Anyone with an eye on the horse racing game has probably watched Zenyatta's 2010 debut in yesterday's Santa Margarita Handicap. I like to store bits and pieces of races in my head for future reference, to perhaps use in some scene somewhere along the line. From a strict racing perspective, I thought Smith's ride was kind of dramatic – did he really have to go inside and weave through horses like that? He said he didn't want to "tax" her; was the wild steering job really easier on her than a straight run on the outside? He never hit her, so I think it's safe to say she would have had enough to go around horses. From a fiction perspective, well, that race was great. The kind of ride Lise would have smacked Pete up the side of the head for. ;-)
"You never should have got caught between those two horses." "What was I supposed to do? Take her down the middle of the racetrack?" "Anything would have been better than getting yourself in that position." "I should have let her set the pace." "Either way, it worked out. You pulled it off."
Zenyatta is now on a 15 for 15 undefeated streak, one away from equaling the record shared by two of racing's greats: Citation and Cigar. For me, I'm having a "life imitates art" momment, because I've written this exact scenario in my novel. Maybe I'm feeling a little robbed, or maybe it serves me right for languishing over this story for so long that it's not out there yet! It's ironic that if it ever is published, readers will no doubt think I've borrowed from events in the last few years – bits here and there – when in fact, the storyline has been in place for (gulp) a couple of decades.
Meanwhile...the ruthless editing continues. I'm at chapter twenty of twenty-five, and down to 170,000 words. If I can get it to 150,000 when all is said and done, I think I'll be doing well, but whether or not that will still scare off agents remains to be seen! Wish me luck...
I consider myself a closet novelist - and this is what I've been hiding in the closet. This blog contains excerpts from the story, musings on Thoroughbred horse racing, and some of my thoughts as I contemplate trying to get published.