Back to the Big A; blog news

Congratulations to Michael Dubb and, by extension, Anna House, on All Expenses Paid’s victory in Friday’s third race. Saada, about whom I wrote favorably last time, was second, and once again I didn’t take my own advice, so I missed the $16.40 winner and $87.00 exacta. My bet on the winner would have been strictly a sentimental bet…proving for the second time this week that hunch bets can trump handicapping. Sigh.

Sargent Seattle never picked up his feet and finished fifth after trailing the field for most of the race. What on earth happened to this horse between July 25th, when he won so decisively his first time out, and October 21st, when he finished fourth in his second start?

Thanks to the Bug Boys for publicizing this letter to the editor of Newsday, Long Island’s newspaper of record. In it, a Nassau County judge suggests that the county take over Belmont’s facilities to use as a temporary courthouse while the current one is being refurbished. The letter is yet another priceless example of a greedy, self-serving “resolution” to the New York racing franchise situation, utterly without consideration for the number of people employed by the racing industry. Even better than the letter is the Bug Boys’ commentary, the star of this show.

In other blogosphere news, I received an e-mail notification this week that the fine folks who bring you the Saratoga Special have begun their own blog (though they are calling it a “journal”) at the ST-Publishing website. Joe and Sean Clancy, along with Special writer Brian Nadeau, bring you their thoughts several times weekly.

Heading out to the Big A today to watch, among other things, today’s feature, the Grade III Stuyvesant Handicap. This race has taken various forms since its first running in 1916, run under different conditions and at varying distances. Today’s version goes at 1 1/8 and includes some old favorites, including Evening Attire, making his 62nd—62nd!!—start at age 9. He hasn’t won since March, but he’s gotten a check in his ten outings this year; most of them were for finishing fourth, but he was in against some stiff competition, including the Grade I Suburban last June. Evening Attire won this race two years ago and is trained by Pat Kelly, who also trains Naughty New Yorker. Naughty New Yorker makes his 39th career start today at the age of five and won last at Belmont in the General MacArthur Handicap in September. Both of these horses have shown an affinity for Aqueduct; Naughty New Yorker has finished on the board in eleven of fifteen starts here, while Evening Attire has finished in the money fifteen out of twenty. In my perfect world, we’ll have Evening Attire over Naughty New Yorker, and I’ll have the exacta.

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