23 August 2008

The hits just keep on coming.

'It looks like I picked the wrong week to quit sniffing glue'

Two Mea Maxima Culpa's in less than a week. What the hell is happening to me?

I ventured to Saratoga for Friday and Saturday's races and had a great time despite not cashing a single ticket. The picnic atmosphere in front of the track has a welcome feel to it. Brooklyn Backstretch graciously offered to meet me at the track and introduced me to Brother Backstretch who is a wise player. Ernie showed up after the Travers but, sadly, I had to head back toward the city so we did not get a chance to talk much.

I think I may have a solution to the whole ADW mess we are in; at least Papa Backstretch does because he kept calling Brooklyn with like two minutes to post and telling her what his picks were and she would dutifully scramble to find an open window and place his bets. This idea probably needs to be fleshed out a little but it has potential.

The weather was perfect for both days, a little warmer on Friday than Saturday, which was great. The bathrooms worked and nary a single line to get in. What I also enjoyed were the various booths set up by artists and vendors throughout the grounds and there was some sort of Battle of the Micro-Brews going on which I did not participate in, although in hindsight it could only have improved my handicapping.

The grandstand reminds me of Old Comiskey Park not because they look the same but just the feel of it and I don't even like the White Sox.

The Travers, while pedestrian time-wise, proved an entertaining race. Colonel John, who looked great coming into the race off his works, survived the photo over my pick and got his dirt win. I will add that in the paddock, as the horses were walking by on their way out to the track, I saw Mambo in Seattle and finally understood what they mean when they say 'The look of eagles.'

It's something you just have to see.

Eoin Harty showed his hand regarding the Breeder's Cup and if he and Mambo in Seattle progress from here I think one Mr. Iavarone is going to scramble to find something wrong with Big Brown. As Brooklyn Backstretch pointed out to me, sometimes the Derby is a horse's worst race and you have to give them a pass.

I think every owner of this year's three year old male crop should commit now to running their horse next year. This entire year has been a fiasco and a miserable display of mediocrity. I don't have the actual information but it seems to me that outside of the Derby/Preakness, every major race has been won by a different horse. Nobody has proven anything.

New Approach was a winner in the Juddmonte International. I know it is difficult to actually claim the winner's role from a race in which one finishes third but New Approach can do just that. He ran against Duke of Marmalade. His connections didn't qualify their preference of meeting and how many horses they would like to see run. They didn't come up with random races just to get a win. They looked at the racing calendar and hit what was pitched. For that they deserve some sort of recognition of class that is sadly lacking on this side of the pond.

Saratoga just might make it on to my calendar in the future...who knew?

I think I'm going to take the rest of the week off because not ripping into someone is killing me.


Anonymous said...

This from the fool who ripped Saratoga and the people who go there even though you admitted you were never there before.

Real class, fool !

Anonymous said...

Sorry I missed you yesterday, Brooklyn tried to get me out of the paddock and into the yard for an introduction, but it was not to be, especially once the stakes races started. Next year, I hope.

Brooklyn Backstretch said...

Far classier to admit that one was wrong than to post an insulting comment anonymously, I would say.

Great to meet you, and I'm glad you had a good time--come back soon!

SaratogaSpa said...

Great time at the Spa, Sorry I missed seeing you, would have loved to say hi. My group was was back n forth between the paddock, the carousel, grandstand and clubhouse. I was the confused looking guy with the program in my hand and pen in the ear muttering to himself. So glad you enjoyed the Spa!

Wind Gatherer said...

Anonymous-Awwww, and I was so hoping that we could be friends. Alas...

Thanks for reading though.

Jessica-It was my loss. Obtaining actual information takes precedence over hanging out with clueless malcontents. I do look forward to next year.

Brooklyn-Absolutely great time. I would love to get a tour of the out of the way places. I hope to make it out there again someday.

Wind Gatherer said...

Saratoga-I thought that was just me but then again I was tearing what little hair I have left out of my head so I may have been distracted by that. Definitely a place to come back to.

The Bid

The Bid
Greatest horse ever to look through a bridle