The Inside Rail

It's that time of year. Time for the annual - or at least occasional - 'I'll miss, I won't miss,' from Saratoga. I have a list, you have a list, everybody has a list as Saratoga fades away for another season. With all its energy and charm, Saratoga brings stress and angst. There is nowhere else where we are so on for so long. It's not love/hate, as I will never hate the place, for me, it's miss/won't miss. 

I'll miss the riders with patience and poise. I won't miss the riders with pokes and prods. 

I'll miss seeing Tepin breeze fluidly in :58.44 Aug. 29. I won't miss seeing Tepin breeze tepidly in :50.42 July 22. 

I'll miss watching a good hand ride with the race still in the balance. I won't miss seeing horses getting whipped when the race is long since over.  

I'll miss the first piece of pizza. I won't miss the third.

I'll miss the rabbit who meets me in my yard every night. I won't miss the skunk who skulks around my yard every night. 

I'll miss Tom Law's wit first thing in the morning. I won't miss Tom Law's lurking when I'm late on a deadline. 

I'll miss seeing The Saratoga Special graduates seizing an opportunity and making it big. I won't miss seeing the youth staring at their phones, neck bent, squandering life. 

I'll miss John Velazquez parallel parking in a race. I won't miss parallel parking on Broadway. 

I'll miss spending time with my brother. I won't miss spending so much time with my brother.

I'll miss the interns. I won't miss their typos. 

I'll miss the five-mile trail at SPAC (full disclosure, I've only been on it once this summer). I won't miss hearing about Joe and Tom tackling the five-mile trail at SPAC.

I'll miss the Henry Street Taproom. I won't miss the Henry Street parking.

I'll miss early morning rounds in my golf cart. I won't miss reaching the locked gate on Fifth Avenue in the dark.

I'll miss the positive attitude of Mike Grigely as he watches his empire of golf carts come and go. I won't miss the negative attitude of those who feel the need to outrun a golf cart while a horse is near. 

I'll miss Flintshire. I won't miss Inordinate.

I'll miss watching trainers jog horses for soundness on the pavement near their barns. I won't miss watching trainers looking at their phones as their horses gallop past. 

I'll miss the music on Caroline Street. I won't miss the sirens from the racetrack.

I'll miss the feature. I won't miss the feature when it's run in the dark.

I'll miss jockeys and agents getting along like family. I won't miss agents getting fired. 

I'll miss our readers who bring food and beer and music. I won't miss our readers who email and text angry anonymous messages. 

I'll miss cashing a ticket. I won't miss bad beats. 

I'll miss the air conditioning in the racing office. I won't miss the heat inside a navy blazer in the sun.

I'll miss Bob Le Beau. I won't miss the pain.

I'll miss making the walk from the winner's circle to the jocks' room with Mike Smith. I won't miss making the walk from the box seats to the winner's circle with a losing trainer.

I'll miss the Morning Line Kitchen. I won't miss the empty beer bottles at the Morning Line Kitchen. 

I'll miss the smell of marijuana as I make the turn near Nelson Avenue. I won't miss the smell of our office when we forget to empty the trash after a Roma's lunch.

I'll miss Linzay Marks' desk. I won't miss Linzay Marks' desk.

I'll miss happy advertisers. I won't miss advertisers who think we should print papers with only right-hand front pages. 

I'll miss seeing trainers producing breakout meets. I won't miss seeing trainers getting squeezed. 

I'll miss watching nine jump races without a fall. I won't miss hearing a jump race didn't fill. 

I'll miss watching the Stable Tour horses we remember win. I won't miss the Stable Tour horses we forgot win. 

I'll miss ordering the large garden salad with grilled chicken, feta cheese, no onions and no olives from Spring Street Deli. I won't miss receiving the (occasional) large garden salad without feta and with olives and onions from Spring Street Deli. 

I'll miss the Jimmy Ryerson/Rusty Arnold corner. I won't miss the corner we paint ourselves into every night.

I'll miss Tom Law's craft brew selection. I won't miss Steve Young handing me a bottle of wine to give to Tom Law. 

I'll miss the security guard by the saddling stalls at the paddock gate who always says hello. I won't miss being turned away at the paddock gate for not having a proper Alabama Day credential (which I didn't need). 

I'll miss the Union Avenue crossing guard, who brings homemade pastries and promises me eggplant parmigiana. I won't miss the calories.

I'll miss the morning banter. I won't miss the deadline stress. 

I'll miss Saratoga. 

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