What a day - up at 5:30, out the door at 6:30, made it to Churchill before 8. We were immediately hustled out to a waiting van by Becky, our guide for the morning. She had us hurry because the Derby contenders were stepping out on the track for their morning workouts. Sure enough, we made it in time to see Eskenderya, Lookin At Lucky, Paddy O'Prado, Ice Box and Dublin - all of whom are on Steve Haskin's Derby Dozen in this week's Bloodhorse. We saw many other horses work out this morning - including most of the fillies who will run in the Kentcuky Oaks - but knowing that one of those horses could end up wearing the roses on May 1st...it's exciting!
Back behind the track, we drove around looking at the shedrows - watching the horses get their baths, trainers and exercise riders talking about that morning's moves...it's its own little world back there. I could go on and on about that experience - how we were thisclose to top trainer Todd Pletcher, how we drove right by the shedrow where 2009 Preakness winner and 2009 Horse of the Year Rachel Alexandra was stabled, how Becky put her hand on my arm and told me - seriously - that I should have a job out here...
But I digress. After Churchill, we drove to Three Chimneys farm for a tour. This was my third time visiting the Three Chimneys guys and it was just about better than ever. We saw Big Brown and Smarty Jones (Kentucky Derby winners), Exchange Rate, Point Given, Sky Mesa, Rahy...we even (brace yourself) got to see a live cover of a mare. Can't Catch My Cat was brought into the breeding shed to be covered by Flower Alley and we got to stay and watch. Kinda like biology class all over again! If the foal is a filly, I have a great name already planned, haha.
Off to Rolex tomorrow for day one of dressage - and we'll pay a visit to my favorite racehorse of all time, Cigar. I can't wait!