While there were a lot of highlights this past week in Florida: TOBA seminar in Ocala (blog post later this week); visit to Live Oak Stud; seeing the family; the Rhone/Butler daily double at Tampa (returned $145 for a $2 wager); I was most looking forward to seeing our Tabby Lane at Tampa Bay Downs. As always, she looked great and was resting comfortable in her stall when I finally arrived on the backside at 9:30 on a gorgeous Friday morning. I’d like to think she recognized me as she was very affectionate when I approached her stall, dropping her head and rubbing my chest and arm and nuzzling up when I scratched behind her ears.
This wasn’t just a social visit, though; she and I needed to have some words. Her performances have been lackluster as of late so I spoke to her rather sternly of the need to start picking it up a bit. While we all love her, she’s burning cash like a madwoman and really needs to start getting back to her early 2010 form. She slowly lifted her head, looked me in the eye and proceeded to melt me batting her big brown eyes. I could hear my own sternness melting into a mere admonishment.