Two down, three to go. Wednesday provided another six-race spectacle at Royal Ascot as Al Kazeem nailed Mukhadram, a thief in the night until strides before the wire, in the Prince of Wales’s Stakes. My friend George Baker pulled off the upset of the week when Belgian Bill rallied from last of the far pack (they split in two) to win the Royal Hunt Cup, he paid $215 to win in the U.S., and no, I didn’t bet. Oh, ye of little faith, indeed. American Sweet Emma Rose looked like she had stolen the Queen Mary before succumbing late to a wild rally by Rizeena.
More from trainer Graham Motion in time for Royal Ascot. He talked jockeys, medication, training, opportunity as Animal Kingdom prepared to run in Tuesday’s Queen Anne Stakes. . .
Twelve days ago, Graham Motion sat on a small couch in an office in an old house in Fair Hill, Maryland and stopped talking. The question really wasn’t fair, but made the trainer get quiet. Real quiet. What would it mean to win at Royal Ascot with Animal Kingdom?
Turn off the phone. Call in sick. Lock the door. Whatever it takes, just get in front of your computer and/or television and watch Opening Day at Royal Ascot. Watch, bet, genuflect…the racing is superb, the pageantry sublime. This year, it’s even better from an American standpoint as Animal Kingdom lights up the first race. Here are the top 10 horses/stories to watch, at least from an America perch, Tuesday. In race order.
Not a particularly nice day at Laurel Park in mid-December, those are few and far between. The track was quite sloppy from a cold rain falling all morning. The crowd was sparse at best but that never stopped racing before. Jockeys dismounted in the paddock as not to get their boots dirty, but one was missing, apprentice jockey Trevor McCarthy.
Seven months have passed since reigning female sprint champion Groupie Doll made her last start, a narrow nose loss to Stay Thirsty in the Grade 1 Cigar Mile, but her return to the races is not far away.
By a Horse of the Year out of a Horse of the Year. Sure it’s been done before. Sometimes with success, other times without. It’s always fun regardless, for breeders, horsemen, fans of the game.
“Alice . . . Alice Dubai . . . Alice UK . . . I’ve got a lot of Alices.” Actually, Graham Motion has just one Alice though she shows up multiple times in his iPhone contacts and seems to do the work of three people.
The Best of The Saratoga Special
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