This is Horse Racing
Choices. A Saturday full of choices. Think about all the choices the horsemen made and now think about all the choices you’ll make. Parx to see California Chrome? Charles Town for a stakes-packed card? The Gallant Bloom at Belmont Park? Or stay at home and play remote-control-racing? Here is your Saturday Special from Newbury to Charles Town for September 20.
The last time a national audience saw California Chrome he was on the back and wrong end of what turned out to be a five-way battle to the wire at the end of a grueling 1 1/2 miles in the June 7 Belmont Stakes.
The horses go jumping at Belmont Park today with two races to kick off the card at 1 p.m. The big menu item is the $150,000 Lonesome Glory for open stakes horses. The Grade 1 lured title contenders Demonstrative and Divine Fortune, plus the in-form Barnstorming in a field of eight.
Two years ago, Demonstrative was in the paddock for the Grade 1 Lonesome Glory steeplechase stakes at Belmont Park. Coming off two wins at Saratoga, the 5-year-old was odds-on to run his winning streak to three and take a stranglehold on the Eclipse Award.
A little more than a week to go until it’s officially fall, but the chilly air in many parts and the action on the racetrack in many parts of North America certainly took on a feeling of autumn.
To help celebrate next year’s 100-year anniversary of the incorporation of Saratoga Springs, Marylou Whitney and John Hendrickson will donate Centennial Park and a statue of the legendary Native Dancer to the city. The park will be located where Union Avenue meets Circular Street at the edge of Congress Park. The site will feature a life-size statue of Native Dancer, and the artist selected is just as fascinating and impressive as the Thoroughbred she’ll recreate.
Plenty of action here in the U.S. and most definitely abroad Saturday, with the prestigious Ladbrokes St. Leger and QIPCO Irish Champion Stakes leading the way overseas.
There were rising artists on the backside of Saratoga Race Course during the recently concluded 2014 meeting. No they don’t use paint brushes, stencils or sponges, all they need to create a piece of art is paint, canvas paper and their nose … whiskers add a nice effect as well.
The Saratoga Special summer office is emptied out, cleaned up and the tables and chairs we like to call furniture is packed away neat and tight into our storage unit, so what better time to review what else happened over the weekend and Monday.
Saturday Special. A long way from the finger-on-the-pulse at Saratoga, we bring you butt-on-the-couch from around the world. Big day of racing at Kentucky Downs, Laurel Park, Monmouth Park, Parx and other venues including Black Rock. Yes, Black Rock.
Where has the time gone? Seems like just yesterday we were unpacking our bags, office furniture and supplies and paper racks gearing up for Opening Day at Saratoga Race Course.
Charlie LoPresti stood at the big screen TV in the clubhouse, surrounded by Wise Dan’s team. Owners Morton and Elaine Fink waited to LoPresti’s left, assistant Reeve McGaughey and exercise riders Damien Rock and Kelly Wheeler stood in front of LoPresti as Wise Dan warmed up on the main track, minutes to post for the Grade 2 Bernard Baruch, the fifth race on the afternoon but the feature of the year.
Eddie Plesa wasn’t about to take complete credit for one equipment change making all the difference in one race.
Lagniappe. It’s a Creole word used frequently in Louisiana to mean “a little something extra.” Mark Twain wrote about it in the 1800s. Eric Guillot talked about it Thursday morning.
The stressors were adding up as the days clicked by for Charlie LoPresti during his annual stay here in Saratoga and an incident last weekend involving a horse he had no association with helped put his 2014 meet in perspective.
Edgar Prado can still be the right rider for your horse.
The race for leading trainer at the Saratoga Race Course meet for 2014 got awfully tight after Chad Brown capped a three-win day with a victory in, what else, a 1 1/16-mile race on the grass for 2-year-olds.
Chad Brown pegged Partisan Politics a bit of a tweener, as in in-betweener, when it came to deciding what race to pick for her debut.
Saratoga winners usually return to applause, pumped fists, smiles, the occasional shout of joy. The aftermath of Monday’s Grade 1 New York Turf Writers Cup steeplechase included no such signs of celebration.
Free as a Bird can dish it out as good as she can take it and the 5-year-old daughter of Hard Spun proved it winning Monday’s $100,000 Smart N Fancy Stakes at Saratoga Race Course.