Come Backs, Winning Streaks & Promising Beginnings

Notional w/Joe Bravo up comes back with an upset in the Salvatore Mile at Monmouth (Sarah K. Andrew)

Today was the kind of day that reminds me why I fell in love with racing almost 2 years ago. Swifty and I planned on heading out to Belmont today come rain or shine, and while we didn’t get much shine we also didn’t get any rain. A few friends were planning to meet up at Monmouth for the United Nations and Salvatore Mile, but I really just wanted to have a nice quiet day at my beloved Belmont.

Swifty was hanging out with his 12 year old nephew Ted this weekend, or as I like to call him, the Future Handicappers of America. He joined us last year for Swifty’s birthday outing and proved to be a bit precocious picking Dance Away Capote in the Duda Stakes.

Since it had been raining for two days, all but one of the turf races were on the dirt and there were a bunch of scratches. I only lightly handicapped so I wasn’t planning on playing very heavily to begin with. We got there not too long before the 3rd. My pick, Akin, had scratched so I took a pass. In the 4th I put Paris Winds over Them There Eyes for a couple bucks to no avail. In fact, I didn’t cash a ticket all day (again) but it started to get interesting in the 5th race.

I usually don’t like to play maiden races. I don’t have an affinity for using breeding in handicapping, although it’s on my list to work on, so I just throw a couple of bucks on a long shot here and there. The 5th was a Maiden Special Weight and no different for me… except no one was at long odds. In the paddock #9, Discreet Treasure was really acting up. There was no audio to speak of in the grandstand so we couldn’t hear what Jason Blewitt or Jan Rushton were saying, but Discreet Treasure was pretty worked up.

It was a 7F turf race that moved to the dirt. Quickly looking over the entrants I noticed that Discreet Treasure, a first time starter, was only showing one work on turf, and not even the last one! As they came out for the parade he looked great, perhaps too great. Did he leave his race in the paddock? Number 10, Counterspy, looked good too so I boxed them.

I’ll just let you watch the race for yourself… he’s the grey. A very big thanks to Party Manners for posting it!!

As it turns out, he’s a half to Discreet Cat, not that I knew that until I got home and watched Throughbred Action. And as great as it is on the replay it was even more thrilling in person. I can’t wait to see more of him!

The next race was also fantastic. It was a state bred allowance for non-winners of two. You may remember the name Overextended from the very beginning Derby Trail. He ran primarily on the west coast in all the big preps as a 2yo and even placed to Colonel John in the Real Quiet. I didn’t incorporate him into my losing trifecta key with Dr. W on top of the 4 long shots but his race was great nonetheless.

Just like Discreet Treasure he sat way off the pace, and talk about procrastinating, he still wasn’t in the race at the 1/16th pole! Then out of nowhere he closed like freight train… all I can say is welcome to New York! Previously trained by Doug O’Neill and now trained by Mark Henig, I’m sure we’ll be seeing him round these parts more often!

I liked the undefeated By The Light in the Prioress although I knew Indian Blessing would be tough at the distance on a muddy track. I was hoping it would have been Indian Blessing pressing Secret Gypsy with By The Light sitting off the pace but Indian Blessing has finally shown she can rate.

It was great to see Indian Blessing back and I thought By The Light was impressive given this was her first graded race! I had the 2 of them in a tri-box with Secret Gypsy but Indian Way spoiled that on the wire.

We busted out there right after the race and I got home in time to see the United Nations. I would have liked to have seen the Salvatore Mile, especially given that Notional pulled an upset! This really made my day… I loved him in the Risen Star was bummed when he had to drop off the Derby Trail with an injury. His 4 yo campaign has had an Evening Attire-like start, so to see him come back with a nice win that puts him in the BC was yet another excellent moment in a very satisfying race day. You can see it here, if it shows up on YouTube I’ll post it here as well.

I love that Mary Hartmann, Mary Hartmann and Precious Passion won the United Nations! I don’t know too much about her, except that I loved her sunglasses and Randy Moss (or someone) said that she started off as a hot walker some 20 years ago. But seriously, it’s always great to see one of the many non-high profile, hard working trainers win a big race and when it’s a woman it’s even more special. It goes without saying that there’s that extra level of “it ain’t easy” for women who work in a business that’s male dominated such a sports, or in my case, technology. So, good for her!

And to top it all off, Zenyatta stayed undefeated holding off an impressively closing Tough Tiz’s Sis in the Vanity Handicap. 6 for 6… is she looking more interesting for the Classic to you yet?