Sunday, January 15, 2017

Full Day in La La Land

Triple Crown winning jockey Victor Espinoza also rides California Chrome.  Chrome, in two weeks will run his last race in Florida and could set a record for winnings. 

One of the great legends of horse racing history: the immortal Seabiscuit. If you've never read Laura Hillenbrand's book about this horse, I highly suggest it.  One of the best I've ever read. 

I met Nena yesterday.  She is a lovely representative of the Santa Anita staff.

Recognizing this man probably dates a lot of us oldsters, but that's okay:  a true legend among jockeys.

Remove the white star from this horse's forehead, and he could be a double for my beloved Black Rambo, whose bloodlines went back to the great Man o' War.  So, of course, I loved watching this horse who did pretty well in his race. 

Triple Crown winning jockeys don't win all their races. Victor's horse in this race did not help out the betting crowd.

Annie and I were part of the betting crowd. 

And, occasionally, one of us won her money back. 

The Santa Anita population grew when the sweepstakes race was run (purse of $200,000).  This horse is owned by  Sheikh Mohammed bin Khalifa al Maktoum and trained by horse racing legend Bob Bafford (below).  Bafford stood in the winner's circle after jockey Mike Smith rode the horse to first place. 

Victor displays his own good running form after doing an interview and having to hurry to climb onto his next mount.  I particularly appreciate the fact that he chews on his tongue while running.  Gives me, the tongue chewer, a real connection with Victor. 

Although Annie and I have been to LA, neither of us had seen downtown until yesterday when we met one of Annie's geocaching friends for dinner.  Josh and his wife live in a high rise in downtown; their view is amazing.  Josh also works as a producer for the Fox TV show "Hell's Kitchen."  

Well, glassy eyes and all, we enjoyed a nice dinner at a brew pub on Wilshire Boulevard.  

An added treat was meeting up with my former student and Annie's friend from high school Robin Reinbold.  Josh, on the right, was a wonderful host and tour guide during our walk to dinner and then on to the Staples Center for the big hockey game. 

So, "the great one" wanted to photobomb the Love ladies.  We'll forgive Wayne.  It was  a great experience seeing a hockey game and its diehard fans last night.  And, thank you, sister Laurie for keeping me updated with the ZAGS-St. Mary's score during the game.  

What a wonderful day, filled with firsts and steeped in history and cool people. 

And, to have it topped off by the ZAGS 17th straight win, leaving them still the only undefeated team in the country!  ZAGS, we are thrilled with your and for you!

After the phenomenal ZAGS win, I could put the cell phone away and really concentrate on hockey.  Again, a victory for the home team.  What a day it was from start to finish:  12 miles of walking, some tired muscles at the end but a scrapbook full of wonderful memories.  

La La Land, you're okay!

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