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Thursday, July 17, 2008

Perfect Day at Del Mar, Monmouth

- I looked up at the TV at Monmouth's Lady's Secret Cafe after the first at Del Mar, saw a final time of 1:46 3/5 posted for the mile, and thought 'oh man, here we go again!' Fortunately, the time was wrong. In fact, everyone should be happy after opening day, except perhaps those who miss boring speed biases, and the Beyer boys who will now have to go back to the drawing board. The times were normal, the crowd was an opening day record and, most importantly, there were no breakdowns, at least as far as I know from looking at the charts and reading the papers (though not the LA Times).

An absolutely gorgeous, perfect day at Monmouth, where the crowd of 5,482 made for a lazy, but still lively enough atmosphere, as compared to the morgue that is the gargantuan Belmont during the week. The 8th race killed me, as I had some nice Pick Three bets going with singles on 7th race winner Sway ($4.20) and 9th race winner Southcote Road ($6.40). One of the three I had in the middle leg was 9-2 Ismus, who led every step of the way.....except the last one or two. I thought I'm supposed to be able to hang on at that track.

A couple of weird races as far as betting goes. In the third, Angelonmyshoulder, 7-2 third choice in the morning line, was slammed to 6-5 as morning line favorites Apt to Succeed and Angel Veloz were totally dead on the board. The betdown horse won by four, as the two others were nowhere, hello. But in the 6th, 4-1 morning line Scesney Says went off at 17-1 and wired the field.

The tote board froze before the first at 9 MTP. Larry Collmus finally made an announcement reminding bettors that the race was just two minutes away. Afterwards, this guy starts complaining to me that he didn't know the race was about to go off, and got shut out of the daily double. But he also took the opportunity to show me his $40 exacta ticket on the winning combo. This guy nailed a $52 exacta twenty times, and he's freaking whining to me? Sounds like a candidate for the SAFC (Self-Anointed Fan Complainers). The second was delayed for about ten minutes when the tote system went down completely, providing a little scare for those of us who drove some distance to get there.

- Another winner each for Clement and Stan Hough at Belmont, what else is new. Two winners (plus one DQ'd) for Contessa.

- One of these horses will be guaranteed a spot for the sure-to-be-thrilling Breeders Cup Marathon. Don't get too excited.

- Bill Finley gets some column space in the NY Times for Somebeachsomewhere.

3 Comments:

Jessica said...

Hey, thanks for the mention! We're looking for more fan complainers to join us:

http://selfappointedfancommittee.com

Steven Crist said...

Appreciate the link very much but the item was meant to illustrate the opposite of going "back to the drawing board" in relation to Del Mar and the Beyers. The whole point of speed figures is that they take the speed of the track into account and allow us to compare the relative quality of races whether they're run on a fast or slow track. The difference in the speed of the opening-day '07 and '08 Del Mar tracks is a textbook example of how and why speed figures work. A vastly different variant -- +18 vs. -19 -- compensates for the difference and brings the races almosr perfectly into line.

Anonymous said...

I haven't been to Monmouth Park in years (1969 to be exact) but it occurred to me: Doesn't it have Del Mar East potential? Or, is it just too far away from the shore? I suppose if Mth had any potenial for a seaside boutique meet they would have jumped on it by now? Would be an interesting companion to Saratoga-In-The- Adirondack Foothills, would make for a nice east coast summer racing circuit. I suppose that was Atlantic City's role in it's day but that meet seemed to have a lower purse structure than Mth and was not as close to the shore as Monmouth, or am I wrong? /S/Green Mtn Punter