Last Saturday morning, Lone Star Park brought back their highly successful and somewhat nutritional Jockeys & Java, a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed morning program that enables racing fans an opportunity to watch workouts, ask questions, tour barns, and eat free breakfast burritos.
Lone Star Park's all-time leading rider, Cliff Berry, was the first guest of the program. One piece of Betcha-Didn't-Know information: Cliff Berry set a record last December at Remington Park, going 7-for-7 on one race card. He certainly spends his time doing his homework on each race, "I handicap the race not see who can win, but if I can win."
Of course, the one question that is consistently asked of jockeys, "Tell us about your injuries?" is a fan favorite. These 110 lb. guys are like midget gladiators; broken bones and bruises and stitches. Berry referred to himself as "lucky", as he nonchalantly said that he's broken his leg twice and bruised his ribs once. And here I am, moaning and wailing and consuming stockpiles of Advil when I have a hangnail!
The tour of the backside and trainers' barns remains a highlight, save for those mean ol' horse flies that come after you like the paparazzi. Dallas and Donna Keen are once again opening up their stables to fans, giving them the opportunity to see racehorses up close. And, interestingly enough, all the horses have their heads sticking out of their stalls, observing these burrito-stuffed individuals in return.
Tomorrow's guest is jockey Lindey Wade. I don't know anything about him other than he's new to Lone Star Park and he's having a pretty good meet, winning at about 21%. I'll learn more in the morning, after I eat my breakfast.