“To the query, ”What is a friend?” his reply was ”A single soul dwelling in two bodies.”
“In poverty and other misfortunes of life, true friends are a sure refuge. The young they keep out of mischief; to the old they are a comfort and aid in their weakness, and those in the prime of life they incite to noble deeds.”
This next stable we are about to introduce is an “Urban Legend” who has been around since 22nd Jan 2010. He has won 53 World Cups, which includes an unprecedented seven Sphinx wins and counting, 7 Regional Cups, and been League Champion many times. He is a big supporter of the game, and he has been part of a great group of guys who sponsors a lot of cups. He has produced the first winner of the Triple Crown Series with his Champion racehorse RELAUNCH, he had many other Champions and Hall of Famers in Central Park, Alydar, Stella Artois and Flirtatious, just to name a few.
Ladies and Gentlemen, lets give a BIG warm TK Nuts welcome to the man we call “The Boss” from the high-flying stable known as Angel’s Flight we welcome;
Q – Can you tell us a little about yourself?
- I am a grown and sexy man born and raised in Southern California just living the dream that enjoys basking in the sun, blue skies, sandy beaches, and hanging out with family & friends, inhaling and exhaling the Pacific Ocean breeze with a nice cold beer in one hand and a fishing rod in the other. When I’m not out there enjoying all of that greatness, I’m somewhere sitting in a high-rise office working on some major construction projects being the “BOSS”.
Q – How did you get started in TK?
- By luck really, I had already played some other horse racing game online in the past like HorseRacingPark, Digi Turf, NewTurf, Equination, and probably a few others I’m sure. I was surfing online one day and just so happen to bump into Track King and from that day forth fell in love with some of the nuances on how the game was constructed and how it actually didn’t cost me any real money to play. So when I started playing, I gave myself 3 months to see if I would like it. 7 years and 10 months later I’m still here playing this magnificent, brilliant, but stupid “when I lose” cartoon horse game.
Q – Any particular reason you named your stable Angel’s Flight?
- #1, I’m from the City of Angels.
- #2, I am a Christian.
- #3, when I first started playing TK in January 2010, I was the Project Manager working on a historic landmark renovation project for the City of Los Angeles called Angels Flight Railway. It is the world’s shortest railway and has given over more than 100 million rides in it 116 year existence, it originally opened up in 1901. So the named derived from all three of those things that had a correlation in my life.
Q – You started the game in 2010, do you still remember your first race?
- Not at all, I barely remember yesterday.
Q – If you could start over, what would you do differently?
- To be honest probably nothing, I was one of those players who learned from trial and error. And I honestly feel like my journey would not have been as fulfilling as it is now if I didn’t go down the road I went down. I just wanted to figure things out on my own and being a real horse racing fan I simply thought I could take those experiences and knowledge into playing this game, which I was able to figure things out over time.
Q – Biggest influence on you early on – stable that you looked up to?
- The stables that was winning cups. When I started you had Zonic multi stable dominating the TK circuit back then. I was a rookie so I didn’t know that they were cheater cats at the time, all I knew was they was kicking butt and winning cups like crazy. But I was in awe of Frankie Cat, Freakster, New Scotland Yard, and Foss United, those guys’ trophy cabinets was looking nice back in the day when you only had about 10 or less cups running per season.
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?
- One important key to success is self-confidence. An important key to self-confidence is preparation.
Q – What is one thing you wish you knew when you started the game?
- Having a strategic plan and a key focus on the direction of the stable out the gate.
Q – Your first world cup is always special, tell us about your first winner Central Park?
- The Young King, which was my nickname for him. I purchased him off the auction on 7/6/2011 as a 2 year old with a 34 OR for $924,277. He was my very first ES style horse I ever trained. The thing that really intrigued me at that time was he was the offspring of Hall of Fame mare Draco Nimaway which she was an Early Sprinter also and a 2x Magic Mile Cup winner. So basically I was using my real life race experience theory in choosing him and thinking to myself if his mother is an ES medium champion why can’t he inherit her same style and champion qualities. Which my assessment was accurate, he ended up winning me a my first World Cup the Pegasus Cup against one of the greatest milers in TK history (Scooby) and he also won me a Magic Mile following in his mother footsteps.
Q – Any other horses or races that have produced special memories?
- Outside of winning the Triple Crown the most memorable race that stand out for me is when I took an un-styled low OR horse by the name of Grey Goose to win the first inaugural running of the Great Sphinx against some of the top stables on the racing circuit. At that moment I felt that I had arrived in playing this game, and it was sky’s the limit from there.
Q – How do you plan a race, do you weigh up the opposition or run your own race?
- Never size the opposition because it will throw you off, always focus on your abilities and run your own race.
Q – Do you still get nervous before a cup final?
- More anxious then nervous these days, the races just don’t come fast enough for me.
Q – How do you celebrate a really successful day?
- Popping open a bottle of Merlot, chilling out watching the waves.
Q – Which do you consider to be the best horse you have trained to date?
- Without a doubt it would be Relaunch, he is my most decorative, but throughout his racing career he made me look like a genius.
Q – Which horse in your stable currently is your favorite and why?
- That would be Kumbaya, he is still young and developing with lots of potential and that’s the part that excites me, if it’s nurtured correctly we can potentially have something special.
Q – Which of your other horses do you feel would be worth following over the next couple of months?
- Highly Arrogant and Game On Dude, I feel both should be major players in the months to come.
Q – Which retired horses in the game has left the biggest impact on you?
- If anyone knows me I always compare TK horses with real life horses and as a true horse racing fan you can see similarities and sometimes make comparisons in horse’s styles or personalities.
- Novus Propinquo to me was Track King Cartoon Secretariat. If we had the Triple Crown Series back when he ran he probably would have won multiple crowns and here’s why. At that time stables wasn’t being bold enough to attempt racing at multiple distances with their horses. Novus Propinquo was the first horse to win World Cups at three different distances and only a few others horses were able to achieve that feat thereafter, one of those horses was Haley Comet, the other one was Relaunch.
- Tripp Leilani is the other horse that left a big impact on me. She is my cartoon version of the real life race horse Zenyatta. She was just so big and strong and so dominant like the real great Zenyatta.
Q – What are your plans for the future and what is the one thing you want to achieve most in TK?
- Just continue to develop the young horses and see if I can discover or find the next diamond in the rough. Winning another Triple Crown would be nice.
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?
- My advice would be to put plenty of hours into your training.
- Be consistent with your training regime.
- Focus on the horses balance.
Q – Favorite style of horse you like to race with?
- Natural Champion
- Fast Finisher
Q – Three current horses owned by other stables that you wish you had owned, and why?
- Angel From Hell – Won the Triple Crown in the sprint/short series which was not easy to do and I love short runners.
- Patrobas – Just missed out on a Triple Crown but won 12 World Cups, a Regional Cup and still counting.
- Secret Emperor – Has the potential to be a Triple Crown Champion and will win plenty of cups when all said and done.
Q – Any interest in real life horse racing?
- Yes, real life horse racing has been a part of my DNA since I was introduced to it as a little boy going to the racetrack with my dad. Santa Anita Park was my first racetrack experience and I can say I have been blessed to have visited many racetracks in the States and around the world and witness many historical races in my life. But no racetrack in my opinion compares to Santa Anita Park it is the great race place and one of the most breathtaking tracks I’ve ever seen. Still to this day my favorite race horse of all-time is Affirmed.
In so many respects, Relaunch was a triumph over circumstances which might have stopped lesser mortals in their tracks. To begin with, his life was a victory over the many doubters. As a young man, he bestrode the racecourses of our game like a colossus, displaying remarkable agility for a horse of his size, and the gate speed of a quarter horse. He finished off his races in the ruthless fashion we’ve come to expect from Usian Bolt. He was a horse who was different from the rest. We saw a horse go fast with no effort, that’s different. He was a good student with tremendous energy and phenomenal ability. All the jockey had to do was control it. We shall all miss Relaunch.
Q – The name Relaunch holds a very special place in TK history, not only for his incredible racing career but also as the very first horse ever to win the Triple Crown series, in-fact a feat that has only been matched on two other occasion, was it always the plan to aim for that achievement with him?
- I only confided in one person about what I was going to attempt to do and that was Woody, of Woodchucker stables. I shared with him my thought on Relaunch stats at the time and we talked about the pros and cons of it all. Because it was so early in the season and if all would have failed, I still had time to train and revert back to short cups if necessary. Woody was one of the first stables who would think outside the box and try multiple distances early on. He and a few others stables always had this theory that TK horses should and could be successful winning at more than one distance if trained properly. So yes that was the plan that I had in mind for him when I notice his stats were suitable to running longer distances.
Q – It must have been one of the great privileges to be around something great, a feeling that will likely never be duplicated. How would you describe Relaunch?
- There have been better looking horses than The Launch. There have been better moving horses, and better bred horses. But he had one quality that separated him from the others – he could do everything. He was as close to the perfect racing machine as any horse in my time playing TK.
- So much for statistics. As incredible as they are, Relaunch went far beyond statistics. As his coat lightened as he got older, he was like a ghostly figure hurtling down one stretch after another in isolated splendor. With his head held high and his powerful legs stretching across the racing universe, he had this glow about him. Very cool and calm demeanor and had this gritty fight of rising to the challenge deep down inside his soul. If I had to compare him to a real life race horse I would compare him to the great Man O’ War. He will definitely be missed!
Q – Talk us through his Triple Crown season?
- I purchased Relaunch right before Week 11 in September 2015, and he was already geared for being a short runner. Finishing 4th in his qualifier his first time out under prior ownership, I entered him in the Sires finals with no time to do any training. When you go back into history and look at that race, he made this big sweeping move around the far turn and took the lead at the 1200m mark and never looked back, beating two of the best short specialist and future Hall of Famer’s in 2x World Cup Champion Not Too Soon and 3x World Cup Champion Secret Aurora. To make a long story short he was a terrific short runner but I thought his bottom stats, size and stride was fit to go long or epic.
- He dominated the Epsom Derby in such impressive fashion that I was looking forward to seeing what he could do in his next race. We get to the So You Think Cup and he just crushed the field. I thought I was watching Secretariat all over again in the Belmont Stakes. As he was getting closer to the finish line you could see him getting stronger and stronger. The final leg was the Grand Prix de Paris, and he was traveling further back then I wanted him to be, but once he got warmed up he made his patent move and was able to take command of the lead and held off the late charge from Voodoo Child, history in the making!
Q – When did you know you had it?
- After winning the So You Think, I was thinking the only way he could lose now was if I literally mess it up. And I wasn’t about to do that getting this close of achieving Track King History and being officially the first to reach this goal.
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?
- Chasing World Cups and the training and development of age group horses. I am a person who gets bored real easily so focusing on those features of the game still get me pumped. It’s like molding a lump of clay and making it into something beautiful; you watch how it forms as it starts to take shape.
Q – Old stables that you miss or you wish were still playing?
- Wiseblade of Prancing Winners
- Cekra of Shakedown Street Inc
- Two of the most wonderful gentlemen I had the pleasure to get to know playing this game. You talking about some guys who could race their butts off. If those two guys would have stuck around playing like they did back then today, the Top 10 World Cup Leaders would look mighty different that’s for damn sure.
Q – Name a few things you would like to see changed on TK?
- Graphics, graphics and more graphics: In today’s gaming world it’s all about detail and graphics that people love. Track King’s Engine is the best horse racing game I’ve experienced. But if you compare it to others that have like 3D Viewer and the overall visual of the game it’s lagging far behind.
- Keep all regions but remove some racetracks: Instead of closing a region or two, what I would like to see HB do is remove 4 racetracks from each region, and reduce each region from 16 tracks down to 12 each. If you did that, that would eliminate 32 tracks total leaving all the regions intact. I have seen on the forums where people was saying HB should close down some regions, well if you did it this way it would be equal to removing two regions off Track King.
Q – Is there something in TK that you would want to change that would reflect something in real life horses/situations?
- If the graphic on TK had a serious overhaul I would love to see turf racing implemented. In real life you have horses that run better on the grass then they do on the dirt, just like you have some horses that love the mud. In some regions of the world all they do is run on turf, so I would love to see that feature and race surface added into the horses racing style and Track King Viewer.
Q – What irks you the most in this game?
- Rude and disrespectful people over a cartoon game. You would think people would be a little more courteous towards each other, especially grown adults.
- Cheater Cats – If you have to have multi-stables and use 50 million IP addresses to get an edge to succeed then you need to really get a life. If people feel good about themselves in trying to circumvent the game to win, then you really are a LOSER.
Q – What is the one feature of the game you cannot get your head wrapped around?
- Breeding will be one of those things that I can never wrap my head around. It’s like playing Russian Roulette.
Q – Looking back at the years you have been playing, what were the accomplishments you are most proud of?
- Winning the Triple Crown
- The first stable to win the hat trick of all three Crimson Carnival Cups
- Winning seven Great Sphinx
Q – Which stables do you find most difficult to beat?
- The ones I probably faced the most, which would be Dopey Donkey Digs, Bristol Turks, Flying Spurs, Manor Park Stud, St Simon Racing, Dixon Racing and DR Stables.
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?
- For me it’s got to be the ones who gave so much to this game with their generosity. To me that would be Rhed, Noddy, Hareeba, and Rafindale. Honestly if you take away the cups they sponsor each season this game would be very bland, and would have been so for years with out them.
Q – People might have noticed that the name of the sponsor in a lot of cups are the ‘Alliance’. I know that you are part of this group, what was the purpose in forming this group?
- Just a group of friends who love this great game getting together to help sponsor some beautiful cups for the TK Community to enjoy each season. Giving back to a game that has given us so much joy was the least we could do. Kudos to the ones that do contribute every season, the game would not be where it is today without them.
Q – Care to share some of the history in creating some of these beautiful cups?
- The cups that were created were to enhance the season cups for age group horses at the time. And they all were created to collaborate with the other sponsors cups in one way or another. Originally it was about having this big extravaganza at season end, something like a championship day of racing. Later own after that a few cups were change to help the season schedule become more balanced and a few were spread out over time.
Q – Which of those cups are your favorite, and why?
- The Great Sphinx, I put a lot of work into the graphics and the concept to go with the theme that was already happening at River Delta Nile. Plus the short races was lacking in cups compared to some of the other distances at the time.
- The Amethyst Trophy is another favorite because of the participation each season, I love that purple horse.
I just want to thank you guys for your sponsorship.
Q – Tell us more about the the Triple Crown Series, as I understood you helped with the initial work etc?
- Yes, the concept for the Triple Crown Series came after a few sponsors was talking about spreading out cups in order for the racing community to have the opportunity to chase more than one cup or distances with their horses. I felt like it was time for Track King to take it to another level and if the sponsors were willing to sacrifice moving their cups around so that many of them wouldn’t collide with one another, then a series would make a lot of sense. Like real horse racing you have a Triple Crown, but what make Track King Series so unique is that you have a total of eight Triple Crown Series at different distances from ages 3 to 6 year old’s. It was just another challenge and goal designed for the TK racing community to try to achieve.
Q – What is the best advice you’ve been given in playing this game?
- F ollow
- O ne
- C ourse
- U ntil
- S uccessful
Q – What are the most common mistakes that you see other experienced players making? Mistakes that they may not realize, that they are making?
- Overthinking the game
- Not paying attention to details
Q – What is one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
- I own a 2012 Regal 52 Sport Coupe Yacht, and all my family and friends call me the “Skipper”
Q – How do you like to spend your free time?
- Chilling and relaxing on the boat, fishing, and doing some entertaining.
Q – Who in Track King is on the guest list for your ideal dinner party and why?
- I want the best of the best at my dinner party, if your name is on this invitation it’s because you have either been gracious, courteous, generous, or just a true, true, friend to me, and I want to reciprocate it back with and invite.
Thank you Angel for taking the time to sit down and interview with TK Nuts it’s been an honor!