Greetings from Southwest Florida! I’m on spring break and combining pleasure and business, making my annual trip to see family here, while also tooling around the racing venues of the state. I started at Gulfstream last weekend and that’s where I’ll end my trip, at the Floriday Derby; I spent a great few days in Ocala earlier this week. Posts and photos to follow.
So some random notes:
I’ll be interrupting my trip next week to go home to Brooklyn for an event at Book Court in Cobble Hill in Brooklyn, next Tuesday, March 29. Jaimy Gordon will doing a reading as her National Book Award winner, Lord of Misrule, comes out in paperwork. The novel is about life on a small track in West Virginia, and in December, I interviewed Gordon for an article in Thoroughbred Times.
Gordon has kindly invited the New York Times’ Joe Drape and me to talk about writing and racing with her, an invitation that I accepted enthusiastically. If you’re in the neighborhood next Tuesday, please come by.
A major plug here for a great restaurant in Ocala, Cuvée Wine and Bistro, at which I had dinner on Monday. Dozens of wine are available to taste, in various sizes and for various prices; it was a fun and inexpensive way to sample wines, and the food was terrific, too. I love the place.
Part of my time in Ocala was spent at Journeyman Stud, where Crystal Fernung gave me a thorough tour of the stallions, broodmares, and foals. Click here for a photo album of favorites like Teuflesberg, Mass Media, and Kiss The Kid.
I’ll be missing one of my favorite races back in New York this weekend, when the Ladies Handicap will be run for the 139th time. I love looking at the list of winners dating back to 1868; the Ladies is the oldest stakes race in the country for fillies and mares. It’s no longer graded, and it’s not even on the calendar every year any more, which prompted this post in 2008. I’m glad that it will be run this year, even if I’m not there to see it.
Check back tomorrow or Saturday for Brian’s look at this weekend’s Derby hopefuls, and speaking of the Derby trail…
If you’re playing the Road to the Roses game, don’t forget to add three horses to your stable – the supplemental draft is now open. You have until April 30 to make your choices: decisions, decisions! Choose now and try to maximize points over the next few weekends, or wait to see who’s looking good and then add him? It’s all theorietical to me; I’m hopelessly out of it, but the winner of league will have over $500 to donate to the racing charity of his or her choice. The generosity of the people here is staggering. Thank you.
And as always, don’t forget to activate your horses for this weekend’s races…good luck!