* January and February – My daughter Katie and I spent these two months traveling across Pennsylvania on the weekends, attending stallion shows and open houses. They’re always fun excursions and we’re able to meet new people and reconnect with old friends, as well as see some very nice stallions.
Lido Palace (Chi) at Northview-PA's Open House
* March – In the wee hours of March 19, my broodmare foaled a filly by Partner’s Hero, a very, very large foal who took a while to be able to stand and nurse on her own. In keeping with a new family tradition, we started calling her Baby Hero, just like her older half-brother is fondly known as Baby Chips.
Here is Mama Malibu, looking for a carrot
* June – At the midway point of the year, my broodmare visited the court of Sir Shackleton (and got in foal, carrying the future Baby Shack), but that good news was tempered about 10 days later when my mother passed away due to Alzheimer’s Disease. My mother enjoyed the racetrack, too, even though she was a classic $2 bettor and only played horses with interesting names. The month ended on a sour note when our 3-year-old filly Harvest of Hope bucked her shins while preparing for her first race at Parx, requiring several weeks on the shelf.
My mother pushes me (on right) and cousin Georgie at playground in Bayonne, N.J.
* July – The girls and I managed to get away from it all with a wonderful week-long vacation in Avalon, N. J., during which we had beautiful, but very hot, weather. And what better place to be during a heat wave than at the beach! Later in the month, we drove to upstate New York for a three-day weekend in Saratoga. The Saratoga spree was during one of the hottest periods of the year; even up in the Adirondacks, it was hot and humid. But we had a great time at Saratoga Race Course and spent several hours in the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame.
Secretariat statue at the Nat'l Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, N.Y.
* September – Harvest of Hope returned to training, and Baby Chips attended racehorse kindergarten at Twin Ponds Farm in Oxford, Pa. It was very exciting for the whole family to see Baby Chips with a rider on his back, and he did just fine.
Baby Chips takes a spin around the track at Twin Ponds
* November – Baby Chips went to a Delaware farm for three months to get Delaware Certified, while we were saddened by the loss of our old friend Steve Schwartz, the former media relations manager at Monmouth Park and Meadowlands. Schwartz was a funny guy who loved to handicap the ponies, and we kept in frequent touch, usually about what horse to bet and where. We took a beating at the Breeders’ Cup, but the whole family was wowed by Zenyatta’s performance, even though we got into some heated debates about her with my husband, who is not a Zenyatta fan.
* December – Harvest of Hope made her first start at Parx on December 11, and she ran a good race to finish fourth. The chart footnote said, “split horses, closed.” We finished out the year on a quiet note, hopeful that Baby Hero continues to show improvement, Baby Chips makes it to the races, and Mama Malibu foals a healthy and correct Shack baby. We’re also keeping our fingers crossed that the sport of horse racing has a better 2011 than it did in 2010.
Hope gets ready to race at Parx