Who ever thought it would be a good idea to have the end of the school year nearly exactly coincide with the Triple Crown season? Not this teacher/writer, that’s for sure!
It’s an exciting month: we’ve got a compelling, interesting Kentucky Derby winner, a horse that offers the hope that he won’t fall into the category of “Derby fluke” as so many have recently; we’ve got Graham Motion, about whom it is apparently impossible to find anyone with a negative comment to make; we’ve got John Velazquez, out of the Derby Friday morning and back in it by Friday afternoon, winning his first.
At school, we’ve got seniors in their last week of classes, anticipating various end-of-year rituals; we’ve got just a couple of weeks classes left; we’ve got the beginning of summer vacation tantalizingly close, but oh, at times, so far away.
There are articles to write and interviews to conduct and papers to grade and awards to prepare and dances to chaperone and farewell parties to attend. It’s all incredibly exciting, it’s all good news…but if you’ve noticed, not much has been going on in this space, and that’s why. I hope to be back here more regularly now.
I’m off to Baltimore, one of my favorite cities and a former hometown (sort of – I lived just outside the city) this weekend for the Preakness, and I’ve barely caught up after getting home from Kentucky. I’ve finally put together a photo album of Derby weekend photos, and my most recent post at BelmontStakes.com is up, an interview with John Velazquez about winning his second Triple Crown race, once again aboard a horse he didn’t expect to ride.
Excellent and rather unusual news in our Road to the Roses charity league…we had a dead heat! Congratulations to Ashley Herriman, who led virtually every step of the way, and to Gary Schneekloth, who caught her at the wire. Ashley and Gary will split the more than $600 that you all have donated…thank you so much to everyone who has sent a contribution.
When we started this in 2008, we raised a couple of hundred dollars and thought that we were doing a heck of a job…this year’s amount smashes previous records and is a testament to your generosity and compassion. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
Gary has identified ReRun, a New Jersey-based Thoroughbred adoption organization, as the recipient of his part of the pot; Ashley will split hers between All About Spay Neuter, the organization that takes care of the backstretch cats at Belmont, and Old Friends at Cabin Creek. I’ll get the money out to those organizations in the next few weeks. This is the last call for donations…have I thanked all of you for your generosity?
And speaking of thanks, thanks to Thoroughbred Times for making my first Derby trip possible. I wrote a series of “First Derby” posts for them (listed below) and did some race recaps, including ones for the Humana Distaff, won by Sassy Image, and the Turf Classic, won by Get Stormy. Getting to write about Get Stormy and Tom Bush winning their second consecutive Grade 1 just may have been the highlight of the weekend.
Please check out the Belmont Stakes site as we get closer to the Belmont; you can follow on Twitter, too. I’ll be tweeting from Pimlico (please follow) and posting photos to the Brooklyn Backstretch Facebook page (so please like), and rooting, like so many others, for Animal Kingdom to do it again.