Wednesday, July 21, 2010

New Feature: The Daily Saratoga Race Analysis

For about a month, we (mainly Teddy) entertained at least 6 people with daily commentary, insight and wit concerning a sport in it's ascendancy in America: international soccer. 20,000 words and some heady predictions later and it's safe to say that the Gazette actually provided real fussball content for a long while.

In a similar vein, we (mainly Angelo) are going to provide quasi-regular coverage of a sport in decline: horse racing. No, I'm not about to start griping as nauseum about detention barns, NYRA's insolvency and advance deposit wagering disputes. Instead, let's turn our attention to the Shangri-La of thoroughbred racing: the 2010 Saratoga meet.

The premier racing meet in America, once upon a time Saratoga was 24 days of racing confined to August while the rich relaxed in their northern New York getaways. Fast-forward to 2010, and the meet is 40 days, starts in late July and ends on Labor Day, and its headline story for the meet is the opening of a hamburger stand. This still doesn't change that it's a picturesque location with history around every corner, some of the best racing in America, and is fun to watch and go to. Simply stated, if you don't like Saratoga racing, you don't like summer.

We're not going to blog the entire meet and every race because (1) even I don't care that much, and (2) I have a paying job. But we're going to try to examine and analyze a race a day, often the day's featured race, with the idea of showing that there's more to the sport than the Triple Crown. For example, Saratoga is where some of the best two year olds in America make their debuts, often to some fanfare. There are key races in the older horse, filly and mare and turf divisions. All of them should get attention, not just the Travers. We're going to try to do that, as well as pick a couple of winners. For the sake of accountability, we'll keep track of how we do.

I'm kind of excited. Let's see if everyone can learn something about the sport in the process. For now, let's whet everyone's appetite with a classic replay of a race from two years ago.

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