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Sunday, February 13, 2005

Seeking the Meadowlands

- The Meadowlands conducted their first Sunday afternoon of live racing this year and drew 4,693, more than the 4,278 who showed up at Aqueduct. To tell you the truth, if I’d had the day to myself, I may very well have gone to the Meadowlands myself. Don’t get me wrong, I love the Big A, but the Big M is awesome in its own right. No, it’s not Saratoga (though it has a surprisingly large picnic area that is quite pleasant come summertime), but it’s a perfect example of why people who want to bet on races should be emigrating to racetracks rather than away from it. It’s clean, its restaurants and other services are more than adequate, there’s tons of action, plenty of places to sit, and no lines making bets. What else can you ask for? Yes, the small crowd helps make for seats and no betting lines, but the plant is capable of comfortably handling many, many more. And while I can say most of the same things about Aqueduct, New Jersey has virtually unlimited simulcasting, while New York’s is restricted, though not as much as in the past, and not nearly as much as as California. Just this afternoon, in addition to 11 live harness races around the big mile track, there was simulcasting from Aqueduct, Tampa Bay, Philadelphia Park, Laurel, Gulfstream, Charles Town, Turfway, Fair Grounds, Oaklawn, Santa Anita, Bay Meadows, harness racing from Woodbine and Dover Downs, and three old ladies racing shopping carts down the aisles of a Pathmark on Eastern Long Island (no show wagering). I think it’s a riot, even if I end up concentrating on just a few tracks, and despite the fact that surely the constant action I’m sure has been a detriment to my already mediocre handicapping. There’s always a race in progress, and it keeps the proceedings lively to be sure.

- LIKE FATHER LIKE SON - Stakes winners on Saturday for Seeking the Gold (Mr. Prospector) and his son Petionville. Wanderin Boy took the Mineshaft Handicap for the elder stallion, and looks like a potential late developing star for Nick Zito. He’s a half brother to multiple graded stakes winner Early Warning (Summer Squall), who won three Grade 3’s at the Big A and over a half million dollars before being sold by Dogwood to Saudi Arabia. For Seeking the Gold, it was his 64th stakes winner, 9% of his foals.

Petionville’s stakes winner, She Sings, winner of the $75,000 Arizona Oaks for 3 yo fillies at Turf Paradise, has a fascinating pedigree, check this out. Her sire and dam have half brothers for sires! The dam, Karaoke Kid, is by Fast Play, a half brother to Seeking the Gold by Seattle Slew; therefore She Sings is inbred 3x3 to Con Game, who in addition to being the dam of Seeking the Gold and Fast Play, begat graded stakes winner Stacked Pack (Majestic Light) and his full sister Tricky Game, dam of millionaire King Cugat. Fast Play was a nice horse himself, taking the G1 Remsen as a 2 yo, and placing in several stakes. As a sire, Fast Play only had 13 foals in his last crop, his 11th, but is still advertised for $5,000 in Kentucky. He’s had 62% winners from foals, 22% 2 yo winners, and 13 stakes winners (4%). She Sings is also inbred to (here’s that name again) Buckpasser 4x5x4 and Tom Fool 5x5x5.