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.


Anonymous said...

That MTA clerk you so un-graciously describe was my mother. Judging from your own photo, do you think you should be taking pot shots at my mothers appearance?

dana said...

Y'all hurry back now, ya hear! :)

suebroux said...

Anon: Put a smile on your Mom's face - send her flowers! Oh, even better, take her to Saratoga this weekend! :-)

Teresa said...

So sorry that I missed your trip--you have to come back during Belmont or Aqueduct next time. Hope you and the girls had fun--

Steve Zorn said...

Well, even trying the subway is more than most tourists are willing to do.We're all pretty friendly in NYC, except, perhaps, for the occasional MTA token clerk -- perhaps she's worried that machines will replace her in the near future.

suebroux said...

Steve, I would have to agree with you - most everyone we met in New York was very friendly and helpful. As for our initiation to the New York subway system, it was probably not in our favor to be a trio of bumbling hillbilly tourists trying to successfully use our Metrocards.

A final note: I had been told by a native New Yorker that "Central Park [is] the most amazing city park in the world." Absolutely!

saddlebabesharon said...

Your mention of Secretariat in this entry moves me to let you know about the fate of one of Secretariat's descendants. If you go to, you will find the story of Streakin' Kitty, a race horse who was abandoned in the desert when her injuries were such that she was of no value to her handlers or those who raced her in illegal match races in the desert until she could go no further.

Her identity was discovered through her lip tattoo, and her pedigree was easily found on the Internet.

Last year, you wrote a post about "looking for Mr. September" in the 2009 Hunks & Horses Calendar, published by Swingin' SaddleBabes. I want you to know that he is back this year in our Hunks & Horses calendar, which will go on sale online later this month at

Come take a look at our farriers and look at what this year's rescue, HEART of Tucson, is doing to help abandoned and abused horses. Sales from the calendar will benefit the horses they rescue.

You can also follow Kitty on Twitter ( and Facebook (