So far, so good.
I thought he won. I was almost confident, well, as confident as you can be in a photo finish. Live, I thought City Dreamer had gotten there, nailing horses to his inside in the final strides of the Marcellus Frost Stakes at the Iroquois Steeplechase Saturday. I didn’t know who the inside horses were, didn’t care, I just thought Sean McDermott had galvanized City Dreamer on the far outside and delivered him on the line. Timing. Timing is everything. It looked like perfect timing.
Miles and I stayed up late to watch Front Door at Turfway Park Friday night. Miles, more interested in Shakespeare, presidents, John Prine, Percy Jackson, baseball, anything than horse racing but he’s a team player. Once I explained the naming process, that Front Door’s dad is Point Of Entry, that helped Miles’ interest. When Front Door found a stalking spot outside in fourth, Mark Grier’s gold silks breaking the Turfway park winter gray, that helped. Then when Front Door put his head in front, then his neck, well, that really helped.
“I’m in the penalty box.”
That’s how a friend of mine describes when his stable goes in a slump.
The first time he said it, I said, “What?”
It’s been a week. No phone calls. Which is good news. As an owner, you know phone calls only bring bad news. Like waiting for the draft.
Ben Bradlee has nothing on Tim Keefe.
“I looked Friday night, Saturday, looked Sunday, looked Monday,” Keefe said. “I said to myself, ‘Sean’s not going to write about this? I can’t believe it. Of all the things he’s written about…he’s not going to write about this?”
Valdez lost jockey Wayne Hutchinson at the third fence in the Grand Annual at Cheltenham Friday.
There, I wrote it.
There it is in cold, hard print next to Valdez’s name. 1204. Yeah, 1204 days since his last run. We knew it had been a while, since that fateful day at Chepstow, two, three, four years ago…yeah, the day he fell, slid, strained, the day the house of cards came down.