It is now post time.
My Saratoga training began well: like many summer runners, I made the transition from Belmont to Saratoga well, with a series of works showing steady improvement.
I familiarized myself with the course, adjusting to the different upstate running route, learning the configuration, the potential challenges, benefitting from the cool Saratoga mornings.
I felt great.
I’ve encountered some minor setbacks recently: a strained muscle, a couple of less than satisfactory unpublished workouts, an increase in heat and humidity. Like Funny Cide, this runner is not at her best in sticky, warm air.
But the prep is over, and it’s time to get to the starting gate. No excuses when those gates open, and as the clichés go, we’re giving it a shot. We’ll see how we do. We know we can compete; it just depends on how the race comes up and if I run my race.
The Saratoga Special handicapped the race and made me 5 – 1 on the morning line, a massive underlay. Don’t take those odds; no doubt I’ll drift up by post time. Two Pletcher kids, ages 9 & 10, were made the odds-on favorites. Just like their daddy usually is.
I don’t possess a sparkling turn of foot, early speed, or a late kick. I guess I’d be characterized as a plodder or a grinder, and I’m going to hope that a quick pace might set it up for me to pick up the pieces. I’m looking for a decent mid-pack finish.
All proceeds from the race will benefit the Belmont Child Care Association; Backstretch Employees Service Team (B.E.S.T.), Race Track Chaplaincy and Backstretch Education Fund.
If you’re not here and can’t race but would like to help, please consider making a donation to any one of these organizations that support the New York backstretch workers. Without them, the horses aren’t taken care of; without them, there is no racing.
The Belmont Child Care Association benefit is on August 26th at the Gideon Putnam Hotel. Tickets ($250) are still available, and we’re still accepting donations for the live and silent auction. We’re also looking for volunteers to help the day before and the day and evening of the event. Feel free to contact me at the e-mail address to the left if you’re interested in helping.
A full race recap later…