Imagine my surprise when I wandered out to the mailbox to discover a package addressed to me. What could it be? I don't have any trades in the works. I was stumped. But, then I had a good idea. No, a positively brilliant idea. Check it. I looked at the return label to see who sent it to me. Pretty smart, huh?
Well, it was from Remington Park, the local horse racing track. They occasionally have photo contests which I enter. Well, they are only photo contests in the loosest sense of the word. I don't consider them real photo contests, because they are really just part of a social media marketing strategy and the results are more like popularity contests. The person that has the most Facebook friends, and can convince those friends to "like" their picture wins. Of course, there friends have to "friend" Remington Park before they can "vote." See what I mean? They are just using Facebook as a way to get their message out. The photo contest is just a means of broadening their "fan" base.
I am not one to beg my friends to "like" my picture (I am an ARTIST!!1!1!!!11!one!!), but still have managed to place high enough to get some free swag. A couple hats, a t-shirt, a gift certificate to the restaurant, and some free play at the racino, the casino in the track grandstand. But, today I got this:
That is right! A G. R. Carter bobblehead! Who is G. R. Carter, you say? Well, I didn't know until today, but he is the winningest jockey in Quarter Horse racing history. He even has his own Wikipedia page.
Any bobblehead collectors out there that would be interested in this rarity?
I will probably take the restaurant gift card and the free play certificates and make a night of it with my wife. We'll dine well, watch the races, and I'll see if I can parlay my $30 of free play into a larger pile of green. I am not much of a gambler. I've only bet on horse races once when, a few years ago, I went to the track with $50 in my pocket, hit the quinella in one race, bet on the wrong horse in another and walked out with a little over $100 in my pocket when all was said and done. I figure if I can actually win a little, I'll have some nice bank for the October card show. More likely, I'll just run through the $30 and call it a night.
Oh, here is a little video of a big time quarter horse race at Remington that was won by Carter. You can see at, around 1:15, his famous dismount.