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Thursday, August 18, 2011

Saratoga Bound (Part 2)

Heading back up to Saratoga on Thursday afternoon; staying in town again at the same place. Weather forecast is not great, though it's improved slightly over the last few hours, not that I'm addicted to the weather websites or anything. Should save my angst for other things; not much one can do about that, other than going to Del Mar instead.

Again, I'm on Twitter now, though I slightly altered my screen name and you can now find me @here at @alanLATG. There you can follow me, if you have an account, or you can just read some of the 21 tweets I've done thus far, a couple of them pretty witty if I say so myself (including this one, which actually got re-tweeted), others just incoherent responses to other tweets that you can't see, which really makes no sense to me.

So now I can provide real-time updates from the track, though I'd like to think that I'll be focusing on the races instead. Besides, you think I'm going to actually share valuable information with the horseplayers with whom I'm competing?

Oh, OK, I'll tell you. Not that it's likely going to help. And I'll also probably post some photos of nature and shit when we're not at the races.

Not too much noteworthy as far as Wednesday's races go. The ten race card featured four maiden claimers amongst six races for non-winners over all; plus two for winners that were taken off the grass.

In the second, Make Note ($9.80) won the only way a plodder like he could ever win - when three horses race out to opening quarters of 22.72 and 22.57 in a seven furlong conditioned claiming race. Bye bye leaders, hello Make Note, winning for 25K two races after trainer Patrick Quick claimed him for 10. He's unlikely to win again any time soon.

2yo first-time starter Voodoo Daddy earned a 90 Beyer in romping for Asmussen in the 4th. And watch out; that was the 5th winner from the last six starters from this barn, now hitting an even .300 (9 for 30) on the meet.

Reserved Quality ($6.20) won the 5th in his debut, and was claimed for 60K by Dutrow from Mike Hushion. Two-year old son of Elusive Quality was purchased for 75K as a weanling, and surely the combined purse/claim proceeds of nearly $80,000 didn't come close to covering the total cost incurred. But you have to think that the connections knew what they were doing, well aware that there's plenty of money around and that they surely risked losing him here. Some interesting pedigree here - Reserved Quality is out of a Bet Big (Distinctive) half-sister to Holy Bull.

Chardsey ($4) shied from a right-handed whip near the three-sixteenths pole, shied from a left-handed whip around the eighth pole after rallying wide from far back, and got up with a dramatic late surge. Durkin seemed skeptical as he noted his position down the backstretch. He was also skeptical of the half time posted as 49.65 after an opening quarter of 23.03. But those are the times on the chart. The yielding course must have been a slow one, as they never really picked it up much from there. Ha, he shied from the left, and shied from the right - sounds like John Boehner.

DQ in the 10th, as Purplegreenandgold drifted out late into Pure Home Brew ($7.10), second winner of the meet for Dallas Stewart. Even though I think the DQ was warranted, I also thought it was still tough luck for Purplegreenandgold and trainer Roy Lerman. He was carried out into the eventual winner during the stretch run by Solid d'Oro, which eventually forced jockey Irad Ortiz Jr to switch to a left-handed whip once Solid d'Oro backed off. That surely appeared to contribute to the decisive bumping at the end. If any jockey is at fault for the incident, it was David Cohen, who continued to pummel Solid d'Oro with a left-handed whip even after his horse started to herd the DQ'd horse with the long name to the outside.


steve in nc said...

Two Saratoga trips, with Del Mar on the way? No kvetching when you have that kind of life. Alan, you are a lucky man and you get to eat well too. Try Head Chef's recipes, folks. Good stuff.

Responding to stuff from the Boobs thread a few days ago:

Figless, I'll try to remember to turn it up for Maggie. A million years ago, I loved what Jan Rushton brought to that spot, so she'll have a lot to live up to.

I noticed Indian Tale entered again on Sunday but I didn't read the conditions. A 3-legged race?

Can't they do something about Dutrow? I know there's no law against running every 3 days, but so many races so close and then she pulls up? It seems like he's trying to rub the poor horse's and the entire sport's nose in it intentionally.

Figless said...

They can refuse to the take the entry. The horse should be on the vets listed after pulling up anyway so doubt it will run. If it does I will be at the paddock and have something to say to Dutrow. Perhaps I will make a placcard. No idea why they continue to appease his maltreatment of this horse.

I am not a big fan of PETA but I am tempted to call them (and a very good friend is friends with the upper echelon of that org so it would get a response).

Figless said...

Steve in NC, of course I was a big fan of Jan, so it was tough for me to adjust to Maggie (made tougher by her high pitched, nails on the blackboard voice) but she does provide some useful information. But Jan actually spoke with the trainers and most were honest with her so if you paid attention you got some real info (like the "horse needs a race according to trainer X").

Maggie gives her opinion on conditioning and behavior and seems to do her homework but doesnt have that type of info.

She needs to ditch the high heels though, they look great but one of these days she is going to trip and fall an break her ankle in the paddock, they keep sticking in the grass (need to watch in person to see her struggling, it is pretty funny, like a Monty Python silly walk).

El Angelo said...

Complaining about Saratoga isn't exactly something I like to do, but man, could they dig up a less inspired set of cards for Alabama weekend? Sure the fields are fairly full, but the quality is lacking.

Alan Mann said...

One thing about Maggie is that I think she has balls (lol). You can hear her loud and clear in the paddock, yet she's not shy about saying that a horse seems to lack fitness or doesn't look ready for the race. I'd think some trainers wouldn't take too kindly to that.

El Angelo - Agreed.....mid-meet doldrums seems to be extending past mid meet.

Figless said...

Yeah, re Maggie, imagine driving north to watch your horse run at Spa, having the trainer tell you he is "ready to go" and then have Maggie contradict him two second later publicly announching that the horse is not quite fit.

If the horse flattens out in the stretch the trainer is going to have one irate owner on his hands.