TERRY FINLEY'S DERBY THOUGHTS: TUESDAY
We got the final word from the Mister Triester camp today - we are in the Derby. I've never been so happy about a horse not running in a race in my life. I took a bunch of calls from friends and West Point supporters. It sure was nice to hear the words ringing in my ears – "West Point Thoroughbreds is running a horse in the Kentucky Derby."
There's a change of travel plans for the Finley Family. Debbie and I will drive out for the 725.32 mile journey early on Tuesday morning. Ryan has a big soccer game on Sunday afternoon which requires us to leave right after the Derby and drive through the night (imagine the conversation, win or lose). There are no seats out of Louisville or Cincinnati early Sunday morning - and West Point needs to win the Derby before even thinking about a private plane!
Most of the details are complete. I'll bring a check for $50,000 with me on Tuesday to give to Churchill Downs.
The trainer's dinner is on Tuesday night. They say it's a fun night - I'll report back in my next note, I'm looking forward to hearing what Kiaran has to say when they call him up on stage to talk about Flashy Bull.
I can't wait to get to Kentucky and feel the excitement level begin to escalate, all the way to Saturday evening.
I seem to be smiling just about all the time these days. The team is working on all cylinders. Tickets, events, hotels, questions, comments, stories, theories, parties - the list goes on and on. They are handling things really well. I'm looking forward to having them (the team) get away from the computers and telephones and have a few fun days in Louisville. Easier said than done but that's really what I hope for as things get going this week.
Of course we are in the midst of our selling season so we think (and hope) getting to the big dance will help our cause - we just want to keep everything on a professional level as we move forward. Of course we don't want to think about ticking off the Racing Gods either.
I can only shake my head when I think about seeing the black and gold silks on Mike Smith's back while astride Flashy Bull as they play "My Old Kentucky Home" on Saturday.
See you in Lou - ville.