A few thoughts before heading out to celebrate Independence Day at beautiful Belmont Park.
A number of years ago, I brought my friend Jessica to Saratoga for the first time; both English teachers and Anglophiles, we’d become friends while teaching in London. She knew nothing of horse racing and like many before her on their first trip to the track, she picked names that she liked, and Sir Walter Rahy (Rahy – Madam Sandie) was one of them, fancied for its English and literary associations. I think that he won that day, though I can’t be sure. I put him in my stable mail and kept track of his career, until one day his name stopped showing up; turns out that he broke down in 2006 in a race in Florida.
I will also always be rather fond of Rahy because, as I tweeted recently, he is one of the few beings I’ve seen copulate live, when I visited Three Chimneys in March of 2007. Given his–reluctance, shall we say?—I suppose it’s no surprise that he’s putting life as a stud behind him.
In other news: back in action on
Saturday Sunday at Belmont is Phone Jazz, the filly who earned her fifteen minutes of fame when she threw jockey Jean-Luc Samyn recently and scampered off to win the race, which was then highlighted on both ESPN and Pardon The Interruption. Samyn rides again today.
Though I am not much for holiday rituals, one of my favorite things about Independence Day is hearing the National Public Radio crew read the Declaration of Independence. They’ve been doing it for 21 years, and it stops me in my tracks each time I hear it. At nearly nine minutes long, it’s a commitment, but a worthwhile one.
Happy Fourth, everyone–