Trainer Eric Guillot’s reaction to his fortunes at Saratoga Saturday serves as the perfect microcosm for horseracing. That day, Mr. Guillot had two horses running: One, Moreno, won the Grade 1 Whitney, taking home $800,000 for his connections, probably 10% of which going to Guillot; the other, Sir William Bruce, died. Of “cardiovascular complications.” At the age of two. This is how The Post-Star recounted Guillot’s afternoon:
“I was so disappointed and crying when I lost my colt in the fifth. He was such a nice colt. I was shook up. I liked that colt. I take my horses very seriously.” Guillot said he had to take some time alone and walk around to clear his mind with the Whitney looming ahead, telling everyone around him: “Just focus on Moreno.”
“I’m still going to mourn his [Sir William] loss tomorrow. I’m all about the horses and fun. The rest of the industry I just go along with it because I’m in it.”
Guillot was back on the track just a couple of hours later exchanging his tears for those of joy as the winning trainer of the Whitney. Guillot’s boisterous personality returned quickly as he saw Moreno make his way out of the final turn with the lead. “Turning for home, he’s in the lead and I’m hollering, ‘Junior, Junior (Jockey Junior Alvarado), do you hear that bell? Somebody just got taken to school,’” Guillot managed to say through his own laughter. “I think it was the rest of the field.”
Moreno’s win made for a moment of redemption not exclusive to Guillot, but shared with his entire staff. “It means so much for my partner and best friend, Mike (Moreno), who always believed in me from day one and still does today,” Guillot said. The two already had plans to celebrate together as they stood in the winner’s circle — or at least Guillot had plans. “It sounds to me like my partner might be buying me a seven-pound steroid lobster at Siro’s tonight. It’s great. How can it not be? It’s the Whitney, right?”
You, Mr. Guillot, are a sham, a hollow, shallow sham, just like your entire industry. You say you care, but your words and actions belie that claim. One of your supposed beloveds, a 2-year-old horse, dies of a heart attack (for which you should be made to answer) and a short time later, you are reveling (“a seven-pound steroid lobster”) in the gold and glory won on the back of another of your assets.
So let’s not pretend we’re something we’re not, Mr. Guillot. You exploit animals in an antiquated gambling game. That’s it. As an aside, the journalism here (and at ESPN, et al.) is sadly bankrupt: This is no tragedy-to-triumph story (“moment of redemption”?), just a tragedy. Here’s wagering $2 that Mr. Guillot is still in full celebration-mode today, the mourning postponed indefinitely.