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Racing Beat: October 27

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Forever the paranoid type, I wonder when I will feel safe enough to announce my next pony documentary subject, which I will be shooting less than 2 weeks from today. >.>

I don’t remember Tito’s being a very remarkable brand of vodka from my bartending days… in fact I don’t remember ever pouring it, though I do recognize the bottle so we must have at least carried it.

Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Evening Attire's mama Conclour is also the dam of 6 other $100k+ winners, and is now in foal to US Ranger.

Was I the only one who went “Whoa, I lived and watched during the era of a legit legend…” when seeing pictures of the new Black Caviar bronze being unveiled?

My connections were unfortunately correct about Oxbow being destined to retire. I’m glad he’s going somewhere good though where he’ll be marketed well and may even be a standout. He’s my first in-the-flesh Preakness winner :’(

Not even kidding: a day after I shot a little video of her at the Suffolk Showcase, Southern Tap went on to win a race. Dang horse, do you want to race or retire?!

Graydar's brother Runawayeightyfour won a race this past week at Suffolk Downs.

Add Atlantic Jewel's Galileo [IRE] baby to future the hotly anticipated foals list.

Currently rummaging through pre-entries for the Breeders’ Cup… some races I only like one horse a lot, others I like half the field. What do?!

I want to go to Remsen/Cigar Mile day so so bad! Orb is actually looking legit good for the first time in forever and Honor Code's rolling like the Derby favorite he is!

I’m a little irked there’s a 50 cent trifecta, but no 50 cent pick 4 in the Breeders’ Cup. I HATE YOU, WHY YOU MAKE SO DIFFICULT THINGS?!! I’m done with horizontal exotics! (Mostly)

Waiting on breeding season to start so I can see the comments flood in about how unimpressive Overanalyze is.

Happy retirement to Fifty Proof! I heard he has a lot of fans up in Canada! And of course to my buddy Rahystrada, who takes a permanent vacay at age 9!

Tweet o’ the Week: Good names spawn winners

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Racing Beat: April 21

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I’ve been kind of dead on updating this week, I realize and apologize. Let’s hope my academic hustlin’ will pay off in the form of a sexy GPA and won’t get in the way of my choosing a Derby winner.

Winning Cause making the Derby quite possibly? Pedigree is tops, but he’s only been winning on Keeneland’s main *shrugs*

I have this idea of booking the school’s green-screen studio space, shooting myself “running away” from something, then chroma-key in a video of Alpha so it looks like he can’t catch me. Get it? Because he’s slow? Kekekeke

Handsome Mike was an interesting bet to win at Keeneland last week, which he did, but not at those goofy odds. Why does he keep getting bettors’ attention?

Goodbye Black Caviar. It’s been nice having you around. There aren’t any words fit enough to describe you. I hope you go to Animal Kingdom.

Glad to be right about something. Departing caught my eye winning like he did without Lasix, but was plagued by bad trips when he needed a better one.

I have no idea who I like for the Oaks.

Wonder what they’ll name the new full brother to Zenyatta.

Pilfer has been bred back To Bernardini. As a To Honor and Serve fan and an early watcher of Elnaawi (by Street Sense), I think this may be the only time I’m interested in a Bernardini spam.

Feeling a bit weird not liking any Zayat horses heading into the Kentucky Derby.

It has occurred to me multiple times that I have yet to see a Kentucky Derby winner in the flesh. The only horse that could change that anytime soon is Palace Malice should he win the roses in the coming weeks…

Dear Bob Baffert, while you’re shipping Game On Dude around to the most prestigious, high-dollar dirt races, please remember the northeast.

Revolutionary and Red Rifle have been workout mates lately. I need a picture of those two.

Tweet o’ the Week: I tried out Gizoogle for a few minutes and look what happened

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Racing Beat: March 31

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HAPPY EASTER EVERYPONY! Here’s to hoping I can cash out big-time on post-Easter candy sales this year. I’ll be up early tomorrow anyway.

I heard a number of good things about the sale-topping $1.6 million Bernardini colt at Fasig-Tipton last weekend. Regardless, he’s apt to be another regret for Robert LaPenta. DID YOU LEARN NOTHING FROM BUYING EASTER GIFT? (Although that one only cost him $90k)

I am just about all moved back in at this point, but I have rational fears that my dad will “clean” for me in here so I put a sign on the Derby Handicap prizes that says “DO NOT TOUCH.” What happens? He moves the box out of my room like he was going to do something to it! Yes I just about flipped out on him. Yes, this is the main reason why I can’t wait for the contest to be over. NOTHING IS SAFE HERE!

I ship Black Caviar and Animal Kingdom.

Awesome Feather has a new full brother! EEEEEE

It’s April tomorrow and you know what that means… one more month until May! Oh, and the Derby Dozen profiles. Gotta keep that tradition rolling. I’m thinking Orb will be the first of the top 12 I will cover.

Believe it or not, but yesterday I was actually rooting AGAINST Bourbon Courage in the Nola ‘Cap. I had put down Mark Valeski as my pick to beat Graydar, which he almost did dammit. On that note, I can’t believe the butthead handicappers that were dissing Marky as being “way too slow” to be a factor.

The amount of grr that emanated from my vocal cords when Dubai played the Australia anthem instead of the American one after Animal Kingdom’s win.

My laugh echoed across the seas when He’s Had Enough was sent off at 8-1 odds in the UAE Derby. Time to pack up the tack, people. He’s had enough.

Unlimited Budget vs. Midnight Lucky vs. Dreaming of Julia. This is going to be one delish Oaks.

Part of me is glad I don’t have to handicap the Wood Memorial this week for the Derby Handicap. Verrazano is the big horse of the race and I want to beat him so badly but I don’t know! But Normandy Invasion is still looking scary good… Vyjack too…

There’s a gray two-year-old filly over at Woodbine named No Soup for You (by Alphabet Soup). *adds to virtual stable*

Tweet o’ the Week

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Racing Beat: March 24

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Glad to know I got to see Agave Kiss race before she was retired. I really liked watching her races online, a filly with a lot of power. She’s booked to Tapit for her first foal.

ALSO GLAD: moody sprinter Hamazing Destiny.

Sounds like I might get to see the beautiful Cerro [IRE] in the Belmont Stakes this year!

Someone needs to be at the track all the time to photograph all these horses. I hate watching a big stakes and having no idea how pretty some of these underdog losers and victors are until afterward. Why are only famous ponies photographed? :/ Anyway, Black Onyx is pretty.

Orb won’t have many excuses to lose the Florida Derby with Merit Man setting the pace.

Getting people to love and watch horse racing is like getting people to love and actually read books. “TRY IT YOU’LL LOVE IT!… No you ought to try it this way… it gets better after the first hundred pages!”

Pure poetry in race calling: “Brutal power wrapped in an elegant machine!” Perfect for Black Caviar.

Something that drove me crazy this week: “handicappers” dismissing certain horses on the Derby trail because they took 4 or 5 times to break their maiden. Hello? Ever heard of late bloomers? Oxbow needed time to get good. I don’t recall who said it specifically.

The 2013 running of the Bourbonette Oaks will live in infamy preceded by “Fathead.” No.

I used Twilight Eclipse and Excaper in the Kent Stakes (III) last year, so naturally I was miffed when he decided to win in world record time yesterday.

Count on me to not want one of my most beloved Derby contenders from last year, Sky Kingdom, to win over Calidioscopio [ARG] yesterday. His Marathon win was one of the most exciting (and profitable) for me personally.

A full sibling to Zo Impressive is in the works! Zoftig is back in foal to Hard Spun for 2014! I miss “Zo.”

Tweet o’ the Week:

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Running like a broken record, the legendary Black Caviar repeats effortless victory at Moonee Valley, winning the William Reid Stakes by 4 lengths. 24 in a row, and still no pressure!

Just getting better with age! Black Caviar with Luke Nolen, up. (Photo by Fast Track Photography)

Just getting better with age! Black Caviar with Luke Nolen, up. (Photo by Fast Track Photography)

Racing Beat: February 17

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Midnight Interlude sold and to stand in India. I didn’t even know they were into horse racing (I could assume so, but… I don’t know, it was just off my radar).

I said it once, but I’ll say it again: BLACK CAVIAR!

So a Scat Daddy colt wins the El Camino Real (III), which is synthetic, again this year. Why is everyone acting so shocked?

I hope your butt feels better soon, Rachel Alexandra.

Horses love to win once I give up on them… Pacific Ocean and now State Flag, a Street Cry [IRE] I bet on last Belmont Day in a grass race. Dah!

Upcoming Derby race blurbs: Treasury Bill has my rooting interest in the (too short) San Vicente (II), and Always in a Tiz for the Southwest(II)! Still, kind of a boring duo in comparison to the upcoming Risen Star (II) in 6 days. Unf unf Proud Strike! Palace Malice! Normandy Invasion! Oxbow!

Very nice! Days after mentioning her and her young stablemate (Miffed) in my Oaks list, Phil Simms trained Don’t Tell Sophia to launch a drawing-away, 6 1/2 length upset win in the Bayakoa at Oaklawn! This older mare was sold as a yearling for a mere $1,000!

I’m judging you if you rank Verrazano overly high after that ONE race… at 6 1/2 furlongs… loose on the lead setting sprinter-like fractions… IN EARLY FEBRUARY WITH NO 2-YEAR-OLD STARTS. Look at this info and then back at me, look at his family and back at me, look at his trainer and now back at me.

Of course I watched it for Fortify, but Soft Falling Rain [SAF] wasn’t too shabby in the UAE 2000 Guineas (UAE-III). The winner is by an unraced Ontario stallion and out of an unraced Giant’s Causeway mare and is currently undefeated in 6 starts.

I liked her lots early on, but Bustle got a horrid trip to be 3rd in her most recent race… unfortunately, a $20-$25k claiming at Gulfstream.

For those who believe in herd dynamics influencing racehorses, I wonder if baby “Princess” will think she’s a palomino.

Tweet o’ the Week: Still got that royal blue halter

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I’m not the only one who stayed up in the States here to watch Black Caviar return, right?
At the start she had me scared like I always am, but just like her other races, as the pack continued down the grassy lane, the other nameless horses looked like they were pumping hard while Nelly was just striding along before letting it loose in the final jumps. Nelly’s return was one for the books as she is now 23-for-23 and still the world’s finest sprinter with a new track record for 5 furlongs; I don’t know any horse that could best :55 and change on any surface while not being “100%” according to her trainer, and not being asked!
Whether she continues racing or retires, she’s truly the untouchable kind of legend! (Photo by Michael Scanlan)

I’m not the only one who stayed up in the States here to watch Black Caviar return, right?

At the start she had me scared like I always am, but just like her other races, as the pack continued down the grassy lane, the other nameless horses looked like they were pumping hard while Nelly was just striding along before letting it loose in the final jumps. Nelly’s return was one for the books as she is now 23-for-23 and still the world’s finest sprinter with a new track record for 5 furlongs; I don’t know any horse that could best :55 and change on any surface while not being “100%” according to her trainer, and not being asked!

Whether she continues racing or retires, she’s truly the untouchable kind of legend! (Photo by Michael Scanlan)

I didn’t pay much mind to it and unfortunately just missed it coming home after a long day, but a special congrats to Cox Plate (AUS-I) victor and New Zealander Ocean Park who got to Black Caviar's little brother All Too Hard in the final jumps of the Aussie classic. Heavy favorite Pierro chimed in for the show in the race. Smirking jockey Glen Boss said it best: “To all those who doubted him, stick that up your shirt.”

I didn’t pay much mind to it and unfortunately just missed it coming home after a long day, but a special congrats to Cox Plate (AUS-I) victor and New Zealander Ocean Park who got to Black Caviar's little brother All Too Hard in the final jumps of the Aussie classic. Heavy favorite Pierro chimed in for the show in the race. Smirking jockey Glen Boss said it best: “To all those who doubted him, stick that up your shirt.”

Racing Beat: September 30

The nerd in me sighed with glee when I found an article online talking about the effect of blinkers on horses using *gasp* linear regression graphs. I f—king hate you, pre-calculus, but this softens your blow on my leisure time.

GAME ON DUDE!!! My HOTY/Classic pick since January hasn’t changed.

I was having a hard time figuring out which juvie filly I liked most for the Breeders’ Cup, So Many Ways or Dreaming of Julia… luckily Maggi Moss made the decision to keep the former out of the trying Breeders’ Cup, and automatically made me a bigger fan of her.

Black Caviar: the only champ to not retire this year.

There’s no record of an American horse being registered as Jailbait before… no I don’t know why I looked that one up… should be a future Big Brown filly name though, UNF!

I might actually go to the mall near here soon for the first time. Do you think Jo-Ann’s Fabrics would carry giant red pom-poms? I’m still toying with the idea of making a Trinniberg-mobile.

A great must-read that reflects my sentiments about those million-dollar yearlings written by Cot Campbell of Dogwood Stables, one of my favored connections. I mean really, other than A.P. Indy how many of those super-expensive auction horses returned the investment? How many champs do you see this year with less-than-trendy pedigrees AND less-than-perfect conformation (I can think of a few… I’ll Have Another, Little Mike, Dullahan, Fort Larned, Ron the Greek)? Exactly. I guess this is also why Seattle Slew is my favorite Triple Crown winner.

Royal Delta to race for the Classic and Dubai World Cup next year. Smart moves for this classy gal, hope she can kick it all next year.

Once again, we’re in for an embarrassing three-year-old presence in the Breeders’ Cup Classic. I’m wagering that Alpha will finish second-last just like Stay Thirsty did… although I will admit, the latter seemed to be through with racing at that point last year while I’m not 100% sure Alpha’s fuel is spent just yet.

Hey, hey guys… remember before Paynter started running he was named M C’s Dream? Yeah, how embarrassing that would have been… IT’S NOT TOO LATE FOR TACO, STONESTREET!

I always wondered if this sort of thing ever happened, and it did this past week at Hoosier Park: the starting gate was immobilized during a route race and was unable to be relocated as the horses rounded the bend. Look at that one jockey vault over the rail!

I am not sure if I can pick between Brown Almighty or Fredericksburg should both go for the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf. MY HEART WILL SPLIT INTO TWO!

I’m ashamed at the Zenyatta nation dolts who said that Baby Z has that “handsome Bernardini head.” What? No. I think Stay Thirsty and Alpha look pretty similar to each other, but Baby Z looks like Zenyatta… the ears, the eyes, the nose… don’t argue with me!

Going to the Thoroughbred races, keeping "track" of the memories. Obsessively providing a comprehensive and personal glance at the sport of kings through original photography, handicapping analysis, editorials, and much more.

Tracks visited: Calder, Saratoga, Belmont, Suffolk, Aqueduct.


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