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Friday, August 31, 2012

Flood Guests

We're out in SoCal, and we still really love the Carlsbad Inn (in Carlsbad) even though we discovered at around 4 AM that our room was nearly completely flooded.  There was a pool of water in the bathroom, the carpet in the living room (it was a condo arrangement) squished with cold water when we walked on it.  Anything that was on the floor was soaked, and it's fortunate that my late 2007 model MacBook was sitting on top of my backpack otherwise I would not be writing this post and Clint Eastwood could have logged on and spoken to an empty blog.  My printout of today's pp's with my copious notes are a little soggy, but still usable; that would have been really bad.  All in all, I suppose it qualifies as quite minor compared to the various natural phenomena that can occur here on the west coast.

The explanation was something about faulty pipes for the landscaping, and we were assured that the water was now turned off.  They let us sleep (ha) for a couple more hours before moving us to another room so that they could move out the furniture and tear out the carpet for repairs.  They hauled away our wet clothes to launder and now we're in an itsy-bitsy regular hotel room.  The envelope containing the keys reads "Flood guest, relocated from room 109."  Doesn't really matter all that much because we're checking out today anyway and heading down to Solana Beach, just steps from Del Mar,  for the rest of the weekend.  But, after our early morning flight on Wednesday and the usual adjustments to the time zone change, I hope that sufficient sleep is not a requirement to succeed at the races later today.

This was actually our second mishap of this trip.  When we arrived and got to National to pick out a rental car, lo and behold there was a bright shiny red Fiat waiting for us.  A Fiat!  We packed it up, and no sooner did the guy at the checkout booth tell us "Enjoy the Fiat," the Head Chef was discovering that the charger for the GPS didn't work.  Seems a minor point.  Especially in retrospect.  But, since we had planned a day of exploration for which the device seemed essential, she declared that we needed a different car.  Truth is, she never seem very excited about the Fiat to start with.  Women.  A very long story short, by the time we completed all of the machinations involved for exchanging the car for the boring white Nissan we're driving now, my driver's license had hit the ground.  Somewhere.  Don't know where.  But now it's waiting for me at the hotel in Solana Beach, thanks to the efforts of Nicole, who was extremely helpful and kind.

Despite these relatively minor (also in retrospect) setbacks, man, it's just gorgeous here; much warmer than it was here last year at this time.  We ended up in beautiful San Clemente on Wednesday, and spent the day on the local beach here in Carlsbad yesterday.  Just perfect.  The Pacific Ocean rules.  The water temperature is just perfect, and I dunno, just seems to me that it's more welcoming than the Atlantic.  The water seems softer, the waves roll in steadily but gently, unlike the angry ones that break with greater force and proximity to the shore back east.  So yeah.  We really like it here.  California.

And I haven't even been to the track yet.  It's a pretty great little seven race twilight card at Del Mar this evening.  You might want to check it out back east if a full day of Saratoga doesn't satisfy your horseplaying cravings, or if, hopefully, you are flush with cash from the day.  It's so tough in fact that, despite having studied it rather thoroughly, I don't have any brilliant picks to definitively relate at this time.  One horse I will mention, though his 5-2 morning line doesn't excite me, is Unusual Heatwave in the El Cajon stakes, the 6th race of the day.  Perhaps he'll be a little higher due to the return of Fed Biz, who caused a little Derby stir when he romped in a Santa Anita allowance back in February.  That was his last race, and he returns with the sharp workouts that one generally sees from Baffert.  Unusual Heatwave never runs a bad race, and has run particularly well - and fast - of late when Rafael Bejarano is aboard as he is today.  So I'll probably use him as a single in between the 5th and 7th and try to come up with some Pick 3's.  But again, those are really tough heats.  So it should be a lot of fun.   Quality, not quantity, is the name of the game out here (though a rare 11 race card is in store for tomorrow).  Perhaps I'll have some revelations that I'll tweet out from the track later on.

Haven't been able to follow the Saratoga races closely out here.  But I did check results, just to see if any of the trainers that we've mentioned in the blog this meet have had any success.  Noticed the Contessa-Jason Servis exacta in yesterday's 11th.  Contessa actually hadn't had a winner since the 20th, but it was his 9th winner from 70 starters for a 13% win mark which is pretty good for that barn at this meet.  And Servis too has cooled down a bit after a rollicking start, at least as far as wins go; but he is still live with every horse he sends out; also had a close 3rd at 11-1 with Best Actor in the 7th.

Another guy I'd mentioned as being poised for a strong finish is John Kimmel.  Since then he's had two horses that both ran 4th; but each within a couple of lengths of the winner, and both at healthy odds.  So I'm going to take a look at Willy Pay (10-1) in today's 8th tomorrow's 6th; seems to love the track and drops in class after a pretty good effort in his first try against winners.

But now, time to go to the free breakfast we've been granted as (partial, we hope) compensation for the inconvenience caused.  Have a great day.


Anonymous said...

Good thing your not in New Orleans today Alan. You would be up to your ears in water. Obama is going to fly over today on his way to a Texas fundraiser. Tell me - why does Obama hate this country so much? Will Obama have any of his family on stage next week to tell a story about him?

alan said...

I think that those who say that Obama hates the country are people who themselves hate the country for electing him.

Anonymous said...

Agreed. And you gotta have a lot of hate in you write a comment like that on a racing news blog, whew.

Figless said...

Pacific, peaceful, hence the name.

Good luck this weekend.