June 2, 2007
: CINCINNATI (AP) – Chad Johnson’s trash talk won’t work on his next opponent.
As part of a charity promotion, the Cincinnati Bengals receiver has agreed to race a horse at a track next weekend. He’s not running against Mr. Ed, so his gift for in-your-face gab won’t help.
‘I’m looking forward to it,’ Johnson said Friday, after the first day of minicamp. ‘It’s going to be fun. Some of the things I’m going to be doing this year are crazy, and racing a horse is one of them.’
A 4-year-old colt named Restore the Road will race Johnson on the turf at Cincinnati’s River Downs on June 9. The horse will run 1/8th of a mile, while Johnson covers half that distance.
Sounds like a fair match to Johnson.
‘I’m ready,’ he said. ‘He has two extra legs, so I will get a two-extra-leg lead. It’s all for fun. The important thing is raising money to help those in need.’
The money will go to coach Marvin Lewis’ foundation and Feed The Children, which helps the needy in Africa.
It’s not the first time that a Bengals receiver has raced a horse. Cris Collinsworth previously challenged a horse – and lost – at River Downs.
Quarterback Carson Palmer expects a similar outcome.
‘I don’t think he really understands how fast horses are,’ Palmer said Friday. ‘I’ve been to the Kentucky Derby and been to different tracks and seen horses run. I don’t think he knows what he’s getting himself into.
‘Just because he’s my teammate, I’ve got to back him up. But I’ll be secretly putting money on that horse.’
Receiver T.J. Houshmandzadeh had advice for Johnson: Don’t look back.
‘It’s not a Kentucky Derby horse, so he’s probably going to win, I think,’ Houshmandzadeh said. ‘If he turns around and sees the horse getting close, he’ll get discouraged and probably slow down.’