Sunday quick picks

Hat tip to Equidaily for the link to this article from the Palm Beach Post, in which Michael Iavarone, at Calder to see IEAH’s Benny the Bull race (and win) in the Smile Sprint, once again classily took an opportunity to slam the trainer who brought him two-thirds of the Triple Crown:

“I think (Benny) might enjoy not being around Rick right now,” Iavarone said in
the Calder winner’s circle. “I think a lot of us are.”

He laughed, but it might not have been a joke.

Iavarone went on to suggest that Big Brown was not as endearingly embraced by the public as he deserved to be, and hinted that the affiliation with Dutrow was part of the reason that seemed to be the case. Iavarone said he thought Dutrow, too, now would admit that “he’d change some things” along the Triple Crown path if given the opportunity.

While Dutrow may well have played a part in why Big Brown was not “endearingly embraced” by the public, Iavarone need look no further than his mirror (with which, I am sure, he is well acquainted) for why racing fans didn’t exactly warm to team Big Brown. It’s not easy to make Dutrow a sympathetic figure, and Iavarone is doing it beautifully. Shut up, already.

Last summer I wrote for another website about being at the Saratoga yearling sales and seeing a Mr. Greeley colt sell for $2.2 million. I worked at the sales while in college and not uncommonly accepted sales receipts for horses selling in the millions; nonetheless, it was exciting watching the bidding quickly accelerate, and that colt, out of Win My Heart, ended up being the highest selling yearling to go through the ring last August, purchased by Barry Irwin and Team Valor.

It was nice, then, to see him mentioned in The Blood-Horse this week. He’s now got a name (Kinsella) and a trainer (Todd Pletcher), and he’s pointed to the races later this year, according to Barry Irwin:

“He wasn’t as precocious as Pletcher thought he might be, and we probably were
going to reach a point where we backed off of him anyway. But then he just had a
setback one morning, and we went in there and just basically took out one chip
and flushed out everything. He had some debris in there, and we just flushed it
out. I think you’ll see him (race) at the end of the Churchill’s fall meet,
maybe.”

Thanks to Valerie at Foolish Pleasure for alerting me in the comments to this photo of the then-unnamed Kinsella at the sales last August, and photo credit to Team Valor.

In other Saratoga news, my mother passed on to me this little tidbit about an event at the track this summer, from Capital News 9:

Wedding bells are in the air. One lucky couple was recognized Tuesday evening as
the couple chosen by the public to wed before thousands of racing fans in the
Winner’s Circle at Saratoga Race Course.

According to an article in the Saratogian, Jim Barbetta and Michelle Mattiske were chosen by the public to be married at the track this summer, and the public will continue to weigh in by planning the details of the couple’s wedding, from where the reception will take place to what the couple will wear to what the honeymoon will be. I don’t know about the dress/reception/ honeymoon part, but getting married in the winner’s circle might induce even me to consider matrimony.

I spent Saturday with a friend in town from California and thus missed Curlin’s grass début, but you can read first-hand accounts at Green but Game, Power Cap, Superfecta, and The Aspiring Horseplayer, and see video at that Ernie shot. You can read commentary at Foolish Pleasure, That’s Amore, and The Saratoga Sire.

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