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Saturday, August 14, 2010

Spa Time

We're up in Saratoga for the weekend....though actually in Albany on this Friday night. But we'll be at the races on Saturday, at least after the farmer's market. And that nursery out on Route 29. And a stroll around Broadway. I think that's it, though I'll have to double check with the Head Chef (whose Grapes and Greens blog recently celebrated its first anniversary).

Been far too busy to do much work on Saturday's races.....OK, I haven't even looked, and will pick up the Form on the way in and wing it at the track. And I happen to like it that way, as you may know if you've been hanging around here for awhile. Sure, Formulator is awesome, but, on the other hand, I love handicapping and betting off fresh impressions and intuitions, fundamentals, and watching the tote; whereas the pp lines can become fuzzy and the races stale with too much introspection. Don't get me wrong; I do believe that knowledge is golden over the long run. But all that information can be too much information on any given day; so, on this short trip, my only appearance here of the summer, I'm just gonna go with my instincts and have a great time.

Since I last posted, Speaker Silver rounded out the Genting menage a trois and completed the required approval. And on Friday, James Odato reported in the Times Union that the MOU has already been signed. We've gone from the world's slowest process to a veritable track meet; at this rate, the slots will be rolling by Labor Day!

Four maiden claiming races on Friday....and two of them comprised the late daily double. I'm pretty confident in saying that I have never, ever seen that in all the years I've been coming up here......or at Aqueduct or Belmont for that matter! Nonetheless, a good crowd of over 22,000 portends well on what is quite arguably the least attractive weekend stakes lineup of the meet.

In the 6th on Friday, Air Support ($8.10) shied from the whip as he was about to take the lead and drifted out towards the middle of the the turf course. But Castellano got him back on track, and they gamely held off the oncoming Grigio to give Shug his second winner of the meet. The winner is a two-year old son of Smart Strike out of a Danzig half-sister to the Haskell/Travers winner Coronado's Quest. Of course, we won't be seeing a similar feat this year with Lookin at Lucky back in California recovering from his ill-timed fever.

- Just an amazing (though not free, and somewhat rainy) show on Governors Island on Thursday night, with two superb Brooklyn-based bands in The Walkmen (who have a new album entitled Lisbon set for release next month), and Grizzly Bear. It took me quite some time to warm to the latter on record; but live, they were captivating from the first note; tight, loud and totally in control of every note and vocal harmony. They were nothing less than transcendent.

On Wednesday night, another visit to Lincoln Center for its Out of Doors series. Peru's Susana Baca was a worthy headliner, but I particularly loved the cool paranda groove of Aurelio Martinez, from Honduras. He and his band joined Ms. Baca for the finale, and it looked and sounded like this.


steve in nc said...

Hotter than my week at the beach. Thanks for posting la musica!

Anonymous said...

Is state making a bad wager?

ALBANY -- A New York attorney who became executive of a Monticello gaming company is raising serious questions about the honesty of key officials with a Malaysian conglomerate on the verge of entering into a 30-year relationship with the state to build and operate the huge racino planned for Aqueduct Race Track.
But Joseph Bernstein, the former chief executive officer of Empire Resorts, fears that because legislative leaders and Gov. David Paterson are so eager to deliver Genting New York LLC as the long-sought operator of an Aqueduct racino, his charges of fraud and duplicity will be swept under the rug.

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Reach Odato at 454-5083 or