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Backstretch With Gordon: You gotta have Hart

October 10, 2015

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I want to be Jason Settlemoir when I grow up! Not that there's anything wrong with being Gordon Waterstone, I just want to be the Meadowlands GM. After all, the guy is hanging out with comedian Kevin Hart nowadays.
Jason is in town this week and he and Jason Hall, the VP of sponsorships at the Gural-owned tracks, ran into Kevin last night at the Marriott Griffin Gate. The two Jasons took a selfie with Kevin, who then invited them to ride in his limousine to his show at Rupp Arena, giving them all-access VIP passes. Kevin then invited them to the big after-show party at the Griffin Gate, where TMZ was filming. OK, I'm exaggerating a bit. Jason S. told me they saw Kevin Hart in the lobby and asked for a selfie, but that's all that happened. The other stuff just sounded good.
By the way Jason S., your selfie still comes up short behind mine taken at Drake's a couple years ago when Tom Kelley, Julie Sorrell and I ran into Erin Andrews and Josh Hopkins. My selfie with Erin is sill my favorite.
Speaking of Drakes, that's where I had dinner last night. I didn't have any dinner offers so when my local friend Brooke texted and asked about meeting up, I told her absolutely. I didn't expect to see any horsemen there but I saw Charlie Keller III and Ernie Martinez head into adjacent Malone's. Erv Miller and his family came by, and they were with Blue Chip's Tom Grossman and a couple of the Taylor brothers who comprise Taylor Made Stallions, who are big players in the Thoroughbred industry. Blue Chip and the Taylors are now part of the ownership group of the 2-year-old colt pacer Travel Playlist, who finished second in an International Stallion Stakes division yesterday afternoon at The Red Mile.
Boss Kathy and I had lunch in the clubhouse yesterday, which was a smart decision since it began to rain shortly before the first-race post of 1 p.m. Kathy pointed out Duncan Taylor, who was there obviously to watch Travel Playlist race. Which meant he wasn't at Keeneland for the Thoroughbred races.

By the way, the total purses at Keeneland today pale in comparison to what is offered at The Red Mile. Not even close. Of course, today's card is capped off by the 123rd renewal of the Kentucky Futurity, which is Race 14 on the 14-race card. I'm also looking forward to the Filly Futurity, featuring Mission Brief.

Going back to yesterday's races, how about those big efforts by the Tony Alagna trainees American Passport and Racing Hill? The track obviously wasn't at its fastest with the rain, which as I said before began at post time, stopped for a while during the card, before starting to sprinkle again late. As for Racing Hill, I had a chance to talk to owner Tom Hill afterward, and he told me he was not going to be at The Red Mile Saturday as he is making the 10-hour drive to Woodbine as he had horses in the Ontario Sires Stakes Super Finals.

After eating lunch in the clubhouse, I did what I used to do every night at Hazel Park after I ate dinner. I walked it off on the apron. That gave me a chance to interact with the fans trackside. My walk yesterday gave me a chance to say hello to a few people that I hadn't seen yet. One was Swede Goran Anderberg, and we had a nice chat for a few minutes. Another was Scioto Downs' Stacy Cahill.
There was also a nice ceremony held in the winner's circle for the late Ole Bach. Ole's son, Cody, was here to represent the family, and joined the large group for the ceremony after the second race was completed. Many horsemen came up from the paddock to join in, joined by many industry people.

In my Saturday walkthrough in the barn area, I saw for the first time Ellen Taylor from the Harness Horse Youth Foundation. She had hopped out of Chris Ryder's truck, which was adorned with logos of all the Foundation's sponsors. Otherwise it was pretty quiet, with lots of stalls now empty with people leaving town.

With tons to do today, let's wrap it up. As for gas prices.....gas that was $2.15 a gallon on Tuesday at my station at Southland, that jumped to $2.39 on Wednesday and Thursday, dropped back to $2.18 yesterday. I filled my tank this morning at the price. The stations near The Red Mile were at 2:28.

Good luck at the races today.

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