In retrospect, I should have known. The indicators were there, but I ignored them. I delighted in the auspicious and ignored the ominous.
espite rain in New York, my nearly empty plane left New York on time and landed 40 minutes early – EARLY! The smooth, quick flight did much to mollify my outrage at the American Airlines terminal at JFK – yes, outrage at it, the whole thing, the big inanimate object that offered neither cell phone service nor data service nor even bar service (OK, there was a bar, but it wasn’t all that helpful without any people to dispense its wares) the whole time I was there. As I tweeted last night, I had to get ON THE PLANE to check e-mail, make a phone call, or get a drink.
But all was well as we gently touched down – did I mention that we were early? – in Cincinnati, and I was feeling mighty chuffed about my trip, this trip to my first Derby.
And then I found that the car rental counter closed at 9:30. Really? I asked. 9:30? The agent on the other end of the phone conceded that yes, it was indeed on the early side.
A cheerful shuttle driver and a clean and comfortable room restored all good feelings, until…
I looked for my camera to charge it for the morning…and realized that it was still in Brooklyn.
Panicked, I turned on my computer to seek out Louisville electronics stores to get a replacement…and my ailing computer decided, in anticipation of three days of serious toil, to take what appears to be its permanent rest.
In an excess of caution, I’d brought with me a netbook, just in case …drafted into service, it is doing its eager best, and I offer thanks of a magnitude ordinarily reserved for the divine to the friend who pressed it on me last month…just in case.
A traffic-filled journey from Cincinnati to Louisville got me to the backside – a sunshine-soaked, balmy backside! – later than planned, but felicitous meetings garnered the interviews I needed, leaving plenty of time for a quick trip to purchase a replacement camera before my noon meeting.
So the bad news is that this post is a self-indulgent lament about the last 24 hours, all of which, by any objective or relative measure, have still been pretty good, instead of the “Welcome to Louisville!” post accentuated by stunning photos of a Churchill morning and afternoon.
The good news is that I have a gorgeous new camera with which to take photos tomorrow, and that Thoroughbred Times has kept me plenty busy, so I can offer links to stories there, one in which I anticipate my first Derby, the other in which Kentucky-born trainers Kiaran McLaughlin and Dale Romans talk to me about their first Derbies.
So thanks for your indulgence, and I promise that I’ll make it up to you. Don’t forget to activate horses in your Road to the Roses league, unless you’re like me and have no choices to make, because attrition did the work for you.
You can find a wealth of Derby information at Hello Race Fans! (including this piece I wrote about Matt Winn, Regret, and the 1915 Derby); the Raceday360 wire offers up-to-the-minute commentary on Derby doings. On television, Versus and NBC will offer extensive coverage of both Derby and Oaks days.
So here we go. It’s Derby weekend. I think I’m ready. I think.