I've been part of the ThoroFan board since October 2010 and am the Treasurer of the not-for-profit organization. We've made great strides with membership and industry groups over the past few years and we recently received news that our Annual Awards Brunch will officially be part of the Eclipse Awards weekend at Gulfstream Park next January on the Friday before the Eclipse Awards event.
We held our first Annual Awards Brunch last January and pulled off a successful event (which isn't easy doing from New York) that featured Nick Zito as the keynote speaker, and we presented our first annual ThoroFan Award to Ms. Wolfson, owner of Affirmed. She attended with family and friends and was truly honored by the Award. We also had handicapper of the year, Michael Beychok and Starlight Racing/NBC Sports personality Donna Barton Brothers as guest speakers. Here's hoping with the support of the NTRA we continue to grown this event.
If you haven't checked out Tom Amello's Joe ThoroFan blog and his Saratoga Diaries, make sure you check it out, there is a ton of useful information there.
After the meeting we had a nice casual drink and readied for the sale, which was my first time ever attending any type of sale. It was fascinating seeing the horses up close in the walking ring and reading the pedigrees provided with the free catalogs that were on site. It really is quite the social event (if you're not working, of course) with tons of fans, locals and industry types all over the place. The facility is of the highest quality and the drinks were cold. After about an hour, a colleague and I started to amuse ourselves by trying to guess the final bid using "The Price is Right" model and would bet a buck a hip. If you hit the number on the nose it paid double. Yours truly walked away with 16 crisp ones after nailing hip 113 on the nose in the final bet of the night. Degenerate gambling at it's best.
On Wednesday, I mostly caught up with friends around the track, but managed to make a wager or three early in the card. I benefited greatly from the DQ of Orino as I had singled West Hills Giant in the middle of a 6x1x5 Pick-3 trying to catch some long shots around WHG. Let's say I wasn't too upset by the decision. Ironically I was standing in the winner's circle next to the two jockeys Saez and Prado who were having a civilized discussion about the inquiry during the long wait for the decision.
Here are some pictures from the two days at the Spa...
|Inside the F-T Sales Pavilion|
|Do I hear $650,000?|
|Well, yes I do (on this horse)|
|Outside walking ring|
|Goose and Tonic (drink of choice)|
|Drum Roll, please in Race 4|
|Johnny V on 6-1 Drum Roll|
|The Toddster, JV and assistant|
|Luis Saez on Orino|
|Edgar Prado aboard West Hills Giant|
|The Spa from the inner turf course|
|View of the Turf Terrace, Durkin Central|
and Press Box
|Beautiful Video Board showing post parade|
before the Cab Calloway
|By us the first time from the hedge|
|Eclipse Worthy - Finish Photo|
(jumped the gun)
|Prado on the phone with the stewards|
|A dejected Saez after|
|A not very happy James Bond|
trainer for Orino after the DQ
|Winner via DQ - West Hills Giant|