We told you the story earlier this week how Vikings announcer Paul Allen put together a group of Vikings — including himself, Norv Turner, Scott Turner, Brandon Fusco and Eric Sugarman — to buy a race horse at Canterbury Park. Friday night, their horse, Tiger D, made his debut. WCCO’s David McCoy was there. Watch the video above to see how it all went down.
SHAKOPEE, Minn. (WCCO) — Many of us know the little thrill that comes with placing a bet on a horse.
It feels a lot different when you own it.
“I might have a heart attack,” said Vikings guard Brandon Fusco, as the horse he owns in partnership with Vikings announcer Paul Allen, offensive coordinator Norv Turner, quarterbacks coach Scott Turner, head athletic trainer Eric Sugarman, and pro hockey goalie Alex Stalock got ready to make its debut at Canterbury Park on Friday night.
“I’m sweating,” Fusco said. “Nervous.”
Having Vikings general manager Rick Spielman, vice president of football operations Rob Brzezinski, linebacker Chad Greenway and tackle Phil Loadholt there to watch didn’t help calm any nerves.
“I had a little more anxiety during the race call than I generally would have,” Allen said.
But as their horse, Tiger D, strode into the starting gate, Scott Turner played it cool.
“I’m ready to go, I’m confident,” Turner said. “I’m confident in Tiger D.”
And why not. Tiger D – wearing No. 4 and, of course, purple and gold coloring – entered the race as the big favorite.
But as soon as it began, he quickly got into trouble, getting squeezed to the back of the pack. He was seven lengths off the lead entering the first turn. Sugarman shook his head.
“Come on!” yelled Fusco.
“Come on four!” yelled Sugarman.
Turner showed little emotion. Greenway hollered.
Down the stretch, Tiger D made a charge, passing several horses and inspiring hope in his owners.
“Get up there, get up there, get up there!” yelled Fusco.
But it wasn’t to be.
“He doesn’t have it,” Sugarman said.
“Nope,” responded Fusco.
Tiger D finished fourth.
“Disappointed, man,” said Fusco, running his face in his hands before breaking out into a laugh.
This would probably be the place for a joke about another gut-wrenching Vikings loss, but the loss didn’t dampen the fun of the experience.
“It was an exciting race,” Fusco said. “This is my first time ever doing this, so I didn’t really know what to expect coming in. It wasn’t the result we wanted, but it was pretty fun.”
Tiger D will get another chance at Canterbury in about a couple of weeks. And of course, in his usual way, Allen had a message for all the doubters.
“Chad Greenway made fun of me. And general manager Rick Spielman is taking a shot at my horse. And that’s OK,” Allen said. “Because Tiger D will perform next time like his mane is against the wall. And he now will have a chip on his shoulder. So don’t for a second think the horse doesn’t know how people are talking about him now. And he’ll respond next time.”