Saturday quick picks

Nice day for good-guy Mike Luzzi at the Big A today; he brought home three winners: a favorite, a $13.80 winner, and a $26.00 longshot.

And in other good news for New York jockeys, Richard Migliore is the recipient of this year’s George Woolf Memorial Award. I don’t care where the Mig is riding, and I don’t care that this award is given by Santa Anita; the Mig is a New York guy, and I’m glad to see him take home this award, given to “riders whose careers and personal character shed a positive light on the sport of Thoroughbred horse racing” (The Blood-Horse). [Update: Here’s the story from this evening’s Blood-Horse.]

Today’s feature, the Rare Treat, was indeed one, a closely-contested race that came to the wire, a late battle between two grey fillies. Wild Hoots and Aliysa led until the stretch, when Aliysa gave way, seemingly handing the race to Kiaran McLaughlin’s Wild Hoots. But Gary Contessa’s Runway Rosie, who had hung just off the pace, jumped up, kicked into gear, and won by a head. It looked like the race was over with Wild Hoots ahead by a length or more, but Runway Rosie dug in and took the race with a gritty performance.

Moving southward for a moment: it looked like Dancing Forever was going to catch Helen Pitts’s Einstein in today’s Grade I Gulfstream Park Turf, and if the race were a little longer that might have happened, but Einstein, who had sat right off the leaders for most of the race, held him off to win by a neck. That makes him two for two on the turf since he fell in the Dixie Handicap last Preakness day. None of the other high-profile horses—Shamdinan, Dave, Thorn Song, Stream of Gold—did much to help their reputations, and their connections have to be disappointed with their performances.

The other horse I was watching today, Allen Jerkens’s Irish Blast, was scratched from the third at Aqueduct.

Happy to say that Sunday’s report will be the result of live viewing, as I’m heading out to Aqueduct for the day. Here’s hoping that my fantasy stables make up some ground.

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