Horse racing as a sport needs more of what we saw yesterday at Saratoga. As I stood by and watched the horses walk onto the track for the Diana, the Paddock Bar erupted with cheers for Winter Memories. It was a beautiful thing to see. It reminded me of racing in the UK, specifically the Cheltenham Festival, where race fans return year after year to cheer on their favorites. And while there is obviously a betting component, it’s more about seeing the athletes compete for greatness.
Winter Memories won her first race up here two years ago, on a day of special significance to me: the Betathon. As a promotion for Twinspires, I played every race available in a 24-hour span. I think I made something like 600 bets overall. I don’t remember too many of the bets I made that crazy day. But I certainly remember Winter Memories. I was interested in her anyway off her pedigree (I loved her mom), but when somebody in our Bethathon chatroom tipped her, I decided to make my biggest bet of the day and she obliged in visually stunning fashion.
I’ve followed her closely ever since. And while I have an uncanny knack for betting the most on her rare losses (!), that does absolutely nothing to diminish how much I *like* her, in the same way I *like* the Mets or the Giants. I got chills when she levelled off for her run yesterday. I have no idea what those antics in the stretch were about — head turning, tail whipping and flagging, but I think she’s just quirky like that. A real individual who does it her own way.
That was her second Grade 1 win yesterday. Here’s hoping there are a few more to come.
BANKROLL PLAY OF THE DAY:
Race 7: $50 win and place on #10 KING KID
Yesterday’s turf breeding play didn’t work out so well but I’m going to go back to the well today. While there are likelier winners on the card, I think there might good value attached to this one. The pedigree is green-on-green, he worked a bullet the other day, and I think he might be better than the straight dope indicates. He gets the services of an aggessive rider to help navigate the post and the depth of the field and fact that he’s never tried turf means we should get all of the 8-1 of the Morning Line.
MEET TO DATE RESULTS: -$525