Monday morning quick picks

Some random notes this morning from around the virtual and actual racing world. If you’re not reading Maryjean Wall’s Celebrating the Horse, you’re missing out on a terrific independent perspective on racing. Formerly at the Lexington Courier-Journal Herald-Leader, Maryjean now writes about racing events, people, and horses that strike her fancy. Check her out fascinating,…

Above All Odds

Sometimes, being third feels like winning the Kentucky Derby. Or so it seemed to me, as I watched the connections of Above All Odds exult when he crossed the wire a nose in front of Crafty CJ, six lengths behind the winner. The people around us (all twelve of them, at Belmont on a Wednesday…

We love New York

Good news for fans of New Yorkers Spooky Mulder and Naughty New Yorker. Though bred in Kentucky, Spooky Mulder’s spent a good deal of his racing life in New York. After being claimed by Scott Lake in February of 2007, Spooky moved to the Mid-Atlantic circuit, but David Jacobson claimed him in his last start,…

Friday morning quick picks

Congratulations to Dana at Green but Game and Superterrific Stables for winning our version of the Take Ten! Derby fantasy game. Full standings are not up, but Dana leads our group, finishing 27th overall. Dana thus gets to choose the equine charity to which I’ll donate $150 in her name. I pledged an original $50,…

“A big toxic waste dump”

You might recall that those are the words that Jay Privman of ESPN and Daily Racing Form used to describe the synthetic surfaces in California during an ESPN telecast in early October. Recently, a commenter on the discussion boards at Alex Brown Racing posted this article from the New Haven Register regarding toxins in the…

Thoughts on Sunday

A few days ago I wrote about horses who somehow get into your imagination; you see them race once, and for some reason, they make an impression. Be Bullish is one, though unfortunately he’s not done much that’s interesting; he was perplexingly last in a field of four at Aqueduct last week, taking down a…

Way to go, Dave!

Congrats to hometown (Saratoga) hero Dave for winning the Red Smith Handicap at Aqueduct yesterday for his second win of the year, the first coming at Belmont last month under Alan Garcia. Saturday Garcia was on Kiaran McLaughlin’s Encinas, who finished tenth. Dave was eighth with three quarters of a mile to go and made…

Detours

Last Wednesday afternoon, literally minutes before heading out to drive south to Virginia for a conference (on academic integrity—woo-hoo, right?), I exchanged a couple of e-mails with an internet horse racing friend who shares my affection for the horses of Allen Jerkens, particularly Duchess of Rokeby. Hearing that I was headed south, she urged me…

I love New York

Welcome to NY Showcase Day! Ten races for NY breds, a celebration of NY products; what a shame that this New Yorker will be wending her way home from points south and missing the whole day. Race 3: The Sleepy Hollow Stakes. Many of today’s races follow the longstanding tradition of naming races after regions…

Monday at Belmont

On a rare day of Monday racing at Belmont, there are many good stories to be told. They’re not about major stakes winners, or huge money earners, or even big prices…and fortunately they’re not about breakdowns, either. A look at a few of the more interesting races over the last few days: Sunday, October 7th:…