Cup of Coffee: My Misses

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My compatriot Jane Motion inspired my list (her list runs on page 18) of things I’ll miss from Saratoga.

I’ll miss petting Doctor Peach, Rescue Squad, The Looper, Always First and George in the morning.

I’ll miss the Morning Line Kitchen girls.

I’ll miss turf racing.

I’ll miss Graham Motion’s help who take care of a golfcart like it’s a child and always provide a smile no matter what time of day.

I’ll miss the sound of the crowd clapping for Rachel Alexandra after the Personal Ensign.

I’ll miss seeing Quality Road, Warrior’s Reward, Missinglisalewis and Quick To Charm training in the morning.

I’ll miss the enthusiasm of the owners.

I’ll miss the gambler.

I’ll miss asking questions.

I’ll miss the cash.

I’ll miss trying to hit a $1 trifecta box in the last while waiting for an interview.

I’ll miss Tom Proctor’s laugh.

I’ll miss Kevin Kahkola standing watch.

I’ll miss the dogs, the squirrels, the geese (geeses to Angel Penna) and the big cat at Al Stall’s barn.

I’ll miss the goodwill of my friends who visited or contributed for Ben Garner.

I’ll miss the lead ponies going to work.

I’ll miss turf works.

I’ll miss the outriders making those leaning, across the body saves like Tony Esposito.

I’ll miss the touts.

I’ll miss the competition between John Velazquez and Javier Castellano; especially moments like the finish of Friday’s fourth when Castellano tried to slide the couch in front of the door as Velazquez got through on Cookram Rock.

I’ll miss the valets.

I’ll miss the morning work of Simon, Carl, Anna, Michelle, Lorna, Richie, Paddy and all the other exercise riders who ride with hands down, elbows in and stirrup right across the foot like an arrow at a target.

I’ll miss Eddie Brown.

I’ll miss random sightings of The Special and random shouts from readers who appreciate what we do.

I’ll miss Robert Cutler, Danielle Hodsdon, Anne Sinchak, Kristin Fischer, Ally Couchman, Paddy Young, Nacho Corona and The Looper from the Annex.

I’ll miss my friend “Easy Job” from Shadwell.

I’ll miss Todd Pletcher’s efficiency.

I’ll miss dropping off papers at the Horseshoe in the morning and walking out as others call me in.

I’ll miss Ron Anderson’s calm, simplicity and effectiveness.

I’ll miss Richard DePass’ bloodhound scent.

I’ll miss Ramon Dominguez jogging into the paddock to ride the last after he’s breezed horses all morning and ridden races all afternoon.

I’ll miss readers trying to be creative.

I’ll miss the clarity of the morning, the vitality of the afternoon and the closure of a deadline.

I’ll miss Steve Rushing’s polished boots.

I’ll miss champagne and Janine in the Trustees’ Room.

I’ll miss my brother’s anxiety over a widow, a bad break and a headline that’s one letter too short, or too long.

I’ll miss Channing Hill’s outlook.

I’ll miss Linda Rice’s alacrity.

I’ll miss sweating out a photo, an inquiry and a bad question.

I’ll miss the pressure.

I’ll miss the public’s fascination over the dreamers; Tim Snyder and Leon Blusiewicz gave wish to wishful thinking this summer.

I’ll miss the slate shingles.

I’ll miss the music from Siro’s, the bell from the finish line, the sound of loafer on wood in the boxes and aluminum on macadam on Union Avenue.

I’ll miss the Chief.

I’ll miss Jimmy Jerkens, who gets more like his dad every summer.

I’ll miss the dust on my cell phone.

I’ll miss the empty paper racks in the morning.

I’ll miss the trees.

I’ll miss the impromptu conversations in the morning when interests and memories collide to provide verbal history worthy of a museum.

I’ll miss the ink on my hands.

I’ll miss the search for the next great maiden nobody knows about.

I’ll miss my brother’s advice when I’m stuck on grammar – “Write around it.”

I’ll miss starting a column without an idea and finishing with something that will make people laugh or think in the morning.

I’ll miss the horses, the horsemen, the paper, the readers – yup, I’ll miss Saratoga.