As I drove into The Red Mile this glorious morning in Lexington the Owl City/Carly Rae Jepsen song "Good Times” came on the radio and it couldn't have been more fitting as the two weeks of Grand Circuit racing and the yearling sale are always good times. As the song goes, "It's always a good time” at The Red Mile during the GC meet.
"Sunny and spectacular” were the words used by a local TV weathercaster this morning for today's weather. A high of 78 today will be followed by a high of 76 tomorrow. Then the bottom falls out with highs in the low 50s on Saturday and Sunday and lows in the high 30s. I think the only person in town who is jumping for joy after seeing the forecast is Jeremy in the track's gift shop as he is loaded with cold-weather gear. Jeremy always does blockbuster business this meet when the weather shifts quickly.
Thursday afternoon's race card marks the first of the final four days of racing at the historic racetrack, wrapping up on Sunday with the 120th Kentucky Futurity. It was just a few minutes after I arrived on the backstretch that Peter Arrigenna, the co-owner and trainer of Yonkers Trot winner Archangel, who will start in the Sunday's Futurity, came by with his stable star.
Archangel hasn't raced since making a break in a driving rainstorm Sept. 22 in the New York Sires Stakes final at Yonkers. If I can say anything this morning, it's that Archangel looks great and it's obvious he's raring to go as he was a handful for Peter. Actually, I'm not sure who was walking who. I tried to keep up with the two of them but Archangel didn't want to cooperate as he took off with Peter at a much quicker pace than I could go (please, no comments that I can't keep up with a snail right now).
I saw Ray Schnittker getting ready to take his 3-year-old filly trotter Check Me Out on the track for a go-around as she gets ready for her one-heat-only Kentucky Filly Futurity on Sunday afternoon. I then made my way over to Linda Toscano's barn to see her and Hambletonian winner Market Share, who races Saturday in a late-closer as he was not eligible to the Futurity. But I was told I was too late as Linda was at the track earlier and had already left.
I then saw the Canadian Sportsman's Dave Briggs. Like me, Dave is a huge Detroit Tigers fan. So we congratulated each other on the team winning the division and we congratulated each other on Miguel Cabrera winning the Triple Crown. And like me, Dave can't believe there can be any talk besides Cabrera winning the AL's MVP award. I took the opportunity last night to just stay home and watch baseball—no sale or debate for me—and do some laundry as I was running out of clean clothes to wear with the hectic pace over the past week. And bond with my cat, Maxie, who obviously has been missing me.
Things will really get tight around here this afternoon—in the "official's” parking lot. As I left I asked Randy—who has been watching over that lot forever—if he could save me a space between the two white lines over there so when I got back for the races there would be a nice spot for me to park my car. But then I realized that there are no white lines in that lot, thus cars are parked everywhere. In fact, there was one car there this morning parked directly behind and blocking two other cars. Randy said he had the owner being paged all morning but hadn't had any response.
Finally, after days of decreases, gas was on the rise this morning. Actually, I saw the increase when I was driving home from the office yesterday afternoon. It's now back up to $3.79 a gallon. I had a hunch the gas cartel would take advantage of everyone arriving in town for the weekend's great racing at The Red Mile and raise the price.