Over the weekend, I had the honor of being a groomsmen in the wedding of some of my closest friends, Phil Hager and Lana Pohl. The wedding did not suck. The rehearsal dinner was very fitting, held at the Kentucky Derby Museum in Louisville, where the bourbon was flowing, we could play racing video games, and even call an old race and have it recorded.
On the day of the actual wedding, Saturday, we groomsmen were getting suited up in Phil’s room while watching some racing on TV, specifically from Saratoga.
We had gotten a tip in the third race, a 1 1/16-mile maiden special weight on the turf for two-year-olds, by one of our fellow groomsmen: Byron Hughes. Byron is one of Todd Pletcher’s main assistant trainers and is stationed year-round at Belmont Park.
Byron’s tip ended up finishing fourth, but little did I know that the groom himself had hand-selected and purchased the 4 1/2-length winner Site Read for Bill Mott, who went off at 21-1. The debut winner is a son of Tizdejavu, a stallion who stands at Crestwood Farm in Lexington, where Phil handles bloodstock services, stallions and sales.
The wedding was incredible, beautiful, and an all-around awesome time. And while the majority of us will be back to the daily grind this Monday, Phil and Lana are on a plane to Jamaica, where they’ll be spending their honeymoon. Life is good for the newlyweds.