25 February 2009

We have ourselves a racehorse

Sometimes events conspire to bury you and then confederate to lift your face out of the mud.

I have my own economy index, the number of charter bookings on our aircraft. The entire month of February found me sitting in south Florida, the Greyhound station of the contiguous forty-eight, without a damn thing to do. Not a single flight; it works out great for my tanning and handicapping yen, but not so good as an indicator of the economy as a whole. South Florida is one of the leading charter hubs in the U.S., right there with the NY area and SoCal. That not a single flight was booked on our aircraft in the last thirty days, is telling.

I, foolishly, figured my three weeks of duty would pass without event and I would have the opportunity to stop over in the DC area, on my way home, and watch Imalexus run.

As the philosopher, Mick Jagger, wrote: 'You can't always get what you want but if you try, sometimes, you get what you need.'

Apparently, scheduling skipped my recent post and decided to book a flight on this very day. Of all the insensitive and inconvenient bookings. Don't these people know we are in a recession and it is unseemly to flit around in multi-million dollar aircraft? Come on!!

I get the call last night, a booking for tomorrow, West Palm to Dulles, drop one and go to Teterboro. Then you can go home.


Resigned to miss the debut of my very first ownership interest, I moped around the entire morning, scanning the clear blue Florida sky, for a hint of an excuse to keep the flight from going.

Twisting the proverbial knife into my side even further, the couple booking the flight, proved to be two of the nicest people I have ever met; I couldn't even hold a grudge against them. Oh, the humanity.

Of the two of us, my partner is the chatty one and in the course of his conversation with our clients, he informed them I had a horse running in the third at Laurel. The husband, soft spoken and blithe, with a tenor sax for a voice, immediately turns to me, reaches for my hand and shakes it. The grip, a promise inviolate; the bond of a man whose word is the only collateral real men need.

"Good luck. Here's hoping she gives you a good run."

He owns horses and has a few runners in NY and Florida.

"Enough to keep me from retiring." He chuckles.

We land at Dulles, at ten to one. The plan called for a quick drop off of his wife-we would actually stop the plane to do this-and then on to Teterboro. When we pull in to the ramp, this man offers to hang out until the race is run.

"I'm always looking to claim a good one." the wink frames the fillip.

Imalexus, buried in the one hole, loads like a thirty race veteran and then stands there, as cool as porcelain; the (5) R and A Valay, perhaps expressing her feelings about her name, holds up the show for a good two minutes. The favorite, (10) Lionheartisflippin, comfortably detached from the proceedings, loads last.

Imalexus, bet down to second favorite at 7/2, breaks well and presses the pace from the inside, to the half pole; then starts to fade on the turn, dropping back to fourth last. I am happy she showed speed and am just looking for her to get home without incident, take care of her for the next race. Maybe she needed the race to figure this all out. Maybe she dozed off in the gate and is just hoping to go back to the stall and snooze. This will make it tight trying to get the graded monies to enter the Derby but she only ran a quarter, maybe we can wheel her back in ten days or so and then make the Derby trial.


Coming out of the turn Imalexus switches leads on cue, in that moment I couldn't have been prouder of her if I had foaled her; I have no idea if she is talented but nobody can say my girl doesn't have manners. Elias Peltrouche, the jock who has been on her in the mornings, uncocks the whip and gives her a smack on the left side. Imalexus perks up. She seems somewhat indignant but appears to get the hint and rebreaks.

Lionheartisflippin has pulled away and has five lengths on Imalexus. She is running sixth when Elias reminds her again. By now they are inside the eighth pole and I think maybe we'll beat half the field.

"Come on, get up." a quiet appeal from my new best friend.

And then, as if it all clicked, Imalexus charges down in the final sixteenth, to take place money by a widening length, making up four lengths on the winner.

I feel a hand on my shoulder, "Looks like you have yourself a racehorse."

Lounges, catering to millionaires, don't stay in business long when their facilities are dirty and threadbare, so I am suddenly forced to track down the sirocco that just deposited a giant dust mote in my eye.

I would post the video of the race but I am unable to find it.

My gratitude to Rebate Stable and trainer Linda Albert; I am happy to be along for the ride.


SaratogaSpa said...

This is why we love the game...brilliant!

Anonymous said...

Excellent news, excellent race report--and it also sounds like you got yourself some pretty excellent clients...

Superfecta said...

Great news!

And how serendipitous that I used the same Stones reference in my blog for work yesterday. Great minds think alike.

Anonymous said...

Brilliant stuff! A gripping race report.

Thaks for catching the broken link over at my place...

Be sure to give us a head's up on the next race!


Gene Kershner said...

Super recap Sir W...I tried pulling the race up last night after Top Chef to no avail in TwinSpires race replays races 1-3 were empty...

John said...


Anonymous said...

roger what everyone else already said, out.

Theodore L. Grevelis said...

Very nicely done! It's rare to see one dig back in like that and come charging. What a great learning experience for the horse. Watch out next time out! Congrads.

The Bid

The Bid
Greatest horse ever to look through a bridle