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One More Milestone & A Few Extra Drinks

Our first disqualification! You may have seen us mention it on the socials a couple of weeks ago - it was a crazy day. BUT we're not here to whine or complain about it - we've moved on (mostly). This post is more about sharing the wild experience, and my opportunity to celebrate and praise the group of ladies and gentlemen we have "assembled" for this particular Partnership for our boy, Assembly Point.

From the top of the stretch for those that haven't seen it... PS - the Laurel Park stretch is about 6F...

If I had my preference, our first DQ would have been a little bit more obvious, and I always thought that I'd prefer for it to happen on a day when our Partners weren't in attendance - just to make it a little less painful. Naturally, on this day, we had a pretty big group at Laurel Park. Assembly Point is the first horse we added in our expansion into the Mid-Atlantic area, and 75% of his Partners are local to the area. To best understand this group, you need to know some of the challenges we faced in the first few months. Assembly Point was in rough shape when we claimed him - Lacey and team had a lot of work to do to get him back to a happy and healthy horse. It took three months to get him back on track and make his LBB debut, when he ran a promising 4th. Then we had track repairs, races cancelled, more track repairs and races not going. Obviously, we weren't the only owners having to deal with these challenges, but it can be frustrating for first-time owners (and first-time LBB Partners) and even drive some to question the whole experience. But not this group. We got through it all TOGETHER, as a team. The little bit of initial adversity is why we had such a big group at Laurel Park on a random Thursday afternoon, in the cold and the rain, rooting home our guys, AP and Johan, to get to the wire first. Apparently we were loud - though I maintain that was more a product of the echo of empty grandstands, than 15-20 of us yelling and program-whipping for the length of the (very long) stretch. There was high-fiving, some hugging and maybe even some kissing, I'm not completely sure. But we had an amazing 5-10 minutes together...

The inquiry sign went up, the winner's circle almost emptied with Lacey and I left alone wondering "why is this taking so long?" And then we were taken down. We spent the next 15-20 minutes in the racing office, going through our appeal options. Afterwards, I started walking back to our group at the bar and wondering what reaction I was going to get from our Partners. Obviously everyone would likely still be shocked, mad, and disappointed - I was certainly all of those. But as we got closer to the group, I actually saw a couple of smiles/smirks, and it was such a relief. There were still plenty of expletives being shared, we're not robots! We were looking through losing tickets wondering what might have been. Maybe it was the open, LBB Stables bar tab that helped, but we lost a nice $24K check for the group, yet there was an overall understanding that these are the types of CRAZY things that happen in racing everyday. We've seen it happen to others plenty of times, and the fact that we were getting our first dose of it was somehow a bit fitting, almost humorous - like a rite of passage.

So we had drinks. We talked through the whole experience, with Lacey and Johan - as a Team. We were obviously very disappointed, but being together made it a little bit easier to swallow. This is a long-winded way to give a big thanks to our Assembly Point Partners - Scott, Kristy, Bob and family, Brian & crew, Gerry, JJ and the others that weren't able to join us this time around. We could have easily let the experience get us down, but for me personally, it did just the opposite. We REALLY are creating ownership opportunities FOR the everyday horseplayer BY the everyday horseplayer - this group is proof of it. Things won't always go our way and we're going to get some gut-punches every once in a while, but nobody knows this better than the horseplayer.

We're excited for our guy, Assembly Point, to exact some revenge at some point soon. In the meantime, we're having so much fun in Maryland that we're going to add another one to the barn of Team Gaudet at some point in the next couple of weeks. If this cast of characters seems like a group you'd like to spend some time with, check out the details here - Mid-Atlantic Partnership . We can't wait to hit another key milestone - being on the WINNING side of a DQ! Let's go, AP!

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