Monthly Archives: September 2007

Summing it Up

I was just over at Left at the Gate and thought I’d share a comment that pretty sums up something I’ve blogged about many times.

Alan, I’m so glad to see you blogging at the official BC site about the detrimental effect that today’s sparse campaigns are having on the sport. I’ve been a fan since I was seven years old, but in recent years my interest has dwindled to the point that most weekends I don’t even know what stakes are being run, let alone try to watch them. (Of course, the new baby has something to do with that.) It’s impossible for me to get excited about a horse I can only expect to see run a few times a year, and can only expect to see run against top competition in the classics and Breeders’ Cup. (emphasis is mine).

And if it’s hard for lifelong fans to stay enthused, forget about getting and sustaining new ones.

I Was Wondering About This…

Buried in a Lawyer Ron update was some info on The Monkey.

Pletcher said The Green Monkey came out of his third-place finish in a six-furlong maiden race at Belmont Sept. 15 in good order. The Green Monkey’s debut was regarded as a highlight of the racing card because of the $16 million he brought at auction last year as a 2-year-old.

“You would think a horse that worked as fast as he did at the 2-year-old sale would be a little quicker,” Pletcher said. “But I liked the way he finished the last sixteenth and the way he galloped out. I look forward to running him [at longer distances].”

I love that he came out and said the obvious, you’d think he would been a little quicker with that scary 2yo $16 million deal sealing workout. It’ll be interesting to see how he stretches out, and develops.


Please Sign This Petition

There was another sad and needless death of a carriage horse this weekend near Central Park. The horse, Smoothie, was startled by a snare drum from a group of performing break dancers and bolted.

I found the story as I was going to one my fav sites, Gothamist (a NYC blog), to see if they posted a story about R2R being back at Belmont. They had covered the Belmont Stakes and R2R in the spring so I sent them a tip about R2R being back at Belmont… if the NYRA won’t do it, I will.

Not only did they not post anything about R2R’s returned, I was horrified to see this story. Warning, there’s a disturbing picture of poor Smoothie laying in the street, clearly deceased. I’m glad that they’re showing how mortifying it really is and are pointing people to the petition, but be warned, it’s upsetting.

Please, please sign this petition and send the link to your horse loving friends.

Thank you.

At Least There’s One…

uplifting racing story this weekend. Shakespeare, a true ‘comeback kid’, made a huge move on the inside to win the Woodbine Mile just as it looked like Kip Deville (who ran a great race) had it in the bag.

What strikes me about as interesting about Shakespeare’s story is that he’s overcome a lot of injury’s and is still going strong… some we don’t see too much. Oh, we see the injuries, just not the time to recover from them and make appropriate comebacks. Let’s hope his comeback and win this weekend is a sign that we’ll see our beloved Rags to Riches next year, rolling down the stretch to win it big.

Story includes a race replay, make sure to watch it.


It’s Worth Noting

That Lear’s Princess had run, and run well, in all of the races that Rags to Riches missed. I hadn’t seen anyone make that point yet. One of the things I really love about horse racing is that each race is really anyone’s game, and yesterday was a fab reminder of that.

Talent is one thing, but timing is another and both played a big part of yesterday. Both fillys are clearly talented but they were on the opposite side of timing… Lear’s Princess was tuned up and Rags to Riches was not, but if she wasn’t so talented it could have turned out a lot worse for her.

Classy & Classic

It was a gorgeous warm day at Belmont. Swifty & I got there in record time. He didn’t get a chance to handicap so getting there an hour before the first race really helped.

Usually our routine is that we talk through the horses, watch the parade, go to the windows and then have the “what did you do?” chat back at the seats. We rarely go to the windows together. After putting in our bets for the first race he said “The clerk at my window said to me ‘I like your glasses and shirt, classy and classic’.” It’s good to be back at Belmont!

It seemed to be more crowded than usual, which is always good to see, although it also seemed like the crowd thinned out considerably before the Man o’ War… those people missed a great race! It also seemed like the payouts for the 3 stakes races were a little higher than I expected so perhaps there was more attendance than normal.

Some notable moments included:

4th Race – $35k Claiming

There were quite a few class drops and older horses, Gigli, a 9yo owned and trained by Bobby Frankel is both. 7yo Unigold was also dropping in class and 6yo Noah A was the horse for the course. Gigli is a beauty and looked great in the parade, she ran about 7 lengths from the leaders and closed impressively on the inside to beat Noah A by a half a length with Unigold not too far behind.

5th Race – $52k Maiden Special Weigh for 2yo Fillies

Catmosphere ($22.80) pulled off a nice win with Madam Bling ($12) also running an impressive race for place. The exacta paid $336, it was just like being at Saratoga! Swifty had Catmosphere to win… Storm Cat is her sire and her trainer Alan Goldberg is clearly a turf (22%) and maiden (20%) specialist. All things I chose to overlook in favor of going for jockey/trainer combos. I had WPS bets on Prairie Melody & Gulchstream.

Of the 3 G1s, the Garden City and Man o’ War were the stand outs. We both skipped wagering on the Ruffian, good thing because we both liked Take D’ Tour.

We also both tried our hands at the guaranteed Pick 4 but were out of it in the first race when Alexander Tango pulled a mild yet not surprising upset. She looked INCREDIBLE in the parade, Missvinski also looked good. We both had Missvinski & Rutherienne.

As for the race itself, I liked a lot of them, Missvinski, Rutherienne, Sharp Susan, Bit of Whimsy & Valbenny. I had various exactas including all of them but my problem was I had Rutherienne in all of them. They were all boxes because I expected her to be off her form a bit, but not come in last! It was a really, really slow pace. I also neglected to factor in (ignored) that not only had Alexander Tango placed in G2 to colts, but the winner of that race placed in the Epsom Derby.

Thankfully I did well in the Man o’ War. I had a decent wager on the winning the exacta, I also had exactas of Sunriver and Dr. Dino with Trippi’s Storm plus a win bet on Trippi’s Storm. Dr. Dino and Sunriver looked great! I did manage to factor in that they both do well on firm turf… the turf is definitely firm at Belmont right now!

Besides a great day of racing, it was good to be “home”. Saratoga is a gorgeous getaway but I love Belmont. I love the layout, the grandstand and the definite 1970’s flair of the surroundings. I’m hoping to get out there early one day and take some photos, there are a lot of stellar visual details. At one point the Billy Joel song “Just the way you are” popped into my head. Given the reports on the new PID, I sincerely hope the new NYRA deal doesn’t mess up our beloved Belmont… Classy and a Classic, in it’s own way of course.