Saratoga Meet Preview, 2012

Panelists at Wednesday night’s annual Saratoga meet preview at the National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame spoke with optimism about this summer’s racing season while acknowledging the challenges and uncertainty facing New York racing. Saratogian turf writer Michael Veitch, trainer Dale Romans, Saratoga native and jockey agent Matt Muzikar, and jockey Rosie Napravnik,…

Paddy O’Prado

I first heard Paddy O’Prado’s name on August 5, 2009, the day that Saratoga Race Course was celebrating midsummer St. Patrick’s Day. The aptly named two-year-old, owned by Donegal Racing, was entered in the fourth race, a maiden special weight at a mile and a sixteenth on the turf. He finished second by a neck…

Shackled

There are few automatic bets in the Backstretch world. There are the Cats and Kittens, of course, and sometimes horses or trainers I’ve recently profiled, and often the longest price in a short field. But perhaps the most inviolable of these is the “If you pet the horse, bet the horse” maxim…which I ignored on…

A Morning at Gulfstream

Gulfstream Park doesn’t open until this Sunday, but the backstretch is abuzz as horses train in Hallandale for races at Calder (for a few more days, anyway) and get ready for Opening Day 2010. Standing at the quarter pole, looking east as the sun comes up; the track’s been open for a while, but it’s…

A morning with Dale Romans

Another damp, chilly Saratoga morning; it feels more like October than August. The sky is leaden; standing along the rail of the Oklahoma training track, we’re wearing fleeces, boots, sweaters. The sun should be shining; we should be wearing tank tops. But we’re shivering, and trying, futilely, to avoid puddles. “Hop on,” trainer Dale Romans…