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Racing Beat: October 27


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


Racing Beat: October 20


More Suffolk Downs sibling royalty! Jo Jo is a half to graded stakes-placed gelding Setsuko, who is best known as one of Game On Dude's most fierce rivals and a habitual runner-up in the biggest G1 races out west.

Dullahan retires with a tendon injury and curiosity as to whether or not the U.S. market supports synthetic breeding. The Unbridled’s Song in him should help him move a bit in attracting interest. Weeps for a Dullahan-less future… RIP buddy, it was a pleasure seeing you at Belmont.

Rest in peace, Hoofit [NZ]. Game all day, and a source of “pick a horse based on their name” joy. Also RIP to Take Control. And Formulaforsuccess, who I saw race this year/photographed.

I get ridiculously starstruck in horse racing… the guy photographer who pointed out Honor Code to me at Belmont goes by “Easy Goer” on Flickr. Had I known that I would have tensed up just like I did when I was in line at Saratoga next to “Rock and Racehorses.” >.> #incurable

Already interested in what the headlines might say when Flashback comes back, er or returns? What sounds better?

An anti-casino protester broke the nose of a 60-year-old supporter/track employee at a Suffolk Downs rally this past week. Not great press for them. Polls currently show 49% of East Boston voters support a casino at the Downs— which will be receiving a city vote on November 5— while 43% dissent. The vote will be even more intriguing now that Suffolk has dropped Caesars as a management partner after finding out they had history of criminal activity overseas. THE PLOT THICKENS!

If only we could bet on who we think will finish last. Alpha's a near-lock in the Dirt Mile!

Don’t let me down Joe Talamo, Moreno has been doing surprisingly well every time out and needs an A+ ride to stay alive in the Breeders’ Cup Classic.

I’m glad I got to see Mizdirection in the flesh before she retires as a broodmare prospect selling at the November sale. She had one of my favorite Breeders’ Cup performances from last year— 2nd just to Calidoscopio [ARG]— and is just such a cool mare.

I’m beginning to sense that maybe it’s not such a grand comeback story that Point of Entry is returning straight to the Breeders’ Cup Turf after a 5-month layoff and dozens of pins in his leg. Let the man go into retirement peacefully!

Another cool mare set to retire: Include Me Out. Includes are pretty darn cool by nature.

Tweet o’ the Week: I get jealous of these people who get to go on multi-farm tours


Racing Beat: October 13


More famous siblings that race at Suffolk Downs: Runwayeightyfour, a half to G1 winner Graydar by Mineshaft.

New two-year-old to add to your virtual stable: Man Cave, an Ontario-bred who recently broke his maiden at Woodbine. Yes, just for the name.

I saw that one coming: Ultimate Eagle, who was pulled up earlier in the year during the Donn Handicap (I) retires to stud in California. Cool horse with a lot of ability.

The stud fee for Kitten’s Joy is reportedly going to “at least” double from $50,000 in 2013 to $100,000 or more in 2014. Normally I would agree, but a) Americans don’t shop for grass horses and b) homebred winners spreading like wildfire all of a darn sudden are automatically suspect.

I can’t be the only one who nicknames their horse-type Pokemon after racehorses.

Among the hot new two-year-olds probably destined to disappoint me next year because of their connections: Tap It Rich, a Tapit ridgeling, impressed in his debut race yesterday. Absolutely kills it in his workouts. Trained by Baffert, ridden by Mike Smith.

Last year’s Best Pal (II) winner Know More was just claimed for $25,000. Ouch.

Calder’s next star is on the rise! Best Plan Yet, a Hear No Evil colt, romped in the state-bred In Reality Stakes by more than 5 lengths.

Has anyone held a new DRF? I heard they’re kinda small…

I’m secretly hoping that we get a knock-out Juvenile race in the Breeders’ Cup so those early Derby odds on Honor Code get jilted. That would be nice.

Tweet o’ the Week: Gio!


Racing Beat: October 6


Wow I did good handicapping the Arc! First choice Novellist scratched, but third choice Treve won and second choice Orfevre was second! I also mentioned liking Intello too much to not insert a blip about, and Intello finished third. So that’s pretty much a boxed trifecta in a huge race. *pats self on back*

Richard’s Kid is a deserving retiree, much the best to him. I couldn’t care less about Shanghai Bobby.

I enjoy a lot of Ramsey-owned horses, but at this point, media outlets are inflating their ego beyond bursting writing about all their wins. It’s not really Eclipse-worthy if they keep dropping down claims and inserting rabbits into races in order to rack up wins.

Post-Arc factoid: Ocovango's name comes from the name of the area of water on the Nile River where the most crocodiles live.

I haven’t seen the My Conquestadory race just yet, but I’m wary going in. Glad to have believed in Artie Schiller as a sire.

Among the first possibles listed for the Cigar Mile: Orb. You guys can stop now…

Remember when Judy the Beauty was 2 and Wesley Ward was all gung-ho about running her against colts, even then? Yup, I do too, and she looks good after that G1 win over Groupie Doll and Gypsy Robin!

More mad respect due to Ghostzapper, a pedigree handicappin’ fave of mine to use time after time: a G1 and a G2 in ONE day this weekend!

I’m not even going to read “Palace Malice Should Be Admired.”

A half to G1 winner Starship Truffle was foaled in Massachusetts. Now let’s get that slot funding…

Still on the Honor Code train of course, but I really want to find a super awesome, distance-worthy Pioneerof the Nile to like.

After finishing last at Saratoga during my visit, former New England champ Perfect Joiski is back in the winner’s circle at Suffolk Downs.

Tweet o’ the Week


Racing Beat: September 15


I’m not dead. Or out of photos. I’ve just been busy or sleeping like a dead, lifeless… rock.

It’s officially on like Donkey Kong: I’ll be at Belmont Park on September 28 with a nice fast telephoto lens that I’ll have rented. No word yet on the press pass, but if I do get it by then I’m more than sure you’ll see the “horse racing” tag blow up with the news.

Saratoga pony win! Vuitton upset the Open Mind Stakes at 7-1.

My favorite Keeneland hip? I liked a few of them, including one of the last Dynaformer colts, one of the many nice Tiznow colts, the half to Sweet Lulu by Tapit, another Arch colt, but this Arch filly out of G3 winner Golden Marlin needs watching racing with Starlight Racing (i.e. likely to go to Pletcher):

There’s a big difference between who you’re rooting for to win and who you actually bet to win. Sometimes. People just need to understand that about me.

I immediately went after the Artie Schillers for the Summer Stakes (II) yesterday, but I guess I picked the wrong one.

So I think everyone heard about the Blood Horse expanding its editorial staff. Meanwhile, I struggle to slap sense into my journalism professor at a Massachusetts state college newspaper, because writing about a Boston race track doesn’t seem terribly relevant. TURF WRITING FOR THE GENERAL POPULACE IS HARD.

Welcome back to Point of Entry! He’s back to Belmont and breezing!

It was in a Racing Beat not too long ago (last year, actually) when I first mentioned Mentor Cane. Glad to see he lived up to the expectations despite being doubted before his time came. Once again, just because a colt doesn’t break his maiden immediately, does NOT mean he is not fast or is no good!

The retirement of Liasion made me flashback to when he won the CashCall (I) and people sent me hate mail for vocally dismissing him as a legitimate Derby horse. *shrugs*

Paynter's full brother Fire Flight is back on the work tab after some time off.

Best wishes to the brave Rajiv Maragh on a speedy recovery after a very scary accident.

My buddy Classic Speed races at Suffolk on Monday! He’ll be a “root” to win moving up to an allowance sprint race.

Tweet o’ the Week: A laugh for you footballers…

Racing Beat: August 26


GAME ON DUDEEEEEEEEEEEEE! What was that again about not being able to get 10 furlongs or do poly?

As some of you know, I work nights in a hospital and I was weirdly delighted to come across bottles of furosemide aka Lasix the other day while in the cardiovascular wing. I’ll probably be excited the day I get old and get injected with this stuff… I AM A RACEHORSE!

The internet broke out into applause when Doug O’Neill claimed back Toomanytomatoes in a 22-way shake. *claps*

How do Group 1 races in Europe get filled to the brim but most U.S. G1 races get like 5 entries?

My original, very first Speightstown love came back: Wine Police! I’ll have to dig through the Galloping Hat Rack archives to find my first posts about him, but aw yeah!

I want to go to Del Mar one day so I can tell you guys whether it’s better than Saratoga or not… I doubt it… that ocean will have to be pristine with no cigarette butts or inconveniently placed rocks anywhere!

I am now 3-for-3 in predicting losers of major stakes races in my dreams: Alpha, Stay Thirsty, and now Verrazano.

The crushing feeling one gets when not one, but two horses are put down. Rest in peace, Sarava’s Dancer and Kris Royal. Could the 3rd and 4th fatalities of this Saratoga meet be blamed on a super fast track [for the biggest stakes weekend]? It’s possible.

Ego boost: I noticed my blog’s weekly page view counts exploded last week, particularly on Friday and Saturday. I wonder why, it’s not like I made any outer links. The pick 4 stuff I’ve been doing lately is the only new thing I’ve been doing… this is just like all those times I got referred as an “expert” by other people. It just feels weird.

Mike Smith can’t seem to win. One day he’s blamed for Palace Malice's poor run, the very next day he's applauded for riding Royal Delta. And people suggest “backseat training” is more of a problem.

I’m stuck between feeling elated that Bustle finally won a race— and on the turf at Saratoga, no less— and feeling irked that she got claimed from the Matzes. :/

Do you ever wonder if a few really stupid things were different, that one could like a horse more? Just sayin’, they should have done away with braiding Rachel Alexandra's mane… not a big fan of the braids… Tapizar's looked ok, but eh!

There’s nothing quite like watching Royal Delta run. She merely gallops under a hand ride while other top horses like Authenticity are driving to [try to] get within touching distance.

I still have Mudflats in my virtual stable. I was just about ready to delete him when he finally won at Del Mar after dropping way down in class. I wonder how much they bought him for early in the year… BIG MISTAKE. My virtual stable actually did pretty good this weekend…

Tweet o’ the Week: I want this kind of backside access :’(


Racing Beat: July 21


I finally updated the blog’s banner and my about page. It sucked to cross out Nehro's name as one of my favorite still-living horses…

Record-setting Queen’s Plate (CAN-I) winner Strait of Dover has passed due to a twisted colon. Also, a recent and popular claimer of Doug O’Neill’s, Salt Tequila Lime, has died. #rip

The fact that Joel Rosario made more than a third of what I currently make in a year just on Del Mar’s opening day makes me want to cry and eat his weight in cake.

Convocation, a well-pedigreed Darley gelding who ran 2nd to Haynesfield in the 2010 Suburban Handicap among other notable starts, has been reportedly retired… after scratching out of a $4,000 claimer at Suffolk Downs earlier this week. Tis a slippery slope in the world of horse racing… he managed to beat Ice Box and Ron the Greek earlier in his career under the direction of James Jerkens. I hope he has found a good rest home.

My new thing to watch now that my cable TV selections got slashed are the pawn shop shows, and yesterday on Pawn Stars someone brought in one of Secretariat's old shoes which included a letter from Penny Chenery. Big Hoss admitted he knew little about racing, offered $2k for it. OBVIOUSLY YOU DO NOT UNDERSTAND!

A match made in gray heaven? Zo Impressive and Tapit. Yep, it happened. Now all we need is Henrythenavigator and Zenyatta to make it in brown horse heaven.

I was rooting for My Happy Face to win the Coaching Club, but Princess of Sylmar definitely earned it.

Power Broker's my current pick to win the Travers.

I’m not much of a Lasix capper, so it felt nice when Royal Delta romped without it after suffering an apparent bad reaction to the stuff in her last, inexcusably disappointing start.

Fellow The Walking Dead fans will be delighted to learn that there is a two-year-old filly by First Samurai named Michonne.

My Rise Jim choice to win, Dreamed a Dream, finished third at 13-1. The winner was a crazy 64-1 longshot. I guess this is what happens when you let your Les Mis feels handicap for you.

Horse racing fan problems: I was reading an article about birth control debates, and every time they abbreviated it to “BC” my mind shifted to thinking about the Breeders’ Cup. D’oh.

Tweet o’ the Week: I can see this newfangled terminology catching on quickly with the Tumblr crowd…


Racing Beat: July 7

I’m going to go ahead and say something… Cozmic One kind of got ugly. Awkward yearling phase I hope, like his head just suddenly got big and clunky looking. Jess’s Dream is still very pretty. Baby Z13 is perfect and I’m 110% convinced he is going to be magical. Blind Luck's Bernardini filly is developing into a looker.

So Daisy Devine was DQ’d from her 2nd place finished in the Jenny Wiley due to a clenbuterol positive. Her trainer is taking the $500 fine in stride, and has stated his barn has installed new security cameras to stop any staff/vets from doing this nonsense. Okay really? I looked up the cost of clenbuterol and it runs $60-80 at its cheapest, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that figure is smaller than it actually is. It’s an anabolic steroid used for slimming down, building muscle, and aiding respiration in horses and I doubt anyone would just dump some in a horse without you knowing about it.

Creating my “driving to Saratoga” playlist. Song 1: “Paradise”. Perfect fit, and it would kick off my passage through the Berkshires very nicely.

Is Stop Smiling going to be good like her sister? Half-sister to Weemissfrankie won her debut in a Hollywood MSW.

Despite a fierce battle with Gulfstream for racing dates, Calder’s Summit of Speed still attracts big names and filled races with some handsome payouts.

I saw pictures of Tapitsfly this past week as a broodmare in Japan… I figured that sort of thing happened, but other than that I know nothing. She does have a younger full sister who should be racing at some point soon.

Here’s to hoping the newly-established U.S. Timeform lives up to its hype and actually provides useful handicapping tools.

The G3 Poker lost by heavy favorite Data Link (4th) was a golden opportunity to show bet against him. He’s not THAT good of a horse and there were quite a few very good horses in there. Same story for Little Mike in the United Nations (I) coming off that fuzzy Dubai layoff against good company… YES… I TELL YOU ALL OF THIS NOW…

I don’t really keep a close eye on my following numbers on any network, but I was proud to see I had more than a hundred followers than some HRN writers on Twitter. I guess I must be decent then, or at least somewhat entertaining! Nobody can possibly visit this blog because I give away oodles of winners!

Tweet o’ the Week:

Racing Beat: June 30


Just WEEKS remain until the opening of the Saratoga meet… squee!

A horse named Whomping Willow just ran 2nd at Churchill Downs. Fandom bet for Harry Potter nerds! I’ll wait for one that is named Goblet of Fire…

Happy retirement and well wishes to the mighty old man marathoner Calidoscopio [ARG], a horse I will never forget as a one in a million type. I hope he has a very successful stud career.

Word had trickled out that Kauai Katie might be washed up, and she scratched from Saturday’s Victory Ride (III) to instead concentrate on the upcoming Prioress (I) in a month. Eh? I smell another possible upset for that race this year, and unfortunately it won’t be held on Whitney Day. -___-

Planning a January trip to Vinery New York to visit one of my fave sires Bluegrass Cat during their annual stallion parade.

Typical power struggle occurring amongst South Florida tracks (again) makes me wish there was still only Hialeah down there and operating. I haven’t gone there… YET!… but the architecture is beautiful.

I was playing with the idea of entering into a handicapping contest for fun at Saratoga, then I found out it’s $1,000 to enter. Hahahaha… nope. I guess that’s the unfortunate part about it… when there’s money at stake, all the fun gets suckered out of having handicapping competitions.

It took a track record to beat Dayatthespa in her return to the races against a horse who is 2-for-2 at Monmouth. Not too bad!

I don’t bother picking out special two-year-olds until around August/September. For now, just pick the hot juvie sires: Exchange Rate, Indian Charlie, Scat Daddy, Spring At Last, Discreet Cat, Sky Mesa, Tiz Wonderful, More Than Ready, etc.

Sad she didn’t win, but still happy with So Many Ways who ran 3rd in the Iowa Oaks.

Tweet o’ the Week:


Racing Beat: June 23


The elitists who proclaimed that the Triple Crown preps did an about-face and supported the “old school” when Orb won the Derby don’t have much to complain about when Oxbow took the Preakness— he had one of the best classic pedigrees of the lot— and then Cot Campbell’s Palace Malice, a son of anything-goes superhorse Curlin.

As a delayed side confession, I wasn’t that sad that Orb lost. It meant less traffic for when I went to the Belmont AHAHAHAHA I hate traffic.

Time to retire Jaycito I think… oh wait they are? But only after no one claimed him after running last YET AGAIN?

Orb has a full sibling on the way for 2014. Yip yip.

Latest horse to add to the “best name ever” list?: Streethomealabama, a Ken McPeek trainee.

I hate it when one of my favorites is bet down to be the favorite even though they shouldn’t be (thanks Andy Serling, not)… Red Rifle, you’ll get another chance!

If Wise Dan and or Paynter really do intend on going to the Whitney (both Lopresti and Baffert expressed tongue-in-cheek interest of expanding their champs’ options with the “Win and You’re In” series), any indecision on going to that race has been resolved!

Most depressing part about Hollywood’s closure (or one of many): where will Vic Stauffer blow up the mic? I hope he gets a nice big meet to call.

Maybe it’s not too much to hope that Ramon D can take Gary Stevens’ place as a knowledgeable talking head.

When I have a few seconds, I’m making a “Go Big Ugly” themed shirt.

I hate the bandwagon game everyone appears to be playing with the three-year-old filly crop, where the opinion changes with each race. It wasn’t long ago that everyone was doubting Dreaming of Julia, then they celebrated her, and now she’s back to goat status. Whatever. I’m still on the S.S. Smitten, who races again at Churchill Downs on Thursday. She still looks sharp despite a three-month layoff, so be wise!

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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