So, I took my daughters to the track.
It’s not difficult to persuade my kids to spend a lovely afternoon at Lone Star Park. The beauty and grace of the thoroughbred, the pageantry of the Call to Post, the anticipation of the race, the exhilaration of a photo finish, the celebration of … oh, who am I fooling. It’s all about the ice cream.
Super-Manager and Friendliest Guy on the Planet, John Records, usually bestows my kids with frozen treats, which they find a whole lot more exciting than an exacta payout of $89.20. It’s like a visit from Santa Claus. And remarkably, he sort of looks a little like ol’ S.C. himself, albeit “a slim and healthy Santa”, as noted by Alice.
While waiting for the arrival of Mr. Records, serendipity intervened: Quite by chance, I met Dan Leary, the new Director of Communications. What great luck! A potential font of information! A walking press box! Since the departure of a very accessible and easy-going Darren Rogers, I had been anxiously looking forward to his successor. And here was was!
“Wow! Wow! Dan Leary! I’m so excited to meet you!” I introduced myself and prattled on about my blog and writing objectives, feeling somewhat full of myself, and hoping to have the Director of Communications available for tidbits of racing-related information.
Apparently, the new Director of Communications is a telepath because Dan Leary just looked at me wordlessly.
Since I lack the ability to communicate telepathically, I continued to babble, recapping my recent Bob Baffert Trilogy, including the short entry on his wife, Bonny Brown. That elicited some brief verbal communication from Mr. Leary, such as her next gigs as well an upcoming feature about her on Dale Hansen’s Sport Special, information that may, or may not, prove useful at the mutuel windows in the near future,
Railbird Roy: Gimme a $10 exacta box with the 2 and 6, and five bucks that Bonny will play The Mexican Hat Dance after the Call to Post for the 4th race.
Needless to say, I was rather disappointed, at least until John Records showed up with ice cream and a smile. Of course, he had an excuse for Dan Leary’s restrained first contact: He’s from the East. “Dan’s a good guy,” John assured me. “He’s from the East coast, and you know how those guys are. Give him another chance. Now, let’s talk Big Brown.”
Okay, okay. Let’s face it, Dan Leary was probably somewhat unnerved attempting to communicate with some whack-o blond turf writer wannabe armed with two young girls twirling an umbrella and singing Hannah Montana’s “Best of Both Worlds.” What Director of Communication could possibly take me seriously?
Anyway, although the crowd was sparse outside (reminder for all of you who are from the East: This is Texas - the "crowds" are inside in air-conditioned comfort), the girls and I enjoyed the afternoon, even having a brief opportunity to meet the leading trainer ...er, who according to recent communication ... (oops)
Alice, Steve Asmussen, and Sophie, Lone Star Park, June 22,2008