Tag Archives: Facebook

Expanding the brand

The recent weeks have provided several opportunities to expand my presence to bigger stages on the printed page, online and over the airwaves. Here is what’s going on…

– In the coming issues, I will be debuting as a columnist for Arabian Finish Line magazine. My monthly column, “Making Claims”, will examine topics in the Arabian racing world and elsewhere through my usual off-kilter prism of perspective, and hopefully provide an entertaining and provocative experience for readers.

I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the good people at Arabian Finish Line for providing this opportunity. I look forward to providing a new voice to the publication.

To learn more about Arabian Finish Line, and to subscribe so you can read the column for yourself, click here.

– In related news, I have been invited to attend the Darley Awards in Houston, Tex. on March 5. The Darley Awards are the Arabian equivalent to Thoroughbred racing’s Eclipse Awards. The weekend’s festivities also include a pair of Arabian stakes races at nearby Sam Houston Race Park, so I will get to check off another track to visit, as well. Expect some observations on the entire event at the conclusion of the weekend.

– The Michigan-Bred Claimer now has its own Facebook page! The social network fan page will feature links to the blog and other items relevant to Michigan horse racing, as well as other thoughts and conversations too small to expand upon in the blog. To visit the page and become a fan, click here.

– Last weekend marked my second round matchup in the Post Parade Lead Pony Challenge against noted author and handicapper Steve Davidowitz. I regret to report that I did not emerge victorious. After having great success playing Gulfstream Park and Tampa Bay Downs in the first round, the state of Florida went cold for me over the weekend.

However, the matchup did afford me two opportunities to chat with the contest’s hosts, Molly Jo Rosen and Bruno DeJulio, on their Post Parade podcast. Outside of discussing my picks for the weekend, topics covered over the two shows included vocal impersonations (Hulk Hogan, Andy Beyer, thick-accented Italians), professional wrestling, the Aaron Rodgers championship belt and the rallying cry for fans of comedy podcast Sklarbro Country – “Henderson!!!”

My first appearance on the podcast, where I am the first guest, can be listened to here. Sunday’s podcast, where I show up around the 42:30 mark, can be heard here.

I would like to thank Bruno and Molly Jo for letting me join the fun for the inaugural competition and wish them the best of luck through its conclusion. If they include Mount Pleasant Meadows among the tracks for their next tournament, I just might consider a return appearance.


Filed under Commentary

Opening day at a glance

Later Version and Richard Rettele (blue, inside) battle Luckys Rambler and Amanda Keller (red, outside) in a Quarter Horse race at Mount Pleasant Meadows. Later Version emerged victorious.

With all the activities that comprise Memorial weekend, there is little time right now to look back on opening day at Mount Pleasant Meadows (and finally get around to discussing my Kentucky Derby day. It’s in the works, I promise). Hopefully the photo above will suffice until everything settles down.

While we are on the subject of Mount Pleasant Meadows, be sure to check out the track’s new fan page on Facebook. I have been recruited to contribute to the page, which features updates, photos and discussions regarding Michigan’s only mixed breed racetrack. It sure is fun to watch the fan count rise, so Facebook users are encouraged to add it to their lists.

Have a safe and enjoyable Memorial Day, gang.

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Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pictures

Michigan Notebook: August 4, 2009

Mount Pleasant Meadows jockey Amanda Keller earned her first career victory on July 26. Keller heads out to the track aboard Tans Terminator.

Mount Pleasant Meadows jockey Amanda Keller earned her first career victory on July 26. Keller heads out to the track aboard Tans Terminator.

– The catalog for the August 23 MTOBA Yearling Sale is online for review. The sale drew 38 entries, which is a significant step down from last year’s total of 67 yearlings. When the sale draws closer and I get some time to sit down and look at the catalog, expect to see a preview of the event right here.

– Mount Pleasant Meadows jockey Amanda Keller earned her first two career riding victories on July 26. Keller brought home Quarter Horse Lucky’s Rambler in the day’s sixth race for her first victory, then followed it up with another trip to the winner’s circle in the ninth on Struttin Feathers. After her first win, Keller was greeted at the jock’s room door by a bucket of ice water.

Last Sunday, Keller added one more notch to her win column, finishing first aboard Quiet Apple.

– Speaking of exciting things from last week, Pinnacle Race Course valet and famous dog trainer John Flowers appeared July 28 on Live! with Regis and Kelly with his dog Spencer. A video of their performance does not appear to be readily available, but Spencer did several balancing acts for the audience.

He began by jumping on the middle of a large spool turned on its side and riding back and forth across the stage similar to a log roller. Flowers then took Spencer to a series of open-ended barrels, which the dog balanced on, then jumped to a new barrel before standing on the final barrel with only his hind legs. With time running out on the segment, Flowers went to the big finish. The show’s hosts held a bar at knee-height, which Spencer jumped on and perched. Flowers then instructed Regis and Kelly to stand up with the bar, which they did while the dog maintained his balance the entire time.

– Pinnacle Race Course is connecting with Facebook users on its new fan page. The page offers information on upcoming events and specials, as well as photos from previous events. Definitely worth a look for Pinnacle fans on Facebook.

– The Michigan Strategic Task Force on Agriculture has been holding open-ended meetings across the state to generate ideas on how to improve the state’s agricultural industries.

I attended one of the meetings held in Fremont Monday morning. Political figures in attendance included Reps. Geoff Hansen, Kevin Daley, Cindy Denby (who chaired the meeting), Ken Kurtz and Sen. Jerry VanWoerkom. It was an informal setup, beginning with each Representative giving a quick rundown about themselves and Michigan’s situation both as a whole and in the Ag sector. Afterward, they opened up the floor to anyone with something to say. 

Though nothing was officially accomplished, the elected officials appeared receptive to the concerns of those in attendance, ranging from crop and livestock farmers to members of the racing industry, and offered constructive feedback. Whether anything will come from the meetings remains to be seen, but the fact that they are offering such a forum might mean they are open for suggestions.

According to the Michigan HBPA website, there are two more meetings scheduled. Members of the racing industry in or near the districts are encouraged to attend and voice their opinions and concerns. Attaching faces to the statistics may help advance the cause, and if anything else, it provides an opportunity for attendees to become more familiar with those representing them in Lansing.

Here are the dates, times and locations of the remaining two meetings…

August 10
10:30 a.m.
Ionia Intermediate School District
2191 Harwood Rd.
Ionia, MI                              

August 24
6:00 p.m.
Lapeer County ISD Educational Technology Center
690 Lake Pleasant Rd.
Attica, MI

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Filed under Mount Pleasant Meadows, Pinnacle Race Course, Politics