08/03/2007 8:02PM

Ms. Mxyzptlk

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MxyzptlkI couldn't pick Suffolk Downs-based owner-trainer Patricia Meadow out of a lineup for a million bucks, but on those rare occasions I see her name in the past performances, I picture her as the supervillain Mister Mxyzptlk (left) from the Superman comics. It's not that I think Ms. Meadow is actually the prankster imp from the Fifth Dimension, unfettered by the laws of our physical universe, whose name must be spoken backwards to return to that astral plane. It's the names of her horses.

Ms. Meadow runs the horse with the shortest name and the longest morning-line price on the entire Saturday Saratoga card: Zyxt, a 4-year-old gelding listed at 99-1 in the 8th race. She has run seven other similarly-named horses over the last five years: Yaye, Ybbs, Ydy, Ys, Ytyzz, Zyth and now Zyxt. All appear to be homebreds from her Sky Band Farm in Canton, Massachusetts and four of them including Zyxt are by the local Pine Bluff stallion Say Uncle. Zyxt, in case you were wondering, is a half-brother to Ytyzz.

Zyxt is the lone winner from 33 starts over the last five years for Ms. Meadows and her band of Scrabble-tile runners. He won his debut at Suffolk Downs last Nov. 6, rallying from 18 lengths off the pace to win a mile-and-70-yard maiden race by 3 1/2 lengths, returning what seems like a rather stingy $8.20. He earned a lowly Beyer Speed Figure of 39 for that effort and will probably be close to 99-1 stretching out to 9.5 furlongs on the turf off a nine-month layoff and presumably meeting tougher company. On the other hand, he's bred for the grass in general and this turf course in particular: Zyxt's dam is Bailrullah, who won the Diana in 1987.

I had a little time to waste looking up Zyxt's pedigree tonight because, strange as it may seem, there's no double-carryover into the Test Day card. I was busy finishing a column so didn't see pick-six probables, and assumed it had gone unhit when Gilded Thread won the nightcap at $37.20. Turns out not one but three geniuses managed to include that one along with winners paying $13.80, $19.00 and $27.40 on the same ticket. That was good for a somewhat underlaid payoff of $79.957 on a day when my (thankfully) mythical $5040 play went a whopping 3-out-of-6 on one backup ticket.

Maybe it's for the best. Have you done the work for tomorrow yet? You better start now and put on a pot of coffee. The pick-six races alone have a combined 87 runners before scratches.

But only one Zyxt.

micaela More than 1 year ago
Update: Dr. Meadow finally won a race, scoring in the second at Suffolk on Sunday with a maiden named Ydy.
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Micaela: Thanks for the info. I wondered if Tim Thornton (author of Not By a Long Shot and a colleague from the Racing Times days) knew her and had written about her, but I left my as-yet-unfinished copy of his book downstate. He knows more about the people in and around Suffolk than anyone and he's a very good writer.
micaela More than 1 year ago
I recently read about Dr. Meadow in the new book Not By A Long Shot. In addition to being quite the character in terms of naming her horses, she is also a Harvard-educated rocket scientist. (I'm not kidding, either--this is too bizarre to make up.)
Steven Crist More than 1 year ago
Andyscoggin: I'm all for any innovation on the stale menu of track betting so I support the Grand Slam in principle even though I doubt I've played it more than twice. But I do frequently find myself saying "How'd it pay that much?" after prices are posted. I don't think it's a bet where you want to use multiple runners in the "show" legs. If you like a horse in the "win" leg finale, you might want to crunch one or two 1x2x1x1 kind of combos and maybe end up getting $25 on an $8 winner. The other time I'm tempted to play is when there's a heavy favorite in the sequence I think a lot of people will be "singling" to show. Get him off the board and the payoff skyrockets.
Jim Dornan More than 1 year ago
Both Dave Grening and Andy Serling liked the 5 in that last race yesterday. That gave me a nice late double. Thank you gentlemen.
Parfour More than 1 year ago
Steve- One of big summer races is at Monmouth on Sunday, the Haskell. The odds on favorite, Curlin , who was sold for $7 million and is still partly owned by the Midnite Cry Stable of disbarred lawyers will run with added weight. His owners were judged against for $62 million on friday with criminal trial to follow. These dirtbags shouldnot be allowed on the grounds much less in the winners circle if Curlin wins. Havenot read it in the DRF, but they should get a bronx cheer by all ! Here is the link to the news. http://biz.yahoo.com/ap/070803/lawyers_fen_phen.html?.v=3
E/L More than 1 year ago
Earlier this morning eurohorse.co.uk went 1-3-2 at Goodwood for the The Group 1 Nassau Stakes: PEEPING FAWN (WON at 2/1) need only handle the firmer ground to keep going in the right direction. Her last win in the Irish Oaks was nothing short of fabulous. LIGHT SHIFT (placed 3rd) can rebound from her Irish effort as the ground was not to her liking that day. She has all the ability in the world and could turn the tables on the top selection. MANDESHA (placed 2nd) may not be the same filly she was last year, but a return to her best will make this a cracking affair. NANNINA (unplaced) could be the spoiler at a price for her ever capable handler John Gosden. later today: FIRST TIME EURO 7th Race Saratoga: ARABIAN PRINCE makes his North American debut via Dubai. Form in Europe was far from outstanding but was pitched in against some toughies early on and the form line against Danak last summer holds up quite well. That one has one career defeat which occurred earlier this season in the Group 1 Tattersalls Gold Cup at the Curragh against the likes of Notnowcato and Dylan Thomas, himself the subsequent King George winner. Seems to fit in this context and hails from a solid outfit. Subject is a well bred individual as is evidenced by the recent back to back Group performances put forth by his younger half brother, Lizard Island. Might well need a race and looking towards the tote and post parade for clues but is not without a chance for a minor placing.
AndyScoggin More than 1 year ago
Hey Steven, What do you think about the Grand Slam bet? Looking back it seems to have produced some surprisingly high payoffs and, of course, very low, too. If you get 2 or 3 horse in the top 3 in the first 3 legs and hit the winner in leg 4, you get to cash multiple times? Seems like a fun bet! I'm all revved up again after hitting the early Pick 4 on Thursday. Thanks!
Dave Schabell More than 1 year ago
Not only is she a "rocket scientist" but also a former jockey and full-fledged medical doctor, Dr. Patrica Meadow, with an off-track practice. She was once featured in an article in the Boston Globe in 1980. The good docctor formerly trained horses named: Ybbs - An Austrian River; Ysaye - A 19th Century Belgian violinist; Qom - A holy city in Persia; Ypres - A Belgian battle site; and Qyrghyz - A people in Kyrgyzatan. All more info from the T.D. Thornton book. Meadow is the owner, breeder, trainer, exercise rider, groom, and hot-walker of her steeds. Tom Durkin should praise Allah that the good doctor only chooses to visit the Empire State on rare occasion.
Andrew Carpenter More than 1 year ago
She is from planet K-pac. Still smarting from 1,2 &4th place in Super last weekend's Whitney-if I substitute Diamond Stripes verses Papi and Flashy, I'm gold. Just simply boxed all the speed after watching earlier races. Dutrow killed me. 4 out 5 top beyers in Glow tomorrow were on dirt. Talk about comparing apples to oranges. Jamie Sander's "Devil's Mountain" remains a throwback horse. Let it ride.