And…we’re off! I’ve finally committed to a fantasy stable (not that anything like considered deliberation of last weekend’s prep races factored seriously into my decisions), and the Road to the Roses: Brooklyn Backstretch Charity League is set to go for year #4.
As in past years, the winner of our league will have a donation made in his or her name to the racing charity of his or her choice. Past recipients include the Belmont Child Care Association, the Permanently Disabled Jockeys Fund, and Days End Farm Horse Rescue. I pledge $75; in past years, league members have voluntarily contributed, and our donation is usually several hundred dollars.
You don’t need to contribute to win…just join! Standings will be posted here weekly, and the races begin this Saturday. The only rule is that you don’t get to make fun of me (publicly, anyway) for my picks, which are designed to make me finish somewhere below first and (I hope!) above last. It would be terribly bad form for the league administrator to win at her own game.
Please note: only one stable per person.
My guiding principles in choosing my stable this year are not so different from previous year: I needed a cat horse (even if he’s a turf horse); I don’t pick horses with terrible or misspelled names; I give preference to parents who were favorite horses of mine, hence the inclusion of Elite Alex. Ordinarily, horses withnamesthatruntogether are automatically excluded, but Queen’splatekitten claims feline exemption.
So get your stable set up and start collecting points—you can join our league with this information:
League Name: Brooklyn Backstretch
League Identifier/Number: 1492256215
Activation Code: 3256324600
And if you’re interested in contributing to the donation, please e-mail me (address at the “contact information” tab at the top of the page), leave a comment, or contact me through the Brooklyn Backstretch page on Facebook or Twitter. And while you’re at it, follow on Twitter and “like” on Facebook!
In a little self-promotional news, I’ve had some fun instances recently of my worlds colliding. Last week I wrote a commentary on the human side of the NYC-OTB closure for Thoroughbred Times after a conversation with a former student’s father, who worked for NYC-OTB for 30 years; and I recently wrote a profile of Helen Pitts for the alumnae magazine of her high school in Maryland…at which I was her 11th grade English teacher. The format is a little hard to navigate, but click the clink, click the top issue (Winter 2011) to make it full screen, then mouse over the pages at the bottom of the screen to get to pages 12 and 13. Bit of a pain, but well worth it for the photo of Helen with her newborn Olivia!
On Tuesday I spent a wonderful morning with the good folks at Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue, and a full post with pictures is coming in a day or two…