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racing's nemeses--drug testing, injuries, race fixing, and those who never show up--attempted to shake down thunder over the Great Race Place on Breeders Cup Classic Saturday. For so many days, at so many different racetracks, under so many circumstances, they had conquered. But on this day, at this racetrack--Santa Anita--nemeses' desires would be trampled and ground into the polytrack fibers
by a mare whose simple but elegant trot dance served as an invitation to all 58000 patrons to jump aboard and ride the victory wave;
by a mare who, this day, would convince normally stoic women shriek and jump for joy;
by a mare who, this day, would reduce grown men to tears;
by a mare who knows not, still, the bitter taste of losing.
That mare's name is Zenyatta.
OK, I will cut short my attempt of a Grantland Rice impression. Time for a trip report.
Arrived in LA, actually Glendale. Our motel was serviceable. Nothing fancy, but just fine. Was surprised at continental breakfasts at the number of BC fans with their forms/programs in the lobby. I thought Glendale was far enough away from Arcadia that I would not run in to any racing fans. They must have been saving $$ like me, avoiding the $250 per night motels closer to the track. Can't blame them for that. Had some pleasant chats in the morning, but nothing intense.
Friday was a relaxing day and the crowd was not bad. Early risers in our group managed to get a bench along the front apron. We pretty much had it all day long. But, as I was walking in to place a bet under the grandstand, I was stopped by a niftily dressed asian girl in a dress promoting something. I could not understand what she said until she pulled out 4 grandstand seat tickets from her red bag and gave them to me. I still never quite understood what she was trying to say, but I took the tickets. I knew they wouldn't be giving out these freebies on Saturday. Used them for a couple of races, but it was more fun with our big group down in front.
Best hit of the day was on Informed Decision. Man did she stand out. 6 for 6 on synthetics, and I knew Ventura would be short. Still ended up losing, could not get anything going. Overall a fun relaxing day. Visited the paddock a few times. Got the philly cheesestake and pop for like $11. Snapped some pictures. Wandered the infield.
Friday night dinner at aplace called Nikki C. Sort of pricey for spaghetti, but hey, I had to go along with the group. Saw some sort of fundraiser going on at the Derby--by a group called Canter? They had a Zenyatta bridle with silent bidding. When I saw on Friday night, the bidding was up to something like $2 grand. Wonder what it ended up at after Saturday? They also had a couple of signed pictures of Zenyatta--signatures were Mike Smith and Shireffs. We bid on one and ended up getting it! Pleasant surprise. I think the picture is now worth alot more since she won her race.
Saturday morning running a little late Decided to skip the drive along Colorado avenue and take 210. Much quicker. Although I do have to say that going down Colorado is more spine-tingling. What happens is you go down colorado go through some bushes, and arboretum, then more bushes, then you swing agradual right turn and as you do that it feels like you are emerging from the bushes out onto the spread known as Santa Anita. Almost like coming out of the darkness into the light. This must sound wierd to a Santa Anita regular, but that is how it feels to me.
Saturday very busy on track. Lines are long, and our group established a place along the infield hedge. If you needed space on that day, the infield was the place to be. I did not give the paddock a try on Saturday as I felt it would be mayhem over there. Managed to get a nice tan in the infield--not bad for a Seattlite in mid November. Got alot of comments on my tan look at work Monday morning.
Anyway, my only hits of the day were conduit and Zen. But they were only straight bets! What a dummy I was, as I was astounded at that daily double pay of $23 dollars. I could not believe that pay as Conduit was what 6-5 odds!
Can't say anything further that hasn't already been said about the Classic--other than it will be a memory for me that I will carry the rest of my life. It truly was an historic occasion. I am glad i was there.
Had a calm Saturday night, no partying for me. Visited Clockers Corner Sunday morning. trotted on over to the SA Gift shop. Yea, it was open!! BC merchandise was in tents advertised as half-off, etc . . . But I still went to the SA gift shop. Very cool stuff in there, but i did not overspend.
Then it was touring around Santa Monica, malibu, USC Campus(felt out of place in that neighborhood), back through Hollywood and on up to Burbank for the flightr back home.
About all i can say is if they had the BC here every year, then I would go to it every year. I have fallen for Santa Anita. I will defintely be back.
"The bill approved in Congress to avert the so-called fiscal cliff would bring the first major tax increase on high earners in 20 years."
Wall Street Journal, Jan 2nd 2013
I'm a Santa Anita regular, & I know exactly what you mean-
If wishes were horses then beggars would ride-
& If dirt were dollars we'd all be in the black
nice report TP - reminds of weird feeling had looking out hotel balcony and seeing the off-ramp sign for “SANTA ANITA AVE” on the 210 at the same time hearing Trevor calling the races on television and Twinspires feed in background - kinda like a reminder GIDDY-UP get the hell over there… City of Arcadia had the trams going again, did an excellent job, prolly took 10 minutes from hotel to front gate of the track no kidding …
been real crazy at work haven’t had time post this week but also reminds went down to the basement to use the facilities before leaving (in the darkness ugh) - right outside is the “Interview Room” and there was John Sheriffs - was nice enuf to sign my program made out to our old pal JohnM, going to try and mail tomorrow hope he’s surprised lol..
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