Category Archives: Del Mar

A Happy Birthday

I have had to work on my birthday every year since 2004.  It is a hazard of having your birthday 2 days after a national holiday and usually one of the busiest days for major tourist attractions.  This year I was off for the 4th, but by some strange coincidence I ended up driving into work today, my 28th birthday!

But this was not the usual grind, it was my first day as an intern at Del Mar!

First, I totally underestimated the morning rush hour traffic. The same route that took 20 mins last weekend took nearly an hour to traverse today! It was also really messy/dreary/drizzly this morning, too.  What happened to California sun? But I made it just in time!

The track was still overrun with midway rides and food carts from the county fair. I made my way through to the executive offices to start my Del Mar adventure.

I totally geeked out over all the magnificent paintings in the hallways, of such stars as Lava Man, General Challenge and Skimming.  Best Pal’s portrait is in one office, Candy Ride’s in another. It was an impressive collection of sporting art that this blogger totally envies.

The other interns are from a variety of places and have different interests: Amy, who worked last year, is our leader; Andrew from Pasadena just graduated from college; Meganne spent 4 years in Italy and came from Louisville.  I can’t wait to get to know them better.

I met so many people today that I don’t remember everyone’s names.  I also got to creep around the grandstand and sneak up to the press box.  I will get to the barns and backstretch before the end of the week, but today was just too messy to do anything outside.  I got my credentials and parking pass (so glad I dressed up today) and started in with some filing and labeling work. Tomorrow is envelope stuffing. Who knew that all those years of Sir Speedy collating would still be useful today?

Here’s a head’s up though: Del Mar media guides are hitting the post office this week. Along with the gorgeous photos of Zenyatta, there is a half-page list of Summer Interns on page 58. Check out the *only* one from Tennessee.

I didn’t even bother to take pics today since the weather was sooo nasty.  You’ll see pics here at the first hint of sunshine.

So even though I had to work today, it was a Very Happy Birthday 🙂

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Filed under Del Mar, Infield Trips, internship, promoting racing, Race Track Industry Program

FINAL SAUHBR SELECTIONS!

FOREGO:

1)LUCKY ISLAND
2)FOREFATHERS
3)TASTEYVILLE

alt:First Defence

WOODWARD:

1)CURLIN
2)OUT OF CONTROL
3)DIVINE PARK

alt: Loose Leaf

ONTARIO COLLEEN S:

1)LICKETY LEMON
2)FAREENA
3)FORESTRY’S MAGIC

alt:Sugar Bay

DEL MAR DERBY:

1)KILDERRY
2)GIO PONTI
3)SKY CAPE

alt:TizWest

LINCOLN HANDICAP:

1)PEPPER’S PRIDE
2)SILVER EXPRESSION
3)MISS POSSIBILITY

alt:Letthemusicbegin

PENNSYLVANIA DERBY

1)SMOOTH AIR
2)ATONED
3)READY SET

alt:Numaany

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Filed under Del Mar, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Saratoga, SAUHBR

SAUHBR Week 6: FINAL FURLONG!

Curlin, The Golden Warrior

Curlin, The Golden Warrior

Tomorrow will be the beginning of the end for SAUHBR Round 1.  BT’s Pick Power selections represent the best of the final Summer Stakes from around the country.  It being a holiday weekend, BT has chosen a Monday race to keep the party going just a little bit longer.  After this weekend, most of my faves will be starting in their last BC Preps.  The next edition of SAUHBR should be the Breeders’ Cup itself – 2 days of top-caliber racing on a surface many have not ventured a hoof upon!  Drama, drama, drama!  The opportunities for upsets abound, and then there are the Euros!  But that’s for another blog.  I will post my OFFICIAL SELECTIONS later!

This final slate of SAUHBR stakes are:

Saturday at Saratoga:

FOREGO S. Gr1 — A lot of the excitement got sucked out of this race when Benny The Bull retired, but now Lucky Island and Tasteyville are the headliners.  I like Forefathers and First Defense to show up in there, too.
WOODWARD S. Gr1 — Curlin’s dirt return, his first race at Saratoga…Divine Park is making a race of it, and AP Arrow is in there again…if he runs his race, the Champ is gonna do it easily.  They’re even giving Curlin the Key to the city!

Woodbine: ONTARIO COLLEEN S. — Have no idea who’s running, but the name Lickety Lemon is priceless!

Sunday’s grab bag of tracks:

Ruidoso Downs: LINCOLN HANDICAP — Pepper’s Pride shoots for the moon & her 17th straight victory.

Del Mar: DEL MAR DERBY — Gio Ponti makes a cross-country trip to continue his winning ways on turf.  Tizwest and Nownownow challenge.

SPECIAL HOLIDAY STAKES!!

Philly Park: PENNSYLVANIA DERBY — Perhaps the best of the weekend, with Smooth Air, Ready Set, Two Step Salsa, and Atoned and a bunch of others!  14 entries, that’s truly a “derby”!
 

Also on Manday, a long-lost favorite of mine returns to the track after almost a year off — Mr. Franks!  This colt filled out a nice exacta for me at Oaklawn back in, um…2005?

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Filed under Del Mar, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Saratoga, SAUHBR

SAUHBR WEEK 5 — RIDING HIGH!! Infield 126, BT 112!!

Go Betweens Game Face

Go Between's Game Face

Though I only had one 4pt winner this past weekend, I managed to hit the TRI in the Pac Classic!!  GO BETWEEN-Well Armed-Mast Track!!  I love that son of Point Given   I also had hits in the Pat O’s (Rebellion/Barbeque Eddie). 

Before this contest, my favorite play was the Exacta.  Over the past 5 weeks, I have become a regular Derrick Rose, raining TRIs like the former Tiger point guard.  3 TRIs in 3 weeks, and I’ve lost count of the EXs. 

I don’t really have a regular “system” for picking horses.  I study the form and also call up an encyclopedic knowledge of racing trivia and replays, sort of like youtube in my head.  I’ve seen most of these horses’ sires and dams, either during their careers or in person at the farms I have visited (BTW< I am going back to Claiborne next month).  I get tips from Steve Byk’s At The Races radio show on Sirius (the Greatest Thing, seriously — if you ain’t listening you’re missing out on a TRI).  I watch a lot of TVG.  When I get ready to make out my picks, I look at the last 3 races a horse has run, how strongly he finished, who he beat, and then dig up any other assorted trivia I have to make the final choice.  It is highly subjective, basically (but not as bad as when I first started, way back in 1995 picking KY Derby winners by their names and silks colors), but it has worked for me. 

 It’s almost enough to make me forget that I’ve abandoned Roadtothebreederscup…I FORGOT to activate my scoring horses last weekend, and missed out on an assload of points…I had Ginger Punch, Hystericalady, Colonel John & Intangaroo…but that is just how committed I am to SAUHBR.

This weekend BT has Pick Power for the last time.  A part of me hopes he will finally hit a TRI, but the rest of me says, “nah…there’s gotta be an incentive to do this crazy game again!”

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Filed under Brag sheet, Del Mar, Handicapping, results, SAUHBR

Del Mar Live Blogging

Home from work in time for the races.  Seemed like forever to get to the stakes.

Del Mar Mile:

Whatsthescript is the fave as they go to post…

Daytona looks awesome…

Bold Chieftan is nice looking…

Stoneside pretty…Monzante calm & collected…

4 mins to post…Win & Yer In race…I think Daytone has got this…

The polytrack looks like the stuff people use for footing in model horse shows.

One Union canters along, a big, dark, long-striding horse…looks good

HORSES LOADING IN GATE!!

Ha-Cha-Cha-Cha!  Durante Turf Course…

They’re off!! Storm Military in front…DDaytona up close…Daytona in lead!!  MAd closers!!  Whatsthescript!!

Hehehe..it’s kinda hard to live blog during the race…

OOOOO….OBJECTION!!  With that blanket finish it doesn’t surprise me.  Whatsthescript not involved…god, the place & show ponies were way off my radar: Bold Chieftan & Global Hunter.

Next up: PAC CLASSIC…

Post Parade…

Awesome Gem’s seconditis discussed w/ trainer Dollase…West Point’s been dangerous…head tossing, prancing…looks good

Mostacoli Mort…doesn’t “mort” mean “dead” in French?

Barcola looks strong

GO BETWEEN!!  Well Armed could be dangerous…Mast Track is being overlooked…

Student Council looks nice.

One minute to post…heh “Ken RUdolph theory of travel…’just get me home, now!'”

Going in gate…Go Between is fave…I remember when Ron was a FOX Sports commentator back in 1999…

YES!!!  GO BETWEEN!!!  Grinds.  It.  OUT!!!

and….TRIFECTA, BABY!!!  GO BETWEEN/Well Armed/MAst Track = 12 pts for SAUHBR!! 

As Lori Petty used to say, PAY THE LADY!!

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Filed under Del Mar, live blogging, polytrack

TRAVERS WEEKEND SAUHBR PICK POWER

The Travers.  The 4th Classic.  The Midsummer Derby (actually the end of summer, but anyway).  Whatever you call it, it’s this week’s feature race for SAUHBR!

Before I get to the Travers Memories, here are my picks!

TRAVERS Gr1:

1)HARLEM ROCKER
2)PYRO
3)AMPED

alt:Court Vision

 

KING’S BISHOP Gr1:
1) J BE K
2) KODIAK KOWBOY
3)I’M SO LUCKY

alt:Lantana Mob

BERNARD BARUCH Gr1:
1)THORN SONG
2)SHAKIS
3)DISTORTED REALITY

alt:Proudinsky

SUNDAY on the WEST COAST!!

PACIFIC CLASSIC Gr1:
1)GO BETWEEN
2)MAST TRACK
3)WELL ARMED

alt: Student COuncil

DEL MAR MILE Gr2
1)DAYTONA
2)MONZANTE
3)STORM MILITARY

atl:Whatsthescript

PAT O’BRIEN Gr2: MIDNITE LUTE RETURNS! 

1)REBELLION
2)BARBEQUE EDDIE
3)MIDNIGHT LUTE

alt: In Summation

 

It’s late and I’m tire.  Travers memories online tomorrow…

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Filed under Del Mar, Handicapping, Saratoga, SAUHBR

GRASS & GO: Arlington Million XXVI/ Two-Year-Old SPRINTS! +SAUHBR Week3 PICKS

My race choices this weekend are polar opposites: Gr1 Turf classics on Saturday at Arlington, and Two-Year-Old Sprints on dirt/poly on Sunday!  Whee!

This year’s Million looks to be a Euro romp, unless by some chance Silverfoot catches the Jambalaya/Tin Man/John Henry spirit and pulls a major upset.  Archipenko is the early fave, with Einstein leading the US contingent.  But here are my picks:

 

1)Mount Nelson
2)Archipenko
3)Stream Cat

alt: Einstein

Mount Nelson just won a hard-fought Coral Eclipse stakes and O’Brien has been on fire this year.  Archipenko will give him a run, but I see the son of The Rock pulling through.  Einstein has to do scads better than he has in his last 2 to even get close to the Euros.  Stream Cat actually won his last out, at Arlington, so I give him an edge over the Scientist. 

Beverly D.

1)Mauralakana
2)Precious Kitten
3)Communique

alt: Ciao

Secretariat Stakes

1)Plan
2)Tizdejavu
3)Winchester

alt:Snoose Goose

 

SUNDAY: SUPER SPEEDY FUTURITY DAY

BEST PAL STAKES Gr2 Del Mar:

1)Captain Steel
2)Azul Leon
3)Charlie’s Moment

alt: S.S. STone

VANDAL Stakes Woodbine:

1)Silver Rocket
2)El Brujo
3)Bucephalus

alt: Win and Reign

Man, this turned out to be a short field.  The top three look pretty well matched, but Silver Rocket had the best workout.  

Northwest Stallion STRONG RULER Stakes Emerald Downs:

1)Burgundy Road
2)Enumerator
3)Toss’Em Again

alt: Nickel Nickel

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Filed under arlington park, Del Mar, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, SAUHBR