Saturday Question: Ben’s Cat or Kharafa?

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I went to Aqueduct for the first time on January 29, 2005. That was the first year that I followed horse racing year-round, and after nearly seven years in Brooklyn, I had yet to visit the only extant track in New York City.

I was drawn to the Big A that freezing day not by the local feature, the Paumonok Handicap (though it was a race of which I was shortly to become quite fond, and which has since disappeared from the New York racing calendar), but by the Sunshine Millions cards at Santa Anita and Gulfstream, pitting California- and Florida-breds against each other.

My friend Jonathan and I had checked the racing calendar as we planned our maiden voyage, and the regional rivalry of the Sunshine Millions appealed to both of us. Eleven years later, I’m still a sucker for a racing day that celebrates regional breeding programs.

Chief among them, of course, for this New Yorker is New York Showcase Day, held this Saturday at Belmont Park. I first attended Showcase Day for New York-breds in 2008, and for me, it is the quintessential autumn racing day. Often, vendors are on-site offering New York-made crafts, food, and drink, and there’s not much that beats a crunchy Empire State-grown apple with a warming bourbon in the Belmont backyard in late October.
Continue reading at The Racing Biz

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