Monday, October 09, 2006

A fantastic run of days....

It was a great weekend for yours truly, and it's been an even greater 10 days! For any and all sports fans, what an amazing three days of non-stop action.

Across the board there were events, games and happenings for all to enjoy. Several Grade 1 races, a Mets sweep, multiple exciting college football games and to cap it all off, a complete Yankees collapse - and that was only Saturday!!

Sunday brought the season opener for Portland Meadows, a great Giants win, the Yankees and their fans crying like little babies, and oh yeah, did I mention Portland Meadows opened its season?

For your Avg. Horseplayer, it's been an amazing run of long days, partying, meeting new friends and hooking up with mates of old. The only negatives are that my body has finally revolted and I've been neglecting this blog. That's what teammates are for though, no?

I'd like to give a special shout out and major kudos to Patrick Kerrison and the entire staff at Portland Meadows. This includes Magna Entertainment Corporation, owner and operator of PM. In the past, I've been quick to hammer PM and even quicker to pounce on the corporate conglom that is MEC. However, I must say that MEC has made some significant investments and improvements in my local track and they deserve proper kudos.

Driving up from San Francisco, Tote Board Brad was waiting my arrival at PM in the lower level simulcasting area. We finally connected just before the 3rd race. Walking out onto the apron, we were greeted by fellow blogger and PM/MEC big shot Patrick K. where we were then treated to a first class day which included a nice shot of us poaching a winners circle celebration:

Patrick informed us of the major investments MEC has made in PM and the buzz of the crowd in attendance was proof that a new found focus is already paying off. In the past, I may have "poo-pooed" or spoke negatively about PM - these days, I look forward to going more often, as well as spreading the word that PM is a great place to spend an afternoon.

While at the track, I was also able to meet up with old friends Jolene Loudon and Michael Thompson (who was recently elected to the OTOBA Board of Directors). Unfortunately for them, their two entries didn't hit the board. Check out Jolene's post from today to find out how she's feeling.

Jason Beem also made his first live appearance of the year providing fast, clear, animated and accurate calls of the days races. Thanks for the reminders to "cash all of our Scientific Games tickets" Jay!! Although our day did not include a visit up to the "nest" to meet Jason, you could clearly catch our man plying his craft - Jason seems to have a proclivity for hanging half-way out of his upper deck perch to call a race!

Neither Brad nor I could even come close to getting arrested at the windows, but as he says, "we did make a nice contribution to the local economy and handle." We continued our local contributions by settling in for a few drinks in the NE Portland neighborhood called Alberta St. After discussing the state of horse racing, blogging and world peace (not), we headed down to one of my favorite PDX restaurants, Ciao Vito. With our stomachs full and our minds drained, Brad and I parted ways. Another internet connection successfully manifests itself in real life!!

...Which brings us to Monday. Supposedly it's Columbus Day, which to me doesn't really mean that much. Wasn't it the Vikings who first discovered North America? Oh well, who am I to spoil a whole nation's fun?

-If you haven't noticed yet, I've implemented a countdown box in the NE corner of the blog. This just so we are all clear on exactly how many days are left until this year's Breeders' Cup.

-Much to my dismay, today is the last day of the New York Daily News' gossip column. With my disdain for Rupert Murdoch's New Corp, where will I get my daily does of gossip and dirt?

-Like Yankess and Jets fans, Oregon football fans had a very difficult weekend.

I've got another surprise announcement coming up, so stay tuned for some pretty cool news.....

Have a great week everybody!!

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