- The UK's Guardian reports that Saeed bin Suroor will actually be at Saratoga on Saturday to saddle Folk in the Alabama. I handicapped the race last night for my horse-by-horse thing for the Special, and I have to say that I just love Panty Raid. I watched her win in the American Oaks; Prado gave her a supremely confident ride, keeping her on the outside all the way, and peeking back twice while moving towards the lead three wide on the final turn. What I liked the most was this: when the tough Valbenny engaged her inside the 8th pole, getting to within maybe a 1/4 length or so, Panty Raid would just have none of it, dug in, and was drawing back away at the end, with a certain flair and even arrogance, at least as it seemed to me. "Get that weak stuff outta my face," she seemed to be saying. I'm not concerned about the surface switch back to dirt, and neither is Pletcher.
"I think she’s better on the dirt; Edgar thinks she’s better on the turf. If you had seen her work, you would likely agree with me.” [NYRA]Panty Raid worked five furlongs in 59.3 (2/46) on the main track last week. She's won on grass, dirt, and Poly surfaces at Turfway and Keeneland, so I don't really think it matters what she's running on. And she easily won her career debut over this track last August. So she's my pick. I think Lear's Princess is overstated at 10-1 in the morning line, and I see money prospects for her. With Moon Catcher and Folk (hopefully) setting the pace, and three stalkers (Tough Tiz's Sis, Octave [at least based on her last two races], Lady Joanne) in close pursuit, I'm looking for the race to set up for the two with the best closing kicks; and in my opinion, those will be Panty Raid and Lear's Princess, in that order. There's your cold exacta! (If only it were so easy...)
Back to Saeed bin Suroor and the Guardian article, which discusses how well Authorized, another of the top three-year olds snared in Darley's latest spending spree, is doing in preparation for the Juddmonte International Stakes, his first race since his bizarre loss to Notnowcato in the Coral-Eclipse, when the latter glided out to the firmer outside rail for the stretch drive. Those two will be joined by Dylan Thomas in what should be an outstanding race, which will take place on Tuesday. Hmmm, I guess NYRA doesn't host its British racing thing on dark days, does it?
- Still no fatalities on the Del Mar Polytrack, though we wouldn't know about more subtle injuries that may (or may not) be occurring there. However, there have been five deaths on the turf course, four of them in the afternoon, and the latest on Thursday. And apparently, the on-track euthanization of Holly Torque Tango did not go smoothly.
Even though a screen was up, many saw the 3-year-old filly rear up on her hind legs and fall to the ground after she was euthanzied. The crowd let out a collective gasp after she hit ground.Here's a collective 'ugh' to that nasty bit of news.
"They might have botched it, but they had no choice," said Dan Smith, Del Mar's senior media coordinator. "It was the humane thing to do. She couldn't walk to the van. They had to put her out of her misery." [North County Times]
- And speaking of 'ugh,' the Albany Times Union's Saratoga blog reports that Rudy Giuliani was at the track yesterday. And boy, am I'm glad, first of all because it means that I missed him. But mostly because this allows me to seamlessly stray off topic. As you may know, Giuliani told reporters last week: “I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers.” Referring to the workers at ground zero, he's been quoted as saying that he was “one of them.” But the NY Times, in an inspired piece of reporting, consulted the logs of his mayoral archive, and came up with this:
A complete record of Mr. Giuliani’s exposure to the site is not available for the chaotic six days after the attack, when he was a frequent visitor. But an exhaustively detailed account from his mayoral archive, revised after the events to account for last-minute changes on scheduled stops, does exist for the period of Sept. 17 to Dec. 16, 2001. It shows he was there for a total of 29 hours in those three months, often for short periods or to visit locations adjacent to the rubble.The emphasis above was mine; the hypocrisy strictly the former mayor's. Who knows, in a couple of years, hopefully as a private citizen, perhaps we'll hear him say that he was at Saratoga as often, if not more, than most of the horseplayers. Somebody send this guy to the detention barn, please.
A sample by Mount Sinai Medical Center of 1,138 participants in its study of health problems among rescue, recovery and debris removal workers found that they had spent a median of 962 hours at the World Trade Center site, or the equivalent of about 120 eight-hour days. [NY Times, via MSNBC.com, no registration required]