07/25/2007 2:05PM

Opening Day Double


As I said yesterday, I don't believe in omens, so I'm not going to take the bizarre first race of Saratoga 2007 as a portent of either an aesthetically ugly or personally lucrative meet. It's hard to crow amid an accident.

Forget the Judge ran second by a head at 11-1 with 6-5 favorite Massoud off the board, setting up a highly haveable $160 exacta and $1844 triple. Yay, but there's a big asterisk: Massoud fell in upper stretch after rankly dueling for the lead, also causing Lieutenant Danz to fall. Preliminary eyewitness reports are that everyone's okay except the people who backed the underlaid favorite, but I'm trying to follow the early races from the house via Capital OTB TV and there haven't been any updates.

Massoud, a 7-year-old who had spent his entire career in trainer Graham Motion's barn, was claimed for $35k by David Jacobson (son of the (in)famous Buddy Jacobson), who has been assembling a stable in New York under Diane Balsamo's training but starting today is himself listed as the trainer of record.

The second race, the traditional opening-day baby race, had four late scratches, often a sign that there's word around the backstretch that the field includes a monster you don't really want to run against. The toteboard said the same thing about Sargent Seattle, a Vindication firster from Robsham/Hough, the same connections that unveiled Discreet Cat here two summers ago. The $475k yearling ran down narrow favorite Bold Trust on the turn and drew off impressively in 1:03.47 for 5 1/2 furlongs -- impossible to quantify until they run some more dirt races but probably a big fig. For those of us who revere Seattle Slew, it's nifty to see one of his last sons at stud getting off to such a hot start.

Okay, time to go over to the races. Quick question: Could the Angel Cordero Jr. bobblehead below, the Thursday giveaway here, possibly look any LESS like Cordero?


Frank More than 1 year ago
Hi Steve; I thought I was having a bad weekend,until I listened to Siro's seminar today--Hope you guys go to e-bay and buy some new audio equipment--Those mikes were made by cheapshiba in ND. So much for the outside post in Whitney--Let Pletcher pay for new mikes-- Just like Tina Turner says--He is simply the best--Hope we have good racing luck tomorrow. Ponyman Frank
Rick More than 1 year ago
The Cordero bobblehead actually looks more like Heliodoro Gustines who piloted many of Forego's wins in the 70's. For the first time in memory, I was out of state on opening day at The Spa. Fortunately, I had business done early in Dallas and headed for the simulcast pavillion at Lone Star Park in Grand Prairie. Unfortunately, I ended opening day with an oh-fer. Still nice to see and bet the Spa from over 1,000 miles away.
BombsAway Bob Grant More than 1 year ago
Thursday @ Saratoga...Turf sprints were a novelty @ NYRA two years ago...now they're here to stay.. Sooooo, in the 7th@Saratoga: Let's go with the old saying, "Class On The Grass" While half the field have run in Minor Turf Stakes, #6,Swap Flipparoo, has been facing Grade 2 Quality runners on the dirt. The Giant Killer isn't one to enter for the good seats..I'm going to try and Key Swap in a few rolling Pick-3's to extract value from a Ho-Hum Day Two @ The SPA!Good Luck & Bombs Away!~Bob
Tom More than 1 year ago
Wasn't David Jacobson the trainer of the infamous Hugable Tom back in 1981? I read your article in the NY Times archive about him, and the mismanagement (let's be charitable) towards the end of the horse's life. If it's the same individual I'm surprised to be hearing his name around NYRA's circuit.