As always, I started agonizing over my column somewhere between the turf works and the Schuylerville. What to write that’s important? Pertinent? Crucial? Meaningful? It wasn’t hard to figure it out. As Joe wrote yesterday, I had a son in December (well, Joe wrote November but never mind that). Miles Alexander Clancy. I haven’t seen him in a week.
It’s your first Saratoga. Seven months old, you learned to crawl, well it’s more like a sputter, last Wednesday. I left for our office in Maryland on Thursday and Saratoga on Sunday. I’m sure you’re motoring now. I haven’t seen you in a week now, wow that’s brutal. Mom seems to be doing well without me, certainly better than I’m doing without you. For 20 years, I’ve locked the door and never looked back when Saratoga beckoned. This year, there’s a price to pay. Now, I understand Joe’s stress (father of three) when taking off for Saratoga.
You’ll be coming to Saratoga later in the meet. Mom and I have somehow collected a bunch of horses so she (and you) stayed in Middleburg, Va. with Blue, Border, Kiss, Holiday and Under Shirt. Man, do I miss you and Mom. Usually, I get up early and check on you when I leave our room, I like to touch my phone’s light as I walk out and check on you, just like to see you sleeping, usually with your butt up in the air like you’re praying to Mecca or something. Well, now in Saratoga I always walk over to check on you. It’s crazy not to see you every day and it’s hard to explain why I’m not there with you and you’re not here with me.
Saratoga’s a crazy place, all of us vagabond racetrackers pack up and set up for six weeks; it’s our job but it’s also our life. You’ll love it when you’re old enough to ride on The Special’s golfcart and hand out papers with Ryan, Jack, Nolan, Jane Motion and the next generation of kids who will take over from all of us who love the game.
When I look around, I think of how important the next generation is for the survival of this game, sometimes I wonder if it’s a curse for all of you – the game struggles mightily and maybe you should go find something else more positive, more lucrative. Maybe, maybe not. If you’re like me or your Uncle Joe, you’ll get it in your blood and be hooked, hard to get out.
Well, I can’t wait to see you and show you off to all my friends when you get to town.
I love you.
Sorry about the Sean thing, I’ve never signed anything Dad before.