(This’ll be a series of roleplays featuring race days for the year 2009. Excuse the length and wordiness if you decide to read it. I’m a descriptive writer. )
The sun hadn’t yet risen when Diana parked her truck in the lot at Gulfstream. A breeze blew in off the ocean, several degrees cooler than the morning air. She was too distracted to notice the goosebumps that sprang up on her arms. Other people milled about, smoking and talking in hushed tones about the raceday ahead, but she paid no attention to them as she strode toward the stables.
Ducking inside barn three, she headed for a group of stalls at the west end. Eight of Coleman Branch’s twenty-four racehorses were housed there, among them a liver chestnut filly who would later that day be taking the field in her second Derby prep race.
A wry smile formed when she saw the filly’s trainer, Liam Murphy, sitting on a bale of hay outside the row of stalls on the left. He was reading, though what she couldn’t tell. The older gentleman always managed to beat her to the track, even when jet lag and insomnia kept her from sleeping. He looked up as she approached and nodded his head in greeting.
“How was Australia?” he asked.
“He lost it in the last furlong,” she replied, referring to Sunday View, a three year old colt who’d made his turf debut there on the seventh. “By two lengths. He looked good, though. I think we’ll figure him out soon.”
Liam grunted in agreement.
Two stalls over and across the aisle, a dark grey head appeared. Lil’ Prince, a six year old son of Black Gold, wanted attention. Diana grinned and walked over to scratch his velvet-soft nose. One of Coleman Branch’s oldest racers, he hadn’t found the winner’s circle in two seasons. She knew it was about time to retire him, but held out some hope that he might at least place one last time. He turned back to his hayrack eventually and Diana strolled to each of her horses’ stalls in turn, just to look in on them.
To be continued…