Phoning it in at Laurel

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Past performances . . . Mask . . . Gloves . . . Glasses . . . Digital recorder . . . Phone . . . Pen . . . Past performances . . . Mask . . . Gloves . . . Glasses . . . Digital recorder . . . Phone . . . Pen . . . Past performances . . . Mask . . . Gloves . . . Glasses . . . Digital recorder . . . Phone . . . Pen . . .

Past performances . . . Mask . . . Gloves . . . Glasses . . . Digital recorder . . . Pen . . .

Hey, where’s my phone?

Somewhere between the Laurel Park administrative offices, winner’s circle and the press box – about a million steps up, around, past, over and through terracotta warriors, ice sculptures, bars, betting windows, horseplayers, a pizza counter, a line at a pizza counter, box seats, plastic chains, a door to nowhere and an exercise bike that hasn’t moved in 21 years – I lost my phone. IPhone 13. Expensive. Relatively new. Vital.

My first reaction was to eat something. That’s why I headed to the pressbox in the first place. So I grabbed my Kind bar and retraced my steps through, under, past, around and down. Nothing. Then the Barbara Fritchie Stakes – Glass Ceiling and Jakarta fought like Dave Schultz and Tiger Williams with the former becoming a graded stakes winner eight starts after getting claimed for $40,000. I interviewed Dylan Davis, who started with a “Hey Joe” and told me all about it, then Charlton Baker who explained how his mare has blossomed on the training track at Belmont Park.

Then, I started looking for my phone some more. Asked people in the winner’s circle, the scale house around the corner, the guest services desk inside. Nothing. The woman at guest services pointed toward a security guard, Mike (I  think it was Mike; I should have gotten his name) and told me to at least check with him. I could leave my name and contact information and if a phone got turned in they could find me.

Theoretically. It all seemed so unlikely. I was fairly resigned to doing some Apple “lost phone” steps like locking it or whatever it is they tell you to do, changing a billion passwords and then figuring out a new phone and an iCloud reset which only works half the time and starting over and feeling like a dope.

Mike listened, took my business card, handed me his phone to try to call mine. It rang and rang and rang and went to voice mail. Then he pulled out his radio and asked his fellow guards if anyone had seen a phone.


“Got one right here,” came the reply. Mike walked me over to the clubhouse side where another guard met us and held my phone.

“What’s the picture?” he asked.

“A dog.”

“Beautiful dog,” he replied. And he handed me my phone, watched me unlock it to be sure I wasn’t a scammer, and I breathed a big sigh. I thanked them in person and the good people of Laurel in my head (and on Twitter) for doing the right thing. Bless you honest racetracker, whoever you are.

Then I watched Cordmaker win the General George. It was a lot less stressful than watching Glass Ceiling win the Barbara Fritchie.