In case you haven't noticed, this is a horse racing blog. And, believe it or not, sometimes I actually write about horse racing. Sometimes I write about a particular horse. Or handicap a particular race. And since everybody's Horse Racing Genius is off to Florida with his beautiful family and bland laptop, it became my self-imposed duty to provide you some pertinent information that may enable you to be involved in a particular race, whether it be extra scrutiny in handicapping or just plain out ignoring my insights and ordering an extra libation.
It has come to my attention that there has been a number of oddities that have occurred lately. Charles Harrelson recently died. Not that the former hitman had anything to do with horse racing, at least that I know of, but he was placed at the Grassy Knoll here in Dallas on November 22, 1963. And then I read that former Lone Star Park/Magna Entertainment executive, Corey Johnsen, and another Texas investment guy who my daughter may or may have not sold Girl Scout cookies to, became the majority owners of Kentucky Downs near Franklin, Kentucky. This is very fascinating because Kentucky Downs only has a turf course. Subsequently, when I pondered the connection of "grassy knoll" and "turf", it made me think of Turfway, which really should not be called Turfway because there is no turf course - there's not even dirt, only Polytrack. Anyway, thinking of Turfway prompted me to remember that Saturday is the Lane's End (gr. II). Upon reflecting the Lane's End, I was reminded of last year, when the longshot 48-1 With a City won the Lane's End and was instantaneously placed on the Derby trail which led to a last place finish in the Arkansas Derby and then an unfortunate undefined illness that led to his tragic death a couple of weeks before the Kentucky Derby. And, if I recall the events correctly, I had a wager on him in the third Future's Pool.
Coinicidence? Conspiracy? Probably not. Nonetheless, living here in the North Texas, the notion of conspiracy theories abound.
Which leads me to this Saturday's Lane's End at Polyway. I'm very excited to see the Smart Strike Exacta Brothers, Twilight Meteor and Sedgefield race again. They ran an excellent race in the Hallandale Beach Stakes last month and I really like Twilight Meteor; I also love the 'turf to dirt' angle, although I guess that it would be considered 'turf to polytrack'. Statistics on that one, anyone??
However, the colt that draws my attention is Bullara (Holy Bull). Trained by Todd Pletcher as well as Anthony Sciametta, Jr. when Mr. Pletcher was on "break", he raced 6 times as a 2-year-old; everything from sprints at Churchill Downs to routes at Belmont. He didn't break his maiden until he was 3, when he wired a 1 1/16 mile turf race at Gulfstream. He then came back to win his next race by 8 lengths. and let's face it, I love those chart remarks that say "drew off". His Beyer Speed Figures are not as flamboyant as Twilight Meteor or Hard Spun, but I think that he can go forward. I also like that Holy Bull gene he has going for him. And let's not forget the Todd-Pletcher-Everything-He-Touches-Is-Derby-Bound factor.
Of note, our friends at Polyway have a site that features the Milestones in Lane's End Stakes History. Upon review I noted that Stephen Got Even won the race when it was called the Galley Furniture.com Stakes. Saturday, Junior will be racing ... Joe Got Even . Coinicidence? In 2004, Birdstone ran 5th in the Lane's End only to defeat Smarty Jones at Belmont. Conspiracy?? Hmmm.