Monday quick picks

It’s the last day of week four, Monday of Travers week, day 24. We won’t see Rachel Alexandra this weekend, but Jess Jackson’s decision insures that any final weekend doldrums will be swept aside by the appearance of his super-filly in the Woodward. Highlights of the weekend include the oft-mentioned ninth race on Saturday, in…

Week 1: Sights, sounds, musings

The 2009 meet gets off to a terrific start when Saratoga Russell wins the fourth race… …but Naughty New Yorker finishes last on a dismal Friday. Ernie Munick and his impromptu back-up band don’t let the rain deter them in the backyard… …and we saw far too much of this sloppy mess in opening week……

Saratoga Russell at Saratoga

A day at the races offers any number of interesting storylines, opening day at Saratoga more than usual. We could talk about the weather (yes, of course, it rained, but as one NYRA employee said to me after the first race, “Hey, it’s already better than last year—we got a turf race in!”); we could…

The Return of Saratoga Russell

Turns out that I wasn’t the only person travelling to see Saratoga Russell make it back to the races. Arriving at Monmouth after a remarkably traffic-free trip early Sunday afternoon, I headed to the paddock to see Saratoga Russell in racing tack for the first time since March of 2008. I was on the early…

Rachel Russell

In its marketing for Rachel Alexandra’s appearance at Belmont Park later today, NYRA has made explicit use of the horse crush with its “Is She The One?” campaign. In my observations, the horse crush is largely a female phenomenon, but I do know a handful of people—men and women—who are travelling from out of town…

The return (we hope!) of Saratoga Russell

When last we saw Saratoga Russell, he was struggling home last in the Gotham. He’d gone to the lead and faded badly in the stretch, emerging from the fog to stagger home. He had been so impressive to that point: second in his first start in November 2007 at Aqueduct, setting sizzling fractions before National…

Saratoga Russell, Richard Thompson, and Sean Avery

Saratoga Russell is back! This colt was my winter/spring crush until his dismal performance in the fog-enshrouded Gotham, and he underwent a myectomy shortly thereafter. According to a backstretch report at Saratoga, Saratoga Russell then went to Kentucky for treatment of some other maladies, and I was told that his trip to Kentucky was a…