Thursday, April 24, 2008

Seriously, This is a Horse Racing Blog

Recently, it has come to my attention that there are a few individuals who feel that this horse racing blog, Post Parade, is a little bit short on horses. Apparently, there are some feelings that this blog lacks intelligent, thought-provoking insight to the sport, as well as expert handicapping skills and tasty cocktail recipes. I assure all [four] of you [Dad, Chuck, Frederico, and that dude that keeps texting me from his cell phone] that my initial intentions of being a serious horse racing blogger were true. However, at some juncture in my blogging endeavor, it became a whole lot easier just to make stuff up. All the research - pedigree and trainer stats and time fractions and track bias and pace and whatever nonsense Frank Stronach is up to - became somewhat tedious. Let’s face it – it doesn’t require nearly the amount of time and effort to make it up. And it’s a lot more fun.

However, I do not wish to fail my fellow horse racing enthusiasts who are roaming the internet in search of pertinent information regarding the races, with the exception of Jessica Simpson information because, at this time, she’s generating a lot of traffic. So I shall make concerted strides to become more serious and provide more details and facts.

For example, when I see Steve Asmussen at Lone Star Park, most notably this Saturday for the Texas Mile (Gr. III) where he’ll be saddling Zanjero, Beta Capo, and probably Reporting for Duty in an effort to score the rare Steve-Asmussen-Trifecta, I will approach him with professional demeanor. I will inquire,“Regarding Pyro’s recent workout, he was not assigned an official time for his six furlong breeze, however your assistant, Scott Blasi, referred to it as ‘outstanding’. Would you care to elaborate about his workout? And was it satisfactory as he prepares for the Derby?” instead of, “The Smarty Jones bobblehead goes for about $50 on eBay. Do you think your bobblehead will fetch that much?”

I will also earnestly report factual information, such as “Behindatthebar earned $201,500 from his Coolmore Lexington Stakes (Gr. II) win, and now has $204,500 in graded earnings that he would be allowed entry into the Kentucky Derby field,” versus “I was going to bet on the Lexington but I ran into good friend, Stuart, who trapped me with a soliloquy that involved something about microbreweries, a Pick-3 at Aqueduct, Alan Garcia, and tourism in Nuuk, Greenland.”

Hopefully, readers will enjoy the new and improved fact-laden Post Parade. I shall strive to make this blog a serious source of horse racing information.

Okay, I made all that up.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Derby Sophistication: Mint Juleps and Girl Scout Cookies

The other afternoon, I was flipping through my husband’s issue of Society Life. I’m quite baffled how he secured a subscription to this magazine as his idea of “Society Life” usually involves some sort of combination of cheap beer, Whataburgers, the Dallas Mavericks, and boxer shorts. Anyway, as I paged through the recent issue of the magazine, I was surprised to see a full-page advertisement promoting an “exclusive event,” Derby Day at Lone Star Park.

An afternoon of Southern sophistication

Dinner, Open Bar, Live Races, Live and Silent Auctions

The event just rings of Society Life!

However, noted at the bottom of the ad, Proceeds benefit Girl Scouts of Texas Oklahoma Plains, Inc.

Now when I was a Girl Scout, we sold cookies and calendars and had car washes and panhandled. Since when has the Girl Scouts associated themselves with horse racing and wagering in an effort to raise money?

I ventured out to the Texas Oklahoma Plains Girl Scout Council website to glean more information. Sure enough, the event notification is strategically placed beneath the Girl Scout Night at the Purple Cow Diner, Cookie Card Balance access, and a Mother’s Day reminder. And it is also identified as an adults-only fundraiser.

Since I know many of my loyal readers aspire to be part of the Society elite, I investigated this “exclusive event” with fervor in order to provide more details.

I emailed Lee Koch, whose achievements include the Girl Scout Fundraising Guru badge. She informed me that this is the second year for the event and it is the only adult fundraiser that the council has. “Proceeds benefit the council as a whole including the camp where the horse arena is [located]. Not sold out yet but close – are you interested in coming?”

Me?? I gripe about the cost of Girl Scout Cookies these days, so it would be doubtful that I would attend “an afternoon of Southern sophistication.” Besides, I do not have nearly the amount of sophistication as John of Not to the Swift fame.

And then, of course, there is the auction. I innocently inquired if there might be something interesting. Ms. Koch obliged me by forwarding a list of the live auction items: Ultimate Texas Rangers Day, a suite for 25 at Lone Star Park, a suite at the Ballpark in Arlington, Grand Cayman vacation, 2009 Kentucky Derby package, South African Photo Safari. Not a single box of Girl Scout Cookies was in the listing of auction items. Obviously, winning the Pick-6 at Aqueduct – complete with a $1,244,648 carryover – would be a prerequisite for me to even make a tepid opening bid on any item.

Ms. Koch certainly has the knack for pulling together a sophisticated Derby Day event for the Girl Scouts. But what about the Derby itself? Who did she like?

“Don’t have a clue for the derby,” she replied.

Recommendations may be in order to develop and implement The Thoroughbred Handicapping badge.

And speaking of Society, local artist, Trish Biddle of Southlake, Texas, is the Official 2008 Kentucky Derby Artist, capturing Art Deco style of fashion, high heels, elegance, sophistication, and 18-inch waists.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Not Just Another Horse Racing Blog

I have some big news to share with you! I would have written about it sooner however I was in an obscure, internet-unfriendly region of Asia observing Mongolian horses in their native habitat. Okay, that's a lie. Actually, I have a cacophony of non-English speaking individuals repairing drywall and painting a number of rooms in my house that the notion of writing a horse racing blog or renewing a subscription to Readers' Digest is a painful process.

So the big news: The Not-Dallas/Fort Worth Star-Telegram (motto: We encourage our subscribers to go on-line to read the news!) recently launched a blog by the turf writer supremo and good friend to Post Parade, Gary West, cleverly entitled West Points. I have conveniently placed his link on the very top of all my links. It should be noted that no money was exchanged for this favor, however should a frozen margarita end up in my possession courtesy of "a friend" sometime during the Lone Star Park Spring Thoroughbred Season, it would be considered inconsequential. Good but inconsequential.

Anyway, the Professor is now available on the world-wide web. He's in the know. He's got Steve Asmussen on speed-dial. He's the guy - the only guy - who uses the word flapdoodle, and he uses it well.

Welcome to the blogosphere, Gary West!

Friday, April 11, 2008

Opening Night Presented by Steve! Asmussen

Opening night at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie was the Steve Asmussen Show. It featured Steve Asmussen. And Steve Asmussen.

Actually, it was Steve Asmussen Bobblehead Night. Regardless of the fact that he is the trainer of world-dominating, all-powerful, Horse of the Year, Curlin, as well as top Derby favorite, Pyro, you know he’s made it to the top because he’s now a bobblehead. Right up there withA-Rod and the Pope.

As I stood in line to have Steve Asmussen autograph the backside of my Steve Asmussen bobblehead, I wondered aloud – to no one in particular – if Bob Baffert had his own bobblehead. The woman standing in front of me, wearing a 133rd Kentucky Derby presented by Yum! Brands t-shirt excitedly responded to my query, “Oh yes he does! I don’t have it but I do have a Julie Krone bobblehead and when she was posing for it she asked that her bobblehead be given bigger boobs, so sure enough her bobblehead got a boob job. And I have a Todd Pletcher bobblehead. And I have a Seabiscuit bobblehead that plays the theme from Bewitched – or is it the song that they play before the running of the Big Cap? – and it is really valuable. And I’m going to the Derby and I got my tickets on eBay but I’m sure I won’t be able to go again next year because my husband and I drank 24 Mint Juleps between us last year and we had to spend the night in the drunk tank in some little hillbilly Kentucky town on our way home from the Derby and they informed us that we should avoid driving through their county again. By the way, would you like to see a couple of pictures of my grandkids?”

Anyway, Steve Asmussen obliged me for a photo opportunity; I suggested that he hold up his bobblehead, something akin to the Preakness Trophy.

And as any good fact-finding, horse racing blogger sans a press pass would do, I quickly pursued an answer to the burning question that many of you have: Does he really have a suit that color? That, er, unusual Dijon-mustard would you really wear that in public and you should go back to the Men’s Warehouse and get something a little more attractive color?

“Yes. Yes, I do,” Steve Asmussen replied.

He may have horse sense but his fashion sense may be in doubt.

And speaking of his horse sense, he certainly did a commendable job demonstrating that ability, saddling 4 winners on opening night.

Here’s a photo of Steve Asmussen at the top of the stretch. It’s common to see him here, sitting on a picnic table or leaning against the rail, watching his charges. On occasion, you can hear him whistling at them, encouraging them on. Frankly, it wouldn’t surprise me if the horses actually heard him.

And here’s Steve Asmussen enjoying a frozen margarita at the Courtyard of Champions,

Welcome Lone Star Park’s 2008 Spring Thoroughbred Meet.

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Racing Management Lumpen Gets Creative

A couple of days ago as I was lounging poolside (okay, I really wasn't lounging poolside but rather was in the employee breakroom drinking coffee that I suspect was comprised of 3-day-old coffee grounds and motor oil, and "lounging poolside" sounds a whole lot better), I read my copy of the Lone Star Post, Lone Star Park at Grand Prairie News, Volume 12, Issue 1, April 2008. I'm all giddy about the approaching season; opening night is Thursday, April 10th. And there is a plethora of events: Gary Allan in concert, Miranda Lambert in concert, Steve Asmussen in concert, SpongeBob SquarePants combination Family Fun Park and handicapping seminar, and my personal favorite - the Cinco de Mayo Festival featuring Jose Cuervo and the Kentucky Derby.

However, one little item made me catch my breath and left me all tingling,
Frank's Energy Drink Model Search
Do you think you've got what it takes to be a Frank's Energy Drink Girl? If so, you won't want to miss our Frank's Energy Drink model search during "Party at the Park." You could win cash and an opportunity to represent Frank's Energy Drink. More details at

It's the Event of the Meet! This snippet of information definitely required a more thorough investigation. Especially since I knew how excited good friend and fellow blogger, John of Not to the Swift fame, would be.

At this writing, the "more details at" are unavailable. But, being the industrious research type, I found a posting on craigslist,
Energy Drink Girls Needed!
"Frank's Energy Drink" is seeking female models to promote product awareness for bar events and in-store demonstrations in and around Dallas, including photo shoots and special appearances.

I also located similar contests that were held at Gulfstream Park Racing & Casino and Pro-Ride Park at Santa Anita. According to the rules, the job entails something to do with yodels and lederhosen.

I'll be sure to pass along the details as they become available.

Personally, I'm pleased to see that the LSP/MEC geniuses are making great efforts to attract a new fan base. They should all be rewarded with 11 shares of MEC stock for their creativity as I'm sure every Katherine Heigl look-a-like will descend upon the racetrack and add $12,653 to the on-track handle each night just to have the chance to be a Frank's Energy Drink Model. And yodel.