I woke up this morning thinking of John Cheever’s “The Swimmer.” And no, not because this post is not going to be an exploration of suburban ennui; I leave that type of thing to the professsionals. It’s merely because of the story’s famous opening line:
“It was one of those midsummer Sundays when everyone sits around saying, ‘I drank too much last night.’”
And yes, I know it’s not a Sunday, but every day in Saratoga has just a little more Saturday night in it, doesn’t it?
My day started off as a typical Saratoga Tuesday, attempting to cram two days of chores into one: laundry, shopping, hardware store, work calls, get my tennis racket strung, extra long dog walk. The fun began at on the back patio at Prime. While the meal wasn’t quite up to snuff, the view was great and the company was terrific. (NOTE to the bartender: shaking is for drinks with fruit juice; Manhattans are to be stirred. No bubbles in my Manhattan please!). My 40th birthday is Saturday and I’ve decided to celebrate it all week. This was a cool way to kick it off.
From there, it was on to The Local, for the best selection of craft beer in town. Just be warned (and Louise, I’m looking at you): don’t cuss loudly on the patio after 9 o’clock. I saw a female patron chastized for just this behavior. Was kind of surreal, but mostly just funny. Hey, I’m not going to knock a place that serves Lagunitas IPA. I can remember at least one meet back in the day where I went for at least a beer at The Parting Glass *every* night I was up here. Those days are gone. I maybe make it out one night a week and I don’t miss it. Mostly, I’d rather cook at home with friends, drink and eat better, and get to spin some vinyl as well.
As you can see, I’ve taken kind of a turn in the blog this year, making it much more a diary than anything else. This was a conscious decision. I love handicapping but I found that when I was writing more seriously about racing, I wouldn’t ever go back and read the posts. If anybody ever has questions or wants to talk nuts-and-bolts handicapping, we can do that in the comments. For the posts themselves, I’m just going to keep track of what I’m up to, and then offer a pick at the end.
Speaking of which. . .
BANKROLL PLAY OF THE DAY
I’m not going to lie, this is the kind of card I’d likely skip entirely at Belmont. It’s not that it’s bad exactly, just not my kind of races. But I actually did the work on it, because I might want to have a nibble at the double carryover Pick Six, and also in the hope I can offer some advice to my friends Bernie and Paul who should be arriving in town any moment. As for the play, this is not my most creative pick of the meet. I am more interested in staying out of trouble.
Race 4: $50 win and place on #7 GNOSTIC
This just looks like the right spot for this guy, dropping significantly in a race where I have knocks of several of the other logical contenders. Things should go well for him trip wise, on or near the lead, and I’m hoping he won’t be bet off the board. This play obviously won’t get us out, but I’m eager to start grinding away.
MEET TO DATE RESULTS: -$656.25
I thought Prize Catch ran a race on Monday good enough to win, but didn’t quite get the breaks and we had to settle for the $5.50 place price (which wouldn’t have been so bad had I not also played the Trombetta maiden earlier in the card who ran third)