I regret to inform Superterrific Stables of Green but Game that based on updated Take Ten! standings, I must unfortunately remove her blanket of roses as the winner of the Brooklyn Backstretch mini-league, and toss it over to Katie at Trip’s Triple Crown Stable, who finished first in our league and sixtieth overall. Congratulations, Katie—please let us know to which racing charity you’d like the $150 prize to go.
And thanks to the members of this league, who added $100 to the $50 I originally pledged. It feels especially fitting in this week that we’re making a donation to support our equine athletes or the people who take care of them.
The final standings:
Last week, in the run up to the Derby, David Papadopoulos of Bloomberg alerted me to an article he’d written about two colts who looked at one point as if they’d be on the Derby trail, Saratoga Russell and Ready’s Image. My crush on Saratoga Russell has been well-documented here, but I actually met Ready’s Image first, at Saratoga last summer when he won the Sanford. He didn’t quite capture my heart (though a few weeks later, my fancy was taken by Ready’s Echo…but that’s another story), but he impressed me and many others in that race, and went on to finish second to Majestic Warrior in the Hopeful.
Papadopoulos’s article, written before the Derby, presages some of the conversations we’re having in the aftermath of Big Brown’s victory and Eight Belles’s breakdown, detailing as it does the missed opportunities by Saratoga Russell’s and Ready’s Image’s owners to make a big profit before the colts got injured. Weaved into his story are the insane profits made from breeding and the risks inherent in putting/keeping horses on the track; the value of these two colts has plummeted since their injuries, and if you don’t like the idea of horses as commodities, don’t read this article. It’s strictly business, it’s strictly finances, strictly about horses as investments.
In good news, though, for New York race fans, both Ready’s Image and Saratoga Russell are being considered for the Woody Stephens on the Belmont undercard. Would be great to see these two back on a New York track before long, though that looks like rather a tough spot for a comeback.
In checking some information for this post, I looked up the order of finish for the Hopeful, on closing day at Saratoga. That’s the day that Big Brown first hit the track, in a mid-card maiden race. He won by eleven and paid $31.40. Those were the days…
Wednesday’s feature at Belmont puts the spotlight on two colts I’ve liked for a while: Groomedforvictory, who finally broke his maiden in his fourth start at the end of March at Gulfstream; and Be Bullish, who broke his maiden at first asking in September at Belmont and who’s got a 7-3-0-1 record since, all at New York tracks, and those three off-the-board finishes were all fourths. He seems more effective in allowances than in these state-bred stakes, but if he stays at 5 – 1, I might take a flyer on him, given his performance in the Appealing Guy back in February.
I loved Groomedforvictory in his first start, on the Cigar Mile undercard, and I was rather surprised that it took him so long to find the winner’s circle. At 6/5, and in stakes company for the first time, I’ll take a pass.