My first Jim Dandy weekend at the Spa was a huge success and a relief that we got through it with our 18 month old son completing his track superfecta on his 1/2 birthday. Thanks to A Little Warm and Miner's Reserve we salvaged what could have been a Belmont day-type bloodbath at the windows. Luckily we rallied in the Saturday feature and me and my little good luck charm survived the weekend.
We were fortunate enough to score some box seats (hat tip to the Saratoga Resident) just off the finish line on Friday and we had perfect seats on the Porch on Saturday with a great view of the horses at the rail and coming out onto the track.
We had our fair share of sightings (if you count trainers) on Friday. Nick Zito was sitting behind us and Rick Dutrow in the box next to us, not to mention Bo Derek being a couple boxes below us. We also ended up sitting at a table next to hers at Max London's later that evening where the Space Gal and Kid had an encounter with her at the door. Of course, the Space Kid was making a poopy-face which caused some light pleasantries. Gotta love that kid. Dutrow was cheering on Believe in A.P. in a Mdn Sp Wt on the turf who came hard at the end to grab the show. We went into the paddock for the Fleet Indian Stakes and the Space Kid garnered a wink and a nod from Zito (whose one of the Space Gal's favorites - must be a paison thing) who was saddling Eager Emma who grabbed third. Of course there was an Ernie Munick sighting (and another 2005 stump of the guitarist/videoagrapher) as well as sharing a few races with our good friend, the Puma.
Saturday brought a number of meetings of old and new friends. The BeerMan (who was leader in the Toga Party III clubhouse until yesterday) joined us for the first three races. We met up with former Buffalonian and reader Dan D and his fiancee before the third (Dan also gave me my new shortcut into the Spa - more on this in another post). Finally we said hello to Michael and Niki who run the ThoroFan group outside of the jockeys room, who we've been running the Handicappers' Corner for as well as helping them with some corporate work.
As usual we captured a few amateur photos over the weekend....
Our weekend gets underway in the 3rd, won by Persistently.
The meet's leading jockey, the red hot Javier Castellano!
Is this kid a natural or what? Hold all tickets.
Fleet Indian Stakes winner My Dinah, in the paddock.
Jockey David Cohen has had a nice start to the Spa meet.
Nick Zito in the paddock before the Fleet Indian.
The close of day one.....
The Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing is off.....
From a child's eyes.....
Mike Smith in from the left coast to ride Proviso (GB), winner of the Diana (G1)
Edgar Prado on Diana (G1) place finisher Shared Account.
Julien Leparoux atop the grey and long time favorite Forever Together.
Heading to the clubhouse turn in the Diana (G1), former BC champ Maram (#7) putting the early heat on Dynaslew (#5), the early leader.
Calvin Borel up on Jim Dandy place finisher Miner's Reserve, completing a nice $96 exacta!
Javier up on Afleet Express, who finished third in the Jim Dandy.
They're off in the Jim Dandy!
Heading to the clubhouse turn......
A Little Warm, crosses the line in front of longshot Miner's Reserve to win the 2010 Jim Dandy Stakes (G1).