December 17, 2010

ZATT’s First Annual Fan of the Year - Tim Reynolds

Tim Reynolds is by no means your average fan of horse racing, and today I honor his great love for the sport by naming him the 2010 Fan of the Year. Whether it be going to the races at Churchill Downs, or visiting retired runners at horse farms, or the room in his home dedicated to racing’s stars, Tim lives and breathes the greatest sport in the world.

It all started for Tim 21 years ago when he picked out a fiery, near black stallion in the post parade of the 1989 Kentucky Derby. As a native to Louisville, he had watched several Derbies before, but seeing Sunday Silence that afternoon ignited a fire for the sport that continues to burn today. At the time, twelve-year-old Tim had no idea that he was in store for one of the best Triple Crown series in history, as his new favorite and Easy Goer would battle it out in each race. He still will watch their epic stretch dual in the Preakness as a source of inspiration.

There were countless wonderful people that I considered for the award this year, but it was Tim who I felt to be the most deserving. Inspiration is one of the main reasons in his favor. He recognizes the great courage and heart our racing heroes display. Horses like Seattle Slew, Sunday Silence, and Tiznow, who overcame adversity to become champions, mean more to him than most people. While Tim has suffered great personal tragedy over the past few years, like those racing champions that he loves, he battles on with both style and grace.

Not that long ago, Tim’s fondness for thoroughbred horse racing was a lonely endeavor. Family and friends did not have the passion for the game like him. Facebook changed all that. Tim dove right in and quickly made horse racing friends by the droves. It is on Facebook that Tim earned my recognition of not only a great guy, but also an amazing source of information, knowledge, and entertainment of both past and present goings on in the sport. Don’t get me wrong, he is more than only horses, but if you are a fan of racing, do yourself a favor and become a Facebook friend of Tim (Tiznow) Reynolds. If you are lucky your friendship will lead to meeting him at the races. He is one of the more pleasurable people to join in watching the races.

Relatively new to handicapping, Tim has already become an accomplished handicapper. I have first hand knowledge of Tim’s ability to pick the ponies, as he gave me the straight trifecta in a full-field, major stakes race. It was one of the first races we ever discussed together, and I have since seen numerous occasions where his picks are better than most. Good handicapping aside, Tim is a fan first and foremost. In fact, he rarely bets more in a day than a nice dinner would cost. He is there not to make money, but rather to get a glimpse of history or the next potential star in the making. He had that opportunity in May of 2008 when he noticed a striking filly on the walkover that had a very distinguishable blaze and a beautiful color. Her name was Rachel Alexandra, and he was fortunate enough to see her first race in person. She became one of Tim’s all-time favorites.

I first met Tim at this year’s Stephen Foster. We shared an old love for Sunday Silence, and also a new love for Rachel Alexandra, who happened to romp that day. Tim was like an old friend the first time I spent time with him. He is a regular guy, but with a ton of class. He is smart, but not pretentious. He is fun to be around. I feel confident in saying that everyone is better off just by knowing Tim Reynolds. I know I am. There will be many more Fans of the Year as time passes, but there will never be another innaugural winner. I can’t think of a more good natured, passionate, all-around great guy to hold that distinction. Tim Reynolds of Sunday Silence Drive (that‘s really the street he lives on), I salute you, and the world of horse racing salutes you. Congratulations, you are the Fan of the Year.


Celeste said...

Wonderful, Brian, for creating this new category of recognition and reward for being a fan of racing. Congratulations to Tim, of course!! A well deserved inaugural winner!!

Silent Sunday said... know I'm a huge fan of your glad to see you reaping the accolades like getting to work BC and now the partnership with HRN. Your work ethic is unmatched and I always love reading your blog. I'm grateful for a friend like you and as always, look forward to your next piece. And I promise, when work calms down, I'll be back to regain my championship on Who Am I?!! Thanks so much for this honor..I truly appreciate it!!

Sarah Grice said...

this was a great idea...and you made the perfect choice!

markinsac said...

Fan of the year, and why didn't I win? Hmmmmmm?

Big Ern said...

Step back
watch it
stay clear
Tiz it iz
of the

Scott said...

I've never met anyone that so exemplifies horse racing as Tiz does! Passion,Kindness,Heart,Love for the horse and human. Tim is exactly what is right in the sport.

Brian this piece is wonderful and I'm so proud to Call you Two friends. I've been truly blessed to have you guys in my life!

Vivian said...

OK, I don't feel so bad now for not winning. Great choice Brian, great choice!

Jennifer Cook said...

Grinning! Just sitting here grinning like a fool. This is great. This is right. This is super perfectamundo!!

darlene said...

congrats to you Tim Wonderful honor

Jen W. said...

This is PERFECT!!!!! Congratulations, Tim, for such a well-deserved honor!!!!! :-)