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 lot of people who had him in their SHOWdown wagers. In another “I’m not so bad, after all, moment,” after realizing that if I’d actually registered for SHOWdown I’d have been out, again, on the second day with Be Bullish, I read that both Alan at Left at the Gate and Steve Crist (who wasn’t playing with real money but who was making picks) went out also. Crist wrote amusingly about it at the end of this post; Alan wrote about it here and here.

Anyway: back to horses. Duchess of Rokeby is another one for me. My last day of work each summer is the last day of the Belmont spring/summer meet, and a friend and I have a tradition of going to twilight racing that day. This year I bet the Duchess in a maiden race, and though she finished a well-beaten third, I remembered her when I saw her next in at Saratoga. I gave her another shot and this time she won by a neck, beating the horse that would have kept my father alive in the Pick 3 or Pick 4 (don’t remember which one). I like her because she’s generally a game filly; though she’s run a few clunkers, she runs with heart. I like her because Allen Jerkens trains her, and I like her because Jorge Chavez rides her. I missed seeing her race today, but was pleased to see that she got second, with an “inside move, gamely.” I was not pleased that I didn’t bet her, as she paid $14.80 to place.

I didn’t get to see any of today’s races as I was upstate continuing to learn how to ride a horse; my mount today decided that he’d had enough of trotting and wanted to canter, which, after a few moments of nervousness and bouncing around for me, was terrifically fun, though I imagine that tomorrow several parts of my anatomy are going to be screaming in protest. Hate to say it, but the experience was worth missing the races, even though Stallion Stakes days are among my favorites at the track.

Allen Jerkens’ other filly entered today, Swap Fliparoo, finished third; it’s a long time since she’s won, but she generally races against pretty good company (seven of her last ten races are graded stakes), and she hits the board more often than not. I’d love to see her get another win one of these days, but she might have to change her conditions if that’s going to happen.

Today’s Pick 6 included winners that paid $18.80, $13.00, and $22.80, and six people had it for payoffs of $32 grand. Wow. I don’t generally bet multi-race exotics because I can’t afford to invest the kind of money that these six people did to have these winners in their action…but on days like today, I wish I could. It would make finding that money to re-do the bathroom in my aging co-op a lot easier…

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