What a beautiful Thursday morning in Lexington and at The Red Mile! Although there was some fog early, when I arrived at the track the temperature was 60 degrees and not a cloud in the sky. I actually discovered the power of this column just as I began my travels around the backstretch, as trainer Bruce Saunders came by on his way to the track with a horse and he thanked me for the great weather. I told Bruce I have a second job, working for the Lexington Chamber of Commerce.
I am well refreshed today as no dinner or party offers came my way last night, although I did hear about some escapades by others this morning. So I stayed home with Maxie and had a chicken parmiagana TV dinner and watched Survivor and Criminal Minds—still trying to figure out why all my female friends swoon over Shemar Moore—and the Tigers clinch the AL Central division.
Speaking of female friends, I have always wanted to have my picture taken with a Goddess, so I had to head over to Paul Kelley's barn where he has a 2-year-old filly trotter named Goddess. The filly is in tonight's 8th race at The Red Mile in a division of the Bluegrass and is the 4-1 third choice in the program, but after my little pep talk this morning, my money's going on her nose.
Paul and caretaker Jenna Caligaris were gracious enough to take Goddess out of her stall and then Paul snapped the picture of me, Goddess and Jenna. I told Jenna I actually was having my pictuure taken with two Goddesses.
Since I had never met Jenna before last week, I asked her how long she had been working for Paul. She said she just started a couple of weeks ago after working for Dave Spagnola at Saratoga. Paul then chimed in, "I claimed her out of a high-priced claimer and brought her with me.”
Jenna told me that Goddess was "just amazing and great to be around,” and I can second that sentiment as the filly was a sweetheart and easily posed for the pictures.
I walked up to the track and Meegan Sattelberg called me over to say hello. Meegan and Fred Grant weren't here last year and I missed the donuts, but because Meegan is here by herself now with just one horse, the Kentucky Sires Stakes champion Sorrento Hall, there still weren't any donuts.
I walked to the track and saw Bob and Patty McIntosh, and both were adorned in Tigers gear and gave me high-fives on the Tigers clinching. Up at the track, local owner Hal Hewitt was sitting on the fence watching his 2-year-old colt pacer Let's Drink On It go around the track. Hal's just one of those genuine good guys who you always root for. Let's Drink On It is trained by Joe Seekman and was the horse driven by Jim Morrill Jr. in the Metro at Mohawk that turned into a bumper-car race. One of the favorites in the Metro, Let's Drink On It was interfered with in the stretch and then caused interference, which led to Jimmy getting a short suspension. Hal told me he thinks the colt is still being affected mentally by the incident, which was followed up by a sub-par seventh-place finish in the Pennsylvania Sires Stakes final.
"Saturday night will tell us whether we go on with him (to the Breeders Crown) or we quit with him,” Hal told me.
I also saw Trond Smedshammer, who told me he was on the fence about entering Arch Madness in the Allerage Trot, which would have eliminations on Sunday if there were enough entries. I told Trond I thought the mission was to get Arch Madness to the $4-million mark in career earnings (he's about $70,000 short), but Trond told me no, and that it's just been a tough year for the 9-year-old gelding as the competition has been tough. Trond said he would make the final decision after taking Arch Madness on the track, so when I did a final swoop on my way out, I stopped by his barn and he told me that he had dropped his name in the box. Trond said 13 were entered in the Allerage, so there would be three byes and a 10-horse elim with only the top seven advancing to the final on Oct. 6.
I stopped on my out in the main office and grabbed a couple of tonight's program from Bessie and got another high-five on the Tigers from Connie Hochstetler. I didn't really want to leave the track to go back to the office since it was so nice out, but alas, I want to keep my job. By the way, the weather forecast for the next few days in Lexington is for SPECTACULAR conditions. Today's high is supposed to reach 78, with a pleasant evening, and then tomorrow 80, Saturday 84 and then Sunday slightly cooler. No rain in the forecast!
And finally, drum roll please……$3.31!