|Irad Ortiz, Jr. on Questing|
The usual suspects were around for the opener, my pals the Saratoga Resident and G-Money have made this an annual event. We sat in the Club Terrace (for the first time) on Friday and on The Porch (my preferred location, if I'm not in the Paddock Bar) on Saturday, taking in the two days of racing, catching up with old friends, having a few lagers and meeting new friends. I was fortunate to meet SoCal blogger Rob (aka Amateurcapper) and his fine family taking in the Spa for the first time ever. Rob's been a contributing member at ThoroFan's Handicappers' Corner and is on the Derby Dozen panel with me over at the Wireplayers.com blog.
As for the wagering, Friday trumped Saturday, which goes to show you that speed capping can be a very dangerous thing (I didn't cap the Saturday card ahead of time). For the first time in my brief handicapping career I hit back-to-back Pick-4's on the same card, thanks to Pacific Ocean and So Many Ways on Friday. Those two wins also put me atop the leaderboard for 24 hours in Ernie Munick's annual Din Din Derby. That lead was short-lived after my selections in the CCAO and Sanford bit the dust.
Saturday was spent mostly in the backyard enjoying the shade, cold brews and watching the big screens. We stayed at the Grand Union Hotel (a last minute move that proved to work out quite well) and I'd go back just for the awesomeness of the shower. Sorry, if that's too much information.
The Toga Party contest is off and running with Green But Game taking the early lead, nailing the attendance within 200 patrons. Nice work...could this be her year?
We're taking next week off heading to the South Jersey Shore for a little family R&R, but am excited about going to next Sunday's Haskell with my pop as we detour north for an afternoon of racing.
Here's some pictures from the weekend....
|Funny sign at the Grand Union|
|Trainer legends Lukas and Pletcher|
in the Spa Paddock before the 3rd on Friday
|Dale Romans saddles Sustained|
|Joel Rosario captured his first win of the meet|
aboard slick filly Lignite
|My single in the early Pick-4 Book Review|
wins easily for trainer Chad Brown
|Julien Leparoux and Ramon Dominguez|
in the paddock with the Stay Thirsty statue
in the background
|TVG's Donna Barton-Brothers|
kids with Christophe Clement and Leparoux before the 7th
|A view from the Spa rooftop|
|Gate Break for the 7th|
|Cosmic Energy crosses the wire|
in front of Lily the Pink in the 7th
|Pacific Ocean wins the James Marvin|
for Babe Dutrow
|Winning connex for the Marvin|
|CCAO Champ Questing|
Irad Ortiz up
|CCAO runner-up Zo Impressive|
Rajiv Maragh up
|Third place finisher|
In Lingerie w/Javier Castellano in the irons
|They're off in the Coaching Club|
|Questing wins the CCAO|
for Godolphin Racing
|A happy Kiaran McLaughlin|
in the Winner's Circle