1/9/07 10:05 pm
I'm a CTTA groom. a cover the trainer's ass groom. I've tried to quit a few times, in fact a few times over the past three years. and successfully a couple of times. But I always get dragged back in. Now it's a most racetracky reason. I mentioned Sweet Littledarian quite a while back, and how he was a most promising 2 year old. He did ok his first start, and then I was away for a while, so didn't know what was going on with him. It turned out he had pharyngitis, for whatever reason, and it was causing him to flip his soft palate. I read a paper recently on chronic sub-clinical pharyngitis being able to cause this, and Teri and I talked about it. She treated him with x-stem, which has been around a while, and he came back bouncing. Julian, trainer/groom in absentia, was doing very well with him, and told me he was going to run well two days ago. Teri needed help that day, and I showed up. Julian was well wasted before Darian ran, and I told him I'd go to the test barn for him if he needed me to, and it turned out that way. Darian ran a huge race, getting headed while racing three wide all the way, and bulling his way to the front. He won by less than two lengths, but that was deceiving, he could have won by many. His gallop out was the most impressive, none of them got by him and he was a steenth of a mile out when they all pulled up. We had to wait almost 5 minutes for him to show up when we were all in the winner's circle. He's a serious horse, especially by PM standards. He paid 42 bucks to win, 24 to place, and Julian had 50 across on him. That was when it all turned bad. We had a horse in the sixth, Darian was in the fourth, so I had to depend on Julian to get back and do the other horse, and he managed that, but I was worried. Darian took a long time to pee, he was a shy boy. (By the way, blinkers sometimes help a nervous or shy horse to pee, if you don't already know that). So I was late back to the barn, and Julian was more wasted, and had half inch roll of hundreds. Recipe for disaster. I tried to get him to give me half, so he wouldn't lose it, and he almost did, but not quite. Had to buy a senorita, you know. (He said that, not me). I finished up at the barn, and thought about going to the frontside, but knowing I had to be at the barn in the morning and the way Teri was going to be partying I decided against it. Bad mistake. I could have prevented the ensueing mayhem, at least I think I had a chance. Not being there, this is second hand telling, but verified by Many People. Fucking Teri, being Teri, was getting drunk, and when Julian showed up, started buying him shots of tequila. She has no sense at all. Julian is a mean drunk. She leg-wrestled him and beat him. Now I have no idea, really, what leg-wrestling is, but I thing it has something to do with lying down on the floor and entangling legs with the intent of flipping the other ass over teakettle. At least that's the way it was described to me. I'm sure this pissed Julian off greatly, though he remembers nothing of it. Mind you this is all going on in the confines of the frontside of the track, with racing officials and stewards still on the premises, though racing was over. The jocks started coming out, and apparently Julian got in a fight with a couple of them, and Teri and crew started realizing they had a problem. They tried to get him out to the truck, with the help of a couple of jocks. Teri's son Ben said he tossed him in the truck twice, but he fought his way out, punched a jock that was helping, and got punched himself. Then the General Manager of the track, with security, was out there, and Julian pulled a knife and threatened to kill him. Well, Julian couldn't have killed a fly with his fist at that moment, so no one was really worried for their safety, and they didn't even call the police, though that's not the story I got from Teri that night when she told me he was locked up and I needed to take care of 17 head in the morning. She had as bad a blackout as Julian. Called me up 20 minutes later to tell me the same thing. I got there very early, thinking the whole thing would be on me, and we had two to run. Julian was there! And had all the stalls done by six in the morning. He's really an incredible guy and indefatigable worker, but he's a worthless nasty drunk as well. Teri spent a lot of time with the stewards trying to get him a pass, but of course it didn't work. I'm surprised they didn't sanction her. Before they escorted him off the grounds I gave him a ride home, and asked him if he wanted to see his six year old son grow up. He said he did. I'm sure I'll never see him again, unless it's in the news. He's headed for Nebraska. Watch out.