It's yet another gloomy morning in Lexington as the sun has yet to make an appearance and a mist fell. I'm beginning to wonder what people expect of me because I can't tell you how many times over the past couple days I was asked that because I am a local, why can't I do something about the weather.
It's supposed to clear up by post time for tonight's card and Sunday afternoon should have good weather. But there's an 80 percent chance of rain Monday and a high of just 60, but then things are going to be on the upswing.
It was another nice night of racing on Friday and there were some big efforts on the track. I was on the apron when I Luv The Nitelife won her Bluegrass division and trainer Chris Ryder walked by on his way to the winner's circle. As many great horses as Chris has had in his barn over the years, he stopped for a second and told me how nice of a filly she is. "You really appreciate it when you have one in the barn like her,” Chris said.
Two people who haven't been around this meet who have been staples for years are Doug and Ada Jean Ackerman. Their daughter, Connie Hochstetler, told me her dad wasn't feeling well so her parents went back home to North Carolina. Connie gave me her parents' address so if anyone wants to send a card to Doug, you can send it to: Doug Ackerman, 530 Light Horse Circle, Aberdeen, N.C. 28315. I know a lot of people have missed the Ackermans being around the track and I certainly am one of those.
After the races last night I hit the trifecta—of sorts. In searching for some late-night entertainment I first went to Logan's where Shawna and Lindsey had food and beverage waiting for me since it was near 11:30. The girls really take care of me, probably better than they should. With Logan's closing at midnight I headed back over to Buffalo Wild Wings where there were some horsemen still around as well as The Red Mile's Julie Sorrell and Gabe Prewitt, who were sitting with photographer John Sannucci.
If anyone thinks I've been getting exercise traipsing around the track day and night, Gabe is getting more. He's doing between-race interviews in the paddock and then rushing back to the winner's circle to do an interview with a connection of a stakes-race winner. And then he turns around and goes back to the paddock to find his next victim.
Since I was ignored at Wings for 20 minutes and never asked if I needed anything, I decided to pack up and complete the late-night trifecta and head around the corner on Waller Ave. to Campus Pub. There were a couple horsemen in there, plus Shawna and Lindsey were there waiting on me. For any horsemen looking for some really late-night food, the Pub's kitchen stays open until 2 a.m. And I better mention Stephanie and Kristen, just so they won't ignore me in the future.
And yes, despite the late hours, I made it to The Red Mile this morning in time for qualifiers. As I noted before, Wishing Stone, who won the 2010 Kentucky Futurity, is back in Dewayne Minor's barn, and he finally was able to get a nice workout into the trotter this morning. Starting in the second qualifier, Dewayne got away second with Wishing Stone but at the :30 quarter moved to the lead. From there it was lights out as Wishing Stone hit the half in :58.2 and three-quarters in 1:27, before closing out the easy win with a final quarter of :28.1 and hitting the wire in 1:55.1.
I walked over to the Minor barn and Dewayne gave me the thumbs-up. He said he'll go a pretty good training mile early next week with Wishing Stone as the trotter prepares to start in next Sunday's Allerage.
Interestingly, Chapter Seven had also been dropped in the qualifier box by trainer Linda Toscano and drew inside of Wishing Stone, but when race secretary Billy Perkins filled a $7,500 Open Trot on Sunday, Chapter Seven was scratched from the qualie. Instead, Chapter Seven faces a field that includes Arch Madness in the Open.
Heading out I stopped for a second to see Brad Kramer and maybe see the vulture, but still no signs of it. I'm beginning to think Brad is hallucinating and there is no vulture. Brad told me that despite the rain yesterday afternoon he and Brian Sears hit the golf course. Brad said it rained the entire time and it was finally at the 10th hole when it really started to pour that they came to their senses and called it a day.
Speaking of hallucinating, when I got to the parking lot to leave there was a tour bus in front of the grandstand and about 30-40 people were milling around. I learned that they were a group from South Carolina in town for tonight's football game against Kentucky and that they wanted to see the famed Red Mile. They had a chance to see the last qualifier before walking around a few minutes and soaking in the sites.
One thing I forgot from yesterday is that announcer Sam McKee had given me a report on his Wednesday afternoon jog on the Legacy Trail at the Kentucky Horse Park. Sam said he had no problems with a jog of 6.2 miles and was looking forward to a return trip.
I know Dean is probably worried there won't be a gas report, but rest easy Deano as the price of a gallon has crept down yet again another few pennies to $3.73.