Browsing Thursday’s entries, I was struck by the following:
Champion sprinter Speightstown’s first crop of foals is hitting the race track, and in the fourth at Belmont we have the first of what I’m sure will be many Speightfully named horses. Fourteen two-year-old first-time starters are entered in this five and a half furlong dirt race; the Tim Ritvo-trained In Speight of It will get in if there are any scratches. He may need to be bet just because of his name.
In the same race, Marylou Whitney’s Ninth Client (as opposed to Client #9) goes for Wayne Lukas and Cornelio Velasquez. The Bruce-Levine trained Mike from Queens (not, according to the program, Mike Francesa from WFAN) gets post 1, and Sean Avery, scratched from a recent start, is another AE. Are these scratches a harbinger of a trade?
There’s regal breeding all over this race, with A.P. Indy, Gone West, Lemon Drop Kid, Malibu Moon, and Tapit, among other sires, making appearances. I love these first-time starter baby races, maybe because luck as much as handicapping plays a part, maybe because I like seeing the young ones in the paddock and on the track, maybe because each entry seems so tantalizingly full of promise, with no bad running lines to sully impressions. Or maybe because they remind me of Saratoga, where we get to see so many of these types of races.
A race later, in a maiden claimer, Judiciary for the eighth time to break her maiden; she’s hit the board only once in seven previous tries. I remember her because of a story that my mother sent me last fall:
A thoroughbred racehorse broke out of its stall near the Oklahoma Training
Track on Thursday afternoon and made it nearly a mile up Lake Avenue, reaching
The Saratogian’s parking lot.
Judiciary went up Lake Avenue, trotting toward Gaffney’s and into dangerous car traffic on Putnam and Caroline streets, when Public Works Commissioner Tom McTygue noticed what was happening.
The horse spotted McTygue and turned around, heading back toward Nemec’s Feed
Store and the Parting Glass restaurant on Pavilion Row. By this time, city
Animal Control Officer Denny Butler was on the scene, and the groom who’d been
chasing the horse, had caught up carrying a bridle over his arm.
Employees of area businesses, including a cook at D’Andrea’s Pizza in an
apron streaked with red sauce, came out to the commotion and helped corral the
filly against the back wall of the Parting Glass. (The Saratogian)
Clearly following a well-worn path from the track to the Parting Glass, Judiciary was unhurt except for some cuts and scrapes. To this point, that adventure was her most distinguished run; she’s 4 – 1 today under Mike Luzzi.