No Saratoga for me tomorrow. . .I’ll be headed east, via bus, to Fenway Park. But friends, this is no baseball game I’m going to see. I’m going to see some proper football (as opposed to American football, aka soccer (or SACK-er, if you prefer). Two teams Red Sox owner John Henry owns pieces of, Liverpool and Roma, are playing a friendly. I’m psyched to take in the atmosphere and hang out with some old friends. I’m particularly keen on going, even at the expense of the Lake George, because the Giallorossi are the closest thing I have to a team in club football. My late friend, the great racing writer William Murray, supported them, and I came along board for the ride. I can recall speaking to him after an important match in one of the last years of his life, where I’d seen the result of the heated derby before he did (Lazio 1, Roma 0). I told him what happened and he responded in haughty, mock incredulity, “They lost? What do you mean? Impossible!”
Monday was a fun day over there. It was one of the emptier days I’ve ever seen at the Spa. After the first race, there were still upwards of 20 picnic tables unclaimed, a number that shot up over 40 by the nightcap. The day was nearly a disaster. And I ain’t talkin’ ’bout no thunderstorms. You see, due to a licensing issue I still can’t comprehend, when I went to see some friends over by Shake Shack I was treated to six of the scarier words in the English language: the paddock bar isn’t serving beer.
Mercifully, we had planned to picnic anyway and brought our own so it was no big deal. And I’ve been assured that this was just a one day hiccup. We were treated to a lovely little metaphor in the middle of the day, when a brief, intense T-Storm took our beautiful day and repalced it with driving rain, thunder, and lightning. We headed for the eerie red glow of one of the unoccupied outdoor tents. The whole thing blew over in about ten minutes flat but I did note that when the storm was still moving through but the sun had returned, the first place it shined through over the gray plant was right over The Paddock Bar.
As you might guess, I didn’t do a ton of work on this card that I won’t be betting but I still want to put in a play (how’s that for a hedge?).
RACE 9: $100 to place on #6 SAMITAR.
The angle here is just class. As many of you know, I believe European turf runners to be superior to our homegrown ones and this filly is one race on sticky ground in a race that fell apart from a Group 1 win in the Irish Guineas. Shouldn’t that be enough to run first or second here? I believe so. #2 Stephanie’s Kitten is certainly live but I think she’ll go favorite. Feel free to use in exactas if that’s your thing but I’m going to keep it simple.
MEET TO DATE RESULTS: -$125