Go on, Draco

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Visitors, we get visitors at ST Publishing World Headquarters here in Fair Hill.

Deliverymen, horsemen, salesmen, relatives, old bosses, relatives’ old bosses, young people, old people, lost people. One day last week, a visitor reminded us of why we do what we do. He came to watch a horse run on TVG. A few moments earlier, on the same network, we were watching the best horses in the world at Royal Ascot. The visitor came to see Yankee Pilot, a $35,000 claimer in the second at Philadelphia Park. The homebred, 3-1 on the board, may as well have been Henrythenavigator.

Apparently nicknamed Draco, due to the imploring chants of “Come on, Draco” coming from the other room while Sean and I discussed the economics of publishing (mostly bad).

“You’re not tired, Draco.”

“Come, on Draco.”

“Give it all, Draco.”

“Fight, Draco, fight.”

Maybe named after Harry Potter character Draco Malfoy, or maybe not, Draco hung on by the slimmest of nods – after an anxious wait for the photo. We ran into watch the stretch drive and leaned as the camera followed the horses to the finish line. Whether all the leaning helped or not, I don’t know, but Draco got there and made everyone’s day.

The visitor summed up his enthusiasm with a giant sigh and a “That’s great. That’s year-changing. Just great. Thanks, sorry for all the yelling.”

No need to apologize, the yelling was great. Best part of the day, really. When you work in racing, sometimes the work gets in the way and you forget the racing. The winning. The losing. The thrill of one or the other decided by an animal’s willingness to stretch his nose or not. Wow.

Nice job, Draco.