Friday, August 21, 2009

Racing Around in New York

Last week I went to New York City.

Everybody else was in Saratoga Springs.

As Brooklyn Backstretch’s Teresa rubbed elbows with individuals such as Mary Lou Whitney and Nick Zito, my daughters and I were welcomed to Manhattan by a chubby, middle-aged, unsmiling MTA agent sitting in her dimly lit MTA booth that was littered with empty Frito bags and Pepsi cans. I had made a rookie mistake in my first attempt to use the New York subway system. She berated me not once, but twice. And you could clearly see her disdain for me when she had to allow me to pass through an emergency door.

And while Steven Crist dined with his pals at Everglades Barbecue & Seafood, we went to see Mary Poppins on Broadway. We had wonderful seats in the orchestra section – a worthy treat for our first trip to New York. My 7-year-old, Alice, fell asleep in her seat before they even sang "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious". A rather expensive nap, indeed.

And while Dana tweeted and twerped with her tweetees about various races and wagering strategies and money management, we went to the top of the Empire State Building. It was high. And crowded. And high. And I failed to embrace any romantic significance of being on the top of the Empire State Building, à la An Affair to Remember or Sleepless in Seattle. Apparently, Cary Grant, Deborah Kerr, Meg Ryan, et. al. didn’t suffer from acrophobia. Did I mention it was high?

But I did get the opportunity to meet at least one giant in the world of New York racing: Alan, genius blogger of Left at the Gate. It was like meeting Harvey Pack. Or Secretariat. That is, if Secretariat had had reliable internet connectivity because if he had you know he would’ve written his own blog. Anyway, Alan is fortunate to work in a landmark building that according to my NYC guidebook touts as “one of New York’s greatest interiors”. As it turns out, it’s one of New York’s greatest interiors that you’re not allowed to see. Regardless, Alan and I swapped stories briefly outside, ending our initial meeting with a closing statement that all horse racing fans appreciate,

See you at the races next time.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Lights On Broadway Makes News Again

Back in April I had the opportunity to visit the 2001 Texas Champion, Lights on Broadway, one final time before he embarked to his final retirement home in the Texas Hill Country. To refresh everybody's memories, he was rescued off the back of a slaughter truck last year and was subsequently rehabilitated and retrained by Donna Keen, who chronicled the events in her own blog, Thoroughbred Race Horse Blog.

The rescue of the Texas Champion generated some buzz among the local media. Gary West wrote a feature piece for the Star-Telegram (motto: We're a newspaper, not a server). Additionally, WFAA channel 8 produced a Sports Special segment that was originally scheduled to air the day after the Kentucky Derby, however the collapse of the Cowboys' practice facility bumped the story to a later date.

Anyway, I sent an inquiry about the story to the reporter, Joe Trahan, who at this writing, is busy with Cowboys' training camp and/or swilling margaritas in San Antonio, and he kindly provided the link to the story (VIDEO). I invite you to take a few moments and watch the story - Lights on Broadway had a happy ending. And don't we all wish that would be true for every race horse.

Monday, August 10, 2009

The Fashionable Filly ... Well Sort Of

Over the past couple of weeks I've been teaching religious education to a cacophony of rambunctious fifth graders. I'm not much of a teacher. Frankly, there are days that I feel unqualified to be a mother. However, I definitely lack any credentials to be a fashion photographer.

A few months ago, it was touted that the Filly Phenom Rachel Alexandra would be featured in the August 2009 issue of Vogue magazine, having been captured on film by some notable fashion photographer dude named Steve Klein. The other afternoon, in a dither of excitement, I thumbed through the new issue of Vogue, prepared to pay my $4.99 plus tax all for the glory of possessing pages of amazing photos of Rachel Alexandra.


I returned the magazine to the rack and opted to save my cash. A brief one page articles accompanied a 'fashion spread' of a single photo. I've provided a simulation of the Vogue photo for your review, just in case it's not available at your local newsstand or you prefer to spend the five bucks on your next Pick-3.