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Backstretch W/Gordon: Cougar Town at Fasig-Tipton

October 04, 2011

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Monday night was the first session of the Lexington Select Yearling Sale at Fasig-Tipton, so I made my way out there after having dinner with Balmoral Park’s Tom Kelly and his wife, Chris, Amy Wildman and The Red Mile’s Julie Sorrell. I especially mention Julie because she was the one who took that UNBELIEVABLE picture of me with ESPN sportscaster and former Dancing With The Stars performer Erin Andrews when we saw her and actor Josh Hopkins at Drake’s on Sunday night, a photo that’s evoked numerous comments. Most of which I can’t print.

A native of Lexington, Josh told Julie that night that he was going to be at Fasig-Tipton on Monday, and when she told me that I kind of scoffed. But believe it or not, the actor who now stars with Courtney Cox on the hit TV show Cougar Town, was at the sale.

I had told the boss, Kathy Parker, that Josh could be around. And lo and behold, I walked inside in the back area behind the glass and there was Kathy standing right beside the guy. Kathy likes to scope out any “newbies” at the sale and get their story, and she told me she saw a group of guys who seemed novices, so she approached them and learned one of them was Josh. I think Kathy got a real kick out of getting the chance to talk to him.

Kathy said Josh, who is the son of former Kentucky congressman Larry Hopkins, told her that he was with some friends that go back to elementary school. He also told Kathy that he was familiar with The Red Mile. I reintroduced myself to him and then walked away to let him continue his socializing.

I walked over to the bar area and a few seconds later Josh came in behind me, and he was with Kentuckiana Farms’ Rob Goodman. Rob told me that Josh once had an interest in a horse, but it didn’t go so well. “Now I’m trying to get him to come back,” Rob told me. I told Josh he should get back in as Kentuckiana has been doing well lately, including having bred Kentucky Futurity winner Manofmanymissions.

Rob walked away, leaving just Josh and I, and I asked him if he saw the internet items that came out earlier in the day about he and Erin being in town and hitting a couple spots, including a Starbucks. He laughed and said he did. I asked if he was OK with the attention, and that I guess it was better that people paid attention than not at all, and he agreed. I told him I still have trouble though with my celebrity status and the paparazzi that seems to follow me everywhere. I warned him that our picture together may show up on TMZ today, but that he could blame me for that.

I asked Josh how long he was in town for and he told me the rest of the week as he has to head back to California to start shooting again. I told him I hoped to see him out at the track, and that I had to go as I wanted to watch the Tigers-Yankees game.

As I was doing a final loop around the sale arena I saw Walnut Hall Ltd.’s Steve Katz and trainer Fred Grant. Freddie called me over and said he wasn’t stabled at The Red Mile this year for the first time in about eight years, but that he still felt he was at the track after reading Backstretch every day. I thanked him for saying that, and that I missed seeing him and Meegan in the morning because I always knew there was a donut waiting for me if I wanted.

I had planned on going home to watch the ballgame but my car had a mind of its own so it veered off course and took me elsewhere. I figured if I went home I might fall asleep and miss the game, so if I could stay upright I’d do better. I sat down at a table and a few minutes later The Canadian Sportsman’s Dave Briggs and photographer Dave Landry came in, and with Briggs behind as big a Tigers fan as I am, I knew I’d have a good time. And YES!!! The Tigers won 5-4, so, Joe Holloway, that means just one more game for the Yankees, doesn’t it?

As the game was ending, horsemen began to trickle in from the sale. I said a few hellos, and also a few good goodbyes, and then stopped for a second to talk to Andy and Julie Miller. I saw Erv Miller and his wife, Heidi, at the other end of the table so I went over for a second. Erv told me that he bought Manofmanymissions’ brother, Team Six, for $200,000.
Speaking of the sale, congratulations to Steve and Cindy Stewart's Hunterton Sales Agency, the sponsors of Backstretch With Gordon. Hunterton Farm at Stoner Creek Stud raised and Hunterton Sales Agency sold last night Hitting The Cycle, a Somebeachsomewhere half brother to 2010 Horse of the Year Rock N Roll Heaven, for $450,000. The buyer? Trainer Bruce Saunders on behalf of owner Frank Bellino, the same connections behind Rock N Roll Heaven.

With that I made my way home, and although it’s chilly this morning in Lexington, it’s supposed to warm up nicely. And, drum roll please……it’s supposed to continue to get warmer throughout the week and even reach the low 80s on Saturday and Sunday. The lows on race nights on Thursday, Friday and Saturday are expected in the high 50s, while Sunday afternoon-----a high of 83.

And, gas prices still continue to hover around $3.18-$3.20 here in Lexington.

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