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Saturday, February 05, 2005

Notes: Feb 5

- Gulfstream’s Saturday spectacular featured some nice horses and lousy betting races. I was at Aqueduct later in the day, given a rare Saturday pass by the Head Chef of the household, and I glanced over briefly to another monitor to watch myself get split in the exacta in the 8th at the Fair Grounds, so I missed Saint Liam taking command of the Donn from Roses In May. But everyone said it was impressive. I still haven’t cashed a ticket, if that’s still the right way to put it, since I started using the NYRA Cash Card, which you put money on and just wager on that account, with no paper issued. It’s disconcerting to walk away without any tickets and is taking some getting used to. I used to get at least a little satisfaction just from the act of ripping up the tickets, tearing them up into the tiniest pieces possible, flinging them skyward and watching the blizzard of disappointment and shattered hopes.

- Those outside posts in the 9 furlong races at Gulfstream seem close to impossible. High Fly was way wide in the Holy Bull on the first turn, then seemed to get blindswitched by the eventual winner Closing Argument into a 3 wide drive on the second turn, encountered trouble in the stretch and succumbed late for third missing by only 2 lengths. Then, in the Sham Stakes at Santa Anita, Giacomo had a very similar trip, though his jockey Mike Smith had far more distance to the first turn than did High Fly’s, and also did well to finish third, only a length and neck from the top. They both certainly deserve another chance.

- On my way out of the track, I saw a car whose license plate had a picture of a racehorse and the tag “EZ GAME.”