Thursday morning quick picks

Random notes on some Brooklyn Backstretch favorites recently in action:

Nacascolo, last seen being vanned off at Saratoga, was entered in a race at Delaware Park on September 14th; the race came off the turf, which is presumably why Nacascolo was scratched, but it was nice to see that he was in fact OK. Some of us are still wondering about the status of Go Smarty Go, who won in brilliant fashion on Sunday and was vanned off from the turn, never returning to the winner’s circle, and of Evening Attire, scratched from a race at Monmouth on Sunday. Is it so hard, really, to post updates somewhere on the track website? Or—radical notion—how about trainers maintaining websites with current updates on horses?

I know that folks will write in with various reasons about why it’s not prudent to publish injury updates (perhaps for the same reason that NFL teams are required to?), but fans of the equine athletes would certainly welcome access to such information. It’s on the wish list.

Updates: an e-mail I received this morning from Lynne Veitch alerted me to this Dave Grening article, originally published in the Daily Racing Form and that I found on ESPN, in which trainer Pat Kelly explains that he scratched Evening Attire on Sunday after finding some filling in his leg:

“We scratched to be cautious,” Kelly said Monday morning at his Belmont Park
barn. “We’re checking it out. We won’t know anything for another 48 or 72 hours.
He’s not running anytime soon. He’s here, we’re dealing with it.”

Get well soon, Evening Attire…

And in other discouraging news, from the Maiden Watch at The Blood-Horse this morning:

Go Smarty Go (Smarty Jones – Sarah’s World by Holy Bull), who was pulled up
after winning a maiden race on the turf on September 21, suffered a condylar
fracture in his left front. He had surgery and the prognosis is good, but he is
unlikely to race again.

Onward to other horses, and some good news:

In mid-August, Robby Albarado said that Dale Romans’s two-year-old filly Sara Louise was good enough to win her first time out. He didn’t get it exactly right, but he was close, as Sara Louise finished fourth in her first start, near the end of the Saratoga meet, and came back to win at Belmont on Sunday as the favorite. In other Romans news, his unfortunately-named Quasicobra won at Belmont yesterday and paid $27.00. Why unfortunately named? Because he was previously trained by Patrick Biancone, and I know that I am not the first to have made this observation.

Battle of the Brooklyn Backstretch state-breds yesterday, in the Floral Park Stakes at Belmont, with Wishful Tomcat and Be Bullish going to the post. This was Wishful Tomcat’s third start after being off since last December; in August he won by nearly six in the mud at Saratoga, wiring the field, and he got shelled in the Pennsylvania Derby, finishing last of thirteen. Wednesday he was back in form, winning for the first time by coming off—way off—the pace. Be Bullish was third; it’s now seven months since his last trip to the winner’s circle, and for the second consecutive race, he finished third by a neck and a head; game this guy is. His chart read,

BE BULLISH was allowed to drop back a bit early during the run down the
backstretch, choosing not to get involved in an early three-way speed fight,
contently stalked the leaders from the three path during the run around the
bend, was asked for a response turning for home, worked his way to a brief lead
by midstretch, then was outfinished by the top pair during the final sixteenth.

Well, if he had to lose, at least he was content during the race.

In other New York sports news: Much has been made in recent weeks about the closing of a New York sports landmark; hands have been rung, and praises have been sung, and fans have engaged in pleasantly mournful nostalgia.

Nothing, though, quite prepared me, when I emerged from the subway into the Garden on Monday night, for the sight of Cosby’s emptied out and papered up.

For virtually my entire Garden-going life, Cosby’s has been there, selling jerseys and pucks and sticks; it’s where you meet the folks who have never been to the Garden, or with whom you need to exchange a ticket. And last year, when I thoughtlessly did an errand on the way to a Rangers’ game and nearly had my bottle of Jim Beam Black confiscated at the gate, the folks at Cosby’s stored it during the game…and refused to take a tip when I picked it up.

They’re not going far—just around the corner—but the Garden entrance won’t be the same, and I’m not looking forward to seeing what national chain next occupies the space that’s been Gerry Cosby’s for the last thirty years.

3 thoughts on “Thursday morning quick picks

  1. You are correct, entering the Garden won't be the same without Cosby's there. It was always, "meet us in front of Cosby's," before the game.I expect some type of bar/pub would be the most effective use of the space. The Garden might not like that — it would take away people buying $7.50 beers inside. I'll date myself — I remember when a Beefsteak Charlie's occupied the space immediately across the way from Crosby's. We sat at the bar inhaled all the $1.50 draft beers and peel-and-eat shrimp we dared. (It was the early '80s.)I remember a Brew & Burger directly across the street from the Garden that was a popular pre-game place and patronizing the adjacent hotel bar.We played it "safe" sometimes by doing our post-game imbibing (a.k.a crying in our beer) in the Houlihan's in Penn Station, so as not to miss the last NJ Transit train home. Oh yes, there used to be an OTB branch in Penn Station in the '80s. I'd stop by there and bet the NY early double waiting for the LIRR to Shea and check the results on the way home. Now, it's a Staples.

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