"Is That Music for Me to Get Off?"

It was excruciating watching Perry Martin accept California Chrome’s Horse of the Year award Saturday night, and I want to apologize for my part in this debacle.

I should have never answered the phone last Thursday afternoon, but I did and when Mr. Martin asked me for some help with his acceptance speech, I was flattered.

My first suggestion was to play it straight when California Chrome got his inevitable Older Horse of the Year statuette, to be humble and be sure to thank each and every person involved.

I further suggested that if Chrome should win Horse of the Year, a more comedic approach should be taken and set upon helping him in that area.

What do they say about best intentions?

I then asked Perry what he would be wearing, and when he told me about the tux with the gold vest I suggested we play off the wardrobe. Because of his dry sense of humor, we came up with the idea of doing a bit about the “desiccant.”

That went over big.

I also thought it would be fun to take a little jab at the Beyer numbers, since Andy was going to be there to accept his Award of Merit.

Crickets.

Ripping into the press has been particularly topical, so at the time it seemed like a good idea to take a shot at the turf writers and also do a little give and take between a reporter and Perry.

That pretty much bombed, although I still think it was funny when we came up with the idea having the reporter ask how it felt to lose the Breeder’s Cup Classic and Perry responded, “Which one?”

Mr. Martin was insistent on telling the Yuba City story with the film crew coming out to interview the “chicken-owning” neighbor, and I thought a tie-in to when they do that with mass murderers would work big time.

It went over like a lead balloon, but by then Perry had lost the crowd anyway and the band was warming up for its get-off-the-stage march.

Seeing as Mr. Martin did not throw me under the bus, it would have been easy for me to keep quiet about this ghostwriting that went so very wrong, but after Frank Taylor put out his apologetic statement on Monday I would have felt like a hypocrite not coming forward with my mea culpa.

As for California Chrome, he has kept quiet during all this and will do his talking on Saturday. It goes to prove that old adage about you can’t pick your parents and you can’t pick (some of) your owners.

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ratzkym@yahoo.com @TashmanMortyS