Peace On Earth: Arrived at My Lake “OTB” for the Weekend

(Baby Haggard howls his favorite Merle song back in the Spring)

Haggard, our 1-year-old Golden Retriever, was fastest out of the gate. Made it to banks of “our” Kentucky Lake home in a track record time of :21 flat. He loves it here. And, it shows.

(Crosley, the man of the house)

Crosley, named after the great American ballpark in Cincinnati where my folks used to take me to see the Cincinnati Reds play real baseball back in the day, wobbled home a strong second. He’s not really built for speed, like his full brother. But he is a tank that kind of reminds me of Gate Dancer. If he is not fast enough, he is quick to figure out a way to compromise his competition near the wire.

(Belle Belle — named after the late, great Eight Belles — got her swim in on Friday night)

And, then there is Belle Belle. Our 10-year-old beauty. She knows it matters not how you dive, but how you arrive. She always makes it to the water’s edge as graceful and peaceful as the mallard’s do in both spring and fall. With such beautiful grace and style that fills the air with hope that springs eternal.

This is our place. This is our home. This is our Peace on Earth.

Just look at it:

And, for the next few days, we get to hang out here in God’s Country.

We will take our daily walks to the pier down the lake. We will splash and play. They never, ever tire of fetching a stick that happens to land in the water’s edge. Head to the farmer’s market in downtown Murray first thing on Saturday. Fresh vegetables are always in store, with a bit of homegrown honey and freshly made pickles — with a punch. May stop by my favorite furniture store at LuLu’s. May even go by the farm and pick up some fresh eggs. The hens are always there to cluck a bit in protest. The land owners have a hand-made metal container to drop in your cash. All goods are on the “honor system.”

Refreshing. Isn’t it? There is still a place in America where people sit there foods on a wooden table, and trust you to weigh your tomatoes and pay what you should. Amazing.

And, the dogs will hang out with me in our “man cavern” — watching a few races and taking a siesta or two along the way.

It is the perfect OTB. Comfortable. Quiet. WiFi ready. DirectTV compatible. And, just about a football field away from some of the most beautiful waterways in all of the land. We may not win a race over the next couple of days, but for some reason the sting of a head-bob loss is a lot easier to stomach right here in beautiful Calloway County.

Bill Sears, far left, at the Breeders’ Cup in 2016

On Sunday, my good friend Bill Sears is coming up to the lake. He is recovering from a bout with pneumonia a couple of weeks ago that landed him in the ICU. The illness was so severe that doctors had to put him on a ventilator for nearly 10 days. About cost him his life. About cost me one of the best friends I have ever known to this very day. About cost the world one of the most decent people to ever place boot on dirt.

We will ride up and down the lake a bit. May even chat some. But I will breathe a bit easier now that I truly know that he is still breathing at all and on his own. Life is so fickle and fragile. It can go about as fast as Justify on a good Saturday in May. This place reminds me that nothing is for granted. And, that our God allows us to borrow his great playground only for a little while.

So, the dogs and I will revel this weekend. They will run, splash, play and live every second like it is their last. And, I will cherish the sights, sounds, memories and times like they are.

This is our Peace on Earth. And, we are going to enjoy every second of it.

(View of the lake from the Lake House Office…See you next week Louisville)


The horse broke well today,” Gaffalione said. “I had the horse inside, Dunph, going to the lead and then (Gun It) showed a little bit of speed. When I saw they were intent on going I just tried to get him back and got him to relax. He came back to me nicely and settled well down the backside. Got a little keen going into the far turn and wanted to move a little early. But I didn’t want to take too much away from him so I tried to sit as long as I could. He was waiting on horses down the lane but I kept him at task and there was plenty of horse there.”

“Mark (Casse, the trainer) and his team have done a great job,” Gaffalione said. “They’ve had a ton of confidence in this horse the whole way. It’s just an honor to be able to ride the horse. He’s just so professional, trains great and he’s a pleasure to be around.”

Tyler Gaffalione, Rode of War of Will to victory in the G2 Risen Star Stakes at the Fair Grounds
  • Gene McLean

    Gene McLean

    Gene McLean began his professional career in 1977 as a sportswriter and columnist for the Lexington Herald-Leader in Lexington, Ky., and was recognized as one of the state’s best writers, winning the prestigious “Sportswriter of the Year” honor in 1985. Now the President and Publisher of The Pressbox, McLean sets ...

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