Rooting In A Longshot

There’s one universal golden rule in the press box that remains consistent no matter the sport or location.

Don’t cheer in the press box.

You will be asked to leave. I’ve seen it before.

I’m guessing that no one will kick out a screaming reporter if Norman Asbjornson turns for home in the Preakness Stakes next Saturday with a shot at the Black Eyed Susans.

Norman’s story to even attempt to make the Preakness is phenomenal. His trainer, Chris Grove, has the best horse of his career in one of the toughest spots of his life. Chris’s son Noah continues to recover from bone cancer.

Noah was diagnosed in 2004 and needed to endure a knee amputation to live. He’s now 12. That’s pretty much a longshot to start off with; then again longshots are the rule this time of year.

Legendary trainer Nick Zito caught wind of the story and called Chris. He donated a bunch of money through a wiffle ball tournament – and there’s more on the way if Nick’s horse beats Chris’s next Saturday.

“Noah has two horses to root for next Saturday in Norman Asbjornson and Dialed In,” Zito said. “If Dialed In wins the Preakness, the Grove family will be happy, let’s put it that way.”

Zito collects a $500,000 bonus if Dialed In wins the Preakness Stakes.

Oh, by the way, Zito has never met Noah. Or Chris. Or any of the Groves. That should happen in the middle of next week.

Imagine how incredible that moment will be for those three people.

“I have always heard that he was a classy guy. To have one of the top guys in our industry take the time to research Noah and find out about his story shows how classy he is,” said Grove.

I’ll be on the roof next Saturday evening rooting for Noah, Chris and Nick. I hope you can join me.

Get an instant “Dash of Dachille” on Twitter. Follow him at WBALDash.


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