Christmas Eve quick picks

It’s 7:30 am, and I’m already behind. Not a single present is wrapped, and in fact, there are a couple still to be purchased…and located, so efficiently did I store the few that I’d purchased early.

Christmas cards? Ha!  Holiday cards this year – New Year’s, or maybe even Valentine’s Day.

But the caponata is made, as are the bourbon balls – the maiden voyage of the latter, and let’s just hope that emphasizing the first word in their name will equal tasty success.

The Backstretch parents are due to arrive this afternoon, for our traditional New York City Christmas Eve dinner; early tomorrow, we’ll journey to the home of Brother Backstretch to spend the day.

But first….a few random thoughts before turning with single-minded devotion to completing holiday tasks:

Thanks to Thoroughbred Times for the opportunity to interview Jaimy Gordon about her National Book Award-winning novel about racing, Lord of Misrule. The article was published online last week, and hey, if you’re still looking for a last minute gift for the racing fan in your life, Santa just might want to pick up a copy of the novel.

Several people on the Brooklyn Backstretch Facebook page mentioned contributing to the Keeneland Library Daily Racing Form preservation project; those interested can find more information here. And if you’re just interested in exploring more than a hundred years of racing history, the archive is here.  And thanks to Brooklyn Saint for reminding us that the Daily Racing Form offers the chance to contribute with each purchase of past performances.

I recently received my 2011 ST Publishing (the folks who bring you the Saratoga Special) racing calendar, and a big, colorful beauty it is. (Full disclosure: my calendar was free, in exchange for the link to the right…but I’d love it even if I had to pay for it.)  Zenyatta graces the cover, along with a “Queen ‘Z’ and more!” title.

Zenyatta fans will love this calendar, as it features three images of her (cover, January, December); Saratoga makes three appearances (the blanket finish in Proviso’s Diana; Blind Luck in the Alabama; the photo finish between Fly Down and Afleet Express in the Travers).  You’ll also find the Triple Crown races, Blame’s Stephen Foster, and Rachel Alexandra’s Lady’s Secret at Monmouth. It’s beautifully photographed and a gorgeous reminder of some of the best of racing, 2010.

It’s easy to get caught up in the commercial frenzy of Christmas, but earlier this week, Life At Ten reminded us, it seems, not to forget to keep the Christ in Christmas. Who knew that she was a Christian?  Then again, it’s not uncommon for folks to turn to religion following a traumatic experience, so perhaps that bit of unpleasantness at the Breeders’ Cup found her seeking comfort late this year.

Less sacredly, the horses at Old Friends in Kentucky enthusiastically – perhaps greedily – accepted candy cane gifts on Wednesday morning when I visited. Michael Blowen, the president of Old Friends, was his usual generous self and brought me to see some of my favorites on a cold Kentucky morning. And on that note, a merry, merry Christmas to you and your families, from Marquetry, Commentator, and me.  [Click on photos to enlarge.)

Marquetry and Michael Blowen

Marquetry inhaling the last of his candy cane

Commentator comes running for candy canes

3 thoughts on “Christmas Eve quick picks

  1. Have a Merry Xmas and thanks for ruining my Xmas. I get that calendar as a present every year but now you have ruined the surprise for me!! 🙂

  2. Caponata and Bourbon Balls. You don’t get delicacies like these everyday. Here’s wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas; from our home to yours! See you in the Man ‘o War room come January.

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