Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem July 11, 2022

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July 11th, 2022

A good Monday morning to you all! It’s opening day at Colonial Downs today, so I’m excited to be getting back into the booth after a few weeks off. When we started doing these columns on Mondays and Thursdays, the idea was that Monday would be to write about “something I liked from the weekend.” And of course, some weekends there might be a topic that I’m really jazzed to write about. Some weekends, it might just be something newsworthy or something going on in my life.

This Monday morning, it was very easy to pick “something I liked from the weekend.” Saturday night as I was watching Prairie Meadows racing, I was particularly excited to check out the Prairie Gold Juvenile Stakes. TV personality and handicapper Matt Bernier had tweeted out on Friday about a horse named “Tyler’s Tribe” who would be running in the race. The two-year-old had won his debut at Prairie Meadows by almost 17 lengths going only 4 1/2 furlongs! Matt was basically just tweeting about how cool it was that seemingly small-time connections had a horse that could be any kind.

So once again, Tyler’s Tribe breaks like a rocket and proceeded to open up on a solid group of open stakes runners, winning the Prairie Gold Juvenile S. by 8 1/2 lengths. Now, normally, I would have just switched over to another track with a race coming up on my TwinSpires page once this race was over. But I got distracted by something on Twitter, and the Prairie Meadows feed stayed on. And I’m so glad it did.

Emery Songer was handling the post-race interviews at Prairie for the big night, and he caught up with one of the owners of Tyler’s Tribe and a young boy who had a T-shirt on that said "Tyler’s Tribe." The gentleman proceeded to tell the story of how this horse was purchased out of the Iowa sale and how he got his name. See, the boy standing with him was Tyler, and Tyler has been battling Leukemia. This proud grandfather told the story of not only Tyler’s battle with the disease, but also all of the support he had been getting from everyone who was in his corner. Those supporters became "Tyler’s Tribe," and hence the origin of the horse’s name.

Tyler even got on the mic and said how much he loved the horse and was excited about it. The large crowd in the winner’s circle gave a big round of applause when the interview was over, and Tyler’s Tribe, the equine athlete version, went back to the barn after a race well won.

One of the great things about horse racing is that every horse has a story. Tyler’s Tribe went right into my stable-mail, and I can’t wait to see where he goes and runs next. As Bernier said in his tweet, he could be any kind. It’s going to be fun to watch the journey unfold on the racetrack. And, of course, everyone who watched that interview is also hoping and praying that young Tyler’s journey is one with good health and recovery from his current battle.

This sport at its best is something that brings people together. Whether it’s the love of the game, the horses, the camaraderie of gambling, or just the social aspect of it. Tyler and Tyler’s Tribe brought together what looked like dozens of friends and family for a wonderful night at the races and a great win for their horse. It was a blessing just to get to hear their story and see the love of the family in the winner’s circle. With everyone watching on Saturday, I can assure you that Tyler’s tribe just got a lot bigger.

Everyone have a great week.