanted to ask you about your Twitter account. You’ve mentioned in the past that it is something you have a lot of fun with.
Mo: I don’t have any sort of hard data in front of me, but I’m guessing I am the only Chicago based, non-stakes, overnight horse to have a Twitter page in the history of the entire platform. And I have like 100 followers! How cool is that? I mean, A Rocknroll Dance gets to talk about big races and entertaining all these high class mares. Arch Madness is traveling the world. I’m grinding away in the freezing cold going for $10,000 in a place that is really down on its luck and people still want to know what I have to say. It’s really pretty incredible.
Shawn: Assuming that the Chicago circuit can get their issues resolved, we all think that it’s the best spot for you. Having that said, is there a part of you that still get the itch to battle horses out east?
Mo: I get pinged by Tyler (Butenschoen) all the time. He thinks I should make the trip out, but he understands I have a good situation here too. I think he just misses me. To answer your question, yeah, I still get that competitive edge going sometimes that makes me want to head out. I’d love to race at the new Meadowlands. It would be beyond sweet, but I can also admit that those days may have already passed me by. I’m not sad about it. Heck, I’m just happy to be racing at age eight. I have plenty of competition to deal with here. The funny thing is that the longer you go from your last injury, the less you think about it. The reality is that the going out there is tough and I’m not sure if I could would up or not.
Danny: You’re in great shape and 8 isn’t really that old. You’ve had injuries, but you only have 62 lifetime starts. How about this scenario: Chicago gets things worked out and you race there all year. If they find a fix for next year, you stay here until you are done racing at 10. If not, you can make a run out east at age 9.
Mo: Um, do you have some sort of contract to sign so I can lock that scenario down? I think you just nailed the perfect option. Three more seasons of racing? That would be like winning the lottery. If that happened I’d be as happy as a pig in mud.
Shawn: How happy is that exactly?
Mo: Ahhh…I guess I’ve never actually seen a pig in mud. I’m guessing they are pretty happy though. Assuming the mud isn’t half frozen. It’s probably been a pretty sad winter for the local pigs.
Shawn: Agreed. You mentioned local competition. Who is the toughest you will see this season?
Mo: Well one is right there (nodding over toward Fort Silky). That dude is tough, but he knows I’m way faster (looking for a reaction from Silky who appears to be sleeping). We get along great to be honest. There is a great group of horses in this barn. Another tough hombre is obviously Al’s Hammered. I’ve out-paced him in the past, but that didn’t happen last year. That guy flew by like he hit the nitrous button on his souped up Honda Civic.
Danny: Was that a Fast and Furious reference?
Mo: It was! Did you guys hear that Paul Walker died? Very sad. I liked him the best. Anyway, I need to be sharper to beat Drunken Al, but I think I’ll pull it off this year.
Shawn: Drunken Al?
Mo: Not bad, huh?
Shawn: Nice work bud. OK, is there anything else you’d like to say before you kick off this season?
Mo: Yeah, I wanted to congratulate Marcus and Sara Miller on getting married. I wanted to thank them for the wedding invite and am sorry I couldn’t make it. I did send a gift.Danny: What did you send them?
Mo: A couple horse shoes and some hay cubes. My options were pretty limited around the stall.
Shawn: I’m sure they will appreciate them. It’s the thought that counts.
Well, there you have it. Our interview with In Over My Head. Look for him to start racing as soon as a contract is signed in Illinois. We are looking forward to another fun season.
Let’s Go Mo!