Backstretch With Gordon: Just 92
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First of all, everyone must click on the "Watch Video" in the Hanover Shoe Farms' advertisement for Greenshoe in our new HarnessRacing Weekend Preview. It was taken from the vantage point of the starting car and you'll never get another look at Greenshoe's acceleration like you'll see in this video. Here's the link to the latest Preview, click on Open in Browser for Oct. 3 edition, and just scroll through until you get to the Hanover Shoe Farms ad for Greenshoe: https://www.harnessracing.com/dashboard
So I made my way out to Fasig-Tipton for the second night of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale, but not before picking up Dave Brower on the way. We arrived at 6 p.m. for the Breeders Crown Charity Challenge cocktail party, which led into the 6:45 auctioning off of breedings to seven high-profile stallions. The brainchild of Marvin Katz, the seven breedings totaled $205,000. I was sitting a few rows behind Marvin in the pavilion when he signed for the breeding for Chapter Seven for $33,000 with Al Libfeld as partner.
I know y’all want to congratulate me for getting through yesterday’s Backstretch without mentioning the hot temperature once, but the reprieve is over. And so is the heat wave—almost. The high today is supposed to reach “only” 92, but then tomorrow we top out at 76. Saturday gets a bump up to 85, and then back down to 74. Fingers crossed for Sunday as rain is finally predicted, but I’m not sure it won’t hold off until after the Futurity Day card is completed.
Back to the sale last night, I was walking near the back ring when Howie Okusko called me over, and their two picnic tables were filled with food brought in from Malone’s. Howie said to jump in, so I went for the fried chicken and cocktail shrimp. I was hungry so it was great timing, although I didn’t have much of a chance to say hello to Howie’s wife, Jessica, Bones or Doug Paul as I was stuffing my face.
I promised Boss Kathy—well, she kind of “suggested”—that I didn’t make it a second straight night that went into the wee hours, so I headed out with Dave shortly before 9 p.m. I was asleep by 11:30, so I felt refreshed this morning at The Red Mile.
Brothers Canciellere—John and Tom—came by in their truck and we talked for about five good minutes. Dewayne Minor, who I’ve known forever as he’s a fellow native Detroiter, and I caught up for a few. I also practiced my Swedish with Ake Svanstedt, who purchased last night’s sale topper, a trotting colt with a price of $320,000. My Swedish is not very good. Yes, I know my English isn’t much better.
Mark Harder is walking around with a cast on his left arm as a result of a training “mishap,” he told me. Also Brian Brown said Workin Ona Mystery wasn’t going to be entered in Sunday’s Tattersalls Pace after spiking a fever. Although the fever has come down, Brian wanted to be safe and not sorry.
I have to head back to The Red Mile a bit early this afternoon as I’m doing the pre-race show with Dave Brower. Won’t take long as there are only seven races to go through. TVG’s Todd Schrupp and Dave Weaver, the latter the brother of famous horse owner Mark Weaver, are in town for the Keeneland meet that gets underway tomorrow and they will both be at The Red Mile this afternoon and Todd will join Dave on the set prior to the last race. I hope Todd gets a chance to ride in the starting car as I wonder if he’s ever had the opportunity?
By the way, there was a big press conference in town yesterday where it was announced country superstar Chris Stapleton--a Lexington native--would be headling the first-ever concert at UK's Kroger Field next April. Sheryl Crow, Willie Nelson and Yalo are also performing. And since I have sources all over town, I heard after the press conference Chris had lunch at the Ramsey's on Nicholasville Road, a place familiar to horsemen.
If you didn’t fill your gas tank the last couple days with prices in the $2.20s, sorry, you’re out of luck. Virtually every station in town—except for one Shell station I passed this morning that still had $2.33—the prices have jumped up to $2.55. Sorry Dean Hoffman, I know you said your tank was on empty when I saw you last.