The Early Double

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about Tuffy Gold, owned and trained by the same connections as Evening Attire. Tuffy is a half to Evening Attire, and his grandsire, Black Tie Affair, is Evening Attire’s sire. And, alas, Tuffy shares with his half-brother some challenges at the gate. In Saturday’s first race, Tuffy got off awkwardly—it looked like he hung in the gate, then sprang out trying to catch up (unlike Evening Attire, who never looks like he’s in a hurry), to no avail, as he finished eighth of nine. Is it nature or nurture, these gate problems? If the former, from the sire’s side or the dam’s? Time, perhaps, for older brother to give this guy a little chat in the stable?

Saratoga Russell went off at 1-2 and didn’t disappoint, though it looked a little dodgy through most of the race. In his first race, Saratoga Russell went right to the lead, which he held in fast fractions until the end; here, he broke fourth and stayed behind the leaders in a much slower pace. Eibar Coa took him to the inside behind horses, rather than taking him four-wide, and Tom Durkin’s call implied some questioning of Coa’s ride. Coa sat patiently on the colt and when a hole on the rail opened up in the stretch, Saratoga Russell went right through it to win by seven and a half. Confidence in Coa restored, Tom Durkin observed that “Saratoga Russell just inhales the front-runners, with an adroit and easy move” up the rail.

You can watch the replays of both of these races here, with free registration.

Racing is cancelled today because of the weather, so Aqueduct is dark until December 26th, when I am hoping to be on my way to warmer climes and a visit to Tampa Bay Downs. Posts will continue, though, with various updates and racing news, through the holidays.

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