The Inside Rail

It was a throwaway line at the end of an email, five days into the New Year.

“Write more; you’re good at it.”

My friend, Michael Thomas. He’s been there from the beginning.

So I write.

The holidays officially come to a close today. January 6. Monday morning. Miles back to school, he’s glad to go back, ready to go back. I’m back to work, heading to Fair Hill for the annual ST Summit with Joe and Tom. This is when we dream up ideas for the New Year.

Over the years, we’ve come up with stuff that worked (join the Readers’ Club!) and stuff that didn’t work (we’ve erased the specifics from our brains). Good to get together with my coworkers/friends and hash out ideas. We’ll sit around a big table in the third floor of the office, slog up and down the hills at Fair Hill and sit down for a few meals in Newark, Del. Anything’s possible. All is on the table.

It’s a big year for The Saratoga Special. Our 20th anniversary. Wow, let that sink in, 20 years. It started in a renovated gym, well, far from renovated, it was just cleaned out, on Broadway. My old college roommate Paul Wasserman helping, print only, six days a week (that didn’t last long), Point Given won the Travers. We nearly didn’t make it, Joe and I at our closest breaking point. Now, we are on East Avenue and I like to think part of the Saratoga tradition, part of the fabric, part of the history. Twenty years. I wasn’t married, no kids, just off a riding career, starting over at 30. What a ride. So, yeah, we’ll celebrate that this year, somehow, some way.

Running again. Always pick it up in the winter when time can be salvaged. Cold, sure. Refreshing, absolutely. I looked back at my 2019 goals, accomplished some of them, – top 5 owner in steeplechasing, lose 10 pounds. Missed a few – run a marathon, win a Grade 1 (won a Grade 2 and finished second in a Grade 1). Run more was on there (the key is to have different levels of goals). I did run more in 2019, thanks to the inspiration of Joe and Tom. We’ll add to the 2020 list (50 goals for 50 years?) and try again.

Ran 8 miles on the treadmill yesterday, mesmerizingly boring but accomplished. Ran round the block Friday. It’s a big block. Past Banneker Elementary, Centennial Farm, Middleburg Training Center. Right. Left. Left. Right. Left. Left. Left. Left. Right. Done. 40 or so minutes. No phone. Why no phone? I’m asked. That’s why I run.

That’s it for today. Michael, I’ll try to write more.