August 12, 2007. It’s Ahvee’s Destiny’s first race at Saratoga. Don and Barbara come with us to Saratoga for the race. Nordberg is the favorite. We’re nervous as the horses warm-up on the track a few minutes before post-time. Then, an announcement is made. Nordberg is being scratched. Our main competition is out and I cheer. They’re in the gate. Ahvee’s Destiny wins. It’s her first of five wins at Saratoga. Yay! Now, flash forward…
February 26, 2016. FlatteryWillGetYou is the second favorite in the 3rd race at Aqueduct. Ten of us, including Linda, are in the paddock area. There are only five horses entered. Head Shrinker is the people’s choice. Most of us are standing in an area adjacent to the paddock that has TV sets. We see the horses behind the gate. Suddenly, the rider on the favorite jumps off. It looks like he is fixing the saddle but then an announcement is made. Head Shrinker, the favorite, is being scratched. Yay!
To me, this is a good sign. It’s deja vu all over again (tip your cap to Yogi Berra). Now, there are only three competitors left.
They’re in the gate. The bell rings and the gates open, but Flattery gets a slow start and is immediately behind two lengths. Cornelio Velasquez, riding her for the first time because Jose Ortiz is in Dubai, gets her going. Now, she is third. She advances to second. Another horse comes at her on the outside. They both advance on the leader around the stretch turn. FlatteryWillGetYou passes the leader and is in front of Our Whim by over a length… but Our Whim keeps coming. It’s a long stretch at Aqueduct, too long it seems, as Our Whim keeps overtaking Flattery. It’s down to a half-length… a neck… a head… WHERE IS THE WIRE?! Oh, there it is… and Flattery wins her second in a row. Whew and Yay… at the same time!