This next stable we are about to introduce is an oldie but goodie TK pioneer who has been around since 31st Mar 2008. He is an 11 time World Cup winner, 8 time Regional Cup title holder, and a League Champion and Top 5 runner-up in over 36 seasons of play. He has produced some great Champions and Hall of Famers in Clodhopper Slim, One Way Dexter, Do The Math, and Harebrane, just to name a few.
Ladies and Gentlemen, lets give a BIG warm TK Nuts welcome from the man out of Junior’s Farm;
Q – Can you tell us a little about yourself?
- Well, it’s a good thing you ask me to tell you “a little” about myself. I’m assuming you want me to keep it to 10 words or less? Anyway, to quote my grandmother, when I am asked my age, I respond with “I am older than dirt.” I look like I’m 72, feel like I’m 92, act like I’m 22…. I must be 62. I am retired from my 2nd profession of being a Registered Respiratory Therapist. I am somewhat retired from my first profession of which I have a great passion…. Playing guitar in a rock band. I am from the U.S., grew up in a small Mississippi delta town on the Mississippi River. A large cotton field was my back yard. I have 4 other siblings, 2 older sisters, a younger sister, and younger brother. Yes, that’s what you call a middle child, and I’ve got the attitude to prove it, lol ……. I’ve definitely got a “southern drawl”, and I can type this faster than I can speak it. Growing up, I participated in many sports with baseball being my best sport. I loved hunting and fishing. As I aged, I became more of a friend to animals, but still love to go fishing and golfing. Some peeps from other places might stereotype me as a “redneck”, and I would answer that by saying,” Come with me, I’ll show you some rednecks. I guess it’s all subjective, lol. Now, I currently live in northwest Florida. And you know what? There are a ton of dayam rednecks here too.
Q – How did you come across TK?
- Years ago I had an outside sales job that sent me to south Louisiana. I want to tell you riding along all those bayous was an experience. It was mid day with temperature around 95 degrees Fahrenheit and 90% humidity, and that was after a cold front had passed. I came around a curve in the road, and lo and behold, I saw this gal right on the bank of the bayou, and there was this massive commotion happening. I slammed on the brakes with my jaw hanging down by my belt line, as this gal dragged a 12 foot alligator up the bank by the tail, and before I could blink an eye, the alligator was hog-tied with duct tape secured around its jaws. As her brothers were helping her load it onto the bed of a country Cadillac (pick-up truck), I told her I had never seen anything like that in my life ,and then asked her name. She turned to me and extended both arms straight out in front of her, one on top of the other, then opened her arms wide and clasped them back together, and replied……..” ChopChop!” As they were driving away, she shouted, “Have you ever heard of Track King?”
Q – Any particular reason you named your stable junior’s farm?
- Well yes…….. I was setting up my account with TK, and I had to have a stable name. I had an 8 track tape playing in stereo……… That was before I-tunes, dvd’s, cd’s, and cassette tapes…..Well, the song was Junior’s Farm by Paul McCartney…
Q – You started the game in 2008, do you still remember your first race?
- Oh yes…. of course….. absolutely……. like it was yesterday…… Wait… What day is it anyway? Actually, no, I do not remember it now, but I’d lay money on it that I smoked a few bot horses that day, but was still thrilled to have won. I mean, I didn’t even know what bot meant. I’m sure I asked somebody why there were so many jockeys that had the same name of Apprentice Unlisted. Reminds me of my ex-wives who were also my first cousins. When introducing them to friends, I’d always say, “ Hey everybody, these are my five cousins named Sheila.”
Q – If you could start over, what would you do differently?
- I appreciate your compliment by the way you automatically insinuate that I learn from my mistakes…. Perhaps, I would pick a different McCartney song to name my stable after? I guess I would ask more questions from the TK gods on how to be a better player. I felt really lost. I mean I had the deputy sheriff from Chop’s parish go wake her up in the middle of the night to ask her what I could possibly do about my training blunder. My horse weighed 400kgs and I had it on 3 hours of BG’s , and thought my horse might die if it weighed 397.
Q – Biggest influence on you early on – stable that you looked up to?
- Had to be Chop. She was my mentor before they ever had a mentor program. She was a fantastic recruiter for the game. Excuse the past tense, as she might still be a great recruiter. But I admired Gopher, Foss. Foss has slacked off, but when I’m not racing against him, Gopher is usually my sentimental favorite in Cups.
Q – As one of the older stables in TK, what would be your words of wisdom to newer stables or older ones who haven’t had some degree of success and are disappointed with their stables??
- I’m a very positive type guy. I deal with these type situations in golf all of the time. A buddy of mine had been in a terrible slump for a couple of weeks. He was just awful for a time, when he came to me, and asked desperately what he might try to improve his game. I consoled him, staying positive and patted him on the back. I said, Jim, do you see that practice range over there. Well, you need to go over there everyday for the next 3 weeks, and hit about 3 buckets of balls. ………then sell your clubs and quit!
- Naw, seriously……. I had a couple of mentees go through it, and I simply told them to concentrate hard on their best young horse…. Train hard, get their XP up high, and get a good jockey. Once you see its competitive, do the same to 2 or 3 horses, and so forth. They responded better than I thought and quit without me telling them to. I had to retire from mentoring.
Q – What is one thing you wish you knew when you started the game?
- The TK race engine blueprint????? Actually, anything about horses. I only knew about one horse, and his name was Mr. Ed.
Q – Your first world cup is always special, tell us about your first winner Clodhopper Slim?
- I have to admit the TK gods have blessed my stable with some excellent Mudlarks through the years, and Clodhopper Slim was the one that brought me my first world cup, and later another. He was very special because he was one of my very first home-bred horses.
Q – Any other memorable races that stands out for you?
- Oh yes, there was Harebrane, who duplicated Clodhopper to win me 2 more world cups. Harebrane was another mudder that I actually named him after the genius creator of this game, and his sidekick, while trying to add a touch of humor. And then there was Casanova My Way, who won me my first Class 1 Classic Cup. He was an Unpredictable, who unpredictably pulled away from the field in the last quarter for the win.
Q – How do you plan a race, do you weigh up the opposition or run your own race?
- I like to enter 2 horses if possible, I’ve got one that weighs 575. I just instruct the jock to run the favorite through the inner rail, and lay his lard arse on him, until I get to the line……………………………………………………… Most of the time I simply run my own race. I have learned since then, that perhaps I should have been running Manor Park’s race, or Troublemaker’s race, or Sootie’s race………I will on rare occasion make slight adjustments, depending on the styles of the competition.
Q – Do you still get nervous before a cup final?
- I do still get pumped a little… Not so much nervous, but excited about the race…. That is, until halfway through the first quarter, and my horse pulls up along side of Sinth. We can’t even see the horses in front as they have already made the turn. I ask, “anything on tap back in the refridgerator”, and he says “Right on mate!” We realize we’ve already won.
Q – How do you celebrate a really successful day?
- A really good TK day? I’m sure I’m so stoked, that I run to the auctions, and purchase 3 beauties for my stable, then wake up and wonder how those mules got in there.
- A really good personal day? I’m sure I’m so stoked that I run to the corner bar, and purchase 3 beauties……..I mean I sweet talk a beauty, and then wake up, and say “What the……..”
Q – Which do you consider to be the best horse you have trained to date?
- Everybody hold your breath. It was a mudlark……Linkin Oyl. He was a 16h beauty. People who know horses might refer to him as a windup horse. This horse popped liked crazy during training, and won a SS for me, while besting a strong field, winning by 30-40 meters. I’m pretty sure he set the WR for slow going at 1150m around 62.76 km/hr.
Q – Which horse in your stable currently is your favorite and why?
- I guess that would be my 4 yo Competitive, Wrecking Ball. He’s won me a 2yo sprint BC, but failed miserably in other races. You just never know what he’s going to do, but I still think he has major upside, and that eventually with better XP, his fiery temperament will suit him well.
Q – Which of your other horses do you feel would be worth following over the next couple of months?
- That’s easy. Next question……….. I don’t know about a couple of months, but perhaps a couple seasons, The Confessor might turn into something special. He’s a long-legged Competitive, that I’m attempting to train as a miler, but Wrecking Ball confided to me that The Confessor doesn’t know what he wants to be when he grows up. I could certainly relate to that. We’ll see.
Q – Which retired horses in the game has left the biggest impact on you?
- Gopher’s Dorothy…… Tomac’s Giant horse, not sure of the name now, but was 99OR….. Manor Park’s Novus Propinqo, and I know I misspelled the last name. They stand out to me. So many great ones that I can’t remember off the top of my head. Foss’s Zabeel was special. Let’s not forget Riddley’s Damascus. Big Wow!
Q – What are your plans for the future and what is the one thing you want to achieve most in TK??
- I guess I’d like to win an Open or TK Masters, tho I’m not currently training any horses for it. I just want to stay as competitive as I can. Right now I am an expert at comparing horse’s arses, as my runners see a lot of them.
Q – Is there anything you would like to share to stables who would like to try training good younger horses especially those 2 to 3 year olds?
- Absolutely, so listen up………. For your sprinters, load them up with swimming until they are 575 kgs, then stop training…… For the stayers, let me think…….Yea, pour the gate training on them, but get them to 575 kgs too, and you’re set.
Q – Favorite style of horse you like to race with?
- When I first joined, I fell in love with what FF’s could do, and they still remain a favorite of mine, but I like Competitives too, except it seems when I try to breed them, I get Mudlarks, which I will not complain about.
Q – Three current horses owned by other stables that you wish you had owned, and why?
- You know I had just about finished this interview within the 6 month mandatory time limit, and fell asleep one night, and when I pulled it back up, it was all gone. So I’m going at it again, and I can’t tell you all the horses’ names, but I could take a couple from any of MP’s, Troublemaker’s, Sooties, Dixon’s, Captaincrusoe stables and be happy, and it would be because they seem to have a knack for winning a race or two here and there.
Q – Any interest in real life horse racing?
- Not any great interest. But I’ll make sure to sit down every year and watch the American Triple Crown and possibly the RL BC races.
THOUGHTS ON THE GAME
Q – If you had to name the most important things or features in the game that have kept your interest here in TK, what would those things or features be? And, why?
- I’m chuckling right now, because I still get a little stoked at 20:00 TK time on Monday night, when the training results come in. Always look for to this night…. A good way to start the week. Love those blue pops, right? I really enjoy the personalities in the game too. There are some really fine peeps here.
Q – Old stables that you miss or you wish were still playing?
- I wish Foss still was playing competitively.
Q – Name a few things you would like to see changed on TK?
- The way I see it, you either breed or buy a 2 yo and it’s yours until it is 10, or 12 if it is a stud, unless you decide to sell it. Well, since I trained up a few apprentice jockeys, I think we own those short little cyberpeople, and should be able to keep them until they are 32…. unless WE decide to contract them out to other stables, or we should be compensated much more for their services, when another stable wakes up at my 0300 hours to sign them before me.
Q – Is there something in TK that you would want to change that would reflect something in real life horses/situations?
- Only thing I can think of would be to allow our cup runners to have 2 weeks off before a final. Tho, I understand that scheduling that way may well be impossible.
Q – What irks you the most in this game?
- That Sinth has not won a world cup.
Q – What is the one feature of the game you cannot get your head wrapped around?
- hehehehahahahohoho…….. like there’s only one feature I cannot get my head wrapped around. I’ll just go with breeding. Have you seen the nags and mules I’ve come up with lately? There’s your proof-positive that I don’t have a real clue, when it comes to breeding.
Q – Looking back at the years you have been playing, what were the accomplishments you are most proud of?
- I haven’t gotten into any fist fights with other TK members. Does that count?
- Seriously tho, I guess to date, I’m proudest of the fact that I won a regional (MM or SS) or major cup, while also winning my league, when there were 25 human stables there at the time. And some damn strong stables too. I think that feat is quite difficult. I also cherish each SS, MM, BC or any world cup as much as the next, and I want to win a few more.
Q – Which stables do you find most difficult to beat?
- The other 1500……..Well, since I run into them often, Troublemaker, Sootie, DR. I’d add Manor Park, but every time I see a Cup he’s entered I run out to my stable, and there isn’t a horse to be found, so I really haven’t been up against him too much, and maybe that’s a good thing for my fragile ego. Not in the least at all, but Magoo regularly smokes me on the track. He’s strong.
Q – You’ve been in the game a long time at this point, seen many players come and go, which players do you think have had the most impact on the game in various ways in that time?
- I’d first go back to Gopher’s Dorothy. He set the bar pretty high for sprinters. Tomac also set a pretty high bar with his 99 OR beast. I also think he trained a FF to AI on fast going for sprints,and showed impressively what that could do. MP, DR, Trouble, Sootie are just awfully consistent year in and year out. Riddley for setting a very high bar for breeding. Now,I’ve got to watch out for the slew of nuts, who have come on strongly…….. And if I omit a great stables name, please do not take offense because there are many very good stables now. You have to understand my neurotransmitters frequently misfire, and it sounds like static electricity, and affects my memory at 62.
Q – What is the best advice you’ve been given in playing this game?
- Chop gave it to me early on. “Save your money, Dahling”! Successful finances will take you places here.
Q – What are the most common mistakes that you see other experienced players making? Mistakes that they may not realize, that they are making?
- I thought I was the only one making the mistakes.
Q – What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
- Hmmmmmm. How about this…… A couple of years ago I drove over to visit a couple of my best friends in Tallahassee for a friendly round of golf. I noticed I didn’t feel so well. Next thing I knew I was waking up from having had double bypass heart surgery, that the cardiologist told me he didn’t know how I was even alive in the first place. I remember them removing the ventilator. The ICU nurse came into my room and asked if she could get me anything. I said, yes please, can you hand me my phone. I’ve got to set my training and enter the weekly league races……. lol True story.
Q – How do you like to spend your free time?
- Tending to my vegetable garden, golfing, playing music, or simply relaxing out in the yard, watching the deer walk within 15 yards of me, and eating…….If anybody suggest fishing, I’m there ready to go. Love it.
Q – Who in Track King is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party and why?
- Chop, but only after all seats have been taken, and she is forced to sit in my lap
- Sinth……..have always loved his sense of humor.
- Troublemaker, DR……true gentlemen of the game, always willing to give friendly advice, and do it with class.
- HB and FB for obvious reasons.
- All the GM’s….. Good peeps with a difficult task. I appreciate each and every one of then.
- All the” nuts” for improving the game with their reviews, and most interviews.
- Tomac, another true gentleman, that has offered free advice on occasion.
- Dolfie, Bristol Turks, Hareeba, Rhed….. They deserve it.
- And all other TK playa’s….. Those with OC get the better seats.
Thank you Edjer for sitting down and granting the TK Nuts and exclusive interview, good luck in your future endeavors.