Bernie, Paul and I grabbed a table on The Porch. It was the perfect place to be at Saratoga yesterday as it wasn’t too crowded and a nice breeze blew through all day. I know Bernie and Paul from a book of theirs I acquired many moons ago, about the Harvard-Yale football rivalry.
I’ve become good friends with both of them and Bernie and I have gone on to work on several projects together, including Change Up, Back to the Garden, and our forthcoming book about the Rolling Stones (the latter two with my father, of course). We’ve also worked on a couple of football books, a new one about the Patriots, and one last year about the New York Football Giants.
Bernie, despite being a Stoneham, MA native and Red Sox season ticket holder (they’re still in the league?), is a lifelong Giants fan, a legacy passed on from his father, from the time before the Patriots when the G-men were the NFL “home” team for many a New Englander. This is where we tie back into racing.
As I mentioned on the blog yesterday, as entertaining of a betting card as yesterday was, it wasn’t exactly my cup of Dunkin Donuts black iced coffee (as it were). But Bernie and Paul (quite wrongly) expected that since I’m out there every day, I might be able to find some winners for them. After a mid-day, chalky success (CORAIL looked like an Elgin marble walking around the paddock), I resumed my cold streak.
After the 7th race, when GIANT SLEEP won at nearly 9-1, Bernie kicked himself for not going with the Giants hunch play. BEAUTIFUL BUT BLUE winning the Fleet Indian at 6s doubled his resolve. If there was another Giants hunch horse, he’d bet. The Morrissey yielded no fruit, but sure enough, there in the nitecap, was a horse named after an actual Giant, and an infamous one at that, SINORICE.
Sinorice Moss has a great college career in Miami and was a high draft pick for Ernie Accorsi and the Giants back in 2006 (second round, 44th pick overall). His elder brother, Santana, tormented the Giants for years, and there was a feeling that if Sinorice could only be half as good for us as Santana was against us, we might really be on to something, to finally have tha play-making wide receiver to help really ignite Eli. But a funny thing happened on the way to the Super Bowl . . .Sinorice wasn’t half as good. He wasn’t a tenth as good. Mainly due to nagging quad injuries (ie, not really his fault), Sinorice became one of the most notorious draft busts in Giants’ history. In three years, he caught 39 balls for 3 TDs.
For yesterday’s nitecap, I had picked out four horses I liked on paper for further paddock inspection. At Bernie’s behest, I added Sinorice to the list. When the field came by, there were only two I responded to looks-wise, #10 Dan and Sheila, and . . .you guessed it . . .#8 SINORICE. We made a double win bet.
Like his human namesake, SINORICE the critter ($1, Indian Charlie) hadn’t really lived up to expectations. It took him nine tries to break his maiden. Since then he’d been struggling against cheap horses. But yesterday, against a big competitive field of restricted 20 dime claimers going 9 furlongs, Sinorice ground out a nice win and paid $28, nearly a buck for every catch the other Sinorice had with the Giants.
I was so pleased and shocked that I forgot to yell “BOOOOOOM!” And I already started writing this blog post in my head. But there was one question left to answer: why in the name of all that is red, white, and blue would one name a horse after Sinorice Moss? Did he have an older brother named Santana he wasn’t meant to be as good as? The answer, as it often does, was right there in the past performances. Sinorice is owned by Hurricane Boys Stable. A little informal research suggested that this partnership is run by one of Nick Zito’s sons, who went to Miami with Sinorice Moss, thus the name.
For Bernie, Paul, and me, a small winning day had become a nice winning day. As a Giants fan, I can attest it was great to finally see a healthy Sinorice land with two feet inbounds.
Race 1: $50 win and place on #8 TRIPPO
Lots of little angles here. . .the owner and trainer each had winners yesterday. But the real reason to bet is that this is: as Joe Clancy points out in the DRF, this is just a classic way to win a Saratoga sticks race: nice maiden win, smart novice stakes try, wait for the allowance race at SAR. It’s a competitive race and the price should be OK.
MEET TO DATE: -$756.25