The Backstretch method did better than it could have hoped yesterday, cashing on the exacta and winner in the Juvenile Fillies Turf. Let’s see how it works today.
Juvenile Turf: Kera’s Kitten is out in favor of Becky’s Kitten (poor Kera—she travelled all the way from Kentucky to see her namesake race! Check out Grening’s story in the DRF). Dean’s Kitten is here, too, along with Pounced. The race has feline trifecta written all over it.
Turf Sprint: Had Diamondrella in the Just A Game and was there for her First Lady at Keeneland; how do you not root for Angel Penna, Jr.? El Gato Malo is here, too, and with at least one of them inhabiting my household, I can’t ignore the Bad Cat. Sentimental favorite Richard Migliore rides Desert Code hoping for a repeat of last year’s BC success.
Sprint: I was at Saratoga for Capt. Candyman Can’s maiden win at Saratoga last year; he was terrific in the Bay Shore earlier this year, and following that race, his owner Joseph Rauch spoke at length about his horse. He was friendly, enthusiastic, pragmatic—and he clearly loved this horse. Capt. Candyman Can came back this summer to win the King’s Bishop via DQ, and I was sad to learn recently that Rauch had died suddenly. I’d have been rooting for this horse anyway, but even more so now.
Juvenile: William’s Kitten. ‘Nuff said.
Mile: Courageous Cat. Ditto.
Dirt Mile: Pass.
Turf: Presious Passion. He doesn’t fit into any of the Backstretch Method categories, but I can’t think of a horse who’s more fun to watch than he is. He runs with audacity, he virtually taunts his competitors, daring them to run with him…I hope he takes it all the way today, even though it will mean having to spell a word wrong to spell it right, which drives me bananas.
Classic: I’m rooting for a synthetic specialist and a turf horse, in a race that should be run on dirt, and sort of hoping for a dead heat here. Would LOVE to see the oft-maligned Zenyatta win. And then there’s Einstein, still going at 7, running gamely over whatever surface on which he’s put. I was Helen Pitt’s 11th grade English teacher, and I’ll root for her pretty much any time, anywhere.
Good luck, have fun, safe trips to all!