A few random thoughts about the weekend’s racing:
As has been noted on blogs and in newspaper stories, nine of the eleven Breeders’ Cup winners prepped on New York tracks. Many of the trainers are based in New York, so it’s not such a surprise, but it was certainly a good day for New York racing, and not so good for the invaders, whether they came from east or west. I list below the winners who prepped here, with the race/track/order of finish/trainer/trainer base.
Maryfield (Ballerina, Saratoga, first—O’Neill, California)
Corinthian (Woodward, Saratoga, fourth, J. Jerkens, New York)
Indian Blessing (Frizette, Belmont, first, Baffert, California)
War Pass (Champagne, Belmont, first, Zito, New York)
Lahudood (Flower Bowl, Belmont, first, McLaughlin, New York)
Midnight Lute (Forego, Saratoga, first, Baffert, California)
Ginger Punch (Beldame, Belmont, third, Frankel, California (though Ginger Punch hasn’t raced there since at least before May of ‘06)
English Channel (Turf Classic, Belmont, first, Pletcher, New York)
Curlin (Jockey Club Gold Cup, Belmont, first, Asmussen, Kentucky)
On the other hand, with next year’s Breeders’ Cup on the synthetic surface at Santa Anita, I am already worrying about the mass exodus of NY horses late next summer/early next fall and its effect on Saratoga and the Belmont fall meet.
I am still slowly wading my way through the loooooooong ESPN telecast of Saturday’s races. As I type, we are between the Sprint and the Mile, and these are my thoughts so far:
· Did I really need to know how often Paul LoDuca had been to the bathroom? I’m a big Mets fan and I like him a lot, but I must say that I grimaced as I watched that last night.
· I thought that Jeannine Edwards, who can often look over-dressed and over-made-up, looked terrific, especially given the conditions.
· What the hell happened with the camera at the end of the Juvenile? It was nice to see Pyro’s run, but I’d have liked to see more of War Pass than his tail as he hit the wire.
· The inconsistent showing of race positions and fractional times is inexcusable. And the race positions posted were often incorrect. It was embarrassing.
· I thought that the post-race commentary by Nick Luck following the Filly and Mare Turf, about Simply Perfect’s wide run, was great; it was informative and interesting, and I liked hearing that he thought that her running in an unfamiliar direction really threw off. I am still gritting my teeth, however, about what she did to Precious Kitten, though I was relieved to hear that Simply Perfect appeared to be perfectly okay.
I’ll continue posting thoughts as I make my way through the rest of this recording.