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Backstretch With Gordon: I won't back down

October 03, 2017

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Yet another beautiful Tuesday morning in the Bluegrass. It was 80 degrees yesterday in Lexington and the high today expected to reach 82. The high Wednesday also 82. The high Thursday also 82. Boring but we'll certainly take it. Only the slightest chance of rain maybe late Thursday night into Friday morning.

Tonight's the first night of the Lexington Selected Yearling Sale at Fasig-Tipton, with the sale getting underway at 7 p.m. As I told Linda Toscano this morning, I have a few numbers circled in tonight's offering, and while I am unable to contribute financially, I can guarantee that my horse's maiden win would merit a cover photo in The Horseman.

I'm just glad this morning that I didn't do any free fallin' as I think I've stepped into the same hole near the parking lot every day. I made certain to avoid that spot today. But I do want to breakdown a couple of memorable highlights for me over the first week of Grand Circuit racing at The Red Mile. And I'm not going to back down from my two selections.

My top highlight? It's actually after the very first race of the meet last Thursday night when Sugar Valley Farm's Joe McLead ran and jumped into my arms after Impinktoo's victory. Joe gave driver Peter Wrenn a similar bear hug after Impinktoo's Ohio Sires Stakes final victory so I told Joe I wanted the same.

Another highlight for me was having Bow River's Art bring back my Hall of Fame ring after resizing it so it didn't slide off my finger. I did a lousy job in sizing so it was too big. So when he gave me the ring on Saturday night it was a perfect fit and I soon found myself like George Costanza and becoming a hand model as people wanted to see the ring.

The first thing I realized this morning was that the fence in front of the barns of Erv Miller and Jimmy Takter was taken down. I guess it was done a couple of days ago but I wasn't paying attention. That fence did seem kind of senseless since there was another fence up toward the track. With the fence down, Erv and Jimmy now don't have to bring their horses all the way around and then back; now they can make a straight line to their barns.

Trainer John Butenschoen came by and said hello. I congratulated John on Dover Dan's big 8 ¾-length win in a Bluegrass division Sunday. It's great to see John having a career year. His win with Dover Dan actually put him over the $3-million mark in purse earnings this year, the first time he has reached that level.

As I mentioned earlier I saw Linda Toscano, who told me that for sure Walner would not be coming to Lexington and that the trotter's year and career was likely over. She said an announcement would be coming soon but that nothing is etched yet in stone. While up by the Toscano barn I stood with Andrew Cohen as he watched Linda train his horse. Andrew said he's here through Thursday before heading home to Colorado. Once again the dogs Clarence and Eli made a beeline for me but once again since I came treatless they moved away.

I walked back down and I heard somebody yell my name and it was Connie Hochstetler over by the race office, joined by starter Greg Coon. Race secretary Billy Perkins then walked up with three small dogs nipping at his heels. It was almost like that mutton episode on Seinfeld.

I did one more lap, including a stop at the Tree of Knowledge, but people were pretty busy this morning. Because of the race schedule I expected the flurry of activity.

Gas has dropped a few cents and is now pretty much at $2.27 or $2.29 around the track. And if you paid attention above you saw a few references to Tom Petty songs. One of my all-time favorites and I have said this many times that my biggest regret in going to concerts over the years was never seeing Tom Petty in concert. I always try to watch the Petty concert from Fenway Park done a few years ago that AXS-TV has been airing.

That'll do it for today, good luck at the sale tonight, especially for my sponsors Hunterton Sales Agency. As someone noted to me this morning, he expects the atmosphere at Fasig-Tipton tonight "to be electric." I'll be out there tonight with Boss Kathy and advertising manager Lynne Myers for the 7 p.m. kickoff.

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