My father loves horseracing. He doesn’t do the actually racing, of course. That would be unfair to the horse. But he’s a big fan, so much so that he recently achieved a lifelong dream by purchasing a small percentage (4 percent, actually) of a racehorse. Although Shanghai Red has a somewhat unfortunate tendency to finish second, he won a race last April by about nine lengths, meaning that even the part that my dad owns finished first. In May, my father became part-owner of another horse. This one’s a great-great-great grandson of Secretariat. Yup, no kidding. Sure, Big Red’s grandchildren aren’t all Big Reddish. But still.
But my father had never been able to tick off one thing on his lifelong to-do list—visit Saratoga Race Course in upstate New York.