The question came from a reader responding to a post on the Facebook page for This Is Horse Racing promoting an article about the final day of training last week at the Oklahoma Training Track here in Saratoga Springs.
“What will Tom Law do for five months? Hope he likes to travel.”
At first it feels like a simple question that’s tough to answer.
After a little thought it’s not so difficult.
Five months really isn’t that long, roughly 140 days in this situation give or take depending on when the Oklahoma reopens for training in 2014. Saturday, April 5 is a safe bet, but depending on the winter it could easily be later.
Oh, the winter.
That certainly factors into the sentence above.
To say five months isn’t that long doesn’t take into account my first Northeast winter since 1998. The general consensus in this area to date is that the last two winters weren’t too bad, but at the same time that means this year could be. Not sure of the science on determining that scenario.
But alas, 140 days and counting and there’s plenty to do.
Like what you ask?
Well, let’s see, first things first will be to get settled out of our temporary rental and into something more permanent. Thankfully we’ve got that ball rolling. We’ll miss the great space just off White Street, so close to the track that if I got busy during any give race day it was nothing to watch the eighth race from home, walk to the track, be in the paddock before riders up, watch, report and conduct interviews on the feature and still be back at home in time to watch the finale.
Once the settling is underway it will allow time to unpack stuff.
Everyone’s got stuff. Some a lot, others a little. Hopefully I’m in between.
I know I’ve still got things to unpack from boxes packed up more than a year ago during a quick run through of my office at my former bankrupt employer. And nearly eight months – that’s hard to believe – of time here in upstate New York has brought a certain amount of additional stuff to deal with.
So there’s that.
But what to do with the other, say, 139 days?
Oh the opportunity.
The winter will be a good time to finally get back into and complete that book project, started with earnest back in December and January, at full speed by February and March and at a disappointing halt by April and May. I hope our clients are reading this. Trust us, we’re getting back to it. ASAP. There aren’t any excuses up here.
Staying on the work-related front – this is for a racing website after all – there are plenty of places and people to see.
With several farms within a short drive there’s ample opportunity to see stallions, young horses, old horses, horsemen and women. Time to catch up, get acquainted, reacquainted and best of all, out of the office.
Two places on the list are Old Friends and Saratoga WarHorse. Sure we’ve written about them, Old Friends on page 28 of the July 28 issue of The Saratoga Special and Saratoga WarHorse just today in Sean Clancy’s blog, but who’s to say there can’t be something else that comes out of a fresh visit. And it’s always good to keep a promise.
The days are suddenly filling up fast.
Next thing you know it will be time for the Eclipse Awards, Triple Crown prep season and the Triple Crown itself.
Lo and behold the Oklahoma will be open by then.
Time flies, especially when we’re firing off regular features like Monday Morning Trainer, Here & There, History Lesson, Weekend Preview and some others we’ve got in the hopper for 2014 at This Is Horse Racing.
Seriously though, enough promotion of the product. Let’s get back to filling those five months.
Actual live racing isn’t that far away, although Aqueduct in February certainly doesn’t conjure up thoughts of star-filled mornings in Saratoga the way, well, star filled mornings in Saratoga do and can.
I’m sure a trip or two to Florida – with stops in Ocala, Tampa Bay, Payson, Palm Meadows and Gulfstream – might be in the offing. And there’s always Kentucky, Louisiana or California, but again, I’m running out of days.
See, five months isn’t so long after all.