Spectacular racing at Arlington on Saturday—exactly the kind of “event” attending the races should be. Perfect weather, big crowds, and between-race diversions aplenty, in addition to large competitive fields. When will we ever learn that Mies’ adage “less is more” doesn’t just apply to architecture? If American tracks individually ran less often, with geographically-organized meetings clustered around showpiece races, not only would fans be more excited, but larger fields would thrill bettors as well. I know, I’m preaching to the choir. Too bad those in control of racing aren’t listening.
In the G1 Secretariat, I had Winchester (I swear!), but didn’t single him; instead, I exacta boxed him with Your Round who disappointed yet again. Dumb, I know.
Mauralakana is rapidly becoming one of my favorite horses, and she earned a reprieve from broodmare duty by winning the G1 Beverly D (and moves into a tie with Black Mamba in TBA’s Filly & Mare Turf division standings). Wow, two of my June wishes appear well on their way to becoming true—Mauralakana in the BC F&M Turf, and Hostess against the boys in the G1 Sword Dancer.
As for the G1 Arlington Million, first a disclaimer: I absolutely love Einstein and his trainer Helen Pitts. That said, with the sting taken out of the turf, I went with the all-European trifecta in the Million, which scored a nice $66.05 for my 50 cent tri-box ($3.00). I honestly thought it would be Mount Nelson on top, but seeing Spirit One in the post parade, made a place bet on him which still paid $10.20, so nice day all around.
On Sunday, Dr. Pleasure made a triumphant return off a nearly 5-month break, to emphatically win a 9f AOC at Saratoga. Hard to believe it was only his second lifetime win (in 15 starts) considering he’s G1-placed (2006 Travers), but he also has 4-seconds and 4-thirds, including finishing third in last year’s Mass ‘Cap. This lightly-raced Thunder Gulch 5-year-old has always interested me due to—big surprise!—his Foolish Pleasure connections. His dam Beautiful Pleasure was not only an outstanding race-mare (multiple G1 winner, including 1999 BC Distaff, of over $2.7 million), but she’s a full-sister to multiple G1 winner (including Arlington Million turfster) Mecke. Both are by the Foolish Pleasure son Maudlin, out of the Baldski mare Beautiful Bid. Welcome back, boy (and stick around for awhile!).
I must say the moniker Dr. Pleasure also seemed an apropos victor today, considering the death of Isaac Hayes. A classic live 1973 performance from “Shaft” himself: