THE INSIDE RAIL | by Sean Clancy

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Home from another Derby voyage. Deep breath. Regroup. Unpack. Iroquois Steeplechase on the horizon. Better get to the cleaners for a quick turnaround. I came home with four programs, three hit the trash and one hit the mementos pile. Spring time in racing, no rest. 

 

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The first notes of the National Anthem blare. You stand. Then they come again. You rise, pause, look around. Then they come again. You sit.

Kentucky Oaks morning. The sun rose over the quarter pole, now it’s high in the sky, ricocheting off white tents in the infield.

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Welcome to Little League. Coach pitch, Kansas City Royals, ages 6-8.

We bought a glove, baseball pants and a bat a few days before the first practice. I threw the ball for Miles, he watched it fall to the grass and then told me about Greek mythology. I picked up the ball, threw it again, he told me more about Greek mythology. I handed him the bat and threw him a pitch, he pirouetted and fell in a heap and, yes, told me more about Greek mythology.

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“Where are you going?”

Well, let’s start with where I’m not going.

I’m not going to the Atlanta Steeplechase to see Riverdee’s Yellow Mountain make his reappearance. He gets champion jockey Willie McCarthy for his third start over jumps. I’ll wait for a text. Well, let’s be more accurate, I will stare at my phone as post time nears, boring a hole into the screen waiting to hear how he runs, hoping for a safe trip. 

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Fun weekend in Monkton. My Lady’s Manor, like going back in time, 3 miles over timber, they never jump the same fence twice. Mark Beecher and Connor Hankin conducting riding clinics for free. Great to see Bethany Baumgardner win her first race, a local celebration, a breath of fresh air, a twinkle in the eye of a girl who had her day.