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The Notebook July 11, 2013

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Two-Minute Lick - Mike Kane and Allan Carter

“150 Years of Racing in Saratoga” - Authors Allan Carter and Mike Kane take a look back at some of the epic moments and other important but neglected stories which took place at Saratoga Race Course. The book also presents statistics from the pre-NYRA years and a rundown of the greatest fields assembled at America’s oldest track.

Mike Kane was a newspaper sportswriter and columnist for thirty years, twenty-five of them at the Schenectady Gazette and acted as the communications officer at the National Museum of Racing. Kane won the Red Smith Kentucky Derby Writing Contest in five consecutive years and is the former president of the National Turf Writers and Broadcasters Association. He resides in upstate New York with his wife and family.

Allan Carter was a law librarian at the New York State Library for thirty years, retiring in 2003. In 1995, he was given the West Excellence in Government Law Librarianship Award. Prominent among his many publications were New York State Constitution: Sources of Legislative Intent and Public Library Law in New York State. He joined the National Museum of Racing as an assistant to the historian and became the museum’s historian in 2004.

Names: Allan Carter and Mike Kane

What I do for a living:

AC: Retired. I was a law librarian.

MK: Journalist

How and when I was introduced to Thoroughbred racing:

AC: A friend practically forced me to go with him to opening day in Saratoga, July 31, 1967.

MK: Visited Saratoga Race Course with some friends as a fan in the late 1960s.

My favorite racetrack:

AC: Saratoga. Where else?

MK: Saratoga Race Course

My favorite Thoroughbred racing event:

AC: The Travers

MK: Kentucky Derby. I’ve been to the Derby many times and it always delivers. The sound that the crowd makes when the gates open is amazing.

Other sports/teams I follow:

AC: Baseball and tennis

MK: Lifelong fan of just one team, the New York Yankees, but I follow most sports, especially baseball, hockey and international soccer.

What I would like to see more of in Thoroughbred Racing:

AC: More prominent 3-year-olds race at four

MK: Track officials who truly appreciate the sport, listen to their customers and are clever promoters; uniform rules and penalties across the country; more coverage in mainstream media, especially television.

What I would like to see less of in Thoroughbred racing:

AC: Prominent 3-year-olds retiring at three

MK: Long programs padded with extra races

Three words that define what Thoroughbred racing means to me:

AC: Pageantry, courage, beauty

MK: History, drama, competition

Favorite all-time Thoroughbred:

AC: Secretariat

MK: Personal Ensign

My personal best moment in the sport of Thoroughbred racing:

AC: Being at Belmont Park for the 1973 Belmont [Stakes].

MK: Favorite race is the 1994 Travers with Holy Bull holding off Concern ... by a nostril over Blame-Zenyatta. A career highlight was covering Funny Cide and the Sackatoga Stable gang through that remarkable run. 

My favorite jockey:

AC: Angel Cordero, Jr.

MK: Jerry Bailey

My favorite trainer:

AC: Sidney Watters Jr.

MK: Mack Miller.

My Heroes:

AC: John Kennedy, Ann-Margret

MK: Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Nelson Mandela

What would surprise those who know me:

MK: Though I’ve made my living as a journalist, I had no confidence in my writing ability when I was in college and avoided classes that required papers. Difficult to do when your concentration is on history.

My favorite athlete of all time:

AC: Willie Mays, Roger Federer, Secretariat

MK: Muhammad Ali

Most treasured possession/memento:

MK: Music collection

A pet peeve:

AC: Owners and trainers who retire champion 3-year-olds by saying they have nothing more to prove

MK: Close-minded people

What book(s) I am reading or have recently read:

AC: “The Art of Losing”; “An Indian Summer” (about India seceding from the Great Britain

MK: “The Oath” by Jeffrey Toobin; “My Cross to Bear” by Gregg Allman; “The Girl Who Kicked the Hornets’ Nest” by Steig Larsson

Favorite Magazines:

AC: None

MK: The New YorkerSports Illustrated

Favorite websites:

AC: Brooklyn Backstretch, Paulick Report, BloodHorse.com, New York Times

MK: I visit daily/weekly: New York TimesDaily Racing Form;Thoroughbred Daily News

Person in Thoroughbred racing I’d like to have dinner with:

AC: Harvey Pack

MK: Allen Jerkens

If I could go back in time, a person in Thoroughbred racing I would like to meet:

MK: Sunny Jim Fitzsimmons

My philosophy on life:

AC: Don’t waste a day.

MK: Work hard, tell the truth but don’t forget to have some fun along the way.

Favorite quote or motto:

AC: Carpe Diem.

MK: Calm and confident.

Favorite animal other than a horse:

AC: Cats

MK: Dogs. We have owned Shih-Tzus for many years.

Favorite non-Thoroughbred racing sports event I have attended:

AC: U.S. Open (tennis), World Series

MK: Olympic Games

Twitter Handle:

AC: I’ve never been a twitterer or a twitteree.

MK: None. Thus far, I am Twitter-free.

No. 1 Bucket List Item: 

AC: To see the Melbourne Cup, the English Derby and the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe

MK: A long, slow “Blue Highways”-type journey around North America

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Fan Photo of the week

Congratulations to photographer Casey Phillips on winning this week's Fan Photo Contest!

From Casey: "Game On Dude, Mike Smith in the irons, becomes only the third multiple Hollywood Gold Cup winner at the last Hollywood Gold Cup. Taken at Hollywood Park." Want in? E-mail a .jpg and brief cation to photos@ntra.com

Photos of the week

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