Saturday morning quick picks: NYRA notes

Hockey season is about a month old now, and there’s been nary a syllable written in this space about the Rangers. I’ve gone to fewer games than usual, and after a torrid beginning, the Rangers have settled comfortably into their usual mediocrity.

Sean Avery won again the other day—not the one who wears the blue sweater, but the one who goes out in the morning in the white, yellow, and red saddle cloth of Mike Hushion. Sean Avery made one start at two last year at Saratoga, and then disappeared…he came back at Saratoga this year and in three starts, he’s got two wins and a third. (The Rangers’ record is 19 – 10 – 8 – 1.)

Sean Avery’s recent win sent NYRA’s Jenny Kellner, no hockey slouch herself (she covered hockey—if you can call the Islanders hockey—for the Times; she also wrote about the sport for the Daily News and the Bergen Record), and Brian Skirka to Hushion’s barn, and you can see the results at the newest NYRA internet presence, the NY Racing Insider blog.

In the interview, Hushion describes Sean Avery as an “honest” horse. The same adjective can be applied to his human namesake, but let’s hope that Sean Avery the equine doesn’t put his foot hoof in his mouth like the hockey player did.

In other NYRA blog news, Belmontstakes.com was selected as a finalist in the Best Website category for the American Gaming Association’s Communications Awards. The winner will be named on Tuesday, November 17th. Hey, if the site wins, can I say that I’m an award winning blogger?

Backstretch favorite Irish Blast, who’s been tearing it up at Suffolk Downs over the last few months, races at Laurel next Wednesday; here’s hoping that this New York bred comes back to spend the winter at Aqueduct, as he did last year. His younger full brother, Belfast Lad (Kelly Kip – Bombshell), made his first start for the Chief last week, finishing a good third; he comes back this week, entered on both Saturday and Sunday.

And speaking of favorites shipping to unfamiliar tracks—Saratoga Russell ventured west earlier this week to race in a $40K claimer at Penn National. Inveterate speedball that he is, he went to the lead, set his usual fractions, and geared down in the lane to win for fun in 1:08.4. The next big goal is the Sunshine Millions at Gulfstream at the end of January; the Fall Highweight at Aqueduct in a couple of weeks is a possibility.

As always, thanks to Trackmaster for past performance information.

4 thoughts on “Saturday morning quick picks: NYRA notes

  1. As far as I'm concerned, you're darned tootin' you will be able to call yourself an award winning blogger! If you aren't in fact, you soon will be.

  2. Did you submit any work for consideration in the Joe Hirsch Memorial Writing Award, sponsored by NYRA? That was open to Internet media.

  3. BSaint–I didn't. As much of my Belmont coverage appeared on the NYRA site, it didn't seem appropriate to submit work that I had created for the organization giving out the award. Foolish of me, perhaps…

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