Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem July 10, 2023

July 10th, 2023

A good Monday morning to you all! Exciting week as Saratoga and Colonial Downs get underway on Thursday, and Del Mar is right around the corner. Hope the summer meets go well for everyone.

I spent Saturday relaxing in bed and watching races as I recovered from a small medical procedure. It was a pretty non-stop day of action, starting with Horseshoe Indianapolis before noon and concluding with Prairie Meadows as I was falling asleep. To be fair, I think Horseshoe Indianapolis was maybe still going when I was ready to go to sleep. Long day there!

One of the highlights of the big day I thought was the Iowa Oaks (G3) victory by Crypto Mo and Cindy Murphy. I’ve known Cindy Murphy as a name in the program, as is how I know many jockeys and trainers in our game. With simulcasting, we’re allowed to watch and wager on pretty much every track at the click of a button. When I was a kid at Longacres, I knew what every jockey and trainer looked like, if they were good or bad, who their best horses were, etc. But watching so many tracks now, the names of the participants really do sometimes just become names in a program.

So when I watched Crypto Mo win the Iowa Oaks, I wasn’t thinking too much about it. When track announcer Bobby Neuman mentioned “Cindy Murphy has a milestone on her mind,” my attention perked up. Bobby then proclaimed that Murphy not only won the first race ever at Prairie Meadows back in the late 1980s, but that this was her 2,000th career victory. OK, cool, great for her. But it just seemed like as more and more information about the race and Cindy kept coming up online, the cooler the story of her 2,000 wins got.

The Iowa Oaks was her first graded stakes win of her career. She’d had some really strong years in the late 1990s and early 2000s, so I was a little bit surprised by that. Anyone winning their first graded race is always such a cool moment that they’ll remember for the rest of their life. The fact that hers came at such a late stage in her career and at a track that’s been so much a part of her success, I have to imagine it was very special to her.

Murphy said after the race she’s planning on retiring from the saddle after this Prairie Meadows season. Her career, like many riders, has been cut off many times by injuries, including an injury last year while riding this very same horse that just brought her a signature win. Winning 2,000 races as a rider is a tremendous achievement, and I hope that she’s able to finish out the meet safely and maybe add a few dozen more victories to the ledger.

I’ve often said one of the best parts of doing my podcast is getting to put personalities and stories with the names. There are hundreds of names in every program at every track, every day. It’s so easy for them all to be just that. But getting to hear about Cindy’s career and all the things she’s accomplished and achieved in our game truly made me want to learn more about her. Finding out all the injuries and the difficult parts of her road makes the story all the more human and all the less just a name in the program.

Everyone, have a great week!