THE INSIDE RAIL | by Sean Clancy

Posted by on in The Inside Rail

“Our greatest trait is our resiliency.”

That quote has become a mantra of ours, and we’re not talking politics, we’re talking horse racing, a game which continues to test our resiliency and resolve.

Posted by on in The Inside Rail

Plains, trains and automobiles. Actually, just automobiles, from Keeneland yesterday to Camden today. Kicked tires at Keeneland, looking at horses too used or too expensive for our program. Watching the dispersal of the Conquest Stable horses, it was more like a yard sale than an estate sale, strange to see people jump in and jump out so lavishly. Some nice horses, some broken dreams. Heading out to Springdale to see jumpers train, the final day of the season looms Saturday, full fields, lots of races. Everybody looking for Christmas money.

Posted by on in The Inside Rail

My father kept walking out of the kitchen with another plate. It was 1984, I was 14, in between winning pony races at Far Hills and Pennsylvania Hunt Cup, just a kid, desperate for a place, enthralled by the sport, engulfed by the thought of becoming a jockey.

Posted by on in The Inside Rail

Keeneland’s fall meet has come and gone.

Box fans, rubber matts, webbings and brush boxes line each corner of the stable area this morning. Crossing guards fiddle with their phones, there are few horses coming and going on a sleepy Sunday morning. Larry Jones, still hard at it, rides one home. The track kitchen’s lights are on, a few hunched over hungry men and women fuel for the day. A tall man and a short woman take down the gift shop, hangars in one pile, hooks in another, the merchandise put away for next year.

And, no, we still haven’t won a race at Keeneland. Eagle Poise’s second in the 2013 Sycamore, Motivational’s fast-closing third this spring and some healthy checks on Pinkie Swear and Master McGrath in the Royal Chase are still the highlights. Motivational ran well, finishing fifth, beaten 2 ¾ lengths for everything in a tough nine-furlong allowance Friday. Nine furlongs – he needs 18 furlongs. Cool horse. Tough spot.

I’m on my way home. If I hurry, I can get home to throw a ball for Miles. Or, at least, read about Marquis de Lafayette.

Posted by on in The Inside Rail

Road trip. Off to Kentucky to watch Motivational run at Keeneland. We’ve never won a race at Keeneland, a couple of seconds and third (as a jockey and an owner), perhaps, Friday is the day. 

Miles is putting his finishing touches on his Halloween costume, Marquis de Lafayette. He could have been anybody or anything in the world, he chose Lafayette. When I asked him if he knew a lot about the French aristocrat, Miles paused, cleared his throat and said, “As a matter of fact, I don’t.” Well, I have a feeling we’re going to know more about the French military officer who was wounded at the Battle of Brandywine.

I’ll check in from the road.