NYRA Gave My Dad A Race

Readers will probably know that my father passed away from COVID back in January. We knew he was sick, but he seemed to be getting better, until he wasn’t.

Tributes included this very touching musical tribute at Cafe Lena

In the months since, I have been busy managing his estate, and many in town have come forward to offer their condolences and to ask permission to do various tribute concerts and such. Even the New York Racing Association wanted to do a tribute at the Saratoga Race Track. They gave us a race on July 23rd and let us name it, and I got to hand the trophy off to the jockey. At least that was the plan, in reality there was a mix-up and the jockey was not brought over. But it was still a fun day and a really touching tribute.

Despite living in Saratoga my entire life, I’ve only been to the race track a handful of times, with the last time being about ten years ago. This was the first time I ever went as an adult who can both drink and gamble. I invited both my advisor and lab mates and we had a lot of fun.

Despite losing a whole $10 gambling, I still managed to smile at the end of the day

At the end, I was a little nervous. Thanks to COVID, I haven’t performed in front of a crowd in a long time so being on camera in the winner’s circle was a little nerve-wracking, but many people from the Downtown Business Association were there, and it was great to see them.

Me with the DBA. We were all looking at the tv camera in this picture

Finally, the announcer read off a short but touching tribute about my dad on the big screen. The whole thing was just a few minutes, but it was a really nice gesture and a nice break after all the time I’ve spent managing my dad’s estate this year.

A friend of ours got the event on camera. I’ll upload a video of it as soon as I can.

Edit: The video is up!

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