Monday, June 25, 2012

Grading the 2012 Saratoga Giveaway Items

The Giveaway days, aka non-betting cheap people bumping into you at the Track Day, continues under the watch of Governor aka Emperor Cuomo. Here's my quickie review and grade for the 2012 items (photos of items released by NYRA):


Love the Galloping Horse added to the Bill-looks a lot classier than past years ball caps

Grade: A-


A checkered color mat with a snazzy looking handle-look's okay enough to keep in your car for spontaneous use.

Grade: B


Does this look Tall, slender and tapered to you? Nope, plus a true Pilsner glass has an even taper without curvature. This looks more like a pint glass to me. Can we expect Cuomo to blame exiled NYRA CEO Charles Hayward for this one? For the lack of accuracy the item should get an F, but lets face it, this is a beer glass after all and I expect a large turnout for this misnamed item.

Grade: C


This Wal Mart quality item probably costs about 60 cents to make. Will look good enough till you try to wash it and run it through the dryer. After one wash/dry cycle it will make your snuggie appear high quality.

Grade: C

Monday, June 11, 2012

Post-Belmont Stakes 2012 Thoughts

 In a sentence great day, great time. The Gang of Four I was part of arrived well before race #1 and once again Beautiful Belmont Park did not disappoint.

Belmont is one of the few tracks where even on big stakes days you can feel comfortable and not overwhelmed by the crowds. After 100,000 or so the place starts to feel tight, but Belmont comfortably handles a crowd of 85,000 plus.

Emperor Cuomo, you missed a good time.  

Here are some photographs taken by yours truly with my Blackberry cell phone camera:

Loved seeing John Ortiz (back to the camera) aka Turo Escalante of the prematurely cancelled series Luck, throughout the day bounding through the Belmont Park like a kid on Christmas Day.

The vastness of this track never ceases to amaze me. Here is a photo of the final turn taken before the 1st race of the day.

                       Union Rags warming up on the track before the Belmont Stakes Start

                                            Atigun looked real good pre race

                                         Mike Smith up on Paynter approaching the starting gate

                   And down the stretch the come with Union Rags coming up on the rail.

All this access with no seats and simply paying Clubhouse Admission pricing and walking around. What a game.

Thursday, June 07, 2012

11 Reasons I'LL Have Another won't win the Triple Crown

There is a lot of talk about the number 11 going into the 2012 Belmont Stakes. Numerology fans rooting for I'll Have Another's bid for the Triple Crown point out that there have been 11 Triple Crown Winners, 11 horses have failed in the final leg at Belmont Stakes since Affirmed won the TC, and now I'll Have Another is in the 11 hole for the Belmont.

With that in mind here is 11 reasons why I'll Have Another will not be a Triple Crown horse:

1. Gallops only since the Preakness, no official workouts.

2 He really looked at the end of his tether going 1 1/4 in Kentucky Derby effort

3. Early pace will be strong enough to soften up I'll Have Another

4. Looks like a horse that will be decelerating last 1/8th a mile in a race where others (like Dullahan) will be accelerating

5. He's had 2 near perfect trips at Derby and Belmont-think he really get another?

6. Enough Bad Karma around Horses Connections to screw it up (i.e. Big Brown Factor)

7. Rookie Jockey

8. Big enough field for race riding against I'll have Another to be a factor

9. Great horses win the Triple Crown, not very good horses

10. If he loses, that eliminates all the "what will this win do for the game" articles. Enough of a reason alone for him to lose

11. The most important # is 11 and there are 11 other horse in the race and one of them will be the winner

UPDATE: I'LL Have Another was scratched on Friday with a Tendon Injury to his left front leg