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Sunday, September 12, 2010

Belmont Notes

Made it to Belmont on Sunday rather than Saturday; the crummy, cloudy, wet day rather than the really nice one. Just 3,615 on hand on the first Sunday of the football season; and only a handful of those in the grandstand backyard. Opening day drew 7,554. A reader emailed with an interesting thought about the fall meeting next year. With Comptroller Tom DiNapoli apparently ready to finally sign off on the Big A racino, will that facility, located not quite ten miles away, prove to be a further drain on the live Belmont crowd? After all, assuming that there will be year-round simulcasting at Aqueduct (won't there?), some patrons may opt for the fancier digs and the slots themselves. Especially on a gray day during the football season like Sunday.

I know I'm not supposed to complain when I win, but I really would have done much better had Time for Tutt held on for the win in the 5th. Had the exacta with Albany Road ($7) on top, but it would have come back much richer the other way; plus I would have had the race 4-6 Pick Three. But I didn't. Albany Road is trained by Linda Rice, who's off and running at Belmont with two winners from four starters on opening weekend.

Eden Is Burning was 2-5 in the 7th - 2-5! Man, that's a tough price to take in a baby turf race. With so many horses either debuting or trying grass for the first time, you just don't know for sure that they suck, as you might in a race for more experienced runners. Part of taking a horse at that price has to be that you have substantial evidence that it lays over the field. You just don't know that in a race with so many question marks. As it turned out, Lady Activator showed good speed in her debut and got the jump on Tom Bush's speedster, and Upper East Sider ($26.60) proved much the best in her first grass race, for trainer Pat Kelly. A little (red-boarding) look at her pedigree might have provided a clue: she's by Forest Wildcat, out of a graded turf stakes winner in Upper Noosh, a half-sister to a G1 winner steeplechase winner, Anofferucantrefuse.

I was gone before the 8th was won by Gentle Ride, and when a 57-1 shot like that wins, I like to look at the past performances afterwards to see if it made any sense at all. This one though didn't require that much imagination! She's always shown good speed, enough so that she'd never been more than 10-1, and only got beat by four lengths, in the same class, in her last. Sure, there figured to be other speed; but once she got a jump on Flying Sappho and Rosie's Promises encountered trouble at the start, this daughter of Mutakddim was never even challenged. The fact that five players still hit the once-carryovered Pick Six may serve as evidence that she didn't look as bad as her odds indicated.

- On Saturday, we visited the Jamaica Bay Wildlife Preserve, another one of those nearby natural wonders that these New Yorkers had never before seen....and right here in Queens! DOH!

This view below, however, surely gave us pause, coming on Saturday as it did. The view of Lower Manhattan from Jamaica Bay on a similarly spectacular late summer day nine years earlier must have looked terrifyingly different.


Anonymous said...

Upper East Sider is also a half to Yield Bogey...which is slightly more relevent.

Figless said...

No quite Torry Pines Preserve, buy NY does have a lot of very nice under the radar hiking spots.

jk said...

Associated Press

ALBANY, N.Y. — More than 1,000 video slot machines may soon be whirring at Aqueduct race track now that a long-delayed contract has gotten final approval from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli.

DiNapoli says Monday he approved a contract for Genting New York LLC to build and operate about 4,500 of the machines at the thoroughbred track in Queens, giving the company 10 days to pay the state $380 million upfront.

State officials say they expect to eventually get $1 million a day in revenue.

The subsidiary of Genting Malaysia Berhad proposed opening a preliminary phase with 1,600 slot machines six months after contract approval. The rest would follow six months later on two floors, with a pedestrian bridge to the Aqueduct subway station.

Anonymous said...

Hey Alan, how bout those Jets? AHHHH HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! The Pats should be very gentle with Sanchez next sunday so as not to knock him out of the game. -jp

El Angelo said...

Alan, were you at the Spoon show in Williamsburg last night? Was a great show--seems like something you would have hit.