08/05/2008 11:00PM

Dark Day 2: 8/5/08



---Three cheers for running Curlin in the Woodward. Now how do we get Big Brown to join the party? (Photo above: 1967 Horse of the Year Damascus defeating 1966 Horse of the Year Buckpasser and 1968 Horse of the Year Dr. Fager in the 1967 Woodward Stakes.)

In Utopia, Big Brown and Curlin would meet in the Woodward, then maybe a second time in the Jockey Club Gold Cup four weeks later, then probably go their separate ways -- Big Brown to the BC Classic, Curlin to the Japan Cup Dirt. ( Okay, if we're really in Utopia, they might meet a third time in a BC Classic run on a dirt track, but that's not happening.)

In Reality, Big Brown's camp claims it has the better horse but instead of facing Curlin in the Woodward, it is demanding that someone dream up and sponsor a mid-September grass race for him to use as a prep for a Curlin-less Classic. He's a great horse, they say, but they will not be campaigning him like one if he ducks the Travers, Woodward, Gold Cup and the best horse in training. The horse who won the Florida Derby, Kentucky Derby and Preakness by a combined 15 lengths in seven weeks now can race only once -- and on the grass -- in the 12 weeks between the Haskell and the Classic?

--Nice story by Frank Angst over at Thoroughbred Times on two old racehorses who will be competing in the Summer Olympics: Chesterstimetoofly, a 16-year-old Washington-bred gelding, and Courageous Comet(right), a 12-year-old New York-bred who won a maiden race at Belmont for trainer David Donk 10 years ago and finished third in a division of the 1999 NY Stallion Stakes. Here are their lifetime pp's:

Download Chesterstimetoofly.pdf

Download CourageousComet.pdf


--Dark Day Two began with some lively discussions at the Albany Law School's Saratoga Institute forum, which I'll write about this weekend, followed by my first afternoon In Town since the meeting began. Made the usual stops -- lunch at Compton's, the old-school breakfast-all-day diner on Broadway, and trinket-buying at the every-Tuesday Crafts Fair around the carousel in Congress Park -- but found a few familiar stores missing, and a couple of new restaurants already closed. Like everywhere else in America, the growth of chain stores and franchises, at the expense of independent and eccentric establishments of yesteryear, has transformed the main drag over the last decade, and some charm has been lost along the way.

--The Wednesday card, as a couple of commenters have noted, "features" six consecutive maiden races, the 2nd through the 7th:

Race 2: 3+ MdClm45000, 1 1/16m-Inner Turf
Race 3: 3+F MdClm 25000, 7f-dirt
Race 4: 3+ MdSpWt, 1 3/8 m-Inner Turf
Race 5: 2yo MdClm100000, 5 1/2f-dirt
Race 6: 3+ NY-bred MdSpWt, 6f-dirt
Race 7: 2yo MdSpWt, 6f-dirt

Kinda glad there was no double-carryover: The pick-6 begins with the latter three races, including a blind third leg, as the 7th race consists of one second-time starter and nine first-timers.