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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, September 24, 2021 — Parx Racing will have its day in sun, hopefully, as recent heavy rains are scheduled to conclude today. Only this year, the track in Bensalem, Pa will have to do so without its annual visit from Bob Baffert.

Baffert did not like the post draw for Medina Spirit, who pulled the #9 pill just outside serious contenders Hot Rod Charlie and Midnight Bourbon. Given a good run into the first turn, the draw makes things tough, but not impossible.

Admittedly, I was looking forward to betting against the Derby first finisher, but now all value is lost on the other two serious Grade 1 types.

But Baffert is also not bringing Private Mission (9-2), a filly I was highly likely to bet on in the Cotillion. Her declaration left me with five contenders for the top slot.

Unlike Medina Spirit, her #7 post position, even at a sixteenth of a mile shorter, was a good draw given her style, very good form, and favorable trip dynamics, assuming a clean break for all.

So let me understand this: Baffert will forsake a Grade 1 for a million dollars at the same distance against straight 3-year-olds to run for $300,000 against older fillies and mares in a Grade 2 leaving one less week of recovery time into the Distaff.

Now if I were a snarky commentator on a certain disinformation news organization I’d say: “So isn’t it fair to ask what’s going on here? How does this scenario make any sense? What are they trying to avoid?” More on Parx to come.

Breeders’ Cup wise-guys like checking out Florida’s juvenile ship-ins, a group that has some success sneaking into the bottom of verticals at big prices. So it will be worth watching, and we will be, a pair of $400,000 pots for Florida-bred babies going 1-1/16 miles; the In Reality for him, the My Dear Girl for her.

In the My Dear Girl, some rivals might have a plan to outfox the connections of the favorite but the problem is finding a filly to outrun Outfoxed (4-5).

Bill Mott trained filly finished third on debut at Saratoga behind eventual Spinaway winner Echo Zulu then shipped to SoFla and won the Susan’s Girl prep for this by 13 as a maiden. Pole sitter is clearly the fastest and hot-riding Zayas takes the return call. Logical suspects include Susans Girl runnerup and My Sassenach (6-1).

The one intriguing entrant is Chacalosa (4-1), the recent Arlington-Washington Lassie winner making her first start on dirt, first start for Larry Rivelli and beneath Emisael Jaramillo. Her pedigree suggests added ground should pose no problem. Outfoxed is her and everyone else’s problem.

The In Reality is more open on paper but there is talent clustered at the top: Octane (2-1), who won the Affirmed by nearly 4 lengths over runnerup Cajun’s Magic (5-2), the beaten favorite who is better posted for the rematch.

In behind the two favorites are two with a puncher’s chance on paper, show finisher Big and Classy (6-1) and Cattlin (8-1) who chugged along for fourth in that event.



G2 Kelso Handicap     Race 4

A:  2-Life Is Good (1-9)

B:  1-Fort Peck (15-1)

C:  3-Chance It (4-1)

G3 Athenia Stakes      Race 10

A:  4-Pocket Square (3-5),   1-Lake Lucerne (5-1)

B:  2-Miss Teheran (9-5)

C:  3-Made In Italy (3-1)


Hollywood Beach Stakes       Race 4

A:  7-Nerve (5-2),  9-Last Leaf (2-1)

B:  3-Barone Cesco (6-1),  8-Peter D (2-1)

C:  10-R Girl’s Werth It (15-1)

My Dear Girl Stakes   Race 9

A:  1-Outfoxed (4-5)

B:  8-My Sassenach (6-1)

C:  3-Devilette (5-1),  6-Sequin Lady (15-1)

In Reality Stakes      Race 11

A:  2-Cajun’s Magic (5-2)

B:  5-Big and Cheesy (6-1),  9-Cattin (8-1),  7-Octane (2-1)

C:  3-The Skipper Too (10-1)


G2 GALLANT BOB       Race 10

A:  7-Jackie’s Warrior (4-5)

B:  1-Real Talk (5-1),  6-Beren (6-1)

C:  4-Pickin’ Time (10-1)

G1 Cotillion Stakes     Race 11

A:  5-Army Wife (7-2),  6-Clairiere (2-1)

B:  1-Obligatory (10-1), 4-Maracuja (8-1)

C:  3-Will’s Secret (12-1),  9-Leader of the Band (12-1)

G1 Pennsylvania Derby*     Race 12

*Early line do not reflect withdrawal of 2-1 Medina Spirit

A:  7-Hot Rod Charlie (5-2),  8-Midnight Bourbon (5-1)

B: 10-American Revolution (15-1),  3-Speaker’s Corner (12-1),  2-Keepmeinmind (8-1)

C:  4-Weyburn (12-1)

When more than one horse is listed in a category, preference is for first horse listed. Contenders can move up or down in grade, but no more than one level

(this is a live column that will be updated periodically through Saturday)

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12 Responses

  1. Bobby’s in a lot more trouble now suing the NYRA for contempt, really what about the contempt racing fans feel for liars and cheaters and now the Breeders Cup will probably keep him out with Barbara in charge. The truth will always come out and no one knows when. Kat

    1. Kat, I’m not sure how to read the future on this. Millionaires with their high-priced lawyers making it all about process makes it so, IMHO. Am glad to see that NYRA is not blinking. If it weren’t for the fact that the Thoroughbred tracks are state owned, I think the “private property” provision would win the day. But I’m no lawyer, don’t even play one on TV… Thanks for checking in.

  2. Interesting footnote in the chart of the Susan’s Girl:


    Combine that with the 25-foot run up and it’s a recipe for inaccuracy. Misleading and omitted data are especially important when the winner romps by a large margin and the remainder of the field is running in a contest that effectively becomes a separate race among the 2nd through last place finishers.

    1. Dan, Timer malfunctions appear regularly at many venues, especially in turf races it seems, and many races are hand-timed in addition as a fail safe. Here it did not work.

      Until the industry goes to a complete GPS tracking system everywhere, I expect this trend will continue. Meanwhile, I will depend on reputable figure makers to hand time the races themselves to ensure their validity of their own data.

      Tracks everywhere need to spend the money and get this right. People are betting their money, and horsemen benefit from those proceeds. For this, the industry owes the bettors.

  3. Had good reasons to skip ,play today’s card at Belmont and then I just noticed a THREE horse race, the 3….Come on, it’s Ridiculous ! The connections made money while even Belmont looks bad, to me. Did they have the usual 25 plus minutes to start this race ? Gladly happy that I continue to refuse paying attention, money for such Friday cards. Hoping that tomorrow will bring better reasons to try to play at least half the card, Without minimal participants. Try to make it worthwhile, for at least One Day a Week !! Asking too September ? Don’t you hate it when the Buffet selections do not look appetizing ? Why pay in advance when you won’t know what’s been offered ?😁😷

  4. Saturday September 25, 2021
    5th race -#4 Miss J McKay, Appears on my horses to watch list from last October. Turf only. Play with the 5,6,10
    (all other stakes races seem to have legitimate favorites)


    12th race- Hot Rod Charlie is the pick here and would have been with Medina Spirit in the race. Midnight Bourbon keeps waiting his turn. Box those two and add #2 Keepmeinmind, #3 Speaker’s Corner and #4 Weyburn to complete your exotics.

    That’s it for now. We are getting very close to the Breeders’ Cup so Let’s go get the bad guys. As always, Vin O’

  5. Thks for the heads up on Miss McK, Vincente Vino. I plan to key the ten cent SFB with McK over your 5,6,10. Using John’s FRA four mentions as well at Gulfstream. That’s a fair number of runners for only $4.80. I spent more at the bagel shop this morning. Six cost me $7.50, lol. Headed next to peruse Broadway’s full write up on the day. Plan is to add a few EX and .50 TRI wagers.
    Thxs again, McD ’73

  6. Life is Good, 1/9 ML ? Everybody jump on the vertical gimmicks ! Oh,yeah, tonight’s Powerball is into the hundreds of millions plus the college games’ sheets,props. Another ” Bet Early and Get Outside” day,as follows( x the first and only time ! ) . 2 nd race, 11 and 1, 5 th, 4,6. 6 th 4-9, 7 th , 7, 8th 4-9, 9 th ,10 -4.10 th,4-2,11 th 12-5-11. Last 5 pick 5,same with last 3( pk 3),late DD.Total circa $ 160 with most of it W/P ,exactas then verticals and DD. Going fishing on the river,it beats waiting 25 minutes each stanza with so many odds on favorites which may or not win W/O much value… 1/ 9 ???

  7. No Baffert at Parks is a plus for me. I’ll pass on any additional race day meds thank you. Thank you NYRA as well for staying the good fight in trying to protect the sport and racing fans.

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