official. I’m suffering from a pretty good case of mid winter depression. Like
most everyone else in the lower 48 states, I’m frozen and melancholy. Up until
a few weeks ago, I thought Polar Vortex was a Russian hockey player. Today I
know the truth; it’s a bitter cold wave that has sucked the life right out of
me and countless others. Needless to say, I haven’t been doing much of anything
but watching TV while wrapped in my couch blanket and dreaming.
I have been
dreaming of the spring and my spring and summer racing schedule. Being a working
man, a commoner for the people if you will, my travels are limited to those
tracks closest to me. And those tracks are the ones located in New York State,
where some of the nation’s best racing takes place. We can have that east
coast/west coast fight some other time.
trip on the agenda is the Big A, Aqueduct on April 5th. Four stakes
races will be held that day including the Grade 3 Bay Shore Handicap for
three-year-olds over a distance of seven furlongs. Also on the card that day
will the $500 thousand, Grade 1 Carter Handicap for three-year-olds and up,
also covering seven furlongs.
Then we have
the Grade 2, Gazelle Stakes for three-year-old fillies. The mile and an
eighth trip is a tune up for the Kentucky Oaks and is not the biggest race on
the card. That race is the one million dollar Wood Memorial for three year
olds. The race is worth 100 points towards the road to the 2014 Kentucky Derby and
was won last year by Verrazano.
springtime in Queens continues with the running of the 2014 Belmont Stakes on
June Seventh. Only six or seven miles
from Aqueduct, Belmont is a huge place that can accommodate a crowd that
hopefully will see a new Triple Crown Champion crowned. It’s three degrees
outside and it’s my fantasy and if I want to see a Triple Crown I will.
Then after a
goodly and warming spring, we race into summer where my dream continues to the
warmth of Saratoga. I want hot, humid upstate New York days that are sometimes
cooled by a downpour of rain that only Saratoga can produce.
for the Mac and Cheese truck that can be found at NYRA tracks. I want a hot dog
and a slice of New York pizza. A large coke, and an order of those Montreal
French Fries, covered in cheese curds and gravy. I want to see the little Irish
guy who sells you seats in the grandstand for 25 bucks a piece. He sits outside
of the gate at Saratoga on the Nelson Ave entrance. Of course they are more expensive
on stakes days and less expensive a half hour after post time on a Monday
And most of
all I want the chance to watch live racing, in person, with the smell of beer and
cigars filling the open air at any of these tracks. I want to hear that thunder
as they speed past you. I want to see the hope in the betting public’s eye as
they look forward to the next race, and the chance to be a winner as well.
almost feel better. I feel like I should be sending you a co-payment instead of a shrink. Let’s
hook up now that you know where I’ll be. Till then… Riders Up!