Happy Kentucky Oaks Day!

May, 4, 2012
LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Happy Kentucky Oaks Day!

I'm getting ready to ride a really promising filly -- Summer Applause, for trainer Bret Calhoun -- this afternoon in the Oaks. I think she's got a great shot to win. She ran a really strong race in the Fair Grounds Oaks on March 31, and she's been training forwardly since. I'll be riding her for the first time today, but what I've seen on tape and in person, I've liked. I'm really hoping she can get the job done.

Yesterday was a fun day. I had a book signing to promote my recently released biography "The Garrett Gomez Story" by Rudy Alvarado. We sold 100 books in the brief time I was there. The response was so strong that we actually had to go find more books! I'm really pleased that my story seems to be connecting with people.

One of the best parts of this book promotional tour is hearing from people that my struggle with substance abuse has helped them to fight their demons. I met one guy at Keeneland a couple of weeks ago who shared his story of addiction with me. Since then, he's actually reached out to me on Facebook, and we've kind of connected a couple of times since. That was really the whole reason that I did the book -- to reach out to people like that and let them know that they're not alone in their struggles, and that there's hope.

Tomorrow, Daddy Nose Best and I will leave from post 10, which I think is a pretty good spot for us. The key is going to be the break. If everyone gets away cleanly, we should be able to secure a nice position going into the first turn. But, with 20 horses, obviously a clean break is far from a given. If one horse breaks sharply in or out, he could carry five or six horses with him. That's the danger.

It's been a hectic week for me, with the book signing, and with all the other obligations a Kentucky Derby jockey faces, but I'm never too busy to play golf! I've been fortunate to get in a couple of rounds this week here in Kentucky. I only get a limited amount of time to rest and relax, and I admit, I spend much of it on the golf course. Right now, I'm working to get my handicap back down to 2. I'm currently a 7 -- I still have a bit of rust to knock off from my time away from the game due to my injury earlier this year.

But the time for golf is over now. It's all business for the next two days. I'll check back with you tomorrow with some final thoughts before the Derby.



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