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Friday, September 21, 2012

Shuttling Around

Life does get in the way of a good story sometimes.  Let's head around the horn and we'll catch you up with what's new in these parts...

- Space Invasion: Batavia Downs. I hadn't knocked off a new track all year long, but my visit last week 30 minutes down the Thruway to Batavia Downs to get my sulky fix. Actually it was a buffet/cocktails/fundraiser for one of my clients, Mercy Flight-Buffalo who held their golf tournament in the afternoon and a night at the races afterwards. My firm sponsored a race on the card on behalf of Mercy Flight, so we even ended up in the winners' circle with Joey Chestnut (not the eating guy) who waxed the field.

I brought a newbie with me and even though he didn't cash a ticket, he had a good time learning the different types of exotic bets. He is one of my managers who loves to gamble on sports and had only previously made a win bet on the Kentucky Derby as the extent of his experience. One of the cool things about Batavia Downs was the bar overlooking the track in the Clubhouse section (picture below) and the comfortable seating on the clubhouse turn that we enjoyed with a few Blue Lights.

- Latest TBN Blogs. I have had a couple posts up over at the Sports, Ink blog since my last posting here. Today's post featured the two big $1M races at Parx on Saturday. Last week's featured an interview I had with Bona Ventures Stables' managing partner Dan Collins before sending Summer of Fun off to Woodbine for the Natalma, where she finished in the back of the pack. I will have a print article up next Saturday on the Jockey Club Gold Cup and Super Saturday at Belmont.

- Da Bills. While I'm ready to pull the trigger on Fitz already (he's just not the answer), they did have a pretty good rebound performance against the Chiefs, but who knows how bad they really are. The Browns in Cleveland will be a good test as former coach Dick Jauron will look to exact some revenge with his Dawg Defense against our hometown heroes. This is a huge game for the Bills, in conference and one they can't afford to lose if they are looking to return to the playoffs for the first time since 1999 (gasp). If you're looking for a humorous Bills blog, check out my friend TKIG's creative blog.

- Traffic East. My good friend, Mark Dellas, is the publisher of a local hip magazine called Traffic East and is a professional photographer by trade. He asked me to write a vignette on Saratoga after he visited morning workouts last summer. The piece presents some fabulous pictures of the horses in their natural beauty both on the backside and on the track. The cover photo is shown below:

Traffic East Cover - Latest Edition
- Space Invasion: Presque Isle Downs. In mid-August I made a surgical strike to Presque Isle Downs to have dinner with a client from Erie and take in a night at the races. Buffalo-based Bella Cavello Stables' Wotan was also running this night, so it was a nice evening to take in the races. I reserved a table at a window in the Clubhouse and although the food wasn't the greatest, the view and company made for a good night. Wotan didn't fire, unfortunately, as his jockey took him way back and he had too much to make up to late, finishing fourth.  Here's a picture of him in the post parade.


- Parx card. I'm not sure I'll play the card tomorrow, as it would break my cardinal rule about playing tracks you don't normally play and I'm saving up the account for Super Saturday, Keeneland and Santa Anita. Questing looks much the best in a small field in the Cotillion and I can't really find a horse that is fast enough to beat Alpha in the PA Derby. I think I might just sit back and watch as a fan this weekend.

- My Fantasy Squad. Call me the Old Guys Team. Peyton Manning. Reggie Wayne. Anquan Boldin. We're 2-0, but have a tough game this week and already down 17-0 as my opponent had the Giants Defense. Trying to break my mantra as the "loser of office pools" and build on the good luck I've had as of late (won a 50/50 last week!).

- The O's. I'm a long-time Orioles fan who hasn't had much to cheer about since 1993, but 2012 has been quite the magical season and I'm checking box scores for the first time in a long time. It's not Brooks/Frank Robinson, Boog Powell and Mark Belanger, but they are playing a fun brand of baseball.

Have a great weekend's a few more pics from Batavia Downs:

Parking Lot View of old school plant
Very cool view from Clubhouse bar
overlooking the Batavia track
Comfy seats and television
at our seats just off the finish line



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