Macho Again, a horse that finished second to Big Brown in the Preakness Stakes (gr. I), won the 45th Jim Dandy Stakes (gr. II) beating the 3-2 favorite Pyro. But his achievement (if you can call it that) wasn’t very commendable.
Macho Again’s time for the 1 1/8 miles, run on a track labeled good, was only 1:51. In comparison, a New York-bred maiden 2-year-old named Cribnote, raced one-fifth of a second slower than the track record for five and a half furlongs in the second. Saratoga will suffer as will the rest of the racing world from this sub-standard bunch of 3-year-olds.
Fashion was a more prevalent statement than accomplishment all day. For example, each person paying admission was given a snazzy ball cap. The cap was black with a simple red logo of the track’s Carousel roofline on the crown, a thin accent of red across the brim, and the word “Saratoga” at the back. Thanks to the spinners, you can buy one already on Ebay.
Liz Stuff of Fultonville, NewYork won first prize in the “Fashionably Saratoga” category of the “Hat’s Off to Saratoga” hat competition. But judges Betsy Senior, wife of track major domo Charles Hayward; horsewoman Carol Farmer; and radio personality Randi Tyler deemed Stacy Schwartz’s spiraling red cyclone topper a close runner-up.
Lastly, women in the air-conditioned Jim Dandy and Whitney party suites on the first turn looked smashing. They, too, wore hats, at a brunch hosted by newlyweds Brandi and Chris Dean. The brunch was the grand finale to the “mother of all weddings,” which began at the Museum of Dance, moved on to the Clubhouse at Saratoga National golf course, and concluded with a day at the races. Now, how’s that for a winning trifecta?
The Deans’ guests brunched on a tasty buffet in the street-level floor of the suite and watched the races from above in a waterlogged penthouse. Thank goodness for the man with the squeegee. Shoes were ruined after being an inch deep in standing water. Now, c’mon, fix that.
By the way, a lack of interest among people who seldom see racing was countered by watching the track’s ambulance skidding into the track’s slippery turns. The reckless speed demon must have thought he was driving a race car at Fonda Speedway.
On the conscientious side, Hall of Fame rider Kent Desormeaux finally bagged his 5000th career victory. He rode Bella Attrice, trained by Bruce Brown, to a comfortable win in the seventh. The race went as it should have because Brown strikes at a 24 percent clip and the 5-year-old mare was the favorite.