The Inside Rail

Christmas in Alabama. Mad dashes to the Summit, jazz band and a bloody Mary at Shae’s, talk of eight-points and Busch beer, baseball on the lawn and walks around the lake. Not my Christmas, but certainly Miles’.

My big fat Greek Christmas. 

I find a Sharpie and scrawl my name across the top of the only stocking that doesn’t have a name. I feel better. A day later, I find a quiet spot in the basement and tap into Boxing Day steeplechasing. 

Better effort from Valdez Saturday, staying on and finishing fourth in another tough handicap chase at Ascot. Of all the horses who have run for Riverdee over the years, Valdez holds a special spot, two bumper wins, two hurdle wins, three in a row over fences, our first runner at Cheltenham. And, yes, that career-altering fall at Chepstow, what-could-be switching quickly to what might-have-been. Saturday was a step forward, if that’s possible with a horse who is about to turn 12.