On Thursday afternoon, just about exactly 24 hours before the gate would open for the listed Tremont Stakes, two-year-old Rookie Salsa was happily ensconced in his stall at the receiving barn at Belmont Park. He poked his head out inquisitively. He munched hay. Occasionally, he stamped his foot, as if demanding attention.
Then she softened. “Isn’t he beautiful?” she asked.
Her fiancé, trainer Jerry O’Dwyer, reminds her regularly that what matters is a horse’s speed, not his looks. In Rookie Salsa, 4-1 and third choice on the morning line, they seem to have found a horse that has both.
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