By Gene Kershner
As we move closer to the end of the holiday shopping season, what do you get your friendly neighborhood racing fan? Today's post will look long and hard at the perfect gifts for the racing fan in your homestead. No, we're not talking about a deposit into an account wagering deposit account, we're talking actual gift-wrapped items to put under the tree.
1. Seattle Slew Ornament. Our friends at Breyer have the perfect ornament depicting the 1977 Triple Crown champ.
2. The DRF Cover Tee. Best invention for a handicapper ever. You can put the form in the simple to slide in sleeve. Comes in multiple shades of black.
3. Equine Photos. The Exclusively Equine website has some great photos of Zenyatta, Rachel Alexandra and others. My favorite is the 2007 Belmont Stakes stretch drive between Curlin and Rags to Riches, the first filly to win the race since 1905.
4. Binoculars. What racing fan doesn't enjoy a nice pair of binocs to watch the horses as they head down the backstretch?
5. Horse Racing Ties. What male handicapper wouldn't love one of these to wear during a big day at the track?
Should you delve into eBay, here are a few gems that you can bid on between now and Christmas.
1. 2007 At The Track Santa. Who wouldn't want this piece to display old Kris Kringle at the track? A must have for the racing fan's mantle.
2. Bobbleheads Galore. Who are you looking for? A quick search of "horse racing bobbleheads" pulls up Seabiscuit, Affirmed, Zenyatta, Man o' War and Xtra Heat from the equine set. Jockeys and trainers include Mike Smith, Russell Baze, Jerry Bailey and Steve Asmussen.
3. Vintage Racing Programs. Another quick search reveals old Kentucky Derby programs and collectibles from Hollywood Park.
4. Racing Pins. A number of fairly cheap racing pins are available for the taking for less than $10.
5. Kentucky Derby glasses. Another great collectible from various past years. Every year the Derby unveils a new set of glasses to assist in mint julep consumption.
I hope that helps you in some of your holiday shopping for the racing fan in your life. Don't forget there are a plethora of racing and handicapping books out there. One particular racing book, The Lord of Misrule by Jaimy Gordon, recently won the 2010 National Book Award for Fiction.
We'll be back before the end of the year to recap the year that was in thoroughbred racing.
Gene Kershner is a Buffalo-based turf writer and handicapper who blogs at equispace.blogspot.com. He handicaps and blogs every Friday at the Sports, Ink blog at www.buffalonews.com and can be found on Twitter (@EquiSpace).