A day without a story

How could I spend ten+ hours at the racetrack and not come up with a story?

I arrived at Belmont at approximately 8:30 am and left around 6:45 pm. The time flew, and I was one of happy crowd of about 10,000 that came out on a gorgeous spring day to fill the picnic areas and apron; sunbathing, beer-drinking, handicapping, football-throwing grown-ups and kids were dispersed in every direction.

The day was filled with delightfully agreeable moments: getting good news about a New York favorite; eating lunch in the backyard, basking in the sunshine; visiting the backstretch in the afternoon and feeding peppermints to horses up and down the shedrow; meeting with up new and old racing friends (one of whose own posts about yesterday is a must-read); watching an exciting Grade I race…

…catching Belmont prospect Summer Bird with a mouthful…

…and in a more dignified pose (sorry about the blurriness)…

…seeing for the first time the garden assembled where the statue of Secretariat used to stand; I couldn’t help but be reminded of a grave…

…Imperial Council being saddled and walked far from the other horses, in the hope of keeping him calm (it seemed to work)…

Bribon in the paddock, clearly, in hindsight, looking at me meaningfully, saying, “Bet me!”…

…and crossing the finish line…

…and coming back to the winner’s circle…

…and the magnificently regal Judy Collins at the trophy presentation—the day’s singular regret, that I didn’t get a better photo, and that I lacked the courage to approach her for an interview…

…so thanks to Adam Coglianese at NYRA for this photo that does her justice…

So how could I have as pleasant a day as a person could have, and still, after ten+ hours, not have a story?

E.E. Cummings wrote, “since feeling is first/ who pays any attention/ to the syntax of things/…for life’s not a paragraph…”

And sometimes, I guess, a nearly perfect day does not a perfect narrative create…

7 thoughts on “A day without a story

  1. I have to agree about the statue site. But under the circumstances, maybe it’s appropriately decorated.

  2. Thanks for the link, Teresa. It was good seeing you yesterday. I look forward to many more days where the only story is that everyone had a good time and they all came back safe.

  3. I’m a big believer in no news being good news. But you have all kinds on tidbits in this piece, from the possible return of Naughty New Yorker to seeing Judy Collins in the winner’s circle. What is her connection to Bribon? And yes, the atmosphere and weather was great, and let’s hope for many more happy days like the one the 10,099 of us had on Monday. I think this is a great time of year on the NY racing calendar. A big G1 on a Holiday card plus anticipation of the Belmont Stakes now less than a fortnight away. It’s a great time to be a fan of NY racing. Thanks for all you do to enhance that experience!

  4. I think it was the venerable Roger Grimsby who once signed off Eyewitness News (in an aloof moment)… “hoping no news is good news”. That cracked up co-anchor Bill Beutel, but truer words were never spoken. 😉

  5. Linda: I thought the same thing–rather a memorial. The statue will be back next week.Alan: right back at you! BSaint: Sorry about that Pick 4…Ian and TKS: Indeed! Nice to have an all good-news day…

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