“The Pressbox” Sets Up Shop at Its’ “Version” of Saratoga, Del Mar

Saratoga has the history.

There’s the Gideon Putnam Hotel, with one of the country’s oldest and most iconic golf courses wrapping around the historic structure. There’s the old, wooden Saratoga grandstand, with the beautifully carved rooftop to provide the shade. There’s the picnic grounds near the paddock. There’s the man-made, grass-top parking lots in the back of yards. And, there’s the walk to the scenic ball yard. There’s the Wishing Well restaurant. Those home-grown tomatoes and fresh ears of white corn.

A day of history rolled into a racetrack memory.

Beautiful. No doubt.

Been there. Done that.

Del Mar has the Pacific Ocean slapping it in the face.

Just like a bolt of Aqua Velva. (Or whatever After-Shave product that you might use these days!) Just like a cold splash of aqua to wipe the cobwebs of a rough night sipping the Margaritas away. Just like an outdoor shower to rinse the sands from the webbed feet after a long walk on the sandy sidewalk of the beach.

A day where the surf finally does rev its’ way all the way to the turf.

Post card stuff. No argument.

Been there. Done that.

And, “The Pressbox” has its’ West Kentucky office, located at 136 Red Water Drive in rural Calloway County, Kentucky.

Tucked away in the friendly confines of Hamlin, KY. Amongst the corn fields, and soy bean hives. Deep deep with wild-butt deer. Around the corner from a den of ruby red fox. Down the road from the wilds of wild turkey. Just up the hill from the placid waters of Kentucky Lake, and the watery roadway for the barges and accompanying tug boats. And home to the great American Bald Eagle. My gosh are they beautiful, majestic, noble and magnificent. Yellow finch. Blue birds. Red-headed wood peckers. Humming birds galore.

Home. Away from home.

And, I would argue, just as beautiful as Saratoga and Del Mar. Just as gorgeous. Just as amazing. It is — just like Saratoga and Del Mar — the stuff that the great, late Peter Williams could turn into one of the most wonderful works of art ever splashed on canvas.

Because? God’s original artwork and handiwork ain’t too bad, and makes for the perfect setting that great art comes from.

And, while we have no racetrack to provide the afternoon entertainment, we do have DirectTV. We do have AT&T. And, we do have access to TVG.

And, for me? Today?

I’m just as happy as if I was in upstate New York, or if I was in deep Southern California. In fact, I may be happier. After all, I am in a little part of God’s heaven on Earth.

After all, I’m right where I am supposed to be.

Home.

Sweet.

Home.

Been here. Doing that. Right now.

Here’s just a little peek inside my world today, to whet the whistle:

(The view out my office window / Photo by Gene McLean)

(The Crepe Mertles / Photo by Gene McLean)

(Crosley enjoys his “cup of coffee” morning / Photo by Gene McLean)

(Our flowers / Photo by Gene McLean)

(Our looks / Photos by Gene McLean)

(Our night / Photo by Gene McLean)

(Our outdoor bar / Photo by Gene McLean)

My summer time racetrack. I love it so.

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 ...

    Full Bio >

More From Gene McLean