Sunday morning quick picks

Back in Brooklyn after two terrific weeks on the road. While I can’t say that I’m thrilled that vacation is over, it was pretty great to glimpse the skyline as I drove in, and pretty nice to be home after being a guest for so long. Madison and Floyd are quite happy that they can begin wagering anew after this little break.

So here’s a bit of a catch-up, in no particular order:

The Cuban sandwich at Gulfstream is terrific, and a bargain at $7.50, especially as you can get two meals out of it. Highly recommended.

I stayed at the Hampton Inn across the street from Gulfstream, which was pricier than I’d have liked, but when I got up to my room and realized that my windows overlooked the clubhouse turn, it was pretty much worth it. That perception was confirmed the next morning when I looked out and could see horses working out; it was also nice to be able to leave the car at home and walk to the races.

A little late on this one, but I find outrageous the automatic Derby entry to the horse who won at Kempton Park. While I applaud the effort to make U.S. racing more international, the double standard instituted for this race makes a mockery of Derby entry. Let me get this straight: if you’ve got a U.S.-based horse, you’ve got to map out a careful campaign to make sure that your horse has enough graded earnings to get in, and God forbid you have a horse that you might like to take your time with, or who doesn’t start at two, or who develops slowly. But if you’re racing in the U.K., the graded entry system doesn’t apply and you can skip your way across the Atlantic if you get lucky in one particular race.

I was opposed to this idea when it was announced; I was opposed to it when the race was run; and I am opposed to it in light of Dunkirk’s second place finish in the Florida Derby. Whatever the entry system is for the Derby, it should apply to all horses.

And while we’re talking about the Derby: last Thursday, I asked Allen Jerkens if he were much interested in the Derby. He retorted, smiling, “I will be if my son has a horse in it.” I guess that he’ll be paying attention…

Just caught an ad for a piece on Bethenny Frankel that will air here in NY during NBC’s local news broadcast Sunday night at 11 pm. I’ve seen a total of five minutes of the Real Housewives of New York City, and she happened to be on; I can’t say that what I saw inclined me to watch any more, but the fact that she’s Frankel’s daughter will likely lead me to take a look tonight.

And finally, here are the Road to the Roses standings, following yesterday’s races. After Quality Road won the Fountain of Youth, I bemoaned that I had allowed myself to be talked out of including him in my initial stable. I was more than slightly mollified when, after trying to supplement him last week, I realized that he’s not eligible for the game, because he’s not nominated for the Derby. I guess that that’s probably about to change…

1 The Aspiring Horseplayer Redux
2 Sleipnir Stables
3 Grevelis Racing Stable
4 Vision Stable
4 Brooklyn Backstretch
6 TripleDeadHeat
7 Triple Crown73 Stable
8 RivaSecBar
8 Big Dreams Stable
10 New Jersey Derek
11 Blake Griffin For President
12 zf
13 BrooklynSaint Stables
14 Green but Game Stables
15 FoolishPleasure
16 starkravingmad
17 On the Lead
18 Raceland

Congratulations to Kevin at the Aspiring Horseplayer for moving into the lead, and please note that Elizabeth of Big Dream Stable has added her blog, It’s Post Time, to our list. If you haven’t already, check out the sites of some of our participants—terrific reading all around, on a variety of topics: handicapping, international racing (and handicapping international racing), media, harness racing, ownership, etc.

5 thoughts on “Sunday morning quick picks

  1. I see that Lisa and I seem to be doing our best Rags vs Curlin impression from the ’07 Belmont. This one could go down to a head bob at the wire (don’t worry Curlin…I shall avenge thee!!!”) 🙂 Wish I could’ve had Quality Road as well. How could they not include him? Even if he wasn’t officially nominated, he was clearly as firmly “on the road’ to the roses as most of the other contenders. It’s an outrage…an outrage only equaled, as you mention, by the absurdity of the Kempton Challenge situation. By the way, I’ve now got Quality Road and Friesan Fire ranked 1-2, respectively. Can’t wait for the NY and CA paths to be decided next….And I may be the biggest Win Willy guy out there on the planet. 🙂

  2. I went to the Kempton race-only my 2nd day at a racetrack in the UK in 3 years….It was a strange evening. Bemused racegoers were given small American flags to wave. I have a feeling that 99.9% of them were drawn there because there was a special free entry coupon-for that one night only. British racing… free entry OMG. May well have been a record All-Weather crowd in the UK but there was no interest here in the run-up to the event..Of course a large number of European horses could get into the Derby on the old/ current rules-but choose not to for all the obvious reasons. Sometimes Europeans horses, running in the US, have managed to play their part in messing up the campaigns of American Triple Crown conteders. In 2006 Strong Contender couldn’t get into the Lanes End S. because of a full field that included a British horse Silent Times-who was sent off as favourite and came nowhere.If the Kempton race had existed then i’m sure Silent Times would have run there and Strong Contender may well have got into the Derby with a win in what was a very poor race at Turfway.I’m sure changes are needed in the way the Derby field is selected but creating the Kempton race without sitting down and making other changes was idiotic

  3. Welcome back Teresa…i’m not sure how i’m staying afloat in our Derby pool, but i’m hoping i have at least one runner come the first saturday in may!Hope Aqueduct is warm this afternoon!keith

  4. I see that I’m just sliding down the standings! And to top it off, I forgot to add horses to my stable at the supplemental stage. So I still only have 10 horses to help me out, but that’s my own fault!

  5. For some reason I forgot to remember some little race called the Florida Derby was on the schedule, so I neglected to pick up either Quality Road or Dunkirk. I did, however, feel the need to add Poltergeist to my imposing stable. Yeah, that’s some sound picking right there!!!

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