Monthly Archives: January 2008

Aqueduct Race Replay

I just noticed something about the race replay graphic on the OTB channel… it looks like Funny Cide and Evening Attire!

For those of you who don’t live in NYC and/or don’t ever get a chance to see the signal from NYRA tracks, there’s a little transition graphic used for race replays that has a 3ish second close up clip of two horses. I guess since I was just looking at pics of Evening Attire his mask jumped out at me and then I noticed that the other jock looked to be wearing the Sackatoga Stables silks.

I believe the clip is from the 2004 Excelsior Breeders Cup Handicap at Aqueduct. The placement of the two is right on and Funny Cide was number 3… the only other distinguishing thing in the clip is that the horse with rider wearing the Sakatoga-ish silks is number 3. Of course it would make sense that they pick a clip of a high profile race from Aqueduct as well. I’ll have to see if I can figure out the Belmont & Saratoga replay clips when the time comes.

This up tick in posting brought to you by none other than procrastination!

She Just Needs Some Practice!

Don’t ask me how I found this item, but as it turns out Christina Ricci likes to play the ponies! Apparently a trip to Australia was all the young starlet needed to “learn to love playing the ponies”. Maybe we oughta send more people to Australia.

“I have no strategy (with horses) and I never pick winners,” she says. “But it’s still fun.”

That’s the spirit! Here’s to hoping she learns how to read The Form and turns into a lifelong fan!

The Kids are Alright – Part II

Patrick concludes his two part interview series with a conversation with Riley Mott, Bill Mott’s son. No comments from Bill but it’s a nice interview and great to see how involved and interested he is. It’s clear he’s picked up a LOT by his running commentary in the Facebook Derby group, and you thought Facebook was just good for turning people into Zombies and taking quizzes!

Fun Facts:

Riley Tucker, promising 3yo owned by Zayat Stables, was named for Riley

Bill Mott – not so keen on the email but loves to txt!

Back in Business

Evening Attire and Edgar Prado enter the track at Belmont with onlookers in Evening Attire (Holly Van Voast)

Best of luck to Evening Attire tomorrow!

Here’s his last out, schoolin’ youngsters in the Queens County Handicap, what you don’t see in this replay is that Evening Attire was running around like a nut in the parade. Every shot of every horse had Evening Attire streaking by in the background.

Go get ’em old man!

Lest You Think

All those big owners and trainers don’t read blogs, let alone comment on them… get thee over to Handride and check out this post!

Those of you on Facebook who belong to the Kentucky Derby group are by now well acquainted with Justin Zayat and Riley Mott, the 15-ish year old sons of Ahmed Zayat and Bill Mott. Both Justin and Riley are an interesting mix of typical 15 year old boy and seasoned, knowledgeable pros. It’s great fun to see them do dead on analysis of a horse’s abilities or what their next move should be while throwing in an occasional “Zayat/Mott dynastyyy!” shout out or “monsterrr”.

In my estimation it’s always a great sign for the future of something when young people take to it, and we all know horse racing is just a bit more involved than most extracurricular activities, to say the least. No doubt being in the industry helps immensely but there’s never a guarantee that a child becomes interested in and/or takes to the family business.

And just a note to all you big trainers, owners, publishers, writers, jockeys and handicapping gods that no doubt read GbG daily… don’t be shy, leave a comment!

Farewell Hesanoldsalt

Hesanoldsalt and Eibar Coa win in the rain at Saratoga 2006. (Sarah K. Andrew)

I just sat down to catch up on some news when this sad item awaited me in my RSS reader.

Apparently he reared up, got away from his handler and took off only to crash into a tree when someone tried to stop him. The full story is at Bloodhorse.

“He looked great when he came in,” said Zito. “He was gonna have a good year. It’s sad, and when I think of all the good memories we had with him, it’s just incredible. I loved that horse. He was a wonderful, wonderful addition to our barn.”

Here he is running a very game second to Corinthian in the Gulfstream Handicap last year. With a touch more distance it looks like he could have done it…

Rest in Peace.

Maybe If I Had Used This

1979 Mattel Horse Racing Analyzer and gift from Swifty!

I had fantastic luck yesterday… with the subway. Every time I arrived on the platform the train was arriving. I even hopped across the platform to catch the arriving express train after one stop, making my normal 30+ minute door to door to the office 15 minutes. This luck was with me for each of my four subway rides, the subway equivalent of a Pick 6 given it a was a Saturday. This was where the luck ended.

I had the right selections in the Tiffany Lass but didn’t bet it right. I chose an exacta of Tizaqueena over Jolie The Cat & Highest Class and put a little bit on Highest Class to win. I had a nagging feeling that I should select Jolie The Cat to win but stuck with my choice. I was surprised to see her set the pace but someone had to do it. I thought it might be Syriana’s Song or Timely Reflection. She looked great on the lead and got the job done when asked after setting a nice slow pace. I still like Tizaqueena as well and will be keeping an eye on both her Jolie the Cat.

The LeComte was the subway luck equivalent of being stuck in a train that’s not moving in a car where the PA doesn’t work. I dismissed Z Fortune altogether, I’m not sure if it’s because his prior races were for state breds or that his last speed figure was 16 points lower the prior one but he looked really strong and is clearly one to keep an eye on. Lesson of the day: don’t mess with Asmussen at Fairgrounds! I’m also interested to see Smooth Air’s next out given that He’s Eze came in 4th here. I’m wondering if he could be a one surface wonder in the slop, like one of my sentimental favorites, Slew’s Tizzy. I really, really wish they’d send him to California or just run him on synthetic surfaces, isn’t it clear by now he doesn’t like the dirt?

Swifty was lamenting that the LeComte was where he fell in love last year. While I haven’t fallen in love yet (I have trust issues), I’m definitely looking forward to a second date with El Galo Mato! I didn’t bet this one correctly either, which is extra annoying due to my pre-office selections including the winning exacta. Nevertheless, that bad cat is the first 3yo colt that I think I could I really fall for… it was, however, love at first sight with Mushka, but I don’t want to digress too much.

In the San Pasqual Zappa looked really good to me in the parade and my note about him was that he could be ready to jump in class. I boxed him with Thousand Words and ran back to the window to get a win bet on him but just missed it. He looked really great as well sitting perfectly off the pace. I always love to see a claimer jump up in class.

And finally, in the subway luck equivalent of trudging to the station in the pouring rain to find your train not running at all, only to have walk several blocks to another line that doesn’t even put you within 4 four blocks of your final destination, we have Air Commander in the San Fernando! Jessica at Railbird points out the Dan Illman nailed Air Commander in the OTB channel’s live handicapping show… naturally one of the only times I didn’t watch it. Well done though! My long shot across the board was Big Bad Leroy Brown, who came in last! But what’s interesting to me is that of the remaining crop of last year’s 3yos, the ones that are improving are surprising. Take Pink Viper’s 107 Beyer in the Brush Up at Aqueduct. While not the same class of horses as the San Fernando, the speed figure is still quite an improvement.

Both Pink Viper and Air Commander were on the Derby Trail last year. Who else is out there improving greatly I wonder, and are horses like Ravel and Great Hunter going to improve? Time will tell. Dominican was back on the work tab this morning breezing 3F in :38:80 and Sedgefield is entered in the 7th at Gulfstream today, a 62K allowance optional claimer at 1 mile on the turf (not entered for a tag). Dawn after Dawn is running in the El Encino today at Santa Anita… I can’t wait to see her return, she’s been training nicely and I’ve got my fingers crossed for a stellar 4yo campaign… stand clear of the closing doors!

Off to the Office…

I’m running out the door to the “The Office” but here are my quickie selections for today… I’ll do a follow-up post later with more details/thoughts etc.

Tiffany Lass:

Tizaqueena looks for real to me, I also like Jolie The Cat, Diamondaire and Highest Class as a longer shot play. Not sure how to play it but I really think Tizaqueena is just that in here.


I’m gonna go with He’s Eze. At 12-1 in the morning line, he beat Hucheson winner Smooth Air and last out which was also at a comparable distance. The usual suspects have too many questions marks for me at the price + I love He’s Eze’s trainer lines for form cycle (29%) and sprint/route (33%).

San Rafael:

I’m going against the speedy fav Massive Drama and with El Gato Malo, but I’ll probably play him with Talk of a Cat and Overbid… and perhaps a bit of Indian Sun, the cut back could be good for him.

San Pasqual:

I think Heatseeker looked better than 30-1 last out and feel like he’s got momentum. Molengao is clearly a good horse but coming off a layoff. Thousand Words looks interesting to me as a total wild card as does Well Armed as the lone speed. It’s worth noting no closers won at Santa Anita yesterday.

San Fernando:

I think Tiago will win it, but he’ll be too short for me + I’m a bit concerned about the no closers bias from yesterday. I love Ravel and hope he’s ready to step up in his second off but also think Mozante looks potentially interesting in the mix. I would have really liked Monterey Jazz but he’s scratched. I may play some combo of those 3. I’d love to see Great Hunter step up in his second off, or at least improve greatly and I don’t think Johnny Eves will get the distance.

Good luck everyone!

I’m Back, From Outer Space

I was mistaken on Saturday, not only when I didn’t bother to check the condition of the track before wagering on the Hucheson, but that I thought my stomach flu had passed with what turned out to be “the cramps” portion of the illness.

I was probably conscious for only 7 or so hours over three days, but fortunately I woke up in time to watch the Hal’s Hope… and man did Chatain look strong in the stretch!

Catching up on the goings-ons… as Patrick at Handride pointed out, not only is the official Derby Site up, but they’ve ventured into the realm of social networking via Facebook and MySpace. On Facebook, they’ve started a Group and a Fan Page.

At first there wasn’t much action but it looks like the admin has posted “hey, come check us out” posts on other horse racing groups. More people have joined and the chatter has finally started. Miss Superfecta has already joined in the fray as well, discussing her early thoughts on the discussion board! Good fun.

Jessica at Railbird has been following the fillies from a 2yo Maiden Special Weight, the 10th at Belmont on 10/14/07. 5 of the 10 fillies from that race have won or have been stakes placed since then.

Last, but certainly not least, 10 year old Evening Attire fired off a bullet in his fist work of the year… it’s great to be back in the land of the conscious!

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