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Friday, August 7, 2009

At the Quarter Pole

Hard to believe that the Spa meet has reached the quarter pole already. With Day 9 in the books we are 25% of the way through the meet already and the races for leading jock and trainer are very close. Ramon Dominguez has 12 wins to lead the red-hot Julien Leparoux (inset: courtesy me) by one victory. Leparoux rode three winners today in front of 23,368, including Solitaire in the John's Call paying $13. The man is golden on the turf and also leads in jockey earnings through the first quarter. In the trainer standings, Todd Pletcher and Bill Mott sit atop the leaderboard with 5 winners apiece.

The Toga Party Contest has two points up for grabs tomorrow, the Whitney winner (get your picks to me if you haven't already) and the # of wins by the 8 horse tomorrow. Crazy 8's day (08/08) at the Spa. There are two morning line favorites wearing #8 tomorrow, Spell (2-1) in the 2nd and Maram (5-2) in the 8th. One of the new contest questions was the number of races on the turf for the entire meet. Through the first quarter 37 races have gone on the turf as scheduled, and only 10 have been rained off the turf. This projects out to 148 races, which would put the SpaceBro in good shape. The past few days have been brilliant weather-wise and no races have been washed off the turf. But as you know, the weather can change at any moment in the Adirondacks.

The Whitney looks like a great field, I like Smooth Air to win over Asiatic Boy and Dry Martini. How's that for in-depth analysis.

Tomorrow is a big day in Western New York as defensive end Bruce Smith and owner Ralph Wilson are inducted into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Bruce and I arrived in Buffalo the same year, although he was a number one draft pick and I was the last recruit to get an offer at a firm called Touche Ross & Company. His starting salary was a tad more than mine at the time. He was an incredible football player who I loved to key on way up in section J3 in the upper deck. He would come around the corner faster than anyone I've ever watched to record sack after sack to the roar of BRUUUUUUUCE, by the Rich Stadium faithful. Mr. Wilson, based in Detroit, has also been involved in thoroughbred racing. He bred the 1971 Santa Anita Derby winner, Jim French as well as two-year-old European superstar Arazi, winner of the 1991 Breeders' Cup Juvenile and European Horse of the Year. Ralph has done right by Buffalo, although he has his critics in town. I look forward to watching their induction speeches tomorrow as it will bring back fond memories of the 90's Bills and the awesome run I was fortunate to witness first hand.

How 'bout that. A whole post without mentioning whatshername....have a great Saturday.



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