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Saturday, August 20, 2011

Funky Names and Alabama-Day Cards

- The Head Chef had her first winner in a long time at Saratoga yesterday when she bet first-time starter The Funky Express ($6.10) in the 7th. (She also bet 45-1 Inner Joy in the same race, giving her a net profit of $2.10.) She liked the horse in the paddock, and I guess she wasn't the only one, considering the horse was 10-1 morning line off an up-the-track effort at 17-1. Or maybe it was the slight drop in class, or the addition of blinkers that attracted all that cash. Or perhaps just the fact that the syndicate owners of Funky Munky Stable were in town.

That's at least the third winner of the meet for the stable, which is run by Richie Munk, who I know from my days as an investor in Castle Village, where he worked prior. And congratulations to him, that's a great job. He's way pissed at me though because I trashed the name of his Funky Munky Mama, who won when we were up here a couple of weeks ago. (Also maybe because I've resisted his repeated entreaties to get me to invest in his stable. I've been out of the owning game for awhile now. Just not into that at this time with two kids in college. Prefer having money to travel and stuff rather than writing checks for cash calls, silly me. And if and when I do get back into the game, it will be in a bigger way rather than just going along for a ride with a small piece and no say.) Richie sent me a scathing email after my post a couple of weeks ago. Said I have no sense of humor.

Anyway, the Head Chef wants me to apologize for criticizing the name; she doesn't like when I trash anyone on this blog. The fact is that, believe it or not, I pull a lot of punches, and really prefer not to get personal and hurt anyone's feelings, unless it's really and truly deserved. (That's why politicians are mostly exempt from that restriction.) I just think however that horse owners should have some respect for the game, and exercise a little discretion and taste in naming their horses rather than using them to promote themselves and their business interests (see Karakorum, ugh). Unless of course it's something subtle and clever like, for example, Stay Thirsty. So, while I'll apologize for opening my big mouth, and I won't do it again since Richie is a nice guy who is apparently particularly sensitive about it (talk about not having a sense of humor), I still think it's a rotten name. Good stable though (and they have harness horses as well), I wish them continued success.

- Heard people gripe about the quality of today's Alabama card, and yeah a couple of cheap claimers and likewise maiden claimers. I used to judge these cards largely on how many allowance vs claiming races there were; and by that standard, this would be a weak card for a big day. I've totally changed my attitude though, and now judge races strictly by their competitiveness and not by its class (though I still can't stomach maiden claimers.....though the one in the 7th might be one of the best I've ever seen). With some really bad races, (lack of) class and competitiveness can go hand in hand. But I've found the claimers at this meet to be eminently entertaining and betable.

[Scratched, damn it.] So, in the 4th, Raecinjasin (7-2) cuts back to seven furlongs and drops back to claimers for two-horse stable owner/trainer Brad Baker. Seemed to improve and find a suitable level after a few months off. After an OK effort for 20K three races back, son of Prime Timber just failed to last at a mile for the same tag. Though the winner of that race subsequently failed after being claimed and moved up in class, third place Quiet Power dropped to 15K and ran a close second; and 4th place Majestic Hope also dropped to 15K, and won (albeit around two turns). Coming just 17 days after a career high Beyer and a tough effort as it did, I'll excuse the last race by Raecinjasin, a wide effort in state-bred allowance company; and note that he too drops to 15K today. I think the class and distance should suit. Best of luck and have a great day.

7 Comments:

jk said...

What I find really offensive are horses named after NY Ranger hockey players! Can we get a "Mike Bossy" in there?

With the expanded Spa meet it comes down to would you rather watch the maiden claimer at Belmont or at Saratoga. I think the expanded Spa meet is the way to go so you have to live with some dilution.


I am enjoying your tweeting from the track!

steve in nc said...

After race 3, the funk munk crowd is going to really be partying now. This one didn't have a bad name, just bad odds.

DiscreetPicks said...

Del Mar - Race 2

#1 Stoney Fleece (5/2 ml)

Slow, but extremely impressive win by this colt in his debut last month, and note that he was claimed straight out of the debut (always a very positive sign) by a guy who's hitting a whopping 33% off the claim. Hopped at the break to be off slowly and awkwardly, then bolted inward to lose even more ground, dropping back to dead-last early while racing some 10 lengths off the pace in a short 5 1/2 furlong event. Came moving sharply between horses approaching the turn, then came very wide into the lane before darting outward sharply to avoid a horse in front of him, then came absolutely roaring down the straightaway to somehow get up for the win. Almost certainly has more early speed than he was able to show last time out due to the bad break, and clearly possesses a monster late kick (note that he got the final sixteenth in an eye-popping 5 3/5 seconds). Could be at a bit of a disadvantage here due to the rail draw and the apparent early-pace advantage of the favorite Hot Ride (2/1 ml), but as mentioned, i expect this one will be much closer early today, and the additional half-furlong will be a definite bonus here. And also as mentioned previously, Sadler is deadly off the claim. Fairly certain this guy is the horse in the race, and i suspect that he's stakes-material.

Anonymous said...

Nice Call DC. I didn't see it, but was on the same play. Alan, you friend Theresa (sp?) had a great article on her blog that got me on a nice winner today.

See you @ Del Mar

Dirty

@thedirtyshirt (yea buddy)

steve in nc said...

Hey Alan, you've now been at Saratoga twice, and Joe Drape's suddenly been writing nice puff pieces about racing. Did you get cell phone photos of him in compromising poses or has he run out of bad things to say? Check out the long piece up there now in the Times about Pletcher.

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DiscreetPicks said...

Stoney Fleece wins @ $7.60