Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Arkansas Here I Come

--Christina Bossinakis

So here it goes–CBoss making her debut on the TDN blog (and I’d like to apologize to everyone in advance for anything I may say!). Another first for me will come next week when I venture to Oaklawn Park in Hot Springs. I’m always supremely pumped when visiting a new racetrack (what can I say, I’m a racing fiend!), however, the quality of racing that will be offered over the course of the next two weekends is enough to get any horse racing fan’s blood pumping. I must admit, I’m very eager to get a first hand look at the spectacularly fast The Factor. When I asked about his 2-year-old crop while in Saratoga for last summer’s yearling sale, the Silver Fox (yes, I am referring to Mr. Baffert) said to me, “Make sure you remember this name--The Factor). Of course, I hadn’t heard about the colt at that time since he had yet to make it to the races, not to mention that it was the witching hour at Saratoga’s post-sale hot spot Siro’s, so it was highly unlikely that I was going to retain a whole lot from that night. In any case, time has proven that Bob was right on the money, and why he consistently ranks at the top of the game. The Factor is scheduled to arrive in Arkansas Apr. 12, and I will be not far behind.

The Factor   (c) Michael J Marten photo
 As always, the T-Train (who has been on fire of late and has the big horse--Uncle Mo--running in this weekend’s Wood at the Big A) is usually well represented in the big ones, and in this year’s Arkansas Derby Pletcher has Brethren, a half-brother to last year’s Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. WinStar’s colt won the GIII Sam F. Davis in February, but weakened late to be third most recently in the GIII Tampa Bay Derby Mar. 12. The Tampa dirt is kind of an unusual surface, and I’m inclined to think Oaklawn might be a little more favorable to his running style. An interesting side note–Super Saver also finished third in Tampa’s Derby before finishing a close-up second in Arkansas prior to taking down the big one in Kentucky. Food for thought.. Also represented in a number of the Racing Festival’s marquee events is D. Wayne Lukas, who stands at the top of the training ranks heading into the final stretch of the meet. There are always the critics (you know who you are), but one thing I’ve come to appreciate over the last couple of decades is to never count out the King. One more thing, Miss Match (Arg), winner of the Mar. 12 GI Santa Margarita, is said to be headed to next Friday’s GI Apple Blossom, and the word on the street is that some of her Australian connections might being making it out to watch her run. I must say, I love this game for many reasons, one of which is its international flare. I so enjoy, and appreciate, the convergence of our friends from abroad for the big events. And believe me, for those of you who haven’t had the opportunity to hang with the Aussies, they’re a real trip. They work hard and play harder. Will let you know how it all shakes out. That’s it for now, but be sure to check back for reports during my pilgrimage to Arkansas.


The_Knight_Sky said...

Ms Bossinakis wrote: ...and I’d like to apologize to everyone in advance for anything I may say!


It's okay.
Wasn't it the Silver Fox who uttered: The trouble with horse racing is that everyone hates everyone." Something to that effect.

After a while no one knows who is on which side of the issue. Have a good one in Arkansas and stay clear of the Hatfields and the McCoys. :D

The Frog said...

No need to apologize Ms Boss. Have a great time in Hot Springs. I've heard that about those Aussies too, so watch out!