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SPA DIARY-DAY 28, ALL STAKES P3 FROM LAKE PLACID TO ALABAMA WITH A SPRINT IN BETWEEN

Saratoga Springs, August 19, 2022 — Please do not consider this short shrift. We’ve used all our useful time handicapping and researching. And, so, here is a down-and-dirty version of the All Stakes Pick 3 beginning with Saturday’s eighth race, the Grade 2 Lake Placid.

SARATOGA RACE COURSE

G2 LAKE PLACID STAKES Race 8

DESERVING FAVORITE: With The Moonlight (9-5)

EARLY LINE VALUE: Consumer Spending (7-2)

STRAIGHT WAGER and EXOTICA: Betting Consumer Spending to win at 3-1 or greater. Exacta Key Box Consumer Spending with Haughty (9-2) and With The Moonlight (9-5). Three-Filly Trifecta Box

SMART N FANCY STAKES

DESERVING FAVORITE: Miss J McKay (4-1)

EARLY LINE VALUE: Lady Edith (8-1)

STRAIGHT WAGER and EXOTICA: Lady Edith to win at 6-1 or greater. Exacta and Trifecta Key Box: Lady Edith with Miss J McKay, Change of Control (7-2), Robin Sparkles (6-1) and Caravel (4-1)

G1 ALABAMA STAKES

DESERVING FAVORITE: Nest (1-2)

EARLY LINE VALUE: Nostalgic (15-1)

EXOTICA and STRAIGHT WAGER: Exacta and Trifecta Key Nest 1st with Gerrymander (7-2), Secret Oath (4-1) and Nostalgic (15-1) to complete the play. Saver Win Wager: Nostalgic to win at 12-1 or greater.

RACING AS REFUGE

Here we are in Saratoga, my old home town. Waiting to get back here, like many other people, since 2019.

No, I had to arrive here to contract a virus. It was the first time I’ve traveled since March of 2020. Draw your own conclusions.

Been luckier than many. First, I remain on the right side of the turf course. This morning was my third on the backside after two weeks here.

It’s enjoyable, productive. Chatted up Mr. Shug, Mr. Mott and Monsieur Clement. Saw Dale Romans and his better half, Tammi. Dale, looking great, introduced me to his childhood friend, Eric Reed.

The man you all saw on TV after the Kentucky Derby is the same one you’ll meet in person. Ever cordial, unassuming, over the moon with his big chestnut, who he says has flourished since the Belmont.

He said he’s doing things right, then explained. “He trained good for the Belmont, too, but I could see he was trying hard to do it; here the track is tiring but he’s getting over it good, He’s doing things easier.

“I want him fit,” Reed added, “but don’t want to make him body sore with too much work coming off the eight weeks. He’s grown, filled out. I didn’t really notice because I see him every day. But people from Kentucky have been telling me. His attitude is good. He seems to love it up here.”

Reed’s happy he was given a stall in Romans’ barn. “I’ve known Dale my whole life. It’s makes it easier when you come to a new place to have people who know you. I’m enjoying it.”

When we arrived, Reed was on the phone to his people in Kentucky and Ohio, picking out spots for the majority of his stock. In between, he was finalizing plans to get jockey Sonny Leon here in a timely fashion from South Florida. That likely will be a week from today.

I’ll say this. Eric Reed is an easy man to root for.

For now, I’ll concentrate on Saturday’s storied Alabama, perhaps witness my first live race of the 2022 Saratoga season. In a perfect world…

Juddmonte Winner Nothing Less Than ‘One of the Ones

I’ve said it before but worth repeating. Even though I’ve been gung ho for Breeders’ Cup since the inaugural in 1984, I’ve only been a Euro-Nerd for about a short decade.

Barely old enough, I hardly knew–only heard tell–of the great Ribot and have no excuses to not know more of the great Frankel, only by offspring.

But I have followed Baaeed’s career closely, certainly for his last six Group 1 scores, most at one mile: the Sussex, the Queen Anne, the Lockinge, Queen Elizabeth II, Prix du Moulin and, of course, Wednesday’s Juddmonte International.

And that was heralded as the supreme test, at a classic distance, a chance for 10-for-10 legendary glory, in the manner of a Frankel. The trip was supposed to be the thing, only the farther he ran, the stronger he appeared to get. kicking clear and lengthening stride.

It was one of the greatest performances I’ve ever seen. Full stop.

And now the talk of one more run before retirement. It will be up to William Haggas to make the final call. The chatter concerns the Champion Stakes at Ascot, and now the Prix de l’Arc de Triomphe has entered the discussion.

If it’s not too much to ask, Mr. Haggas, if there were two more races in his future, could the finale be a chance to conquer the New World. It was never mentioned, but have you seen Lexington in the fall. I hear it’s quite lovely.

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27 Responses

  1. Good stuff; hope you are continuing to feel better.

    And speaking of Shug, I think Nest is one blowout away from giving me serious Inside Information vibes. I realize that is a lofty perch.

  2. It’s lofty, yes, but not outrageous Doc. Different types, but then class is as class does. Certainly looks unbeatable on paper in the Alabama–then that’s why they run the races…

  3. Trying to stay optimistic with 44 wagers remaining, but it ain’t lookin good. I hope to have something that can be added to the body of handicapping knowledge for all to learn from by the time the meet ends. The chances for a rapid recoup are there as evidenced by the Jose Gomez and Trevor McCarthy horses yesterday.

    SAR 2022: 23 for 76, minus $471, minus 31% ROI

    Wagers for SAR 19AUG2022 (Day 27)

    Race 2 – $20 to SHOW on MISS BONNIE T
    Race 5 – $20 to SHOW on JOEY LOOSE LIPS
    Race 7 – $20 to WIN on OSIRIA

  4. “Goodbye to MCD, Tabasco Cat, TTT, WMC, and especially Nick Kling and Andy Asaro.”

    “You all enhanced my life in meaningful ways.” – Indulto

    Every so often “The Preech Column” is indeed really all about the “things that really matter”. I perused the SPA Day 28 verse at the close of the day last night, and awoke at triple nickels time 5:55 AM with Indulto at the forefront of my thoughts once more today. My thinking is that I’ll be using a few saved Roy and Linda nicklels, and also be investing a few super minded minted dimes with Indy in mind as well today. I sure hope that Tobasco Cat reads comment number 21 on the things that really matter previous missive.

    Anyhoot, with Tabasco Cat, TTT, WMC, Nick Kling, Andy Asaro, Preech, and Indulto all in mind, as well as all other contributors to the HRI pages, should I ever connect on a really nice payout of any kind, maybe even on a Lotto ticket, I think I have the perfect name for a young yearling purchase. A name we might all invest a few nickels and dimes on. With peace and unity across the board on the first unvieling, we might all limit our wagers to WPS tickets only. No fancy wagers betting against ourselves on this go. The name of our runner with Indy in mind will be “FRIEND NEVER MET”.

    P.S. A safe journey today to all at HRI today. The Preech and Indy have enhanced all of our lives. I consider myself lucky in knowing, yet never really knowing any one of you on the HRI pages. To think that at times the best things in life don’t even cost a nickel. Amazing is all.
    Thanks Broadway.

    Sweet Home Alabama, Riders Up!

  5. Nest Wins the Bama today in a dominant performance. Now the discussion begins,” is she the Best 3 -year-old period.”

    If she Wins as I expect, I say a resounding YES.

    1. Could very well be, could very well not be. Everything else being equal, I’ll take Epicenter horse for horse. although she does get the weight allowance. Fun argument…

    2. Repole said in the winners circle that Nest will run in the Travers, haha. I think Mike’s heart wanted her to originally run in the Travers instead of the Alabama but Todd’s brain won out. Now if Nest had won the Belmont…

  6. Preach,

    I hope you’re feeling better and can attend the races today. Did Billy Mott whisper something to you? Anyway good Diary stuff as always.

    McD,

    Beautifully said, my friend. Sweet Home Alabama, Indeed! In honor of Indulto the parody lyric legend! The name of our runner has to be Indulto’s Friends. An Into Mischief colt out of a Distorted Humor mare, LOL. Only can be trained by Shug, Billy the Kid Mott or Dale the Triple Crown Travers Upset King. Love how Dale honors Allen Jerkens by stopping at his old Spa barn.

    Why do we do this? Because we love the game so much, warts and all. Because of these days. Because we remember our loved ones who are no longer with us. The buzz in the crowd like Preach’s friend Cary spoke about before a big race. Riders up, Indeed!

    They’ve been running the Alabama Stakes for 150 years. My favorite winner of the race…. Go for Wand. Still holds the record for fastest timed Alabama Stakes. The beat goes on…

    Sweet Home Alabama….Stakes
    Where the skies are so blue
    Sweet Home Saratoga
    The Preach-er-man’s coming home to you

    In Saratoga they love the Preach-er man
    He’s been known to pick a winner or two
    Ten dollar hot dogs and beers don’t bother me
    Does your conscience bother you

    Now today’s matchup is a heavyweight
    It’s The Coach versus the Pupil
    But will there be an Upset
    Stay tuned for the thrill…

    1. Cat, you got to me my friend. Thanks for the kind words–but thanks more for your sentiments about Indy. “Indulto’s Friends.” Sounds like the leader in the clubhouse thus far.

      Watched the three stakes from the backside today on lawn chairs. Th heat was a big oppressive but happy to be there in the air. No hot dogs but did have a $10 sausage and peppers on a roll and, in todays economy, and considering the quality.

      Washing it down with Gatorade Zero sucked, but need those electrolytes in my current state. Three races was all I had in me anyway. My cardiologist, who’s coming in for Travers, said not to fight Covid fatigue. So I’m showing due respect, and taking it slowly.

      And if you don’t bet winners, which I did not until I hooked up my personal favorite 3YO filly, turf goddess Spendarella, in some gimmicks in the Del Mar Oaks, I saved part of the day–but only part…

      But as the great John Nerud said, a bad day here is better than a good day anywhere else…

      With a song in my heart…

      1. Spendarella from Ascot to Delmar impressive resume and NY Bred! Love Motion and Tyler on the grass. Yes don’t fight covid fatigue. Take it slow. Took me a month to stop coughing. The TV SPA coverage has been fantastic with; Laffite Jr, Gary Stevens, Tom Amoss, Greg, Andy and Jonathan.

  7. Catman, I was thinking of a more inclusive revision on Friend Never Met and going with Friends Never Met, but Friends of Indulto or Indulto’s Friends simply works even better. I yield my vote to the South Shore Statesman of Eastport, signing on in agreement with Indulto’s Friends. Democracy over Autocracy, let’s leave the virtual naming open to all for a few days.

    Good to know you have returned Tabasco. None of us alone can fill the Void of Verse from the Wordsmith of the West, but continue on we will. Suspecting I-Man Indy would want it that way.

    Go For Wand by the way full circles your verse back to Indy as well Cat. Go For Wand’s “Class” covers closure completely. It also brings to mind yet another greatly admired HRI voice of the past. Eclipse award winner Paul Moran and his eloquent Nightmare in the Daytime writing on Go for Wand is a must read for any not familiar with the verse.

    1. I’ve got to find that piece and reprint it. It was only good enough for an Eclipse. I miss my colleague “Paulie,” who gave Saratoga the sobriquet “Twisted Mayberry.” Kind of perfect, really…

      Meanwhile, when I’m back in SoFla, will tell Bill Badgett about this exchange. It will bring a smile, I assure you…

      1. The Breeders’ Cup Distaff – Nightmare in the Daytime
        By Paul Moran

        A clash of champions unfolded in magnificent fury. Two memorable female thoroughbreds: unbending will and granite courage doubled, four nostrils flared, four eyes bulging, muscles rippling rhythmically in the sunshine beneath the leather whips of frantic riders. Poetry in flight. They raced together into the stretch, everything on the line, a crowd of 51,236 cheering wildly, millions of others frozen before television screens. What was developing was the quintessential confrontation of thoroughbreds, each carrying a jockey and a share of history. What was happening was the Breeders’ Cup personified, the essence of the game.

        Go for Wand, sublimely brazen in the face of her greatest challenge, had taken the fight to Bayakoa in the $1-million Breeders’ Cup Distaff yesterday on a long-awaited Belmont Park afternoon that was painted in sunshine and washed in tears. And while giving herself completely to the pursuit of victory, Go for Wand lost her life in the most tragic moment in racing since the immortal Ruffian gave her life to a match race on this track more than 15 years ago.

        You could almost hear the bones snap in the last row of seats in the grandstand. And the gasp seemed to hang in the crisp October air before melting into sobs for the New York heroine.

        In full flight coming to the sixteenth pole, she reached forward with the legs that carried her to the most important moment of her career, the race in which she would secure a Horse of the Year title with victory, the race in which victory would have placed Go for Wand among the best fillies ever to grace American racing. She reached out in wanton singlemindedness toward what seemed her destiny, a half-length in front of Bayakoa and on her way to victory when time stopped as if electrocuted and the seventh Breeders’ Cup was transformed instantly from a celebration of the thoroughbred into a wake.

        Go for Wand’s right hoof hit the ground at the sixteenth pole and her ankle snapped. She fell, headfirst, catapulting jockey Randy Romero over her neck, and somersaulted, her legs flailing at the sky as she rolled on her back. The filly, who a year ago established herself as a 2-year-old in the Breeders’ Cup at Gulfstream, was mortally injured in pursuit of the moment for which she was destined since conception. She stood again, clumsily, instinctively, on her shattered leg. She struggled wild-eyed in terror toward the wire on a stump of shattered bone, her hoof swinging below the fracture when she lifted it from the ground. By now, she was at the outside fence, looking out imploringly over a crowd with a fist-sized lump in its collective throat, indeed over a world of racing enthusiasts struck dumb by what they watched. Unable to understand that the fragile thoroughbred legs that had carried her to greatness had betrayed her, she limped onward, as if searching for help, as if she had not yet conceded defeat.

        They ran four more races at Belmont yesterday after Dr. Neil Cleary administered the fatal injection that would relieve Go for Wand of her misery. One was worth $3 million. But the seventh Breeders’ Cup was over at the moment she fell. Racing stopped, at least in spirit, as though it had been stabbed in the heart by a hot knife. Trainer Billy Badgett left the side of his wife of three weeks and rushed to the side of the best filly he ever trained, the best filly he may ever train, for she was truly a once-in-a-lifetime horse. Rose Badgett, who was Go for Wand’s exercise rider, stood near the rail at the finish line and wept the tears of one who has seen a friend killed, unable to follow her husband to the filly. She took a few tentative steps toward the crowd of men at the rear of the horse ambulance, stopped and lowered her face into her hands. There still was weeping to do in the midst of turmoil.

        The group at the rail before which Go for Wand stood in the final moments of her life fell into shock, which yielded to almost a tear-stained, speechless anger. How could a fate so terrible befall a filly so special, a New York filly performing before those who appreciated her most, who sent her to the post a 3-5 favorite against an older champion from California? And why on this day? Why on this brilliant autumn afternoon graced by the ultimate in equine competition?

        “She was going great,” said Romero, who was not injured but was shaken visibly by the loss of the filly he rode in each of 10 victories in 13 races. “She was giving it her all. She was in front and when I slapped her she was digging in . . . and her leg just snapped. She was a great filly, one of the best of all time.”

        There was no triumphant celebration for Ron McAnally, who trains Bayakoa. Tears were in his eyes as he awaited his mare’s return to the winner’s circle. His lower lip quivered. The words that his wife, Debby, spoke before he left their box for a hollow observance in the winner’s enclosure haunted him. “They give their lives,” she said, “for our enjoyment.”

        “I can’t cope with this,” McAnally said, choking on the words. “That other filly . . . ”

        Badgett returned, his stare fixed straight ahead, his eyes red, and with his wife strode purposefully past television cameras, photographers and reporters, through the tunnel that leads to the saddling paddock and through the gate. “I just can’t say anything” were the only words that came from the man who felt the loss most deeply, even more than Jane duPont Lunger, who owned and bred Go for Wand. Badgett had guided the filly from greenness to greatness, virtually lived with her, and lost her forever in the Belmont stretch. There were no words.

        The record will show that Colonial Waters ran second, 6 3/4 lengths behind Bayakoa. Valay Maid was third and the time for 1 1/8 miles was 1:49 1/5. Bayakoa paid $4.20 and earned $450,000 for owners Frank and Jan Whitham. She is the first repeat winner of the Breeders’ Cup Distaff and secured her second Eclipse Award as champion older female. In every respect, she is a deserving champion. She saw what would have been her finest hour virtually erased by the outpouring of emotion for her fallen rival.

        “I’ll remember her winning the Alabama at Saratoga, the Maskette and the Beldame,” someone said in the winner’s enclosure as the ambulance carrying Go for Wand’s corpse passed. “Not this way.”

        1. Chilling read by Paulie of the nightmare in the daytime. To think Newsday had Preach, Paulie and Marko at the same time. No wonder how I became a racing fanatic.

          I thought Randy broke his pelvis and ribs from the fall. To note: Randy rode Personal Ensign to an undefeated campaign then the next year got on the juvenile Go For Wand. Two of the GOAT’S! Also GFW won the Test Stakes and then 9 days later won the Alabama. The Maskette Stakes was renamed the GFW Stakes in her honor. Both PE and GFW won the prestigious Maskette. The first winner of the GFW… Easy Now..Shug had an amazing run with fillies and mares in the late 80’s and 90’s.

  8. Wow Joel Rosario off all his mounts again today after leaving mid card yesterday. Hope all is ok with him; it takes a lot to get an elite rider off his mounts on a Friday and Saturday at Saratoga.

    1. I too hope it’s nothing serious. Would love to see him reach the all-time stakes record at the Spa. These guys are in super shape but the virus is nothing to trifle with…

  9. SAR 2022: 24 for 79, minus $504, minus 32% ROI

    Wagers for SAR 20AUG2022 (Day 28)

    Race 6 – $20 to WIN on WHITTINGTON PARK
    Race 6 – $20 to SHOW on WHITTINGTON PARK
    Race 10– $20 to WIN on NEST

    1. Hey Dan,

      Tough game this, especially when you post selections before paddock scrutiny and track variances etc. A couple of observations and recommendations FWIW.

      1) How about a short write up on why you like the horse.
      2) Why not weigh the amount of bet on strength. For Example yesterday $40 Win on Nest and $10 W/S on Whittington.

      I’ll play along today.

      Race 1 – $2 Win, $4 Place, $8 Show on Pleasant Passage. More Than Ready out of a War Front mare goes first time for Shug at ML 6-1.
      Shug just missed with a grass first timer yesterday. Workouts have been good and haven’t missed a week. Tyler off a big win on the turf stakes yesterday at Delmar gets the ride.

      1. This is a controlled, concise experiment. Not my usual wagering habits. 3 wagers per day, all for the same amount, all WPS. I will write up a post mortem report after the meet ends.

      2. I missed the calls on Race 1 and Race 5 today, but hats off to both Tabasco and DanM.
        Hopefully several followers at HRI read and wagered on your selections and collected. Sweet prices on both.

  10. SAR 2022: 26 for 82, minus $505, minus 31% ROI

    Wagers for SAR 21AUG2022 (Day 29)

    Race 1 – $20 to WIN on CORNINGSTONE
    Race 5 – $20 to WIN on TIBERIUS MERCURIUS
    Race 7 – $20 to WIN on AJOURNEYTOFREEDOM

  11. Trying not to get too excited, but………..

    $20 to WIN on TIBERIUS MERCURIUS

    DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING-DING

  12. hey john,
    regards mutuel mitch. last race exacta at saratoga yesterday came back very very low. do you think it should be looked into. the exacta paid 110 and change for 1. it should have paid 245 for 1, what gives. john, hope you’re feeling better.
    ps. no i did not bet the race.

  13. Fortunate to have seen Dale Roman’s ” Kart Talk” segment with J Kitchen.It was fun watching a horse person shoot from his hip without any hints of BS or exaggerations. Great storyteller,while holding a huge,unlit sugar. ….Since so many of you were reminiscing about horse tales,Paul Moran,Newsday ‘ s days when it was a complete good 50 cents paper,from it’s headlines to the Sports backpages i still wonder Which Is the Best Source for retrieving flat racing’ s Entries/ Results from ,let’s say, mid 90s or earlier.Belmont and Saratoga only.DRF ? Reason : To check if what I have been doing successfully and profitably,was also available those days… and earlier. Last and final count: over 50% Exactas,with 6 bets,enough triples to satisfy and continue,about 8 bets at a time so that after a win the bet amount gets deducted. Thinking about Dick Mitchell writing that However you constantly win,Nobody will believe you,taking you for a delusional loser,just as most of them are.As my Beloved Nonno used to say” Tienilo Nta Panza” ,Keep it into your stomach. Drop the stylus ! JGR.🤔🇮🇹🇺🇲

      1. Yes,they were,esp. one where he made some statements that others would not dare.read many books on the subject thanks to their availability from two local libraries at the time,West Islip ,and Lindenhurst , both of Suffolk county,NY. After the various Quinn,Beyer, Klein,Quirin et al ,one author that i wanted to find more about,Brohamer,never got the chance to inspect his input even though frequently read about his reputation,BUT some of them were just time wasters ,to me anyway,like one author’s insistence that weight did not matter since the fulcrum of the horse was at his center,blah,blah,blah and ‘did not affect the horse’s ability to run.Then there was the guy who only went by how horses close behind the finish line,”Closing well’,meaning ready for next race in longer distance.Then the guy,who,made me lose lots of $ , by dividing the DD payoff$ by its opening odds which resulted in me betting most last races on hopeless long shots. All in all,have to read them with a grain of salt,and plenty of sarcasm,skepticism because NONE of them tell its readers,foolish enough to buy those innocuous books, a couple of Serious If not Repeated , Consistent winning/placing % in some races.Hint; MDNSWeights, One guy was hustling this method on a long gone magazine,just the way fake Ekpertz” were advertising in USA Today when it was $.50 and with an over 2 Million circulation. { No,i never checked them,but they were too good to be true,esp.their Las Vegas addresses,names and ‘Guarantees !! } Would suggest a simple book by Tom Ainsley of some 40 plus yrs ago but it should be in the Reference section of a good library near a track.Many of its systems are no longer valid because the DRF no longer has enough public handicappers for you to reach a minimum point score,,and when they win they would more than likely be odd on favs.,just like the HRN picks,if anyone is following them,31 % wins,but are the making $ on the ROI ?? Are you supposed to double,triple bet after a loss? Plead the 5 th ! Thanks to JPricci for having allowed me into his space which i mostly used to copy my statements,mostly factual when it came to number$,Win$ , Since i don’t plan to run on and on,i simply wish you all the best,esp. in health,,and when you meet a nice,secure bettor,approachable,of course,ask him or her, “After all these years,is there anything that you ‘ ve learned and it still going on today ?” Most might say,if being honest, that they should have given it up when they started,BUT some rare soul might reply differently.It happened to me.made some changes and it has been fun,,,,Without ever reading anything about it in those ‘Best Selling’ books authored by Charlatans. If I`m Lyin’ ,i’m Dyin .__—-___-__—–.JGR

        1. Haha this is a great post. Yeah, I read many – Quirin, Quinn, Brohamer’s Modern Pace Handicapping (which just felt too SoCal centric to me, but was still great and super informative), Beyer on Speed, Sartin, Davidowitz, and I’m sure I left out a few.

          I have certainly taken things from them all, either consciously or subconsciously, but the ones that I personally got the most use from as a horseplayer are probably all of the Dick Mitchell books, Money Secrets At The Racetrack by Barry Meadow, and Kinky Handicapping & Thoroughbred Cycles by Mark Cramer.

          The best recent book I’ve read on handicapping would definitely be The Skeptical Handicapper by Barry Meadow. If you haven’t read that one yet, do yourself a favor and pick it up – you won’t regret it.

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