I’ve never actually blogged from a café in New York City before. I must admit, it feels natural. Not Uncommon Grounds natural, but natural nonetheless.
I had a thought today about what happens as we approach the end of something. It’s hard to know how to handle. Every year, it’s same feeling in Saratoga after Travers. On one hand, it’s the usual back to school feeling. Sometimes it’s just an awareness of the passage of time. Other times it feels like whiplash because of how fast it all went. And the bad news, younger readers, is that this last bit gets incrementally worse every year (there is an empirical, mathematical explanation for this, but I won’t get into it here). On the other hand, there is also always a slight feeling of relief mixed in there somewhere. OK, time to get back to reality.
This Saratoga will always have special meaning for me: the year we said goodbye to my Dad and hello to our daughter. Next year will obviously be a VERY different story and I have no idea of how it’s all gonna go down. Talking to my many friends with kids, I know enough to not bother with making firm plans – she’ll tell us what she can handle and we’ll decide what we’re up for. That’s all I know on that front.
I will say that I’ve seen babies in the Paddock Bar this year and they looked pretty happy. There’s a world in which you’ll see me for a few races posted up on Desiree’s quadrant of the bar, Baby Bjorn securely in place (though I’ll personally be enforcing the all-too-oft-neglected no-smoking-under-the-tent rule).
But for all I know, I may well spend most days back at the Little House on the East Side, classic vinyl blaring in the background, baby by my side. I’ll be watching along, to be sure, TwinSpires pumping thru the big flatscreen, letting Maggie do the paddock work for me. That’ll be OK too. If you want, skip Siro’s and stop by after the nightcap to see the baby, and nosh on some Farmer’s market snacks. Maybe we’ll pop a bottle of grower’s champers, or at least a few good craft beers.
So how do act as we approach the end of something? Do we rage against it, open a bottle with our teeth and drink it down until we drop? Do we dwell on what’s coming, romanticizing what has been, and gently hold on as long as we can? Or do we just live our lives, in the moment, until it’s time for whatever comes next?
Here’s what I am sure of: when you dwell too much on something that’s going to end, on a certain level, you stop living your life. You cease to appreciate the very thing you’re worried about ending. You don’t make the most of the present because you’re no longer in it. If you can manage it, it’s better not to dwell. Remove yourself the storyline and make sure to live every moment in. . .hey wait a minute, when did this stop being a post about Saratoga?
Race 8: $100 to win on #5 LEAP
I’m giving this horse, who I liked last time, another chance. Technically, he’s actually pretty close to a Flow Downgrade, based on the fact that he did all his running late with Flow and Bias figures that favored closers. But you don’t want to be too literal about that I don’t think. For one thing, the top two there did run 1-2 all the way. Also, LEAP was bet like a good thing, suggesting he has speed, and yet he didn’t break, likely compromising his chance. He’s a nicely built horse who will like the extra ground today (I almost wish this were 6 1/2 or even 7). He’ll get lasix here, to break out an archaic angle that’s been gathering mothballs ($1, Jim Mazur). A much better run could be in the offing.