Day one was spent in Tampa, Florida at Tampa Bay Downs. Sean Gerson, Peter Miller, Burt "Doc" Smith and I (along with a small posse) spent the day sweltering in the 90% Florida humidity with 25,000 of our closest friends. I was the youngest person at the track by 20 years.
We had to park in the swamp (literally), within rock throwing distance of the of the alligators. War Pass, the undefeated two year old and early Kentucky Derby, ran dead last at 1-9, which resulted in a $77.00 show payoff. A "bridge jumper" (someone that bets huge amounts on a favorite to run third) had bet $100,000 on War Pass to show. Look out below!
Next up was dinner at a steak house, where it’s always interesting to see how much money each person will contribute to the $1,500 bill. We will withhold names here, however one particular trainer donated a five and two ones. Nice.
Sean needed to switch out the rental car, so I accompanied him to the airport. Sean is not happy unless he has the biggest SUV on the lot, and it must get less than 8 miles to the gallon. The airport was packed…at midnight! It took us 40 minutes to get out of the parking lot. National Car Rental – where all of systems are on a piece of paper. Nice.
After 3 hours of sleep, we were on the road to Ocala. Fortunately, Sean was so busy messing with his GPS and text messages that we did not end up with a repeat of his 105 MPH Ocala from last year. We arrived safe and sound, then headed directly to the training track so trainer Peter Miller could "go to work". Sean, Bert and I talked about our "shoulda woulda coulda" Pick 6 near wins, then spent 4 hours looking at horses in the sale. We already bought a filly by "E Dubai" and I just love another filly by the same sire.
In the afternoon, team member Matt Vest wandered in. We hit the off track betting, and thanks to one John Sadler, took home the bacon. Sean Gerson and John Sadler are bigggggggg buddies!
Peter Miller has his eye on a few nice horses, so we’ll spend Monday checking them out prior to attending the Adena Springs sale Monday evening. More to follow…