After years of going to the track to bet on the horses, today I went out to look at the horses. One in particular, that
of course being Evening Attire. I was invited out to a closed Belmont Park to visit "Grandpa" as he is affectionately called
by one of his loved ones, Tara. She has been around Evening for several years and knows him like a book.
Much to my surprise, and disappointment I must say, when she wrote me to invite me out
to Belmont to visit him, she gave me a warning. Evening has a bit of an ornery side to him. Not my beloved Evening. But she
told me there was an easy way to get on his good side. Peppermints. But more on that latter.
I went inside the stable area where there were an eclectic bunch of horses. Tastyville
was trying to take a bite out of everything, including the stable walls themselves. Naughty New Yorker was living up to his
name, acting up as he always does. Scatkey was standing there like a statute, maybe thinking about an upcoming race
at the Big A later today. Then there was Evening Attire.
Seeing him up close, its amazing how white he really is. It doesn't look anything like
the horse that broke his maiden 8 years ago. But he was alert, and certainly feisty, and looked ready to run right now. He
was getting ready to go for a morning workout, so we headed outside. There I had the honor of meeting Pat Kelly, the trainer
of Evening Attire. I am not sure if anyone else would be able to Evening in the great shape that he was in for all these years,
and it say a lot about Pat.
The track was crowed with a multitude of horses. It is very easy, however, to spot Evening.
Just look for a horse that looks like a ghost. But he still looked like his youthful self. He did 5 furlongs in 1:01.06, 13th
of 66 at the distance for today. That's showing these young punks how to workout.
After his work, we headed back to the stable area. It was at this point that Tara reminded
me about the peppermints, which would get me in good with Evening. As the hotwalker brought Evening around, she said, "just
rustle the paper on the outside of the peppermint and watch what happens." No sooner
had I done so, his ears pricked up to the ceiling and his eyes bulged out of his head, like he
just been asked out on a date with Rags to Riches (being a gelding I don't think that makes sense, but you get the idea).
I am lucky to still have my right hand today. Evening went after that peppermint in a
hurry, and no soon then chomping down on it, he showed his appreciation my rubbing his head against mine. Tara was right.
Always listen to a woman, they do know what they are talking about. I soon said my goodbye to Evening and everyone there and
The main purpose of writing this article is because of the love people have for Evening.
Since I started the website, I have had hundreds of emails, many of them wanting to know how Evening is doing and is he being
cared for properly. Well he certainly is. The love for him by everyone around him is obvious. People like Tara really do care
for him like they would for a child. He gets full attention and is treated like royalty in the barn.
The other big question I get, is why is he still racing at 10. The answer is simple. He
wants to. Pat Kelly makes sure he is not over worked or over raced. But beside that, you have to see Evening on the track
to understand why he is out there. He looks like he can, and wants to, run all day. Sadly for all of us, the day will come
sooner than later for his retirement, and racing will never be the same.
My thanks to Pat Kelly, for letting me get a first hand look at Evening, and my thanks
to Tara, the perfect hostess. And thank you Evening, for being Evening.