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Saturday, July 19, 2008

Beach Day

- It's a beach day alright, with the temps heading into the 90's and the humidity high. We won't be going to an actual beach, but our little Queens backyard is serving that purpose for now. Later on, we'll be heading to the Meadowlands for a real beach party. The Head Chef is extracting a stiff price in exchange for going, so you can bet that I'm done with Belmont for this spring/summer meet. Great weather for fast racing, as harness horses go faster as the weather gets more hot and humid. Perhaps they're just smart and want to get back into the shade.

But anyway, there's no telling how fast Somebeachsomewhere will pace tonight in this weather; the stakes record of 1:48.3, which he tied last week, seems almost certain to fall. The world record for three-year olds is 1:47.4, which would seem within reach as well. The all-time record for a race is 1:46.4 by Holborn Hanover, and some feel that SBSW could break that should he remain at the Meadowlands to race on a hot afternoon on Hambletonian day in the Oliver Wendell Holmes Pace.

I went out early and nabbed the second to last Harness Eye at the one place around here which still carries it. There's a letter from the editor on the inside front cover page, announcing a price increase to $6. Apparently, they recently cut back on coverage, but fans reacted by saying that they preferred a price increase. So they got one. The simulcast edition of the Form is $5.50; can an increase be far behind?

Great card on tap for tonight, and do I dare try some harness picks? In the second, My Little Dragon (7-2) has been burdened by bad posts and bad trips, but could have better fortune here with Sears from the four hole. In the third, Won The West (6-1) finished full of run for a very close 5th in the Haughton final after a wide trip, and seems to prefer a post towards the outside such as the six he has tonight. In the fifth, Up Front Hotsey (5-1) defeated probable favorite Buck I St Pat (9-5) two back, then provided cover for that one when first over in their last. Could be the other way around tonight with the favorite starting from the rail. In the 9th, Tinys Million (10-1) has raced extremely well since coming to New Jersey; closing strongly to win two back against cheaper, and then moving up to this class and enduring a tough trip for 5th. Moves to an outside post from where Daniel Dube will hope for a good cover flow at a fair price. Glass Pack (9-2) drops for Campbell and may go for the lead in a race without much apparent speed. Southwind Lynx (3-1) is the class of the field, drops sharply seeking his level, but recent form has been discouraging.

And yeah, I like Somebeachsomewhere in the Meadowlands Pace. Bullville Powerful (12-1) has done little wrong and remains extremely sharp. Art Official (10-1) dared to challenge the favorite first over in the elimination, and lived to tell the tale, continuing gamely for second. Badlands Nitro (6-1) was third in that race, has a bad post here, and Brian Sears told Harness Eye: "Coming off just a week's rest after racing at Yonkers two weeks in a row, it's a lot to ask."


Anonymous said...

I too like Won the West in the third. Notice Greg Grismore is down from Yonkers (where he is 3rd leading driver) to make this his only drive of the night (and is not listed as the driver for any horses later in the card back at Yonkers, even though they have 6 $20,000+ races tonight). He must like this horse tonight as he is probably sacrificing a couple drives at his home track. As for the Harness Eye, I know Deli Joes on Broadway in Saratoga was carrying it (at least through last summer...will see in 2 weeks if that is still the case). They used to carry 5 of them at my home track of Pompano Park, but that ended a few years back. Yet someone was reading a Harness Eye in an office building in Delray Beach one time and when I asked where does he go to get them, he says he has them "shipped daily." Sounds like a costly proposition. Anyway...great blog and great Big M card tonight. Good Luck.

Anonymous said...

I liked you supplying the intent for Grismore on his only mount at the Big-M. Then I looked at the purse $85k and it weakens your argument somewhat in my eyes. I'll still try him and if he wins you guys will be my heros.


Anonymous said...

You can get the EYE at any newsstand in Grand Central.

We had free parking and clubhouse admission at Belmont today. There was a transformer fire in the grandstand this morning and the track was evacuated. Most of the grandstand was shut down today and will be tomorrow.
Free parking and admission tomorrow as well. We stayed cool on the 4th floor of the clubhouse.

Valerie Grash said...

Wow, what a race! And, man, the bridgejumpers were on board Somebeach...more in the show pool than win.

Anonymous said...

Some of a beach!! Three quaters in 1:19 and change. Beach could take on a field of NY maiden claimers on the inner track.

Anonymous said...

That is the first and only time you will ever see a driver tip 3-wide into the teeth of a 51.4!!!! half. What an idiot.

Anonymous said...

i wish macdonnell was really took an insane drive to get his horse beat.if he just sat the first half he would have won by open lengths and we would have been possibly watching a horse go undefeated for the entire 3 yr old season.

Anonymous said...

Alan your foolish bid needs a serious drop to claiming company where he has won. he will never win a alw race at philly. He is racing over his head. Just like rap tale if you do not place them in the right spot no WINS.
Take the drop in class, unless he is your favorite Pet

Brett said...

That was one of the worst drives I have ever seen on a great horse by McDonough. There is no need to pressure the :51 and change half mile. Why? The 1 forced him out to begin with I understand that but just hold back. Patience is a virtue and McDonough had none of it. It makes me mad. That horse is so good.

But what a win by Art Official.

Brett said...

I watched the race a couple times more and I slightly changed my opinion. I still think it was a bad ride but not one of the worst ever. McDonough really didn't have many options, so sending for the clear lead with the best horse is not a bad idea.