Cage matches

by Trey Nosrac

The Lexus was parallel parked in front of Duke’s Seafood on 6th Avenue. We were waiting inside the car for David’s sister to arrive for their dinner in an outdoor Yurt. I asked him, “Did you see the video of Andrew Blackmore?”

“Not to my knowledge.”

“Blackmore is a youngish harness horse gambler with a Twitch channel. During the pandemic,he interactively handicaps and gambles on races using the persona of Popeye.”

He shrugged, “We’ve talked about this sort of thing before. Groups along those lines could help your sport in the future.”

“Blackmore is quite a character. He cashed a huge ticket while his Twitch feed was live, the clip went semi-viral. Watching him on the video made me smile. I watched it twice. It was the best show I’ve seen since the lockdown began. Popeye fell into a spinach patch and rolled around smelling the roses in front of a camera.”

He smiled. “I hope his video goes wild on the web. Your sport needs infusions of fun because the odds of recreational gamblers under 40 stumbling into harness racing are not good. People who live on their phones and in their social networks do not know harness horse racing exists, but they are your future. I hope Popeye can find a way to monetize his few minutes of fame and inspire clones.”


“Why not? People hustle every day to make money in the world of cyber commerce. They are relentless and innovative. Often, these people can find ways to make money without much upfront investment. It will help your game if a few of these people use your sport in creative and independent ways.”


“My friend, you are not going to like this. Racing needs to distance from the horses and move towards human faces, like Popeye. A racing trotter, a wonder to everyone in the choir, is not overly enthralling to the recreational gambler. They bet on strange things, berries on a wheel, the Super Bowl coin flips, basketball over/under results, and lottery tickets. The intricacies of solving the riddle of a harness horse race are a bridge too far for most recreational gamblers who do not relish deep research into a wager.”

“But horses are so cool,” I whined.

“Yes, but people find people endlessly fascinating. We are addicted to humans boasting, bragging and engaging in a show. People bring embarrassment, blame, humor, drama, and gossip that a horse cannot. People, good and bad, fascinate us because we can relate. Conflict sells. We pay attention to politics and pundits who rile us. We watch movies with explosions and people in peril.”

I kept whining, “Those things are not a good fit for racing. To most of the world, we are just horses, numbers, and money. How are you gonna bet on people?”

He surprised me by pulling out this phone and pushing a series of buttons. He showed me his screen and said, “I was doodling around a few days ago with a concept in mind. Something like this would help your sport.”

“You are thinking about harness racing in your free time?”

He smiled, “Yeah, I guess you are contagious. I have plenty of free time these days. This little model I worked up shows how a trio of entrepreneurial harness racing people could try to make money in the social world of interconnectivity. They are brought to you by a game that could be created and sponsored by YET ANOTHER Internet entrepreneur. Everyone wants you to traffic their sites and make some money.”
I took the phone and speed read.


Hammering Henry

A tweet and IM at 4:45 PM EST

Hello Newbies and Oldbies and Wannabies –
It is time to make some money with Hammering Henry. I am playing against Ludicrous Lydia and Buzzkill Benny in races 4, 5, and 6 at The Meadows tonight. If this were a boxing match, they would stop it before it begins. As the Trumpster would say, “These two are losers. I have a beautiful plan that you will love for the races tonight.” Many of you know I graduated Cum Laude from Trump University, so my success rate is Amazing.” For statistics, bios, questions, and updates, follow the FB pages of


Ludicrous Lydia

Another tweet and IM at 4:49 PM EST


Henry and Benny tonight! Those babbling boys are totally full of themselves, especially Henry, who is as much fun as a bad rash. Girls, not only will you make some money, but you will also feel good doing it. I have been studying the races, and my vibes are good! For statistics, bios, questions, and updates, follow the FB pages of Ludicrouslydia@harness


Buzzkill Benny

A tweet and IM at 4:59 PM EST

Think of tonight’s match logically. You have a boastful clown, a lovely girl, and a man who uses mathematics and his solid wagering system. Need I say more?For statistics, bios, questions, and updates, follow the FB pages of Buzzkillbenny@bets


I gave him back his phone, clapped my hands, and said, “Not bad. Not bad at all.”