So to continue on the post from the other night, some things I’d love to do in the game of horse racing.
6. Go to Saratoga and Del Mar
I’m not much of a traveller. I used to love to. But my anxiety and general fear of the outside world have pretty much kept me where I’m at. But that being said, I’d love to visit these two amazing tracks. I’ve actually driven by Del Mar. I was literally a few hundred yards away on I-5, but it wasn’t racing season and I was going to my sister’s law school graduation in San Diego. It looked cool from the freeway! Saratoga is just awesome. Everything I’ve ever heard is that it’s amazing. Really would love to just go there on a quiet Monday and enjoy a great day of races.
7. Spend a day at the races with Travis Stone and Jessica Paquette
I’ve been fortunate to meet some amazingly nice people by virtue of working in horse racing. I’ve been able to meet so many of my announcing heroes as well as other people who help make the great game go round. Oddly enough two of the best friends I’ve gotten to know in the game are Louisiana Downs announcer Travis Stone and Suffolk Downs Analyst Jessica Paquette. I talk and text with them both on a regular basis and consider them both great friends. But oddly enough, have never met either one in person LOL I think it would be really cool to get to hang out with them and enjoy a day at the races as fans.
8. Ride in the ambulance that follows the horses/the harness starter car
Ok these are kind of goofy. But I always love watching races from weird angles and locations. Maybe it’s from watching literally thousands of races from the same vantage point or watching tens of thousands of races on Tv. But when i’m at the track I like to watch way down at the 1/8th pole or even the quarter pole at Emerald Downs. I think it would be cool to follow the horses and watch a race from behind the field in the ambulance or at a harness track be in the starter car with the whole field right on your tail!
9. Announce the Longacres Mile
If there was one race I want to announce before I croak it’s the Longacres Mile. It’s the most special race to me personally and to almost everyone here in the Northwest. I remember watching Snipledo win when I was 9 years old. I remember hitting a $4,900 trifecta when No Giveaway won in 2005. I remember skipping my first day of law school orientation to go watch Sky Jack win the 2003 Mile. And watching from the winner’s circle in 2004 as an employee of Emerald Downs’ media department when Adreamisborn and Russell Baze splashed home to a win. It’s such a special race and two of my favorite announcers ever have announced it for the last 40 years, Gary Henson and Robert Geller. So to someday follow Robert in announcing that race would be incredible.
10. Go to the races for a day with my dad
So this one isn’t going to happen. As much of a longshot as some of these may be, this actually can’t happen because he’s not alive. But it’s still the thing I wish for most in racing. He introduced me to racing. My childhood is littered with memories of Captain Condo and Peterhof’s Patea and Military Hawk and watching those horses with my dad at Longacres. He died on a Tuesday in July of 2001 and that previous Friday, Saturday and Sunday we spent together at the track. I want to re-write my last memories of him at the track. Him weak, tired and with oxygen tubes in his nose, at age 47 is not how I want to remember him and I at the races together. It aches my heart that he never got to hear me call a race. He’s buried on a hill above Emerald Downs and each time I call a race there, I glance up at that hill before the last horse goes in. I hope he hears.