What I did on My Summer Vacation


It’s been a long time between posts here at Around2Turns. Not since August 4th. Yikes!

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I just haven’t been doing it here. While writing a regular column for the new Blood-Horse Daily has been an engaging mix of fun and terror, it’s obvious that this new endeavor has taken a toll on my blogging, which was never prolific on its best day.

The Blood-Horse people were kind enough to let the column run on Tuesdays, as this allows me to write on the weekend and keep it from conflicting with my day job. [I’ve been an analyst in the Circulation Department of The New York Times for the last 15 years.] I am also lucky to have an understanding spouse. Catherine doesn’t like to see me spending half the weekend making faces at the laptop, out of frustration with the sausage-making. But she’s an artist, and can sympathize with those struggling with the creative process.

My debut column for the B-HD was this comic caper where I pretend to be mortally offended by Triple Crown winner American Pharoah, and can wish him nothing but a speedy retirement. My second time out, I got to rattle the bones of one of my long-dead heroes, swiping bits from Joe Palmer’s “introductory” column at the Herald-Tribune to class up my own for the B-HD.

Not all of the columns get posted to the Blood-Horse website. This third one (see page 6 of this PDF version) didn’t make the cut. Alas. But the good thing about having a weekly column is that you don’t have much time for fretting about your last one, as that next deadline is always gaining on you. I’ve found it’s advisable to worry about the columns you still need to write.

One of the challenges in writing from the “horseplayer” perspective comes from feeling the need to be appropriately critical of an industry that has one or two issues. You would never want your peeps to think you were playing the house organ. But neither do you want to come off as a constant kvetcher. Which can leave you walking a high wire, feeling like you have to be topical and critical as well as entertaining, all in about 450 words.

Anyway, I knew when I took on this Blood-Horse Daily gig that the blog was going to suffer somewhat. It was August. I needed to get to Saratoga for some race days. I needed to show up at work and hold on to my job. I needed to write a good weekly column. I needed to help maintain domestic tranquility. Blogging? That could wait.

But it can’t wait any more. There’s no reason why Around2Turns can’t be something similar to what it was before the B-HD column came along. That’s not too high a hurdle to clear. Somewhere in between national fences and the matchbox jump at the Upper Class Twit of the Year Show. I’ll be out at Belmont Park this Saturday. Next week it will be October and time for Treve’s run at three straight Arcs. Then comes the Keeneland meet, with the Breeders’ Cup capping off what figures to be a great month. It’s racing. There is plenty to write about. Some of it might as well end up here.