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Monday, April 12, 2010

Inside the Fences

I had the rare (rare, in that I've never done it before) opportunity yesterday to see the game from inside the fences at Woodbine Racetrack (photos courtesy: Keith from Triple Dead Heat) in Rexdale, Ontario for La Chica Rica's first race on the polytrack. The Buffalo based connections invited me into the paddock (walking ring) with them to listen to the last minute instructions of trainer Chris Progno, of CJP Racing, to Finger Lakes jock Gabe Suarez before Race 4 at Woodbine. While I can't tell you all what was said (as I'd like to be invited back), it was an unique view into the inside strategy divulged between jockey and trainer before the race.

There were a lot of questions to whether Chica could handle the poly shipping in from Mountaineer, whether she'd like it and if she could get on the lead early based on her speed. While she broke well and was in the mix for the first furlong, she was cut off for the second straight race on the backstretch and just turned off the jets and started backing up. In addition, she certainly isn't used to taking the poly in her face and jockey Suarez just loped in with her, finishing last.

So the day didn't go exactly as planned, we learned that Chica didn't take to the poly and the connections will probably look for a race back in the States, although finding the right conditions for her have been quite difficult so far in 2010. But we still had a nice day despite her effort up in the Post Parade Restaurant and it is always good to see Keith of Triple Dead Heat lore. He tells me the Queen is expected for the Plate on the 4th of July, so our next space shuttle mission up North will be to see myself some royalty (queue Queen of Hearts).

I didn't play too hard as it was more of a social day at the track, but did cash a $4 exactor (I feel like I'm a transformer every time I say exactor to a Canadian teller) on heavy favorite Hollywood Hit (that is one fast race horse to take note of) over 9/2 Field Commission, who was charging hard at the wire, in the day's feature race, the $150K Jacques Cartier Stakes. Quick history lesson: Cartier was the dude who named Canada after the Iroquoian word for St. Lawrence, kanata. Not all races are named after horses in the Great White Nord. Don't say you didn't learn something today while perusing the ole Space site....


The_Knight_Sky said...

(queue Queen of Hearts).


I await the obligatory Juice Newton clip in the future. :P

Ernie said...

I would love to spend hours weeks months hanging with Keith, but I will never - not once - say the word exactor.

I mean, if Keith wants me to I will - but organically...

tencentcielo said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
tencentcielo said...

I see you broke the paddock "maiden", while i broke the winner circle "maiden" this weekend. Sooner or later will both hit that exacta! :-)


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