I had enough longshots to win about $100 during the two days of races – all with modest $5 bets.
The weather was spectacular: warm enough for shirtsleeves. My seats had a sweeping view of the track, and there was room for some serious handicapping in the clubhouse.
I ate at a favorite restaurant, Jack Fry’s, and enjoyed the lobby bar at the famous Brown Hotel, where I downed a Manhattan. I spotted some celebrities up-close, such as Bobby Flay. I introduced myself as a fan, and we visited. He’s a racehorse owner.
When it comes to handicapping, my favorite pick was a “comeback” horse that I saw this summer at Del Mar, Tres Borrachos, eek out a third-place finish at about 30-1 odds. I picked three winners (Royal Delta in the Ladies’ Classic – Friday’s feature race – as well as on Saturday with St. Nicholas’ Abbey and Hansen). All told, I cashed seven winning tickets (win, place or show bets; no exotics).
I placed 20 $5 bets for a friend in Grass Valley, and he picked the winner of the Classic: longshot Drosselmeyer with Mike Smith. I had the third-place finisher in that race, which also was a longshot.
The Classic was a thriller. “Game On Dude was within yards of making Chantal Sutherland the first female jockey to win the Breeders’ Cup Classic on Saturday when Sutherland’s ex-boyfriend Mike Smith and his colt Drosselmeyer surged past on the outside to win the $5-million race before 65,143 at Churchill Downs,” as the L.A. Times reported.
Horses raced regularly in California fared well – two of them were winners besides “in the money” Game on Dude and Tres Borrachos.
Ireland’s St. Nicholas’ Abbey was a father-and-son success. “Trainer Aidan O’Brien was given the second of his two victories Saturday by his 18-year-old son, Joseph, who rode Ireland’s St Nicholas Abbey in the $3-million Turf to become the youngest jockey to win a Breeders’ Cup race,” as the Times reported.
‘”Dream come true,’ Joseph O’Brien said. ‘I’ve been going to the Breeders’ Cup since I was very small. To win this, it’s out of this world.”‘
Next year, the Breeders’ Cup is at Santa Anita in Los Angeles.
Here’s a video of the Ladies Classic from Friday: