Some good racing news

What with the trifecta of bad racing news over the last couple of days, (the Jeremy Rose suspension and the Dutrow/Asmussen violations), I’m going to focus on some good racing news.

As both the NY Daily News and Green but Game reported earlier this month, Casino Drive and his connections developed quite a relationship with the children of Anna House at the Belmont Child Care Association while the horse was prepping for the Belmont. In fact, before Casino Drive headed back to Japan, Nobutaka Tada, manager of Hidetoshi Yamamoto’s stable, invited the children back to the barn to say good-bye.

On Tuesday, the folks at Anna House wrote to tell me that Mr. Tada had announced that Mr. Yamamoto has donated $30,000 to the Belmont Child Care Association. After visiting the children at Anna House, Mr. Yamamoto was so impressed by the early childhood education program and by what the BCCA does for the children of the backstretch workers that he decided to donate. Mr. Tada said that Mr. Yamamoto “believes anyone can do anything for anybody and hopes others in the industry will follow his example and also donate to Anna House. This gives us the meaning of our journey to New York.”

Wow! “Gives the meaning of our journey to New York.” Given the profound disappointment the team must have felt following Casino Drive’s game day scratch from the Belmont, what a graceful and classy response. Casino Drive’s team joins Roy and Gretchen Jackson, Michael Dubb, the late Jeanne Vance, and other notable industry folk in supporting the BCCA.

You can support Anna House by making a contribution or by donating to the August benefit in Saratoga; the BCCA is seeking a variety of items (jewelry, art, concert/sports/theater tickets, services, etc.) for the silent auction part of the program, which will take place on August 20th. You could also buy an ad in the benefit program. You can contact the BCCA directly or me at

Thanks, Equidaily, for highlighting this article from the Albany Times-Union about Evening Attire, whom we are likely to see racing at Saratoga this summer. Though trainer Pat Kelly scoffs at the notion of the grey guy making it to the Breeders’ Cup Classic, I wonder if he’d have a shot in the Dirt Marathon? Is that crazy talk?

Last night I spent what will likely was my last evening in Shea Stadium. For many folks, that would be cause for celebration, but I’ve always liked Shea. I like the planes overhead; I like those neon players on the exterior; I like that it’s an easy subway ride from my apartment. Though my paternal grandmother was the biggest Yankees fan I’ve ever known, my father always took me to Shea, and I remember going to a game with him when I was very young, leaving early, and hearing the game-winning home run on the radio in the car on the way home. I did eventually forgive him.

I took my nephews to last night’s game for their birthdays, and the Mets won handily, 8 – 2, off two consecutive David Wright early inning home runs. A Mets win is something for which to be grateful these days, so I diverge from my usual pursuits here to bid farewell to the first sporting venue to which I’ve ever been that will soon no longer exist.

5 thoughts on “Some good racing news

  1. Nice post about your visit to Shea with your nephews. My sister, who probably rivals your dad in Yankee fan-ness, has her tickets for her final visit to the House That Ruth Built. Her first trip was with my dad for Mickey Mantle Day back in the 1960s. She was probably 6 or 7 at the time. I know she’s going to be sad 😦

  2. the first pro sporting event I went to was Mets vs. Dodgers at Shea in 1968. Mets won 4-1. I was back, a year later for a doubleheader against the Pirates and then again, as a wide-eyed 9-year-old for the fourth game of the historic World Series win over the Orioles. I feel like I’ve seen it all at Shea — Koosman, Seaver, Doc Gooden, Eddie Kranepool. I remember when the great Gil Hodges played like 56 holes of golf and then dropped dead. I saw Shea erode, with floods in the men’s rooms. I was there when the Yankees played there, while their stadium was remodeled. I was there when Willie Mays was falling down in his final games. I was there for the wilding during Banner Day when the Cubs were in town. Lots of fans got beat up in terrific fights in the tunnels between the concourses and seats. I remember watching Joquin (sp?) Adujar go deep on the Mets. I remember getting yelled out to sit down as I cheered Mookie Wilson when he ran onto the field before Game 1 of the 1986 series. Clearly these were rich people at their first game. I remember suffering years and years of endless losing in the late 1970s and still going out. I remember the amazing mid-80s teams I loved like crazy. God help Doc Gooden now. When management broke up that coke-fueled gang of marauders, I left the Mets behind — had a baseball epiphany one day at Camden Yards during an interleague game and realized I was rooting for the hated Orioles. I never looked back. Shea was my baseball youth, which was a heck of a lot more baseball than racing. Things change. (At least they didn’t change the name of Shea to some fly-by-night bank) We move on. The ghosts of ’69 will live on — as ghosts. — J.S.

  3. Casino Drive’s connections couldn’t be classier. Their beast, on a good ankle, would’ve beaten Da Tara by at least five lengths.Just one chump’s opinion.

  4. I love sports posts about old stadiums and memories. I’ve never been to Shea (other than to drive past it) and am going to Yankee Stadium for first time this summer for a Red Sox game(wish i could sneak one in at Shea)!What a difference in connections when you compare CD with BB…thanks for sharing that.

  5. Oops I just re-read your post and it’s your GRANDMOTHER who was the Yankees fan, not dad. Sorry about that. My grandma started watching baseball in ’69. The Amazin Mets interrupted her afternoon stories on TV so she started watching them and became an avid baseball fan at age 72.

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