And this is pre-entry day for the Breeders' Cup

THE INSIDE RAIL | by Sean Clancy

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Time for Far Hills. The biggest day in American steeplechasing racing. Seven races worth $580,000. Talented horses. Beautiful course. Ground should be fair. Race chairman Guy Torsilieri sent a photo to me, taken from the bottom of the turn, showing the sweeping uphill finish, the amphitheatre in the cold light of day. Saturday, it will be in the searing heat of race day. Not necessarily the temperature. Torsilieri texted, “Must bring back memories.”

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“If there wasn’t a horse race, I’m not sure I would have ever ridden a horse.”

I say it nonchalantly, offhandedly, at a hunt ball in a dairy barn Saturday night. Well, a converted dairy barn, yes, a hunt ball in a dairy barn…that’s another story for another day.

I’ve said it before, same style, a throw-away line to answer why I don’t go fox hunting five days a week like many of my contemporaries, here in Middleburg, Va. Having a job is part of it as well, but I like to think of it as the lack of desire rather than the burden of necessity.

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Listening to Miles play the piano – I think I recognize Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star – while perusing the Tattersalls Horses-in-Training Sale catalogue. In a basement of a church in Upperville, Va., oh the places where you’ll steal a minute’s worth of work. I’m sure I wouldn’t have listened when I had time on my hands but, wow, I wish I knew how paramount time was going to become. That’s all you really ask for in life. Just time. Time to be a dad, time to be a husband, time to be a son, time to be a provider, time to be a friend. Just time.

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Weekend Report.

All Together won the W. Gary Baker Memorial, a restricted stakes at Virginia Fall. The veteran son of Danzig (I love writing that) deserved a win after clashing with the best in the game for 32 prior starts over jumps. The $40,000 stakes is restricted to horses who had never won an open hurdle stakes. I questioned it for a minute…All Together hasn’t won an open stakes...? Gallant horse who always shows up for work. Good for Sam Jones to win a stakes after a tough Saratoga.

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Watching Jack Hanna's Wild Countdown with Miles, our Saturday morning routine. Waiting for European racing to start, we'll flip pancakes and watch Newmarket, Gowran Park, Redcar and Ascot, before heading up the road to Glenwood Park for the annual Virginia Fall Races. The only race meet Miles likes, "Is it the one with the rocks? Then I'll go."


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