My name is Tonight at Eleven. Well that is my official registered racing name, but they just call me 11. I am a thoroughbred race horse. My father is Thunder Gulch, a famous race horse who won over 2.9 million dollars. Well I will never be that good, but I am my owner’s favorite. I really have three owners but the one who loves me the most is Dorothy.
I know that I am Dorothy’s favorite because when she visits the barn she always comes to my stall first and she always has a treat for me.
This story really started when I was three-years old and running in a claiming race at Turf Paradise. Dorothy saw me and I guess just knew we were meant to be together. Before I knew it Dorothy’s husband Bill claimed me.
I now had a new trainer, but I guess I was just a little too much for him. The trainer was warned that I might be ill-tempered and had kicked someone. I really don’t remember that unfortunate incident but it must have given me a bad reputation. I was really nervous and used up a lot of energy getting ready for a race. I guess I might still be anxious about racing, but I do love to run and I can run pretty fast. It was necessary for the trainer to find a way to calm me down before races and eventually I was given something that helped calm me down. This is very common and allowed in racing. Apparently there are a lot of horses that can be temperamental and high-strung.
All I really needed was a little TLC and I finally got it. Dorothy thought I was the best horse she could find and always had faith in me. The trainer said I wasn’t good enough — oh well, time for a new trainer and boy did I get lucky. Dorothy found a new trainer for me and asked the new trainer if he would be afraid of me. I guess he thought she was a little goofy. Well he’s not afraid of me and we have become great friends. I love to run for him — his name is Drew Fulmer and he is a real Rock Star when it comes to helping me. Running is my game and he has helped me win a few races. It seems I got too good too quickly with the help of Drew and someone else claimed me. Dorothy was heartbroken and so was I.
When the new owner who claimed me took me to his barn, I was confused and I really didn’t like him. He wasn’t nice and friendly like Drew. This new owner who was also the trainer seemed mean to me. Anyway, I let him know that I didn’t like him so I kicked him really hard. He was probably very upset with me. I wasn’t trying to be mean, I am a horse and kicking is how horses protect themselves.
Shortly after that I was in a race and I saw Drew looking for me and I watched him and tried to let him know how unhappy I was. I wanted Drew to take me home. The race I was in was another claiming race and Drew put in a claim for me. Oh no, someone else put in the claim for me too. When that happens, they draw a winner from a hat, in racing terms they call it the shake. Well Drew didn’t win the shake so I was now off to another barn with another trainer. I was more and more confused and unhappy. Would I ever make it home to my favorite trainer Drew and my friend Dorothy.
This moving from trainer to trainer took place for the next few months. Finally, just before the meet at Turf Paradise was over and I feared I would be sent to a distant city, I was claimed back by Drew. What a glorious day!!
By the time I made it back to Drew’s barn I was not healthy. The other trainers probably tried different medications to make me calm, but I was really unhappy and nothing seemed to work. It just made me sick. Like any professional athlete that’s unhealthy, it took a lot of work to get me back in shape. Then other trainers expressed interest in me so I was put in harder races so no one would take me. Finally, we made it back for a new racing season at Turf Paradise and I have tried my best to win. Although I haven’t won a race in a long time, I have come in 2nd and 3rd a number of times.
I am going to go to California in September and hope to win a race there. Be sure to watch for me — I will run at Fairplex this September. My trainer has faith in me and Dorothy will always be my number one fan so I will try my best to win. I want to stay with them forever. Here’s a picture of me when I won my first race for Dorothy.
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