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Backstretch With Gordon: What did I learn today?

October 01, 2019
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Every morning when I arrive at the office after trudging around the Red Mile backstretch Boss Kathy asks me, “So what did you learn today?” I’ve been pretty much giving her horse and people reports, but today I told her—and yes, I know you’re probably tired of reading about it—it was too hot so I limited my laps around the backstretch.
 
But Boss Kathy didn’t want to talk weather, she wanted to talk about Media Mogul, the first foal of the trotter Kathy Parker, who sells as Hip 8 in tonight’s opening session of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale. While I remained in the office yesterday, Boss Kathy made her way to Fasig-Tipton, and she stopped at the Kentuckiana Farms consignment to see Media Mogul. She sent me the photo you see of her and Media Mogul, who is a son of Muscle Hill. “Just in case you need a photo for tomorrow’s Backstretch,” Boss Kathy wrote. I can take a hint.
 
I still remember Hambo Day 2015 when Kathy Parker (the trotter) finished second by a nose at odds of 35-1 to Broadway Donna in the Jim Doherty Memorial. Owners Marvin Katz and Al Libfeld were nice enough to let Kathy Parker (the person) name the first foal, and she came up with Media Mogul. She said since he's a son of Muscle Hill, he should be a giant on the track.
 
So back to the weather. It was 97 yesterday and when I arrived at The Red Mile today it was already 78 and felt much warmer. It’s supposed to hit 97 today, which would be an all-time record for October. It’s going to be a short-lived record though as tomorrow it’s supposed to reach 98. Back down to 90 on Thursday and then down to the mid 70s for the last three days of the Grand Circuit meet.
 
It’s so hot around here chickens are laying hard-boiled eggs. (That joke came from Amy Hollar, who said yesterday I needed a new joke writer).
 
When I arrived at The Red Mile I started to make my usual loop when I heard Brian Brown call me over. As has been the case nearly every morning, Brian had a wheel barrow full of manure, and he fessed up by telling me that since he knows my schedule he waits for me to walk by so he can dump the load.
 
Julie Miller came by with a horse, and we talked for a second. I made my way toward the other side when I saw Adam Strom, and I asked if he could take a couple of photos for an upcoming story. A guy in a flowered shirt came up and introduced himself, and I learned it was Karsten Barnsdorf, who made his way here from Denmark. Karsten told me it was rough travels as he was delayed a day in Chicago, but he and his entourage of seven finally arrived. Karsten said the group has rented a large home on a farm about 30 minutes outside Lexington.
 
I also saw Kevin Greenfield, who lives a bit closer than Denmark. I asked Kevin how his trip was driving down from northern Ohio. A season ticket holder for the Detroit Red Wings, we of course talked hockey. The Wings won’t be much this year (season opens this weekend but Kevin will miss the first game because he’ll be here for Sunday’s Futurity), and I asked if he thought the Wings could win more home games than the Detroit Tigers did this year. The woeful Tigers won just 22 of 81 home games (they lost a record 114 times). Kevin said he hoped the Wings would top 22, even if they play far fewer games.
 
I decided it was becoming too hot to continue to make my backstretch journey so I headed out, but not before I stopped first in the judges’ office. State judge Jim Grow was on the phone, and I could tell he was speaking to Sarah Svanstedt about Thursday driver changes. Brian Sears called a few minutes later to make his picks. Sarah was waiting on Dexter Dunn to make his choice between EL Ideal, who is trained by her husband, Ake, or new world record holder Amigo Volo, who is trained by Carter Pinske, who are in together in Race 4 on Thursday, an International Stallion division for 2-year-old male trotters.
 
Dexter then texted his choice to Jim, and he went with Amigo Volo.  But since Ake Svanstedt is a co-owner of Cafe Americano, who is also in the race, he has to drive that trotter. That means Andy Miller, who had been listed on Cafe Americano, moves to EL Ideal. Got all that?
 
That’s it for today, don’t forget the sale starts tonight at 7 at Fasig-Tipton, and it’s clear sailing up Newtown Pike as the construction at New Circle that led to some traffic delays last year is completed. Tonight will also give me a chance to catch up with sponsors Steve and Cindy Stewart of Hunterton Sales Agency. And if you need to fill up your car’s gas tank, prices have continued to drop and I saw some as low as $2.18 a gallon yesterday.
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