They Shoot Slackers, Don't They?
ATOMIC TV CLASSIC
Pimlico Race Course
June 16, 2001
I was was doing some winter cleaning last night, realizing - after the Hillendale firemen came to check if I had a gas leak (not to worry! I live to sleep another night without errant carbon monoxide gas getting me) - that my House O' Hoarding represented a textbook firetrap environment. In the course of my subsequent garbage sweep, I came across a number of beloved items I hadn't seen in years, including this 2001 horse racing program from my unemployed slacker days as a railbird at Pimlico racetrack - back when my Atomic TV cohort Scott Huffines was also gainfully unemployed.
No kidding - Scott and I really were unemployable bums (see below)...
Scott and Tom, hedging their bets
...though I preferred the term "jobless reprobate" and even printed up my own cards (as shown below) to hand out to potential racetrack contacts and useful touts.
Anyway, Scott found out that not only could we waste our unemployment checks betting on nags, but we could also get a sweepstakes race named after ourselves for a minimal fee. Thus was the first (and only) Atomic TV Classic born on June 16, 2001. And, while it may not go down in track history as a race on par with the Kentucky Derby, Preakness, or Belmont Stakes, it afforded us the chance to invite our friends and family out to Old Hilltop for a grand old time, one that included getting our pictures taken with fave jockey Mario Pino in the post-race winner's circle. We were even interviewed on the radio by Michael Dempsey of Turf 'n' Sport.
A detailed story will be posted shortly to our Baltimore Or Less blog, but in the meantime, here's the Atomic TV Classic press release I found...
For those of you who are squint-challenged, here's the blown-up text:
Itinerant Media Celebrities Hoof It Up with 1st Annual ATOMIC TV CLASSIC Horserace
This Saturday, June 16 at Pimlico Racetrack, Post Time 2:21 P.M.
PIMLICO, MD - (Saturday, June 16) There are few places in life where a man can wave money, blow smoke and holler "Go, baby, go!" without risking the censure of their family and loved ones. At a strip club, such behavior aimed at two-legged hoochies would be a textbook definition of moral turpitude. But at a racetrack, wagering and hollering on four-legged prancers is an INVESTMENT every bit as sound as stock investing on The Street. Considering the recent plight of the dot.coms, even more so!
So on Saturday, June 16, why don't you invest your time wisely and shout "Go, baby, go!" as you shoot your wad o'dough in the 1st running of the soon-to-be-classic ATOMIC TV CLASSIC at historic Pimlico Racetrack. Presented by Tom Warner and Scott Huffines - local impresarios of Baltimore City's legendary "Atomic TV" cable access variety program, and now virtually unemployable compulsive gamblers - this $25,000, 5-furlough sprint for 2-year-old "maidens" has special meaning for The Gruesome Twosome of Baltimore Public Access TV. Both Warner and Huffines, mid-aged losers wallowing in a pool of unending debt who have watched the seas of fortune wash away the promise of their youth like sand castles at high tide, feel an affinity for maidens. In racing parlance, these are fillies and colts that have NEVER won a race. "These nags can't buy a race," opines Huffines, while Warner laments, "They're one step removed from a rendering factory. Just like us."
Despite the small purse and the overall lack of class and breeding in the field (again, something with which Warner and Huffines feel strong affinity), the ATOMIC TV CLASSIC has attracted some of the finest jockeys available in the clubhouse at that particular time on that particular day with nothing better to do. Many seemed aware of the race, if not overly excited.
"Of all the races on Saturday, this is certainly one of them," said Mario Verge in a prepared statement. Added apprentice jockey Jeremy "Ma Vie en" Rose, "This ATOMIC TV CLASSIC will go down in the books as the 3rd race, the one between the 2nd and the 4th. It should probably go off at 2:30 P.M. and be over by 2:31 P.M."
In addition, national tout Michael Dempsey of Turf 'n' Sport (www.turfnsport.com) will be on hand to handicap the ATOMIC TV CLASSIC, a task he has likened to "picking suspects out of a police line-up." "There are no clear-cut winners here," he said in a statement released earlier this week. "Not on the field, and certainly not in the stands."
Addendum: Please note that previous Breeder's Cup commitments precluded riders Gary Stevens, Pat Day, Jorge Chavez, Laffit Pincay Jr. and Jerry Bailey from participating. Horse of the Year nominees Albert the Great, Tiznow, Captain Steve, Include, Point Given, and Monarcos have also had to pass on this premiere racing event due to scheduling conflicts.But that still leaves a stable's worth of future Hall of Famers to choose from in this elite racing event, as described below.
Here's the probable line-up:
Note that many of the unusually named ponies (such as the coupled entry Pontiff in My Pants and Nun with Two Dicks) came from the unstable stables of legendary inbreeder Ivan Brunetti. They were all scratched and replaced by a new card; for details, stay posted for an update at Baltimore Or Less (www.baltimoreorless.com).