If it's springtime in America, there are few places lovelier to be than Lexington, Kentucky. The city by that name is well worth visiting, but it is in the surrounding hillsides that you find the soul of the place, especially between April and October. Kentucky's native spirit, bourbon, is proudly boosted around the region.
At some point, virtually every ambitious executive asks this question. According to a recent global study a remarkable 87% of managers aspire to the corner office. But it's not just whether you think you deserve the top job, it's whether your board of directors thinks you deserve it.
Felix Francis is the son of the late Dick Francis, who was the bestselling author of more than 40 mystery novels.
The unique blend of locals and visitors stops the Distillery District from being a tourist trap like New York's South Street Seaport. The place feels organic, authentic, warm and inviting. It's steeped in history.
Lexington is horse country in every sense of the word and, on my drive from the airport, I was enthralled with the spectacular scenery: the rolling hills of Kentucky's famed Blue Grass region with pretty red barns, fields and meadows.
Saratoga Springs in upstate New York may be best known to many as home to a world famous race track for thoroughbred horses, the second oldest in the United States that began its long life in 1863.
These days, sports are being promoted as a series of "happenings" -- celebrations. Athletes and the games they compete in are being primed, packaged and scripted like every other public event in the era of contrived melodrama.
After the world chess champion Magnus Carlsen collected two more world titles last week in Dubai, winning the FIDE Rapid and Blitz championships, new comparisons were inevitable. Now he might be compared to a horse or a long distance runner, I thought.
"This year, I saw someone in six-inch sparkly stilettos," she says, shaking her head. "This is a daytime horse race, not a nightclub." Rachel and I nod in agreement, as if the sparkly stilettos also offended us at this, the first horserace either of us has ever attended.
The generous folks from the New York Racing Association were kind enough to invite me to the Belmont Stakes last Saturday. You can lead a horse to water but you can't make him drink, and you can lead me to free champagne and wonder what the heck you're going to serve the other guests.
Over the years as my naiveté diminished, I gradually became aware of the realities of the sport and the way its heroes are abused and mistreated for our pleasure.
Like so many others, I've been inspired by the story of California Chrome. So much in fact, that despite not being a fan of horse racing, I decided to make the pilgrimage to Belmont Park.
There is widespread drugging of equine athletes, but leaders of many racing organizations are fiercely resisting reforms at the national level, even though the whole enterprise engages in interstate gambling only with the consent of Congress.
By late Saturday the sportsworld will know if there is a Triple Crown winner for the first time in 36 years. No one could have guessed that it would be this long before another horse would accomplish this feat again.
The beauty and majesty of thoroughbred horse racing is indeed poetry in motion. When these magnificent animals take to the track, they do what is in their blood to do... they do what they were born to do... they run.