Swifty’s birthday outing to Belmont was a smashing success, with the exception of Defrizz (the 7th horse in the 7th race), who de-stunk.
Of our group there were a few first timers, a few who have joined us before, a few who went to the track as kids and are now reconnecting with the sport, a precocious 11 year old who had some fantastic picks and a Latvian mom who spoke little English but seemed to have a great time!
A few notable moments where that quite a few folks in the group (including Ted, the child) picked longshot Dance Away Capote (Capote) in the 5th. An interesting note about Capote, his progeny Ticket to Seattle ran well in the Prioress to place 4th at 40-1.
One of our party members, Rebecca, used to go to the track with her dad as a kid. She had recently started going again by chance. Her “job” as a kid was to go to the paddock and make sure the horse(s) her dad liked “looked sound” (as she described it). That practice payed off because she was one of the attendees who picked Dance Away Capote based on a visit to the paddock.
Another great moment was Junkanoo Party’s win. Steve had been to Belmont in May and won with Junkanoo Party (because he liked the name) and bet him again. He came in at 15-1, and is now Steve’s favorite horse (and potential middle name for his first child… well, just Junkanoo).
I did alright… I had a few good picks and several almost exotics. Basically I was trifecta boxing when I should have been exacta boxing and visa versa. I did have Owner’s Manual in the 3rd at 8-1. I liked that his new trainer is Frankel and that Garcia was the rider… coming back from a break didn’t bother me and he looked in the parade. Garcia has been doing quite well this meet as have Coa & Desormeaux.
I also had the exacta in the Prioress. I really liked Graeme Six… if Tom Amoss (31%!) is shipping a horse to this race, there must be a damn good reason. I figured it would be hard to beat Dream Rush but not impossible so I boxed them. I also boxed Dream Rush with Silver Knockers (should have tri-boxed those 3!) and Her Majesty. I thought Her Majesty was the other live longshot here, but apparently she didn’t get enough cobra venom because she came in last. In fairness she stumbled out of the gate. Perhaps Biancone should try eye of newt next time.
On the train ride out, Swifty gave his ‘Intro to reading The Form’ class. The students were all willing and his Socratic method worked well (and is pretty funny to watch). A highlight was when he was explaining running style and race distance and a light went off for Ilona in terms of being able to tell if a horse might do well at a distance it has not run before. It was great to see people excited about learning something that I love so much.
Next stop, July 21st for the Coaching Club American Oaks (and return of Rags to Riches!)… which will be my and Swifty’s one year anniversary of going to the track!!
Program Note: I really like how Valerie at Foolish Pleasure bolds the horses names in her posts, so I’m going to start doing it too… ease of use y’all.