As noted by Superfecta, Einstein returned to the races on Friday, ending an eight-month layoff caused by an injury in the Dixie Handicap on the Preakness undercard. In an ugly incident, Mending Fences fatally broke down, and Einstein, right behind him, stumbled, throwing Robby Albarado, who came back a few races later to win the Preakness aboard Curlin.
When I saw Einstein’s trainer Helen Pitts at Saratoga last summer, she told me that he was out on the farm and doing well; I had thought/hoped that he’d make it back sometime last fall, but yesterday was his first start, which he won, leading wire to wire. Because Gulfstream is a Magna track, I can’t get any replays without paying for them (which at this point I refuse to do on principal, but to which I will probably give in at some point) and I didn’t see the race, but the chart made it sound as though, despite winning by a length, Einstein barely got there: “fully extended to prevail.”
Helen Pitts also won the opener on the card, with Sargeant Silver.
Today’s feature at Aqueduct is the Affectionately, named for the 1965 Sprint Champion (thanks, NYRA); in 2000 it was won by Theresa the Teacha, dam of a horse who raced the day after the ’06 Travers and that my mother hunch bet (I didn’t), resulting in a double-digit payout.
I’ve been searching for an interesting angle on this race to write about, but I’m coming up dry, so I present without theme or coherence a few observations:
–Aliysa is a world-travelin’ mare, having raced in Brazil and the UAE, who hasn’t found much State-side success, though she did win at Philly Park last time out. I have a hard time liking her today.
–Darley’s Stage Luck makes her fourth start and finished in the money all three previous times on the track.
–Lucky Revival races for the twenty-fourth (!) time today, and my eyes keep going back to her. She won a month ago over this track; her rider then was Ramon Dominguez, on Aliysa today.
–Homerette was second in this race last year, her best finish in the last year. –Victory Pool was third here last year and has raced at five tracks in the last year, finding the winner’s circle at Aqueduct, Presque Isle, and, last time out, Philly.
–Dinner Break comes in off a two-race win streak under Alan Garcia, who rides Victory Pool today. Her last win was over this track and over Runaway Rosie (see below).
–There were high hopes for Baby Bird early in her career; she won her first two races, beating horses who went on to win their next time out. All four of her wins come at Belmont, and in her only race at Aqueduct (on the main track, in the Grade II Top Flight Handicap), she was eighth by seventeen.
–Runaway Rosie is a California horse who races for the third time on the East Coast; she was sixth and second respectively in her first two starts at Aqueduct. She was third behind Rags to Riches and Baroness Thatcher in the Las Virgenes last year at Santa Anita.
So there you have it; random observations to do with what you will. I won’t be near the track or any windows today, but if I were, I would likely exacta box Lucky Revival/Victory Pool/Stage Luck, with win money on Lucky Revival.