Thursday, December 15, 2011

What's a Wewoka Switch?

Well for one, it’s the name of a 2 year old maiden running Saturday in the 8th race at Gulfstream. Trained by Nick Zito, he is owned by Dream Walkin’ Farm (Toby Keith). He is by Harlan‘s Holiday, out of the stakes placed mare, Lady Dynasty, and has had one start on a sloppy, sealed track at Churchill.  

I would love TK to come up with another good horse. And I try to follow the Harlan’s Holidays.  So I am curious about this colt, and even more curious about his name.

Here’s what I found, according to the website, Historically Speaking and Elyse Bruce.

 Wewoka is a small town in Oklahoma and situated at the junction of State Highway 56 and U.S. Highway 270. The town was originally located in 1849 in what was considered to be the Seminole Nation, Indian Territory (I.T.).

Not too much later, in 1895, the Choctaw, Oklahoma and Gulf Railroad (the Chicago, Rock Island and Pacific Railway after 1902) ran its line from McAlester to Oklahoma City, passing through Wewoka. They also installed side tracks.

In the early 1900s, freight would oftentimes go missing once a train had been redirected to the side tracks, and items that went missing were said to be ”lost in the Wewoka Switch.”

In the 1920s, when thousands of freight shipments destined elsewhere went missing, they were soon found hidden at the Wewoka Switch. Soon, the railroad company made it a policy to check Wewoka first whenever they were advised of a lost shipment. It got to be such a habit that soon a rubber stamp was created that read: “Search Wewoka Switch.”

It didn’t take too long before the saying became: “It’s in a Wewoka Switch” meaning that whatever or whoever was involved in questionable — possibly illegal — activities was quite obviously tangled up in a tight spot.”

A cool name for a horse and I'm going to be rooting for Wewoka Switch to run a better race. Though Zito has started the meet kind of cold, his horses usually run better after a start, Let’s hope the colt doesn’t get in a “tight spot”, or gets “ lost”  in his second start. He did show some speed in his first race, but faded and was beaten 12 lengths. I’m willing to toss that effort because of the track.  Zito is making a rider change to rider Joe Bravo.

About an hour later, the featured 10th race on Saturday at Gulfstream is named the Harlan’s Holiday. Could his son, Wewoka Switch, break his maiden in the 8th on the same day? Just for fun, I may take a shot at 15-1.

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