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Sunday, October 24, 2010

Better Times Ahead For NY-Breds

Looks like it was a nice NY Showcase day at Belmont on Saturday, with, according to a NYRA press release, a 30% increase over last year's event; while on-track handle was up by 40&. Of course, when you're dealing with a baseline attendance number of 4,180, an impressive-looking % gain isn't too hard to come by. (And we won't even mention that it rained and the track was sloppy last year.)

In any case, the ten state-bred races were full of field, and mostly quite competitive on the tote. And this comes on the dawn of a new era, with the expected infusion of new blood and energy into the program thanks to the slots which we're told will be online at the Big A in May. So I'm sure I would have sensed the extra buoyancy (if I was there).

Friend Or Foe was certainly buoyant in his return to the friendly confines of state-bred competition in the Empire Stakes after his two futile tries in open company upstate. The son of Friends Lake, making still just his 6th career start, handled the field of mostly older horses easily. Wishful Tomcat is a pretty solid five-year old who has proved that he loves the track, and he was absolutely no match in the stretch for this three-year old after a perfect stalking trip. Friend Or Foe kicked home in 12.28 seconds, and earned a career-high Beyer of 100 while breaking the stakes record. The Cigar Mile at the Big A may be next.

First-time starter Adirondack Summer ($8.50) was a well-bet winner for Christophe Clement on the grass in the 5th. This is a two-year old son of Thunder Gulch out of a French stakes-winning daughter of Caerleon who's a half to at least four other horses who won or place in European stakes races on the lawn. This is also the distaff family of the US grass stakes winner Red Giant, and the Euro champ Bosra Sham. So plenty of grass pedigree here.

Trainer John Terranova celebrated the coming of slots by winning the first three races.

- As for me, couldn't resist the lure of free music and free booze (not just NY wine tasting!) courtesy of the Brooklyn Vegan blog and Converse. This was one of several daytime parties on the last day of the CMJ Music Festival. In addition to the mighty Titus Andronicus, who has developed into one of the most accomplished live bands on the local scene, I saw and enjoyed Nashville's rockin' Heavy Cream with their impressive vocalist Jessica, Montreal's shoegazing No Joy, Blacksburg, Va.'s Wild Nothing, and, from Detroit, Dale Earnhardt Jr. Jr. The latter was particularly busy during the festival, and seems poised to be one of those bands which will take off from the extra exposure. Below is their video for Nothing But Our Love, from their EP entitled Horse Power. So you should like the name of the EP, if not the band.


DiscreetPicks said...

Had a nice winner on Verbosity in the state-bred 2yo race today.

Figless said...

Adirondack Summer was bet late, dead on the board at 6-1 with 12MTP, he steadied at 5-1 until the last two minutes when the money came in. Impressive race from far outside post, lost a lot of ground and was green in the stretch. Nice future.

Bandbox is another NY bred 2yo with a nice future. After falling to his knees at the start, he still rallied wide to win going away. Nicely done.

Fun card as always, shame they can not draw more than 5k paying customers on an oustanding weather day but have to believe the actual number of bodies in house was understated since all the owners and breeders receive free admission and are not reflected in the totals.

Figless said...

PS - as well as F&F ran he would have been second if Haynesfield was entered here instead of in KY.

Banrock was noticably missing from the entries, but apparently he is now fully recovered from a bad virus and looking toward a winter campaign down south.