Category Archives: Belmont Park

When Stars Align

I am most sorry for the young ones, the newbies.

They who didn’t sit for 15 minutes knowing unequivocally what it felt like to have witnessed a Triple Crown winner, all unbridled joy and relief and passion, in tears and laughing for that skinny bay colt named Real Quiet. And then, as quickly as it happened, it was stripped away. A hollow, deflated feeling replaced that joy – but the memory of it was still there. We’d finally gotten it – then it slipped away. I wouldn’t wish that feeling on my worst enemy.

The newbies now only know the heartbreak – War Emblem, Funny Cide, Smarty (oh Smarty!), Big Brown – and now I’ll Have Another. The tyranny of “What If?” will follow him for all time, for unlike the others, he didn’t even get to try his luck at Belmont Park.

The newbies now know what that dread hollowness feels like. They now have a piece of the cynicism that infects us long-timers, the first of what will be a deeply-rooted infestation should they show up again in the years to come. Oh, how wonderful would it have been had these youngsters seen a Triple Crown winner so early in their fandom! It’s what we all wish for, right?

And yet –  with each Triple Crown season I am renewed as a racing fan. I carry all the emotional battle scars of watching these horses, and have learned who to put my faith in when the big race rolls around. Despite all the naysayers, I am certain that the 12th Triple Crown winner is close at hand. I’ve stayed up late to see the Super Moon. I’ve looked through a pinhole camera to watch the solar eclipse. And I will never forget where I was during the Transit of Venus. The stars will align for that most rare of equine accomplishments. I want those new fans to feel the excitement of a Triple Crown, and like an addict looking for the next high, I want to feel it again, too.

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Filed under Belmont Park, Kentucky Derby, Triple Crown 2012

Coaching Club WOWZER

Music Note crushes CCA Oaks rivals

Music Note crushes CCA Oaks rivals

 

 

MUSIC NOTE annihilated her rivals in the CCA Oaks Saturday (so much for her “experienced” stablemate) by 11 lengths.  Little Belle was 2nd, followed by Flaming Slew.  Acoma came in 4th.  Music Note runs to her pedigree, and it will be exciting to see her against Zaftig if that filly comes back as good as she was last month.  It will be great if she comes to the BC DIstaff (I REFUSE to call it the L.C.), though the surface may give the connections pause.  The 3 year old filly Eclipse race will be a nail-biter.  The Godolphin entry was coupled, but it still paid a nice $25.20 for the EX

Other Races:

SAN DIEGO Handicap: 1)WELL ARMED $5.40 2)Surf Cat 3)Mostacoli Mort (Rebellion 5, Tall Texan 7)

VIRGINIA DERBY: 1)GIO PONTI 2)Court Vision 3)Sailor’s Cap $2.20 (Your Round 4)

EDDIE REID HANDICAP : TRIFECTA ALERT!!!  1)MONZANTE $8.00 2)Whatsthescript $3.00 3)Storm Military $3.60 TRI pays $41.70

NEXT WEEK: TOGA TOGA TOGA!!  Saratoga’s 140th season begins Wednesday, and all the Gr1 Stakes action is on Saturday.  Del MAr is just cranking up, too!  The dog days of summer are best spent watching TVG in the AC on the 42″ plasma TV. 

COOL, EXCITING STUFF: I’m about to get involved with another blogger…more to come! 

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Filed under Belmont Park, Brag sheet, Del Mar, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, results

CCA Oaks & Other Weekend STakes

Ruffian, 1975 CCA Oaks winner/photo from jockeysite.com

Ruffian, 1975 CCA Oaks winner/photo from jockeysite.com

The Coaching CLub American Oaks (Gr1) used to be the Belmont of the New York filly Triple Crown.  Such luminaries as Twilight Tear (1944), Ruffian (1975) and Mom’s COmmand (1985) have won the race in their Hall of Fame careers.  More recently, Ashado won the race enroute to her championship 3 yo season honors.  In 2001, Tweedside provided her sire Thunder Gulch a rare double, when she won the CCA Oaks, then run at the 1.5 mile distance, the same year as Point Given captured the Belmont Stakes, also at that marathon stretch.  This year’s CCA Oaks is an intriguing field of 5, with two Godolphin-owned fillies the likely (and deserved) favorites. 

LITTLE BELLE and MUSIC NOTE are the class of the field.  Both are by Belmont winner AP Indy, who sired 2002 winner Jilbab.  I give Music Note the edge over Little Belle, pedigree-wise, with that Sadler’s Wells broodmare sire.  Acoma is also tough here, but with only 4 starts she is due for a loss sometime.  Little Belle is more experienced than both other fillies.  Plus, she ran 2nd in her last start, the KY Oaks. 

1)LITTLE BELLE
2)Music Note
3)Acoma

It would be an ironic twist if Never Retreat wins, as she is trained by Kiaran McLaughlin, former trainer of Little Belle.

VIRGINNY DERBY Gr2:

1)OLD MAN BUCK
2)Sailor’s Cap
3)Your Round

SAN DIEGO HANDICAP Gr2:

1)WELL ARMED
2)TAll Texan
3)Rebellion

EDDIE REID HNDCP Gr1:

1)STORM MILITARY
2)Monzante
3)Whatsthescript

And that’s all I have time for this weekend…Go EVENING ATTIRE in Philly!

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Filed under Belmont Park, Del Mar, Graded Stakes, Handicapping

Grass 1, Curlin 0 – Red Rocks rattles Man O’War

Red Rocks Defeats Curlin in the Man OWar, photo from Thoroughbred Times

Red Rocks Defeats Curlin in the Man O'War, photo from Thoroughbred Times

I still can’t get over that crazy Man O’War on Saturday.  The pacesetters, Mission Approved and Sudan, took off at the break and put 8-10 lengths on the rest of the field.  Red Rocks settled in an easy third, about a length ahead of Curlin and True Cause.  As expected, the sprinters gave out in the stretch and Red Rocks took over with Curlin on his heels.  Then, just when I thought Curlin would surge by Red Rocks, he…um…didn’t.  He hung on like laundry on the line in the backyard.  Better Talk Now came on gamely for third.  SO much for the BC Turf winners being off form.  So much for Curlin going over to France.  I’d like to see Curlin at least once more on turf, maybe in the Arlington Million.  They say Curlin does better the second time he races over a track.  Maybe he’ll win next time.  There’s also the Sword Dancer at Saratoga if they want to try again.  The ownership has been pretty open to trying different things with Curlin, but they also say the BC Classic is out because it’s on plastictrack.  If I had such a good horse, I’d at least try the tires — he couldn’t perform worse than he did on turf.  If they want to try different stuff, they my even try that new BC Dirt Marathon at 1.5 miles.  He’d outclass any other horse in that field and give ESPN a reason to broadcast the race.

Other Races: HYSTERICALADY dominated the Delaware Handicap by 4.  She defeated Lemon Drop Mom and last year’s runaway winner, Unbridled Belle.  I have always liked Hystericalady and she hasn’t disappointed me this year.  Plus, she’s given me a lot of points in the Road to the Breeders’ Cup contest!

ARLINGTON HANDCP Gr3: 1)STREAM CAT $7.00 2)Cosmonaut $2.10 3)Corrupt EX pays $12.80 (Distorted Reality scr)

AMERICAN DERBY Gr2: 1)TIZDEJAVU $3.40 2)Sir Henry 3)Ablaze With Spirit (Blue Exit SCR, Boss LAffite 6)

DELAWARE OAKS Gr2: 1)PROUD SPELL $2.60 2)African Violet 3)She’s All Eltish (Maren’s Meadow 4)

AZALEA Gr3: 1)INDYANNE 2)Dubai Majesty 3)Dancing Allstar (Grand Obsession 4, Dites Moi 5)

CARRY BACK Gr2: 1)GOLDEN SPIKES 2)Gentleman James 3)Lantana Mob (Salute the Sarge 5, Carson’s Legacy 7)

PRINCESS ROONEY Gr1: 1)MISTICAL PLAN 2)Miraculous Miss 3)Dream Rush (Looky Yonder 5)

SWAPS Gr2: 1)TRES BORRACHOS 2)Two Step Salsa 3)Colonel John (Nownownow SCR)

POKER HNDCP Gr3: 1)KIP DEVILLE $2.80 2)Tam Lin $2.90 3)Operation Red Dawn (Sensational Humor 4)

NOt as good this week as last week, but not a total disaster.  Sarge needs to pick it up!

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Filed under Belmont Park, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Hollywood Park

Man O War Stakes Gr1 Turf — CURLIN vs GRASS

Salute the Sarge, photo by Benoit Photo

Salute the Sarge, photo by Benoit Photo

Saturday’s running of the Man O’War at Belmont is the 35th anniversary of Secretariat’s victory in 1973, the Triple Crown winner’s turf debut.  Secretariat defeated Tentam and Big Spruce by a devastating margin, and many horsemen said afterwards that Big Red was better on turf than dirt.  This year, reigning Horse of the Year, CURLIN, will try his luck on the emerald track.  If he succeeds, owner Jess Jackson will send the chestnut colt out of the country, to France for the Arc.  Despite Curlin’s powerful victories on dirt, he’s no sure thing on the grass.  His field this time around is not the easy pickings he faced in the STephen Foster — 2 previous Breeders’ Cup Turf winners are in to make Curlin sweat.  Better Talk Now, winner in 2004, is the most experienced in the field and, at 9 years old, is looking to make history as the race’s oldest winner.  Red Rocks won the BC Turf in 2006 (the year I attended & I saw this horse up close! woot! /fangirlfreakout) but is lightly raced and has not won since May, in an allowance in Europe.  Also in are Mission Approved, the speed in the field; True Cause, a Godolphin hopeful; Sudan, Bobby Frankel’s trainee; and Grand Courtier, winner of last year’s Sword Dancer Stks under Calvin Borel. 

Curlin is still the horse to beat – if anybody is gonna do it I think Sudan can (it’s the Frankel), with Grand COurtier coming on for 3rd.  Better Talk Now & Red Rocks, while talented in previous years, have lost a few steps and it would be a surprise to me if either one ran away with the field.  Still and all, a great race that I will actually get to watch LIVE! on TV.

OTHER RACES:

POKER HANDICAP: KIP DEVILLE returns, but I like TAM LIN better.  Sensational Humor to show.

PRINCESS ROONEY Gr1: 1)DREAM RUSH 2)LOOKY YONDER 3)MIRACULOUS MISS

CARRY BACK STakes Gr2: 1) SALUTE THE SARGE 2)GENTLEMAN JAMES 3)CARSON’S LEGACY

AZALEA Stakes Gr3: 1) DANCING ALLSTAR 2)GRAND OBSESSION 3)DITES MOI

SWAPS Gr2: 1)COL. JOHN 2)TWO STEP SALSA 3)NOWNOWNOW

AMERICAN DERBY Gr2: 1)BLUE EXIT 2)TIZDEJAVU 3)BOSS LAFITTE

ARLINGTON HNDCP Gr3: 1)COSMONAUT 2)STREAM CAT 3)DISTORTED REALITY

DELAWARE OAKS Gr2: 1)PROUD SPELL 2)SHE’S ALL ELTISH 3)MAREN’S MEADOW

DELAWARE HNDCP Gr2: 1)HYSTERICALADY 2)UNBRIDLED BELLE 3)BUY THE BARREL

And that’s it for me…it’s too late and I’m too tired to do all the stakes this weekend.  WATCH CURLIN ON ESPNEWS SATURDAY!!!

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Filed under arlington park, Belmont Park, calder race course, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Hollywood Park

Weekend Results

My birthday was Sunday, so now that I’m over the hangover let’s go over the weekend’s races: 9 Winners, 8 placings, 5 showings out of 13 races!  ZENYATTA & INDIAN BLESSING continue their legendary seasons, ANY LIMIT showed again just why they call Allen Jerkens the Giant Killer, and Myspace helped me pick the Bashford Manor winner, though I originally had him 2nd (get it?  You gotta “screen your friends” to add them to your list…) Late scratches killed a lot of my picks at Belmont, but that’s unfortunately a chance I take posting them 2 days before the races are run. 

BELMONT:

First Flight Handcp Gr2:1)ANY LIMIT, $13.60 2)Wild Gams, 3)Rite Moment (Baroness Thatcher 6th, Looky Yonder scr)

Tom Fool Hdcp Gr2: 1)LUCKY ISLAND, $5.00 2)Tasteyville, $2.50 3)Premium Wine (Not For Love scr)

Mariensky Stakes: 1)Chestonia 2)Paris Winds 3)Carriage Trail, $2.40 (Vacare, Spectacular Malibu scr)

Prioress Stks Gr: 1)INDIAN BLESSING $3.30, 2)By The Light, $3.40 3)Indian Way (Tale of the West 5th)

HOLLYWOOD PARK

Flawlessly Stks: 1)Starry Pursuit 2)Ginger Pop, $9.80 3)Runforthemoneybaby (Sweeter Still 4th, Lethal Heat 6th)

Triple Bend Gr 1: 1)Street Boss 2)Elite Squadron, $3.20 3)Tropic Storm, $2.40 (Desert Code 7th)

Cashcall Mile Stks Gr 2: 1)Diamond Diva, $6.60  2)Ventura 3)Lady of Venice, $2.10 (Wake Up Maggie 6th)

American Oaks Gr 1: 1)PURE CLAN, $7.00 2)Satan’s Circus 3)Clearly Foxy, $9.80 (Caribbean Sunset 4th)

Vanity Stks Gr 1: 1)ZENYATTA, $2.60 2)Tough Tiz’s Sis, $3.40 3)Silver Swallow (Sealy Hill 5th)

Hollywood Juvenile Champonship Gr 3: 1)AZUL LEON, $4.20 2)Making Dreams 3)Fassnacht (Seismometer 4th, Conclusive scr)

CHURCHILL DOWNS

Firecracker Hndcp Gr2: 1)THORN SONG, $5.60 2)Einstein, $2.10 3)Steve’s Double (Inca King scr)

Bashford Manor stks Gr3: 1)SCREEN YOUR FRIEND, $38.00 2)Lyin’ Heart, $4.20 3)Segal $3.00 (Medaglia D’Onore 5th)

MONMOUTH

United Nations Hndcp: 1)Presious Passion 2)Strike A Deal, $4.00 3)Equitable $4.20 (Champs Elysees 6th)

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Filed under Belmont Park, Brag sheet, Churchill Downs, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, results

4th of July Weekend Picks

Zenyatta, photo from horseracing.about.com

Lots of stakes this holiday weekend — breaking it all down by track — For FRIDAY & SATURDAY:

BELMONT:
Fri. July 4

TOM FOOL Handicap Gr2:

1)Lucky Island
2)Not For Money
3)Tasteyville

FIRST FLIGHT Handicap Gr2:

1)ANY LIMIT
2)Baroness Thatcher
3)Looky Yonder

Sat. July 5:

MARIENSKY Stakes:

1)CARRIAGE TRAIL
2)VAcare
3)Spectacular Malibu

PRIORESS Stakes Gr1:

1)INDIAN BLESSING
2)Tale of the West
3)By The Light

HOLLYWOOD PARK:
Fri. July 4:

FLAWLESSLY Stakes:

1)GINGER POP
2)Sweeter Still
3)Lethal Heat

Sat. July 5:

TRIPLE BEND INV. Handicap Gr1:

1)TROPIC STORM
2)Elite Squadron
3)Desert Code

AMERICAN OAKS Gr1:

1)PURE CLAN
2)Caribbean Sunset
3)Clearly Foxy

CASHCALL MILE Gr2:

1)LADY OF VENICE
2)wake Up MAggie
3)Diamnd Diva

VANITY Stakes Gr1:

1)ZENYATTA
2)Sealy Hill
3)Tough Tiz’s Sis

HOLLYWOOD JUVY Championship Gr3:

1)SEISMOMETER
2)Azul Leon
3)Conclusive

CHURCHILL DOWNS:
Fri. July 4:

FIRECRACKER Handicap Gr2:

1)INCA KING
2)Einstein
3)Thorn SOng

Sat. July 5:

BASHFORD MANOR S Gr3:

1)MEDAGLIA D’ONORE
2)Screen Your Friends
3)Lyin’ Heart

MONMOUTH:

UNITED NATIONS HANDICAP Gr1:

1)CHAMPS ELYSEES
2)Strike A Deal
3)Equitable

Gahhh…Too many races, not enough time to handicap them all…GOOD LUCK!!

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Filed under Belmont Park, Handicapping, Hollywood Park