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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Looking Back

Once my cup was overflowing.
But I gave nothing in retu-u-urn
Now I can't begin to te-ell you
What a lesson I have learned

~Nat King Cole, Looking Back, 1958

I sat on my couch around 6.50pm EST last night drained from the nine hours of televised racing (over the last two days), handicapping and just plain reveling in the spectacle that had just taken place. The mighty Curlin had fallen and now the excuses will start. But I don't care. He was a masterful specimen. I remember seeing him with my own eyes for the first time in the paddock at last year's Belmont and thinking to myself, "holy crap, what an incredible animal!" I remember the move he made to take it away from Hard Spun at the top of the stretch from where I was sitting for last year's Classic. That is still my most memorable moment ever in horse racing. It was great to watch him as a four year old for whatever reason you believe (not sure the wine guy kept him out here really for the sport or because his hands were tied with part of the ownership tied up in jail, but that's for another day). Anyways, George who has a super post up over at Saratoga Sire, inspired me to write a few thoughts that captured the moment(s) for me over the last two days of championship racing.

1. Zenyatta. The thought of tremendous machine hasn't been round these parts since, say, 1973?
2. European Domination. They came, they dominated, they conquered. Thanks for coming. Quick rant: I hate handicapping the Euros and their stupid timeform numbers and no race call status. Can't someone take down the data, translate to Beyer? Maybe I'm just ignorant here. Gotta give 'em credit thought, they kicked our arse.
3. Overhead television views. Super coooool. Railview shots, not so much.
4. Flying Frankie Dettori. Other than the Russian and Chinese judges giving him a 7.0 for his flying dismounts, high comedy.
5. Trevor's Classic Call. I'm starting to love this guy. When he called "and look at Curlin go...this is unbelievable" as he made his move just before the quarter pole, you have to admit that goosebumps were present or adrenaline was starting to pump through your sure happened to me!
6. Midnight Lute's Double. It's gotta be one of the hardest feats (ask Curlin), especially in this Division. The overhead shot of his long loping strides was absolutely awesome. I watched his dud last month and wasn't sold prior to late yesterday morning. After watching Steve Haskin on TVG and reading his workout notes, I realized he was looming large.
7. Kenny Mayne's Facial Expression. When Hammerin' Hank only bet $40 on the Classic after taking down the Sprint exacta for a grand, Kenny Mayne almost threw up on comedy moment of the day for me.
8. Hollywood. The celebrity shots gave the Space Gal something to look forward to (and a reason to watch with me) whether it was some chick from 'Dancing with the Stars,' the Terminator, or Turtle (did he lose weight?) from Entourage, the stars were out in force to see the thoroughbreds.
9. TRNY Caboose Tournament. I found myself checking who came in last in every race, harder to pick the last place finisher. Came up with 4 of 15 (with 2 next to lasts - plasts?)
10. Safety. Most importantly, they all came home safe. Can't wait until next year.

The Big A opens this week and it's only 188 days to the First Saturday in May. Keep an eye on the Blood-Horse TBA site this week where our owner-bloggers take over.



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