Happy Friday, Everyone!
This is the beginning of a very busy and exciting weekend in sports!
Today, OAKLAWN PARK will open for its’ 108th SEASON of racing. This track offers a very competitive stakes program which will conclude in April with the “Racing Festival of the South”. The “Festival” runs from April 11-14th. This is the week when the Apple Blossom G1…one of my very favorite races…will take place. Also, the Arkansas Derby G1 will run at this time. For years, the horses running contentiously in these events have consistently performed at a high level in stakes programs throughout country.
I’d also like to wish their new announcer, Frank Mirahmadi, all the best. Frank has called races in California and worked in television for the last several years. Frank is replacing their long-time race caller and the voice of Oaklawn for decades, Terry Wallace. Mr. Wallace called over 20,000 Oaklawn races during his career including both of my APPLE BLOSSOM victories. ALL THE BEST to both of these men in their future endeavors!
Jennifer Hoyt is the Media Relations Manager at Oaklawn and I know her very well. She and her husband, Rolly, were assigned by The Breeders’ Cup to ME and BARN 55 to work with MY JOHN on media events during the entire month before the 2010 Breeders’ Cup at Churchill Downs. They did a wonderful job…and we couldn’t THANK THEM enough for all of their help and assistance.
On Saturday, we begin a 3 day weekend of great racing around the country. On top of this, the Pro Football Play-off games take place. This is TOO CUTE! There is a quarterback in Denver named TIM TEBOW. He is really getting people excited about football. From what I am hearing, even people who normally don’t follow the sport are tuning in to watch him play. HMMM…sounds familiar! I keep teasing TASTY that he has the same initials as she does…TT. HOOVES CROSSED for all of the teams to play their very best!
Sunday, the VOX POPULI award will be given to RAPID REDUX during a ceremony which will take place at Santa Anita. This year’s selection was done differently than when I received this award in 2011…..they had the fans vote and be a part of the selection process. Congratulations to Rapid Redux on being this year’s deserving winner of the VOX POPULI AWARD! He had a very exciting year!
Finally, on Monday night, the Eclipse Awards will take place at the Beverly Wilshire Hotel in Beverly Hills, California. The ceremony will begin at 8 Eastern Time / 5 Pacific …scheduled to last approximately 2 1/2 hours. If you are unable to attend, they will be broadcast live on HRTV. You may also view them on DRF.COM, RTN.TV, and HRTV.COM from the reports we are receiving. The horses nominated in ALL categories are very deserving of this honor…and it will be so exciting to see who wins this year’s HORSE OF THE YEAR! Hmmm….could it be a FILLY or MARE again?
Enjoy all of these great activites! Have a wonderful weekend…and on Monday…may we all take a moment to reflect upon the reason we are having this special holiday to observe the birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr.
Hugs to All~