Once in a while, there are so many upsides to a day that one has to reflect that all the stars in alignment, or there is some great cosmic anticipation of the upcoming Year of the Dog. Saturday was one of those days, as most everything was swinging in my direction:
1. It rained.
2. I was running exceptionally late Saturday morning - errands, business, breakfast, jack-knifed eighteen wheelers - and Lone Star Park graciously held my seat (unoccupied) for an hour. Once again, John Records and his wonderful staff at the Post Time Pavilion can receive all my cyber-hugs of gratitude for providing such great service. (Note to Frank Stronach: Give 'em a raise!)
3. One of my 3-year-old fillies I have on my horse watch, Lake Alice, was completely ignored in the Sunshine Million Oaks at Gulfstream. Yes, on paper, she appeared to be somewhat overmatched, especially since she showed little in the Sandpiper Stakes at Tampa Bay Downs. Yet here she was, a Calder stakes winning filly, going off at 70-1 a couple of minutes before post, and subsequently with final odds of 90-1. How could you not dump at least a show wager on that?? And the little chestnut filly ran well from the onset and came in third. Sweet! My first play of the day put a smile on my face. Admittedly, I was smitten with the Dale Roman's trained horse, Joint Effort, who did win the race, but I had keyed in Knights Templar on the win. Joint Effort will be heading to my horse watch though.
4. Another of my highlighted races, the Filly and Mare Turf at Santa Anita also proved to be productive. In my quest to get some value, I had originally pegged Dancing General and Beneficial Bartok as an exacta, but with Dancing General's scratch, I ended up with the favorite, Moscow Burning. Beneficial Bartok is a very solid 5-year-old mare, 2 for 7 at Santa Anita, and I felt that she would certainly hit the board. She didn't let me down.
5. Saturday evening, as I was basking in the glory of having a good day at the track, I noted that my kids had forgotten to eat the leftover chocolate cake from Macaroni Grill, and it is a well-documented fact that their chocolate cake is the best in this quadrant of the galaxy. Thus, I ended the day on another superb note: I ate the cake.
As good as the day went for me, I should state that there were a couple of downsides.
1. Jerry Bailey retired.
2. Fellow horseplayer and local character, Kemper, who quite possibly could be Mike Holmgren's twin separated at birth, had to "leave early". We all know what "leave early" means, however he did receive a nice little $700 Sunshine Millions cooler as a nice parting gift.