Barclay Tagg’s nicely-named Groomedforvictory (out of Minigroom by Victory Gallop) first came to my attention on the Saturday following Thanksgiving, at the annual family gathering at Saratoga Harness for simulcasting. He was entered in the second and finished a game but well-beaten second, racing from just behind the leaders until the final turn, when he made a run for the front-runner. I had him to win and place collected a nice place price (he went off at 11-1).
He was in at Calder on Saturday and went off the favorite at 1.70 – 1; this time, he led from the gate and had a multiple length lead at one point, but was passed in the stretch and again finished a well-beaten but game second.
I feel like I can see into the future on this one. I like this horse (he’s a gelding at two—not sure how often I’ve seen that) and I’m going to hang with him for a few more races; he’ll continue to be well-bet and offer low odds, and he’ll lose. Then I’ll curse myself for foolishly, perhaps blindly, following him, and go off him at the same time everyone else does, at which time he will promptly win a race at 10 – 1 and I won’t have him.
In on Wednesday at Aqueduct is British Columbia, most notable for the performance of his entrymate in their last start on November 2nd at Aqueduct. He was entered with Numaany, the horse who had the race in hand in the deep stretch when he jumped to the right, practically into the starting gate; British Columbia was second at that point and looked to salvage the race for Darley and Kiaran McLaughlin, but remarkably, Numaany gathered himself, re-focused, and charged to the lead, denying British Columbia the victory. It was one of the more noteworthy races in recent memory, and the replay is available here. It’s the third race on November 2nd, and really, it’s worth watching. You have to register to watch the race, but it’s free.
Following that race, Darley whisked Numaany off to Dubai, and I imagine that we’ll see him on these shores again in the spring. British Columbia’s race career has not been all that distinguished to this point; we’ll see how he does on Wednesday.