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Backstretch with Gordon on Thursday

September 25, 2008

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Joe Seekman admitted to me Thursday morning in his barn at The Red  Mile that he felt a little bit lonely yesterday, noting that while dozens hovered over Somebeachsomewhere—“that other horse” he was called—he trained Art Official—the only horse to ever beat that other horse—in obscurity.


After giving all my attention yesterday to SBSW I knew that today I had to give equal play to equal pay—Art Official and SBSW are in separate $134,000 Bluegrass divisions Saturday—so I needed to find Joe this morning. Trouble was, I couldn’t remember where he was stabled. So I walked, and walked, and walked, and even took my colleague Joe Kyle on what turned out to be a long futile walk to the old paddock where I though Joe (Seekman) was.


Joe Kyle and I split up to find Joe Seekman, and I started to ask Erv Miller if he knew the location of the trainer, but of course, Erv was on his cell phone. So I kept walking until Joe Kyle called me on my cell phone telling me he had found Joe Seekman. Where was he? At the end of the Miller/Bob McIntosh barn at the top of the hill, which I had walked by three times earlier. When I finally got to the barn and asked the trainer how long he’d been out of the old paddock, he said with a laugh it’d been about five years. I guess time flies when you’re having fun.


As we walked in, Joe did say, “Don’t forget about us!” He laughed that everybody did yesterday watching that other horse train a mile in 1:51-52, and that he had Art Official out earlier—with nobody watching—and went a mile “about 10 seconds slower.”


Joe told me Art Official came out of the Little Brown Jug last week in fine shape, despite the adventurous journeys he undertook in both heats. I asked if he was disappointed his horse and that other horse drew into separate Bluegrass divisions, and Joe, in his always mild-mannered persona, said, “We’ll have to race him sometime.” Joe said he first took Art Official back home from Ohio to his farm in Centreville, Mich., before bringing him to Lexington on Monday.


Joe admitted though that when he heard SBSW was training he took a walk up to check on the competition, but the session had just ended so he didn’t get a good look at the horse.


Oh yes. Gas prices continue to drop, with one station near The Red Mile at $3.59, and the boss, Kathy Parker, told me a station near her home was at $3.45. I know Dean Hoffman—who also asks about the prices—is shaking his head right now reading this.


The weather still continues to be warm, and although there is a slight chance of rain Friday night and again Saturday morning, things should be clear by post time. There’s some great racing lined up Thursday afternoon at the track, but one race I’m looking forward to is the seventh race, a late-closer for trotters.


Why, you ask? Not because Old Oaken Bucket division winner The Budster is in, but because I can’t wait to hear announcer Sam McKee not only pronounce the name of the seven horse, but also get through it several times in the race. Although the horse’s name ironically begins with Sam, the entire name is……drum roll please……Samacamawackybrown. If anyone sees trainer and co-owner Nick Giberson later, can you get me an explanation?

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