Saturday, March 13
(all times approximate)
1:30 Depart greater New York area with summer roommate for whirlwind (nearly literally) Saratoga trip in search of perfect summer rental. Encounter driving rain and vehicle-shaking winds as we wend our way up the Taconic Parkway.
3:00 Confirm with parents dinner plans, synchronized to permit maximize race watching.
5:37 Watch Odysseus win Tampa Bay Derby, jump on his bandwagon, and depart for restaurant.
6:00 Imbibe pre-prandial libations while watching Capitol OTB in restaurant bar.
6:20 Watch Zardana beat Rachel Alexandra.
6:21 Observe onset of online trash talking.
6:30 Take our seats at dinner.
6:40 Return to bar
6:44 Watch Zenyatta win Santa Margarita
6:45 Online trash talk intensifies
6:49 Distracted by appetizers, completely miss Lookin at Lucky’s Rebel.
7:48 Distracted by post-prandial libations, completely miss Sidney’s Candy winning the San Felipe.
8:30 Stop by Saratoga Harness to place a (losing) bet on a friend’s horse
Sunday, March 14
11:00 Begin the quest for the perfect summer rental
11:30 Discover New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ Facebook and Twitter link to Statement for March 15 New York State Senate Meeting on NYC OTB. Statement reads in part:
But, NYC OTB and the revenue streams it creates for the New York racing and breeding industry cannot be terminated at the end of this month because of the
dislocations its immediate termination will cause. These dislocations include
the elimination of hundreds of millions of dollar of revenue to the State, the
destruction of the indigenous New York breeding industry, the cancelation (sic) of racing, including the upcoming Saratoga race meeting… (emphasis mine)
11:45 Seasonal rental agent inquires about whether there will be a racing meeting this summer.
2:15 Summer roommate and I find rental of our dreams.
3:00 Summer roommate and I discover that rental of our dreams isn’t available for the whole meet; we are so distracted by heartbreak that we miss our exit off the Northway on the drive home.
3:15 Joe Drape tweets that Rachel Alexandra is out of the Apple Blossom
3:16 Partisan online trash talk resumes
3:30 Conversation with agent about rental of our dreams resumes
6:15 Arrive Brooklyn, much to joy of Backstretch felines.
Can a summer rental that’s available for most–but not all–of the summer still be the rental of our dreams?
By what authority can New York Thoroughbreds Breeders announce that the Saratoga racing meet will be cancelled if NYC OTB ceases to exist, and how exactly do they know that that will happen?
Can the highly partisan fans of Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra get to a point where they can acknowledge both their preference for one and the greatness of the other?
Is there room for me on the Odysseus bandwagon? I love his name for its literary and classical allusions; he has provided the most exciting moments so far on the Derby trail; and perhaps, continued success will lead to the correct pronunciation of his name during a race call.
For how long will racing life in Saratoga largely continue as normal? Though one rental agent said that he’d already signed 75 contracts for summer rentals, there is discernible concern about racing’s future in the Spa City.
Is it good or bad for racing to take a historic, important race like the Apple Blossom and turn it into a gimmick, changing its date, distance, purse and conditions in order to attract certain horses and their connections?