Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So I'm on the phone with Bob Baffert, and he's telling me about Wynning Ride, who's going in the Grade 1 Coaching Club American Oaks Saturday at Belmont Park, and I hear some weird background noise, something about iced Mocha Latte.

"Hold on, I have something important to do," he says.

And I hear him say, "I'll take a burger, medium fries, and a coke."

Baffert, who is to be inducted into racing's Hall of Fame on Aug. 15, three-time Derby winning trainer, conditioner of multiple Eclipse Award winners, is in the drive-in lane at McDonald's???

"You know how it is at Del Mar," he explains. "The lines, you can't get anything to eat."

"They couldn't sell you on the iced Mocha Latte?" I ask.

"Mocha, that's not me," he says.

"More importamt, have you started writing your speech for the induction," I ask.

"No," he says. "And I'm worried. I can tell a story, but I can't give a speech."

"So that's what you need to do -- tell a story."

"Yeah, but which one?"

I have no answer for this (but my mind is reeling with the possibilities) and by this time, he's paying and he obviously needs to eat.

"When are you getting to Saratoga?"

"Some of the horses are shpping in on the fifth, I'll be in probably the eighth or ninth."

"See you then."

Saturday, July 4, 2009


The weather, finally, has broken and there is no finer place to be (for me, anyway!) this Fourth of July than the Top of the Stretch at Belmont Park, barbecuing with friends and awaiting the first of three great graded stakes this afternoon. When the gates open for the Prioress, I fully expect the fillies to shoot out of there like Roman Candles!

Bring your own BBQ briquettes, burgers, dogs, beer, whatever, peruse the Daily Racing Form or the official track program, walk a few feet to make your wager and then move right to the rail for your own personal private viewing of the horses as they thunder past.

Located in between the quarter-pole and the eighth pole, the picnic areas give you a great view of the horses as they come barreling around the turn, and right there is usually where the races are decided. It is awesome to watch the young and old alike cheering for their horses (so what if it's a 3-2 shot!) and celebrating their victories.

Good friends, cold beer, and the world's finest thoroughbreds .... who could ask for anything more?

Thanks, Teresa!!!!