It’s been a whirlwind. Full car load up here plus more brought by friends. Unloading… putting it all away…shopping… getting presentable for festivities honoring Linda Rice, etc., etc. …and that’s just day one!
We woke up to the horses galloping “in our backyard.” It was mesmerizing. Since, we wanted to see if the opening day had any special going-on, we walked to the track early. Big crowd, great weather and excitement in the air. However, the only thing that differentiated the day was track announcer, Tom Durkin, asking those in attendance to yell, “and their off at Saratoga,” when the gate opened for the first race. The crowd dutifully obeyed and we were indeed “off at Saratoga!” For us, the highlight was Eva’s first visit to Saratoga.
I love what we’re doing so much that it would be easy to share every last detail. However, here are some highlights. Seeing Ahvee’s Destiny is always a highlight (if Sylvan send me the photo of Avi kissing Ahvee, I’ll send it to you). She is “showing.” In fact Ellen Bongard who owns the farm where Ahvee’s Destiny is living gave us some beautiful photos of her looking “in foal.” She ate her carrots and cookies (NOT a new Ben & Jerry’s flavor), stayed away from Join the Crowd, an aggressive mare who wanted some of her action and let me stroke her and brush away some of the many flies that like to torture horses.
Having a new Brian Fox painting grace our wall is always a thrill (you may be familiar with his painting of Ahvee’s Destiny Winning the Mechanicville Stakes that’s been the first painting you see at our home). Now Seattle Slew winning the Derby is on the wall in Saratoga.
On Saturday, we got to Linda’s barn at 5:12 AM to see Jess Not Jesse with Abby in the saddle workout alone on the Clare Court training track opposite her barn. That day he got out there even earlier, so we only caught a little of his workout. Nonetheless, the track at that hour is idyllic… the dawn light, the fog and mist, the natural beauty of the flowers, shrubs, grass and dirt tracks, the first horses and riders getting to the track… and the hustle and bustle begins. These people get up every morning to do their jobs. For us, it is all pleasure and, of course, we get to sleep-in the next day and still see the horses out our window. WOW!
A low-light was the performance of Awakino Cat. He was perfectly positioned as they came into the stretch turn of his Stakes Race named after our friends’ horse, Willard Straight (who was named after a former President of Cornell University). The purse was $100K but he didn’t get us any of it, as he failed to fire and didn’t finish with his usual late kick. He was 7 lengths back of the winner. We may be running him back in a $35K claiming race on Friday.
The NYC Ballet’s final performance of the season (there’s talk they may not be back) at SPAC (Saratoga Performing Arts Center) was very exciting. Then we had to get ready for our Housewarming Brunch on Sunday morning. The coffee makers blew the electrical breakers and made us all crazy. Not even Greg, the electrician, who came to the rescue, was able to fix the problem. So, it was Dunkin Donuts to the rescue! Nonetheless, the brunch was very enjoyable.
Tomorrow the two harness horses will run at night at Saratoga Harness in the 10th and 11th races. MarvelthisBliss will have a new driver, Jay Randall. She’s got the number 6 post, while Numismatic goes from the number 1.
You must come to Saratoga, especially if you’ve never been here… but I’m prejudiced!
Have a great week!