Derby Tip of the Week

Condsider the footing

As any horseman knows, 90% of lameness originates in the foot. For this reason we tend to treat our farriers as visiting royalty . We treat our horses to custom shoes, expertly fitted to the beast and the terrain. Unfortuately, few of us can afford custom footwear for ourselves. Personally, I find myself between hell and highwater or rather hell and high heels when shoe shopping. I love strappy, sexy high heels and what they do for my legs. I hate the discomfort and what they do for my personality. If my feet aren’t happy, I’m no fun to be with. Here’s the compromise that works for me and this week’s Derby Tip. Ballroom Dancing Shoes.

During a period often referred to as “a misspent youth” one of my chief activities was competitive ballroom dancing. It was at Roseland that I discovered the comfort and stability of ball room dancing shoes. They’re designed to make the most of your legs and are engineered to provide the best possible base for fast changes of direction, multiple turns and sassy tango stamps. I think it’s the undercut heel but they really are an asset when spending a day on your feet. They come in a variety of styles and colors and, if you order them early enough, (see Derby Tip 1) can be dyed to any color.

Here are a few websites of companies that carry ball room gear. You may find more or better sites by googling “ball room dance shoes” or “tango shoes”.

www.usadanceshoes.com
www.danceshoes4u.com
www.ballroomdancingshoe.com
www.danceshoesonline.com

Derby Day is a long day. While one never chooses to sacrifice fashion, comfortable footwear can be crucial to the all over enjoyment of the event. You need shoes that will enable you to hike to your seat, make flying lead changes on a dash to the betting window, turn on a dime when a hunch strikes and allow you to move like a Samba dancer on fire when your horse starts to move up; and, if it’s a really good day at the Derby, sensible footwear can be there for you when it’s time to dance the night away.

by Jan Masters Yon

Breeders’ Cup Heads Up

Breed the best to the best and hope for the best.
the Breeder’s axiom

In a perfect world every day would be Ladies’ Day. In the world of thoroughbred racing Ladies’ Day is October 24, opening day of the 25th running of the Breeders Cup Championships. The Breeders’ Cup Ladies Day Classic (formerly known as Breeders Cup Distaff) will be the premier race on the Friday program featuring five races for the distaff divisions (fillys only) with the feature race being the Grade 1 Breeders’ Cup Ladies’ Classic worth $2 million.

The Breeders’ cup was created in 1982 by Kentucky horseman John R. Gaines as a year-end championship for North American thoroughbred racing. It also draws outstanding horses world wide. Day 2 of the event is considered to be the the second richest day in sports, the Dubai World Cup night being the first.

This year, to the organizers’ credit, the day will be profitable not only to the breeders owners and competent and/or lucky handicappers; two global charity events will benefit as well. The Breeders’ Cup association has established relationships with St. Judes and Komen for the Cure and has set a goal of raising $250, 000 for each organization during the 2008 season. St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is internationally recognized for its pioneering work in finding cures and saving children with cancer and other catastrophic diseases and freely shares its discoveries with scientific and medical communities around the world. No family ever pays for treatments not covered by insurance and families without insurance are never asked to pay. Komen for the Cure is the world’s largest grassroots network of breast cancer survivors and activists to save lives, empower people, ensure quality care for all and energize science to find the cures.

The program will be held at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, California. The average temperature in this area is 81, with an average rainfall of 0.57 inches. If you’re planning to attend you may expect to experience hot weather and little likelihood of rain — perfect hat weather. So what style of hat complements the fashions of the season yet provides comfort and sun protection in a warm climate?

Polly Singer Couture Hats and Veils is a step, or in racing parlance, a stride ahead with a newly designed line of what we call “Transitional Straws”. Playfully named in this blog only for Breeder’s Cup winners, these hats are fashioned of parisisal straw in our best loved shapes (The Madhatter, Simply Elegant, Blythe Spirit) in warmer autumn hues and finished with trims, feathers, flowers and fabric which are in keeping with the season. Below is a gallery of the newest designs. Sorry, these particular hats aren’t yet available for purchase online but I invite you to peruse the gallery. If there’s a design that suits one of your fall ensembles, please call, we are happy to discuss designs and are taking orders for them by phone. On an interesting note, Polly designed a hat last year that proved lucky for owner Theresa Mobley of West Point Thoroughbreds, whose horse, Awsome Gem finished third in The Breeders Cup Classic .

If you can’t make it to The Breeders’ Cup this year, you may follow the races on television. For the third straight year ESPN will televise live coverage of both days of the Breeders’ Cup World Championships. The following link will take you to the schedule.

http://horseracing.about.com/od/tvschedules/a/bltvsched.htm

Opening day, Friday, October 24 will feature five races for females only which, according to Breeder’s Club president, Greg Avioli, is a show case for the talents of the best female thoroughbreds in the world. If you aren’t fortunate to be at Santa Anita that weekend, I urge you throw a Ladies’ Day Party; to assemble your best lady-friends, favorite refreshments, The Daily Racing Form and show support for Filly Power. You might offer prizes for The Alpha Mare, Best Handicapper, Most Spirited Display of Lady-Like Support and, naturally, a special award for Best Fall Hat. It’s our day, ladies, lets revel in it!

by Jan Masters Yon