Retirement of Saratoga Russell

A fan of Sunshine Millions, I looked forward to this year’s event with more than usual anticipation; always a good day of racing, this year it would feature a Backstretch favorite, Saratoga Russell. The son of Trippi came back to the races in last June after a 15-month layoff, and in six starts at age…

Tuesday morning quick picks

‘Tis the season of giving, and plenty was being given away on Saturday at Aqueduct. The Marines were at the Big A, collecting toys and cash donations; as I wrote last week, NYRA had pledged to match whatever money was collected; Gary Contessa was donating 10% of any earnings on December 5th, with a minimum…

Saturday morning quick picks: NYRA notes

Hockey season is about a month old now, and there’s been nary a syllable written in this space about the Rangers. I’ve gone to fewer games than usual, and after a torrid beginning, the Rangers have settled comfortably into their usual mediocrity. Sean Avery won again the other day—not the one who wears the blue…

Showcases and the Dash

New York Showcase Day at Belmont Park is as big a racing day for me as the Gold Cup, as the Travers, as the Wood. When the stakes schedule comes out, I mark my calendar: Showcase Day is a non-negotiable day at the races. As usual, NYRA’s got a slate of activities planned: handicappers can…

Monday morning quick picks

Out of town guests; a family event; a bout of food poisoning; and a domestic disaster have all conspired since late last week to keep me away from the races and away from the keyboard, despite any number of interesting events in the racing world. Those who read the articles that I wrote for the…

Updates on a few favorites

As first reported to me by a West Point Thoroughbreds owner and then reported by David Grening in the Daily Racing Form, Kiaran McLaughlin will no longer be training for that ownership partnership, so that he is able to concentrate on the increased number of number of horses in his care owned by Darley and…

Week 5: Sights, sounds, musings

And so it begins: the final week. 30 days of racing done, 6 to go. A look back at week 5… On Friday, Naughty New Yorker made his second start of the meet in the Funny Cide Stakes for New York-breds; he had turned in three dismal performances in a row, including a last-place finish…

Monday quick picks

It’s the last day of week four, Monday of Travers week, day 24. We won’t see Rachel Alexandra this weekend, but Jess Jackson’s decision insures that any final weekend doldrums will be swept aside by the appearance of his super-filly in the Woodward. Highlights of the weekend include the oft-mentioned ninth race on Saturday, in…

Week 1: Sights, sounds, musings

The 2009 meet gets off to a terrific start when Saratoga Russell wins the fourth race… …but Naughty New Yorker finishes last on a dismal Friday. Ernie Munick and his impromptu back-up band don’t let the rain deter them in the backyard… …and we saw far too much of this sloppy mess in opening week……

Saratoga Russell at Saratoga

A day at the races offers any number of interesting storylines, opening day at Saratoga more than usual. We could talk about the weather (yes, of course, it rained, but as one NYRA employee said to me after the first race, “Hey, it’s already better than last year—we got a turf race in!”); we could…