I wish all of you could have met my father. He was a real estate developer, and as a hobby he owned racehorses.
He had a horse in about 1968 that performed so well at Turf Paradise that Itqualified for a big race at Santa Anita in California. My dad took me with him. It was a huge day with lots of colors and pageantry, plus we were in the owner’s box.
I was almost 8 years old on that sunny day with my buzz cut, dress slacks, dress shoes and my shirt tucked in. My bigger-than-life-father was dapper in his suit and tie and sunglasses. He held my hand as we went up the escalator.
Thousands of fans filled the stands, and hundreds of thousands of dollars were at stake on a single race.
Everybody could feel the pressure that day. The trainers were pacing back and forth, and the jockeys hands were actually shaking on the reins as we made our pre-race visit to the paddocks. Yes, EVERYBODY was anxious that bright afternoon at one our nation’s biggest race tracks……………………. That is, everybody except for my father.
Just moments before the race, my dad sat calmly in the owner’s box with his binoculars around his neck. The starting bell sounded.
50,000 fans stood up to watch, but not my dad who sat calmly as the race started with our horse dead last out of the gate. My family and the guests in our owner’s box moaned. After what seemed like an eternity, my dad finally stood up, looked through his binoculars and calmly whispered to me “I like our position”. I looked at him like he was crazy. He liked our position? Our horse was dead last!
At the first turn, our horse had moved up one notch, but still, our horse was almost in last place. My dad continued to look through his binoculars and again he calmly whispered “I like our position”.
At the far turn, our horse had moved up to about the middle of the pack. My dad continued to look through his binoculars, calmly whispering “I like our position”.
I tugged on his suit coat in panic and said “Dad, the race is almost over. We’re losing!” He quietly looked through his binoculars and confidently grinned. “Patience son. Patience. I like our position”. Others in our box had already given up, sitting down and shaking their head in disgust at our horses performance….. but still my dad whispered to me, “I like our position.”
“AND DOWN THE STRETCH THEY COME!!”, the announced yelled!
As the horses turned towards the grandstand the crowd was loud and wildly cheering. I was too short to see over the crowd in front. Standing on my chair, I was trying to get a peek at the front of the pack charging towards the finish line. Unfortunately, I couldn’t even see our horses’ colors. In fact, I couldn’t see our horse at all. And still, quietly looking through his binoculars, I heard my dadwhisper, “I like our position.”
Breaking fast on the outside, almost right in front of our owner’s box, I could see our horse passing traffic like it was in the HOV lane. Our horse was nearly a full length ahead of every other horse on the track and charging hard.
At the finish line, our horse had won by nearly 3 full lengths. There was no competition in sight.
WE WON!!! My calm 6 foot 4 dad picked me up in his giant arms with his big old smile, rubbed my head, and whispered in my ear. “I like our position son. I like our position.”
On days like today I can envision my dad looking down and smiling over what you have helped us build at Star Worldwide Networks.
As our network grows, I remember that glorious day in 1968. I can still smell the horses and hear the bugle call to post.
Meaningful wins do not just happen immediately, but I truly do “like our position”. Keep stride and keep stalking the pack. We are consistently making our move and gaining ground. We will remember those who we pass along the way and those who doubted us. They will not be invited into the winner’s circle. Those who believe in us will continue to share in this exciting journey and the celebration.
Although we are celebrating 8 years, this is still just the start of our network’srace. We are not even at the first turn, but we’ll be there at the finish line. Bet on it.
“I like our position.”