Tuesday, August 13, 2013
Planning a day at the track and living small dreams.
So tomorrow Tommy and I are going to go to the track at Saratoga this will be the first time this year we go to the public part of the track also known as the front stretch. We are going to bring a couple of chairs and maybe find seats near the paddock so we can see the horses get tacked up and all that good stuff and maybe even spot a winner. I love horse racing always have since I was little. Well more to the point I love horses only like a girl can but when I was little I had asthma and the doctor told my parents that I couldn't ride so the closest I could get to them was to go to the track. Now I don't want it to seem like I spent my life hot walking horses with a program in my jean pocket (now that would be a dream but I cant really imagine my parents getting up a 3am to drive me to long island everyday) but my dad would take me a couple of times of year and depending on the time of the year that would be Belmont, Aqueduct and if I was really really lucky Saratoga. It was one of those things we did usually just the two of us and I guess that makes the memories even more special. I remember my first big score (I think I won $20 and I thought I had it made) was on a horse named Cookie now again I would love to say I picked Cookie because of her form in the daily racing form but no it was because her name was Cookie. What ten year old could resist hell I probably couldn't resist that name at 43. The great thing is its something we still do together today usually we go for a few races Sunday afternoons after I've done my farm chores and hes watched the golf on TV.
My parents moved to Saratoga about 12 years ago and my husband and I followed about 9 years ago and I have to tell you that the track at Saratoga was definately a check in the pro column on the list of pros and cons of moving to the North Country. After a few years I was successful in nagging my dad to buy a small percentage in a racehorse and that began our adventures on the backstretch. I love the backstretch its quiet and calm there are lots of horses (of course) its where the outriders hang out when they don't have a race and I love it when they watch the races on the TV next to the food stand on horse back. I'm sorry that's just cool. Last time I even got to give one a leg up when he was having trouble mounting it was the first time I got to do that and in my excitement i almost launched him over his horse and into the next county. But tomorrow Tommy and I are going to do the track the normal way I will have a couple of beers and enjoy the people watching while trying to make some modest gains betting small and Tommy will wander around looking at all the delicious food that's to be had. My best memory at the track one of those well I can check off one thing off the things to do before I die list was when we won with Rereadthefootnotes a few years back I got to stand in the winners circle and to completely honest I cried.
I was never a person who had big dreams I never knew what I wanted to do when I grew up never had a passion for something that ruled my life. I always envy those people who are consumed with something like that guy from New Zealand who has spent his whole life looking for the giant squid (finally got it on camera a few years back) or the couple I took a class with who were both soil scientists at Cornell and you could tell soil is what they talked about 24/7. I used to think horse racing was it for me until I tried to spend a few days handicapping and turns out not one of my talents. But at least now I have found farming and so far its the one thing I am actually passionate about and it does consume me as far as I am comfortable being consumed by something. And besides standing in the winner circle there are a few things I have accomplished that I thought were important when I was younger or small dreams I had, I live somewhere completely beautiful and I live on the Hudson River. You can tell I never dared to dream big I was and still am not comfortable with big dreams I prefer small reachable dreams. Can you tell I am a Virgo?