Me and the Green Monkey

By Germanm

Sep 6, 2007 7:37pm

Associate producer Catherine Cole blogs: We arrived at Belmont Park early Wednesday morning. Crowing roosters welcomed us to the stables, where dozens of horses live. View the The Green Money slideshow here. In a dark stall, at the end of the hallway, lives The Green Monkey, the $16 million dollar horse. His owners named him after an exclusive golf course in Barbados. His face is very distinctive — he has a wide white stripe that runs from his eyes to his mouth. As we trained the camera on him, he couldn’t stop looking back at us. He has a reputation around the barn as being curious. Cameraman Tom Budai found out that he was. The Green Monkey lifted his head and pricked his ears as if to say, "I’m here and ready for my close-up". People around the barn take his personality with good humor. Anna Seitz, the barn manager for Todd Pletcher Racing Stables, told correspondent Ryan Owens, "He’s very smart and he likes to have fun. He’s not a mean horse. He just has a lot of personality, and he’s real feisty all the time." Seitz was raised on a farm in Versailles, Kentucky — real horse country – -and she’s been around horses all her life. But never a horse with such a high price tag. "Whenever anybody wants to come to the barn and see what I do it’s fun to bring them by and show [a] very, very valuable horse," she said. Anna led us to the track to watch The Green Monkey train. From my own untrained eye, he looked impressive as he sped past the camera. But this was only practice for him. He has never run in a real race; they’re waiting for the perfect race. No one has ever paid this much for a two-year-old. The Green Monkey was caught up in the battle between a sheikh from Dubai and an Irish tycoon who both bid on him. He caught their eye when he set a new record during one of his test runs. Jeremy Plonk, editor of Horseplayer Magazine, tells ABC News, "These two superpowers in the thoroughbred auction market have been at it for years now. And they’re always trying to top one another. They want the best stock on the race track which in turn then will give them the best breeding stock down the line." And that is the chance that owners of The Green Monkey are betting on. I think they’d love him to be a racing champion, but if he never enters the winner’s circle he wouldn’t be a waste of money. They could put him out to stud, where he might sire future champions. All of this may weigh heavy on the minds of men, but not for The Green Monkey. As he returned to the stables at the end of his work-out, he moved with confidence and with the gait of a champion. Only time will tell if he becomes one. View the The Green Money slideshow here.

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