I guess the thing that will always stand out for me about painting Wait A While will be the circumstances behind being selected to paint for Alan and Karen Cohen. Something I have done for years is to give out post cards when I’m painting and I make a special point to always give post cards to the kids (that’s a whole’nother story – which if you are interested in hearing I would suggest you vote for Balance this week.) Any how about 8 or 9 years ago, I had finished painting at the Keeneland September sale and was boarding a plane to fly back to Florida. As I walked to my seat there was a little boy about 3 year old playing with a toy horse. I handed his father a pack of post cards for his son . . . and that was pretty much the end of the story . . .
Until about three years later when I received a phone call from a man who introduced himself as Cody Richardson and he reminded me of giving his son the postcards on the airplane. Cody went on to say that he was the farm manager for Arindel Farm in Ocala and they just had their first Grade 1 winner. I like to think people have me paint their horses because I’m pretty good at what I do, but maybe sometimes it’s just because I’m a nice guy.
Wait A While is one of those horses I could tell a few other stories about like the first time I met Alan and Karen at Gulfstream Park, it had been a long day of racing and I had a three hour drive to get home. Alan owned the Florida Panthers of the NHL at the time and asked me to join him in the owners box that night for the game, but I politely declined and have kicked myself every since.
Even though the painting depicts her winning at Santa Anita, I did put the final touches on the painting at Gulfstream on a day when she was running in a stakes race, fortunately – she came through with a trip to the winner’s circle.
She was a wonderful race horse and now a beautiful mare and good mother, but most of all she will always be that first special horse for the Cohens.