Monthly Archives: July 2008

Nothing Says it Like Cotton

According to Wikipedia, cotton is the appropriate gift for one’s second anniversary. I like a nice cotton T-shirt and prefer cotton over synthetics any day of the week… good thing too as today is Swifty’s and my 2 year horse racing anniversary!

2 years ago today we finally decided go out to Belmont after talking about it off an on for several months. We had originally planned on going out today but both of us have too much to do, plus we’re going to Saratoga for opening week!

When we went last year, we learned a lot of valuable lessons, such as trying to handicap every race on the card for multiple days in a row is much harder than we anticipated, the payouts at Saratoga are fantastic, one may end up sitting by someone who hits a 4 digit trifecta using their hotel room number (while you handicapped all night to not a cash a single ticket), and perhaps most important, that regardless of the afore mentioned lessons, there’s no where else I want to be on opening week of Saratoga!

Last year I met Joan, who will be joining us again this year, which is great because I hardly ever get to hang out with her in the city. This year also adds a welcome twist, Swifty and I now have a lovely group of friends to hang out with!

I noticed today that Fabulous Strike threw a bullet breezing 5F in :59.84 (1/26) in preparation for the G2 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap on Saturday 26th. Other probables include Abraaj, Black Seventeen, Bustin Stones, First Defence, Sammarco, and Thor’s Echo. The rest of the Whitney card is shaping up to be interesting as well.

Last and probably least, I have a little hunch play for the 3rd at Belmont. Shtarker from the Allen Jerkens barn is running back from last week where, according to the running lines, he was through after a half. That race was 1 1/16th, todays is 6F and he gets blinkers + long shot Sanchez has the mount. He’s 15-1 in the morning line and I’m gonna put a little money on him across the board as I’m willing to go with Allen Jerkens on this.

Update: Shtarker came in last! Oh well, heat and humidity never help intuition.

Good to luck to all today, especially Evening Attire!

Reproduction & Economics (Sex & Money!)

Nobiz Like Shobiz will stand at Darby Dan in 2009 (Sarah K Andrew)

Earlier this week I noticed two items over at Bloodhorse in the breeding section. GbG horse of interest War Emblem seems to be making progress in his “recovery”!

You may remember that there was a time when he wasn’t covering any mares even though he was fully functional, so to speak. He was prescribed what the article calls “intensive therapy” including relocation, changes in breeding shed handling and hormone supplements… and guess what, it’s working!

Although, apparently he’s still choosy:

“Now about 70% are OK for him, but the other 30% remain very difficult,” Dr. Nobuo Tsunoda said. “And if he hates a type of mare, he attacks them.”

Some of War Emblem’s peculiarities have included a dislike for large mares and an attraction to chestnuts over females of other colors, said Shadai spokesperson Mariko Yoshida.

He’s already covered 30 mares this year and 20 are in foal to him. Keep up the good work War Emblem!

Another GbG fav, Nobiz Like Shobiz, has finally been placed at Darby Dan where he’ll stand for 2009. No fee has been set.

Moving on now to money… there are two interesting posts from fellow TBA-ers today around the economics of the game. Cangamble has a thoughtful post on Take Out with an great comment thread and Steve Zorn has an in-depth and eye opening post on the economics of ownership. Both are great reads.

And last but not least, did you know that Belmont has a chicken hawk? No, not that little bird who followed Foghorn Leghorn around or an old man who likes young boys… a red tailed hawk! Jason captured a couple of shots of Belmont’s own bird of prey this weekend… guard your hot dogs and perhaps small children!

Congratulations Sarah!

Curlin & Robby Albarado on the cover of Monmouth’s 2008 program (Sarah K. Andrew)

If you come to GbG with any regularity you are well acquainted with photographic work of Sarah K. Andrew. She’s one of the talented photographers that radically enhances the GbG experience on a regular basis by allowing bloggers to freely publish their work for appropriate credit. A nice proposition all the way around, but I feel like I’m getting the better end of the bargain!

One of Sarah’s excellent shots of Curlin winning the Breeders’ Cup Classic is the cover for Monmouth’s 2008 program! Way to go Sarah, another job well done!

And since we can’t say it enough, thanks to all of the excellent photographers who make their work available to bloggers… may you always be appropriately credited!

“We Love You Curlin”

Curlin after the Man o’ War at Belmont (Sarah K. Andrew)

This is what Ernie cheered as Curlin walked out of the paddock into the tunnel on his way to the track. And it’s a sentiment that was apparent yesterday as well wishers and fans came out to Belmont to cheer on their Horse of the Year, or HOY Vey, as Ernie has taken to calling him!

I was feeling utterly crappy yesterday, going on two days of not so much sleep and next to no time to handicap, but I still got myself on the train and out to Belmont. My usual track pals all had prior engagements or sore body parts and couldn’t join me. But as fate would have it I was lucky enough to meet up with Alan H. and Ernie for a perfect afternoon of hot dogs, videos and close, but yet so far in the Curlin department.

Alan H. and Ernie went out to the paddock to get some video. I knew it was gonna be madness back there so I hung in our seats so I could get a good look at him in the parade. Power Cap has a good recount of the scene and you can see it for yourself over at Ernie’s as he’s posted a video of the scene in the paddock… definitely a must see!

At the end of the race he got a warm reception from crowd that actually choked me up a bit. I only detected one small boo from a group of jock-y (not to be confused with jockey, actually quite the opposite) guys with a giant cooler who had swigged their way through the afternoon and didn’t look like they even knew a horse’s name (not the kind of guys I’m gonna say ‘shut the F-up’ to).

There are couple of other nice first person accounts around the blogosphere as well, echoing the “we love you Curlin!” sentiment. If nothing else, it’s nice to have a horse that we’re all (or at least most of us of are) really pulling for.

New Poll: Curlin, Now What?

I think Curlin ran well but his solid second wasn’t the unwavering “full speed ahead” signal we all had hoped for.

If anyone can learn quickly, it’s Curlin. I’m always blown away when I think about how much he learned between the Derby and the Preakness. The Derby was the first time he wasn’t on the pace and the first time he couldn’t easily put away a field. But he came right back in the Preakness and owned sitting off the pace and suddenly showed off his new found skill of looking an opponent in the eye and going after him.

I’m hoping he’ll be the same overachieving student after the Man o’War:

So, what would you do? Run him again on the turf in the states? Should they change the target to the BC Turf? Should he just stick to dirt OR stick to the plan for the Arc? I’m not sure how I feel about it, I’m leaning towards another turf try here in the states and then ship him for a prep race if works out well.

In the last poll, 16 of you (me included) thought Zenyatta should train for the Classic, 15 of you thought she could be interesting and 12 of you gave the whole idea a big thumbs down. Her performance in the Vanity no doubt helped in the No department but I still think at the very least she’s an interesting prospect for the Classic, particularly given the absence of Heatseeker and Curlin.

Thanks to all who participated in the last poll and I’ll so some much needed catch up posting tomorrow!

Thank You, Whoever You Are

Not sure who to thank, but keep up the good work! (terryhadalittlelamb)

For getting the Man o’ War, and reigning horse of the year Curlin’s turf debut, on ESPNews this Saturday! NTRA, ESPN… NYRA? Seriously, thanks to whoever was involved in making that happen.

I’m one of the lucky ones who can easily make it out to Belmont, and even if I couldn’t I would be able to watch it on Channel 71, but there are a whole lotta fans who now stand a better shot of seeing the race!

Making big races like this available nationwide is a huge step in the right direction… keep up the good work, whoever you are!

Start Spreading the News…

Next Stop, New York! At least we know Curlin won’t get this muddy on the Turf! (Charles Pravata)

Because NYRA won’t be. (note: link also doubles as excellent promotion for Self Appointed Fan Committee, something else you could start spreading the news about… ahem).

Certainly not news now, but Curlin is cleared to run in New York! Which is great news if you’re a New Yorker and can make it to Belmont this Saturday!

It’s interesting to note what a deal Jess Jackson got on his 80% of Curlin, the equivalent of H&M for champion thoroughbreds with a bright future as a stallion.

Many thanks to those who have been plugging Self Appointed Fan Committee and those who have made submissions!

Keep those grievances coming!