Jason Beem's Thursday Column for May 25, 2023

May 25th, 2023

A good Thursday to you all! I was watching some results from the Fasig-Tipton sale this week and thought about my one time buying a horse in a sale. So let me share with you the story of the horse Eduardo. One of the cool things I love about our game is that every horse has a story: the great ones, the good ones, and the ones like Eduardo. 

The possibility of Eduardo came about for me a week or two before the annual Washington September sale. I hogged a Pick 4 pool at Emerald for about $7,500 so I had some spending cash. I talked to my uncle and told him we should buy a horse at the sale. My uncle had owned horses at Longacres a decade or so before, but had never owned at Emerald. His one condition was that my trainer friend had at least a 20% share in the horse we bought. His rule was the trainer “had to have some skin in the game.” 

We settled on a max budget of $10,000 (take that, Sol Kumin) and went to the sale. We had our eyes on a few horses and the first horse I bid on proceeded to go for a little more than the $10,000 we were shopping at. But then came Hip 104. My trainer’s dad bred the horse and they kept telling me how good they thought he’d be. Me, being a complete sucker, fell for that hook, line, and sinker. So the bidding started low and at $4,000, I decided to jump in.

Everyone knows, when you’re at a sale, you have to have a signature way that you bid. My move for bidding was to grab both of my ear lobes and tug them down while looking at the spotter. The bid spotter laughed at me as he yelled "$4,000 down front!" Someone else countered at $5,000 to which I quickly went to the ear lobes again for $6,000. The other bidder went quiet, and a few seconds and one pounding of the gavel later, Hip 104 was ours! 

He was broke in Oregon that winter and it was fun hearing updates on how he was doing. One thing I was most excited about was naming the horse. My uncle thought it would be hilarious to have a horse named Ed. So we submitted Ed to the Jockey Club and they swiftly refused the name. I asked my uncle, “Well, what do you want to do?” To which my uncle replied, “Just keep adding D’s until they say yes.” So we proceeded to submit the names Edd, Eddd, and Edddd. They said no to all of them. I suggested Eduardo as an option and the Jockey Club finally acquiesced and said yes. 

Eduardo arrived at Emerald Downs in the spring of his two-year-old year of 2006. I was over at River Downs for my first season of race calling, so I was owning from a distance.

Shortly before his first start, my trainer called to tell me that Eduardo had worked four furlongs in :46.20! Now it’s Emerald Downs, which is a freeway, but that’s fast. The trainer told me, “I don’t want to get your hopes up, but this horse is fast and might be a Gottstein horse,” referring to the end-of-the-season Gottstein Futurity. 

Finally, on July 7, Eduardo made his debut. It was a Friday night and I was watching from River Downs. That blazing workout must have stuck off the page because he was a clear second choice in the maiden $20,000 claiming event. He broke well and sat third just off the leader. He started to inch forward and I was counting my money at the 3/8th pole. Then turning for home, he just stopped. Well, not totally, but he stopped running fast. The trainer told me he thought maybe he flipped his pallet during the race. 

Next start, we dropped him to $12,500 and he did the same thing. Stalked the leader, looked like a winner at the 3/8ths, and spit the bit, eventually running third. We dropped him to $7,500 for start three, and at even money, he ran fifth. Same pattern, pressed the leader, spit the bit. Someone claimed him for the $7,500. My uncle called me pissed off that we lost him, to which I replied getting out with $7,500 was our best result. 

Eduardo did finally break his maiden at Portland Meadows as a three-year-old. He ended up winning three races from 55 starts, including two wins at Portland Meadows and one at some place called the Greenlee Fair. 

My last memory of Eduardo was some random day at Portland Meadows. My uncle was in Portland on business and came out to the track and bet $2 on Eduardo. He watched the race from my booth as Eduardo proceeded to run toward the back of the pack. My uncle pinned the $2 ticket up on my wall, and said “Well, now this horse has gotten me for $10,002.”