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Sunday, April 03, 2011

Sunday Morning Notes

In the 7th at Gulfstream on Sunday, Devon Rock (8-1) returns to the grass after running up the track as the favorite in a race taken off the turf. Four-year old son of Rock Hard Ten showed promise on grass last year before tailing off in the fall. Brought back to the races by trainer Jimmy Jerkens, Devon Rock has seen two of his three races rained off the grass. The one that stayed on, two races back, was a fairly phenomenal rally to miss by a nose after being taken up sharply turning for home. Garrett Gomez, in town to ride To Honor and Serve in the Florida Derby, picks up the mount from Garcia. Ocean Seven (3-1) makes his US debut for the Toddster after disappointing in three non-stakes events in France last year. He will, I imagine, attract some tote action just for being a half-brother to Goldikova. Sometimes you just have to close your eyes, throw a horse out and let the fates dictate as they may.

- I like to say that I have enough fingers to count the times I've had a bad time in my 30+ years of attending NYRA tracks; but I have one less available after Saturday. 6,317 packed into the clubhouse, and the Manhattan Terrace was closed on this day. I could see new tables and chairs inside, along with a buffet setup, so who knows what they have in mind for Wood Memorial day next weekend (and beyond). (There were signs announcing a $3 admission charge to the Equestris level for the Wood. Honestly, I wish they had done that all meeting; I'd be happy to pay a few bucks for some separation from the crowds on the first two floors.) Regardless, that was one less place to hang yesterday, and it was pretty oppressive inside. NYRA put some extra seating out on the clubhouse apron, and that was fine out in the sunshine for awhile until a chilly afternoon breeze moved in, and then I was outta there in after about 90 minutes, without even having made a donation.

Belmont opens on April 29, and I really don't see myself returning to Aqueduct again this spring. That includes next Saturday, and not just because the Rangers play their final game of the regular season at the Garden at 12:30 - a game which I once hoped would be meaningless because they'd have already clinched a playoff spot, and which I'm now hoping is meaningful because they still have a shot! (Though heaven forbid they would have to beat the Devils that day to get in...) It's just not that pleasant there under the current setup. So I guess this was kind of an end of an era for me, because when the track reopens in the fall, we're all hoping that the racing side of what will (presumably) then be Resorts World will be virtually unrecognizable from its present state. I really don't know however if they'll much, if any, more space for the horseplayers. A couple of weeks ago, a reader commented that he/she was hoping that the grandstand would be reopened for the Wood. From the look of the construction, I don't know that they'll ever be grandstand space there for the bettors again. At least, we hope, they'll be some sparkling new and comfortably accommodating facilities within the current confines.


Anonymous said...

I'm betting $10 on Little Drama to show.

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to watch Mobilizer take to the turf.