Coming and Going

First a few words about chaos.  People who complained about slow service and crowded tables at the Man O' War CafĂ© at the Fasig-Tipton auction grounds on Monday evening have no idea of what good is.  There's a long list of restaurants with plenty of empty space where you can dine alone. But the restaurants which cater to big crowds are the ones that you want to go to.


Horse racing has too few places that ring with excitement. This is one of them.  The annual yearling sale is among the few remaining venues where common folks still mingle with the rich and the famous. Destroy that connection and you might as well sell horses on the Internet.  No need to build a fancy pavilion.


Saratoga Springs was asleep when horse transport vans began taking the yearlings away.  Now the grounds will be made ready for a new class of animal - horses bred in New York.  Races for locally-bred horses comprise nearly 20 percent of the daily dose of Saratoga competition.


On Wednesday, the New York Stallion Cab Calloway Stakes for 3-year-old males sired by a stallion that stands in the state was the headliner.

Sam the Bugler brought the horses out with a rendition of "Minnie the Moocher."  Announcer Tom Durkin accompanied Sam by singing.  Durkin has no right to say Bobby Flay shouldn't call races.  Not after he pretended to sing like the Hi De Ho Man.


Uncle T Seven, with turf specialist Julien Leparoux riding, came from last to first to win the Cab Calloway. It looked for awhile that the winner might not, but the bay son of Freud filleted horses in mid-stretch, pushed forward with Leparoux's urging and beat Livin Large by two and three-quarters lengths.


Racing secretary P.J. Campo scheduled one of those interesting marathons again.  This specific one went off as the fourth.  The two-mile contest attracted nine horses originally, but two scratched and two didn't finish.  The number one horse - Lord Kipling - won with comfort to spare despite only six days between starts.  "Chop Chop" Chavez had the mount.


Following the races, Elliott and Cathy Masie hosted a barbecue in the backyard of their majestic, historic house on Circular Street to honor Jake Schmidt, a retired white cap from Florida who left his post two years ago at age 86 to tend to his ailing wife.  Schmidt was the guy who guarded over the Travers trophy in addition to manning his clubhouse section.  You could do much worse than having him as a friend as well as your $1 attendance pool proprietor.


Schmidt's evening at the Masie's wasn't a shindig like the upcoming soiree in Peggy Steinman's pink and green tent on the corner of East and Fifth - just some beverages, grilled burgers, baked beans and nice folks. No complaints on their party were heard.

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