Periodic columns from our staff and the occasional guest.

Speed Dial

Rusty Arnold’s phone rings at 10:30 in the morning. Every morning. For 27 years.

Lyrical John

I stop every year, sometimes in a hurry, sometimes on a stroll. Sometimes with Miles and Annie, sometimes on my own. Sometimes, I buy something. Most of the time, I browse, looking for nothing and always finding something. This year, it was the first dark Tuesday, after a haircut, I walked up the incline of Phila Street and into Lyrical Ballad, the timeless bookstore that has served the town of Saratoga like an old guard, an old friend.

Here to Stay

“You’re going to do well here, bud.”

“Thank you.”

The Hero

“Count your coughs. Change your leads. Watch my flag.”

The Closer

“Hey Miles, Mariano Rivera is coming to Saratoga this summer.”

True Calling

They don’t make horses like Quick Call anymore, but that’s OK. The one they did make might just live forever. The 35-year-old gelding is the senior resident of the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation’s Second Chances farm at the Wallkill Correctional Facility in Wallkill, N.Y.

Eight Weeks

It’s July 11 and we’re in Saratoga.

The Walk

There’s Lena. Sparky. Robbie. Clocker Dave. Cindy. Rusty’s cat. The long shrill of another lost horse signaling to another lost horse, they’ll settle down in a few days, once, they know that this place is OK.


The road trip continues.