Only after I raced a horse on Zed Run did I realize how foolish I was for having passed on the project back in January.
During the flurry of activity that involved me taping my eyelids open, and stalking Discords and Twitter at the height of NFT mania, I stumbled into Zed Run, the digital horse racing ecosystem. I joined the Discord, created an account, and passed on some readily available horses on the marketplace.
"This seems ok," I thought.
But with Top Shot on the brain, I opted for baller instead of breeder.
A few months later though, with the constant barrage of pixelated equine content on Twitter and words of encouragement from sharp friends like Drew Dinkmeyer, I have succumbed to the FOMO that plagued many others.
I am a horse boy now.
Say hello to Rumour Rouge.
I grabbed Rumour Rouge for 0.112 ETH (~$250) at the tail end of the most recent mega drop on Zed Run. And boy is she a beauty.
A young filly with a Z8 Genotype and Buterin blood, Rumour Rouge wouldn’t have spurred high expectations for most owners. The Buterin's are the most available bloodline, and Z8 is...well 8 steps from the most notable Genesis horses on Zed Run. But I always thought there was something special about her, and her beautiful bondi blue coat.
To test her mettle, I boldly entered her in her first race this weekend, the Caribbean Cup, a 2200 meter trek. Rookie hooves and all, Rumour Rouge confidently posted in gate nine as the lone blue horse. She stood jockey-less with clear eyes and a full heart…it was as if she couldn’t lose.
Please, I beg of you. You don't have to read anything else I ever write...BUT PLEASE, spend the next two minutes watching this race.
It's two minutes. And it is MUST SEE TV.
Hot out of the gate, a mid-race lull to make others feel like they had a chance, and then the burners at the end.
My sweet, sweet girl.
I watched this race with my parents, screaming for most of it. It was honestly one of the most exhilarating moments in recent memory for me, perhaps a sad footnote about the state of my life.
Nevertheless, this level of excitement for a free race in which I netted $24?
Jonathan Bales may have said it best after he experienced a similarly exciting comeback...
Jonathan Bales @BalesFootballIt’s 1am. I’m alone in a hotel in Miami racing digital horses. My colt Spicy Mayo just had an amazing comeback. I’m having the time of my life. https://t.co/sY9VpJAji4
Yes. Think about when real money is on the line. Think about when breeding comes back. Think about when wagering is allowed on other races.
This is like dynasty fantasy baseball meets the Kentucky Derby.
I'm barely too tall and a lot too chubby to ride a horse to victory. But I'm sorta smart, know a lot of smart people, and might have a sneaky awesome horse? I’m swapping equity with other top-tier genesis horses, I’m building spreadsheets with pre-race odds and gate numbers….I actually feel like for the first time in my life, I’m validating my existence as a rural Pennsylvanian.
Who knows what happens next? Maybe I breed the next Secretariat. Or better yet, maybe Rumour Rouge is the next Secretariat.
After having participated and felt the potential of Zed Run first hand, it's hard not to be excited about what it could become. Not to get super crazy, but this random Purdue University doc from 2013 estimates the Horse Racing industry represents $39 Billion worth of economic activity in the United States. Disclaimer, I'm too lazy to check a second source, but yes, this number seems outrageous.
Couple the traditional excitement of horse racing with the cleaner, healthier, practice of racing DIGITAL horses and there might really be something here.
Plus, never underestimate what's possible when a bunch of degenerates get involved.
For now, I'm taking the long road on Zed Run and will be looking to fill out my stable and breeding operation. It is only fitting that during the craziest few months of unconventional investing my life has ever seen, I have added "Stable Boy" to my resume.