There is an old adage that has long been used in the English language.  “Here’s mud in your eye” is typically used as a toast. When it is said the speaker is really congratulating himself, as the saying comes from the world of horse racing where the winning horse will kick mud into the eyes of those following.  Last night I may have experienced this, in a small way.

Switching to the second barrel meant switching horses again.  Luckily I did not have any real decisions to make about which horses I was going to use.  I have four that have been working together all season and I went with them.  The horses worked great considering they had a few days off and we came flying out of the barrels.  Much to my disappointment I saw a soaring checkerboard on my right side.  Quickly into the first turn I lost the rail and began following my rival for the night.  From there it was dirt in the face.  All you can do is try to catch up and if you don’t then hope that your competition has a blistering fast run.  That way your time is at least faster than the rest of the drivers for the night.

As a driver you hate following but it happens.  It makes it a little better when your competitor outruns you with the fastest time of the week.  Not much better, but a little.

So as I drove my wagon past my good friend Jason Glass after the race the little smile he gave me surely meant “Here’s mud in your eye”.  But that’s OK …there will be three more nights for me to offer him the same smile.

Mark Sutherland – Chuckwagon Driver