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My "Interview" With Evening

I recently had a chance to do a Q and A session with Evening Attire. Below is the transcript.

Brooklyn Steve: First of all Evening how are you feeling?
Evening Attire: I'm good thanks. The leg will be fine, just needs time to heal. I am just very disappointed for the fans. I know they all wanted to see me keep running, and I wish I could.
BS: Believe me Evening, all the fans care about is that you are OK. You gave us 9 great years of racing.
EA: Well that's good to hear. You know I am very luck that I have had two wonderful owners in the Grants and Kellys that care so much about me, and never once asked me to do more than I could.
BS: Yes that is for sure. They always made sure you had enough time off in between races, and instead of sending you back out now, you get a nice long deserving vacation.
EA: Yeah you know I still feel like I can run and win, but you know they say this is a young horses game, and I ain't no spring horse!
BS: Well that may be the case, but lately you seem like you have been in career form.
EA: You can thank my great trainer Pat Kelly for that. He was smart enough to realize that I needed the extra distance and as of late I have been running only in 12 furlong races. You know at my age, it takes me a while to get going.
BS: Yes but then all of a sudden, you take off like a rocket. Tells us Evening, what is the secret to your success?
EA: Well now that I am retired I don't mind sharing it with you. The morning of each race, Pat gets my secret formula for me. And it always works. Its 1/2 gallon carrot juice mixed with a 1/2 gallon Geritol. Never fails.
BS: With that, lets go back to the beginning. Tell us how it all started.
EA: Well there were always high hopes for me since day one. You know my dad, Black Tie Affair was a champion. And I would like to think I'm a gelding off the old block.
BS: And it didn't take long did it. You won in just your 2nd start.
EA: Yeah back then I was sprinting. That seems like so long ago. But then I started stretching out, and before you know it, I was going the route.
BS: It wasn't soon after that, that you won your biggest race, the G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup. What a day.
EA: Yeah that was something else. My only win at at Belmont. I make em count huh.
BS: You sure did. And then you made it to the Breeders Cup Classic 2 years in a row.
EA: Yeah I remember that. I came in 4th at Arlington. Didn't do to well at Santa Anita. I tell ya, its just so darn hot out there in California all year round! But no excuses.
BS: But you like the heat don't you? I mean your career record at the Spa is amazing? 10 of 12 lifetime in the money at the worlds toughest meet.
EA: Ah the Spa. that is my favorite track of all time. The summers in Saratoga. I have to admit I liked showing of for the folks up there.
BS: And that is the sight of one of your biggest victories, beating Funny Cide in the BC Handicap.
EA: Yes what a day that was, you know that day was the largest crowd in Saratoga history, and I was determined to win. I hated beating Cide, he was so popular, but once I had him beat, you know, I had to show off a bit and draw off by 5 lengths.
BS: Its nice to know you have no ego Evening, although I have heard that you think you are the King of the Kelly barn. I have to say though with your record, you have a right to brag.
EA: Well, you know, I try to keep my ego in check. I mean think of all the people that help me. Trainers, assistant trainers, jockeys, hot walkers etc. There are so many people involved so I know its not all about me. And again, Pat Kelly deserves a lot of the credit.
BS: Yes he is a great one huh.
EA: Yeah he sure is. I mean here is a guy who does not get enough credit. Not only does he get me through 9 years of racing, but he gets a NY bred, Naughty New Yorker, to almost $1 million in career earnings. There has only been about 20 horses or so who have done that. And if you knew what a stuck up, obnoxious horse Naughty Ne.....oh good morning Naughty how are ya.
BS: Well I am glad to see you all get along.
EA: Yeah its all good, we are one big happy family here in the Kelly barn.
BS: I have only had the chance to meet 2 of your owners, Joe and Mary Grant once, but they seem like wonderful people as well.
EA: Steve, they are the apple of the earth. They have taken such good care of me, always come to visit, make sure I'm healthy, never force me to race. The sport needs more owners like them and the Kellys. You know I am enjoying this Steve, but don't be afraid to ask the tough questions.
BS: Well OK Evening. Who do you think will be elected president?
EA: Ralph Nader?
BS: Really? Why?
EA: Because he is the dark horse candidate, and I always go with the longshot.
BS: Uh, yeah. Lets get back to business here. Do you know exactly how you hurt your leg?
EA: You know I am not even sure. I think it happened about a month ago. I was out with a few colts one night, and there where a few mares that happened to be walking by, and I invited one in for some carrot juice and....
BS: Ah Evening this is for all ages. And beside what would you be doing with a filly in your stall. Aren't you a gelding?
EA: Just because there is snow on the mountain, doesn't mean there ain't no fire burning in the furnace.
BS: I'm not even sure what that means. Lets move on. Your last race was at Philly, you won by over 8 lengths. Set the track record for 12 furlongs. Just amazing.
EA: yeah I was in top form that day. I am glad I got the road victory. I always wanted to win one outside of NY. Well actually I did win the Clark at Churchill but they took it away from me. Oh when I tell you...
BS: OK lets not get you started. Evening do you have a preference where you spend your retirement?
EA: Well you know I have fans all across the country. So I really don't care. But I have spent most of my racing career here in NY. And even though I am a KY bred, I am a NYer at heart. I just want the fans to be happy for me no matter where I stay. And rest assured, the Grants and Kellys will make sure no matter where it is, it will be the best place for me.
BS: I also heard that NYRA is working on an Evening Attire day for you at Belmont!
EA: Gosh I'm almost embarrassed at that. But I would like one day for all the fans to come out and have a chance to say goodbye to them.
BS: Well Evening I am sure I may have more questions for you later, but I'll let you get some rest now. I want to thank you for your time. Before we go, I want to give you the stall, and have a final say to all your fans
EA: What else can I say but thanks. Today, I consider myself, the luckiest horse alive. I had a great, long career. I wouldn't change a thing. Thank you all.

Upon hearing he was going to be honored with his own day at Belmont Park, Evening Attire decided he wanted to stand up for another Q and A session
BS: Well Evening, it can't get much better than this. NYRA has just announced that it will have Evening Attire Day 10/25 at Belmont!
EA: It's almost hard to believe. What a nice thing to do for an old guy like me. I can't wait. This will be the longest 2 weeks of my life! Who would have thought that this would happen to me. I am so moved.
BS: Well Evening, the fans all but demanded this, so many people love you, and they want a chance to say goodbye.
EA: Well I can't wait. I hope everyone comes to the track that day, it will be nice before I van off into the sunset.
BS: By the way Evening, do you know where you will be retiring to?
EA: Yes I do. I am happy to say that I will be going to the Akindale Farm in Pawling NY. I am so happy to be staying in NY. And its such a great place. They save and take in a lot of us ol timers. I couldn't be happier.
BS:Wow that is great! Actually your website has got a lot of questions over the last few weeks, that being the most asked one. I was hoping you could answer some of you fan mail.
EA: Oh heck, I'd love to! Want an apple before we start?
BS: Ah no thanks. OK here's one I get asked a lot. If you could go back in time and change one race, what would it be?
EA: Well I don't want this to sound like rotten apples, but it would be the results of the 03 Clark Handicap. I won that race, but they said that I interfered with Quest, and they put me second. That burned me up. I have never cheated in my life! What can you do?
BS: Did you ever feel like you had lost your touch?
EA: Yeah I though it was over in 06. I just couldn't get in the money anymore. I had 3 straight off the boards, and they sent me to the farm. But all I needed was some rest. You know how it is at our age Steve.
BS: If you had 1 race left, and could race 1 horse, who would it be.
EA: Well active horses, Curlin. I mean, this colt is amazing. You can't beat him. Of all time, I would love to race Funny Cide 1 more time, because we had some great races over the years. Hey will he be able to make it for my retirement day?
BS: Well I don't know about that Evening, I am sure he would love to be there if he could.
EA: Yeah I miss him. One of the best ever, especially here in NY.
BS: Here is a good one Evening, a fan asks, who do you compare yourself with amongst other horses.
EA: Wow that's tough. Now I tell ya, I am big on this sports history. Now I am not saying I am as great as some of these guys, but every decade, there is a horse around these parts that just goes out there and works there tail off, and tries so hard that no matter win or lose, the fans love them.
BS: Can you name a few?
EA: Sure. Now although they were well before my time, in the 60's it was Kelso, and in the 70's Forego. I mean well over 130 lbs on their back. That when a horse was a horse, and a pony was a pony. They don't make em' like that any more.
BS: They sure don't. Now what about more recent
EA: Well in the 80's it was Creme De La Fete. Now there was a horse. 151 starts, 41 wins. Now I mean come on, there should be a statue of him somewhere. I read he was the toughest and most beloved horses ever. You knew him right.
BS: Oh yes, there were always plenty of folks at thee track in the 80's when he ran. And they had a ceremony for him, just like you.
EA: And well deserved. And in the 90's my opinion, it was Four Star Dave. Man what a fan club. And the fillies and mares you to go crazy for him!
BS: Ill stop ya there. But those are 4 great horses to compare yourself to.
EA: Yeah. I tell ya, that's a big reason why fans go to the track, they have a favorite and follow hi, It makes it fun. Its to bad some of us can't race longer. But its nice to be loved while we are out there. Before you know it, its time to retire. Hay, speaking of which, I'd like to ask the fans something.
BS: Well sure Evening, the stall is yours.
EA: Not everyone is as luck as me. I have the Grants and Kellys to make sure I am going to have a great retirement. Other horses, not. I know times are tough, but maybe if the fans win a few bucks, they can donate some money to help some ol timers.
BS: An excellent idea. Do you have a specific charity in mind.
EA: Well I have no afillyation with any, but a great one is the Akindale Horse Rescue, which is where I will be living. Akindale Thoroughbred Rescue is committed to the rescue, rehab and retraining of Thoroughbreds no longer able to race and to provide a safe haven for those unable to go on to new careers. ATBR is also dedicated to promoting public awareness of the issue of equine slaughter.
BS: Wow a great place where fans can donate to help out. Thanks for that info Evening. You really are something else.
EA: Well thanks. I'm going to watch Mr. Ed for a while than hit the hay. Talk to ya later folks!

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Honoring one of the toughest race horses ever