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Friday, August 10, 2007

On The Road Again

- Was this your celebrated summer? So asked the band Hüsker Du, on their classic raging hardcore album New Day Rising. I often think of that lyric when I look at the calendar and suddenly see the end of season well within sight. Summer in New York City has once again melted into an endless procession of stifling heat, thunderstorms that bring no relief (and no subway service), and jeez, this year, even a tornado! Another week to go until I finally hit Saratoga for a week which will no doubt pass by as fleetingly as that twister and leave us with Labor Day staring us directly in the face. Do you remember when the first snowfall fell? / And summer barely had a snowball's chance in hell?

This weekend, it's another trip to Vermont for family purposes, so with a day of work today before leaving tonight, posting will be scarce or non-existent until much later tonight. I forgot to mention that I'm now participating in the daily gridbox picks in the Saratoga Special, and you can even catch a glimpse of my mug (squinting from the sun at Del Mar...). But you have to go to the Special site, register for the ST Clubhouse (free), and download the PDF editions. It's well worth the effort. And not just for my smiling face and crummy picks.

I can tell you dear readers that these picks, while taken most seriously, are mostly first impression selections from study of the Racing Form, and without the help of the advanced tools of Formulator. Yet, I find that when I delve further into selected races with the advanced tools, in many cases my selections remain the same, and further reinforced by the detailed data. The best thing I've gotten out off the handicapping I've done for the paper is a return to those solid basics of form, pace, and class. Formulator is awesome, but one can get bogged down in unnecessary details if he/she doesn't pay attention to the basics first.

The forecast says rain for Saratoga, but I don't see a drop of it on the radar now. Nonetheless, the track is muddy, all the races are off the turf, and there are a million scratches. So there go my picks. You think I designated "if on dirt" picks? Nope. So I'm not going to elaborate on any of them here today.

I've also done my detailed horse-by-horse analysis for the Arlington Million, Beverly D, and Sword Dancer; and those will all be in tomorrow's Special, available online later tonight. I'll discuss those races here a bit more, hopefully, when I get up to Vermont tonight. But if I'm unable to, I like the Citronnade-Lady of Venice exacta cold in the Beverly D; English Channel in the Sword Dancer - pretty boring and basic thus far, eh? But I do like the French invader Doctor Dino in the Million in a mild upset. This horse has really improved this year, finished less than three lengths behind Dylan Thomas in the G1 Prix Ganay, and a close up third despite an extremely wide journey in a G1 in Singapore. But I'll certainly be using The Tin Man prominently as well. As I said, hopefully more on this later tonight. Until then, unless I manage to sneak in a quickie post or two - have a great day!


Anonymous said...

Anyone who can quote Hüsker Dü is okay in my opinion ...

JMW said...

I head up on the 21st for my annual week in Saratoga, and I can't wait. I found your blog through Steven Crist, and I've been enjoying it. Keep up the good work.

And yes, long live Hüsker Dü. Metaphorically, at least.