Blog

Learn things about Suffolk Downs that you won't read anywhere else. Various racing personalities, including jockeys, trainers, track handicappers and others contribute on a regular basis.

2014

Breeders' Cup 2014 - Saturday

October 30, 2014 | Jessica Paquette

From top to bottom, this year’s Breeders' Cup is a super card. There is some real value to be had, particularly on Saturday, and handicapping these races has been an interesting, challenging task. Read on for my selections for Saturday’s star-studded card.

Juvenile Fillies

This may be one of my most lukewarm opinions of the day. Angela Renee seems logical – she has a win over this track and at this distance. She has not been the most consistent, nor has she been all that impressive in her recent workouts, however. I was impressed by Cristina’s Journey in her most recent workout at Santa Anita. (TVG's The Works is a must-watch leading up to the Breeders’ Cup, by the way.) She finished very strongly and seemed to get over the track extremely well. I’m also using Feathered and Conquest Eclipse as I think both fillies can move forward off of their last races,

Filly and Mare Turf

I like Dank (GB), I really do. I do not, however, think she is the same horse that won this race last year. She has taken a completely different path this year and after last year’s route worked so well, why change it? No question, she caught a remarkable field in the Prince of Wales (G1) last time out – The Fugue, Treve, Magician – but she did not really hold her own and has been on the shelf since June. It is asking a lot and I am leaving her off my tickets. Emollient is a horse who may offer some value. She does seem to really like Santa Anita’s hard, fast turf course and the blinkers on made a huge difference last time out. She is not consistent, but at 12-1 she is a contender. I’m also using the in-form Just the Judge and longshot Abaco who should get some pace to run into.

Filly and Mare Sprint

This is another race where my opinion has been swayed by getting the opportunity to watch some final workouts. Stonetastic looked like a monster in her October 25 bullet at Santa Anita. She has been keeping good company all year, is relatively consistent and interesting at somewhat of a price. Leigh Court could very well be the final horse in the Melnyk silks we see in the Breeders’ Cup and it would be fitting for them to go out with a victory. She showed a new dimension last time out and that versatility makes her very dangerous. I also think Judy the Beauty , the runner-up last year, looks very formidable.

Turf Sprint

Before the draw and the odds came out, I really liked No Nay Never . With the outside draw, a short price and the fact he is unproven over Santa Anita’s downhill course, I am looking elsewhere though I do still think he is a contender . Reneesgotzip has been second and third in the last two editions of this race and while she has never won on the turf, she has proven she can be competitive and seems to be in solid form this year. I’m intrigued by Bobby’s Kitten cutting back to a sprint. He held his own against top class older horses going a mile last time out and is extremely talented. I’m hoping Za Approval draws in but it is not looking likely.

Juvenile

The Great War is looking like a big longshot but I think he is a really interesting horse here. He was purchased for $1 million as a yearling and with his heavily dirt-influenced pedigree, there is a chance he moves up significantly on the surface switch. He has been very competitive overseas and could surprise here, like Vale of York several years back. I also loved Carpe Diem in his win at Keeneland and think this colt has all the makings of a legitimate Kentucky Derby horse. For me, those are my two top horses in this race and will throw in Lucky Player to round out my trifecta.

Turf

The scratch of Magician has made this race a significantly more wide open race. While, as always, the European contingent should be respected, I am giving my edge to the United States representative, Main Sequence . Though the gelding has not won by big margins, he is a perfect three for three since coming stateside and has been able to significantly improve off of his international form. He has a sharp turn of foot has shown himself to be a resilient, game competitor. Flintshire (GB), was second to the brilliant Treve in the Arc last time out. The Arc to Breeders’ Cup turnaround is extremely demanding and with the travel, it is a lot to ask. If he fires, however, he should be tough. Telescope (IRE) is interesting but the question will be with him whether or not he takes to the very firm Santa Anita turf.

Sprint

I cannot stress enough how much I loved Fast Anna in his final workout. It was remarkably fast but what was most impressive was how easily he did it. No question he handles Santa Anita’s main track. This colt is seriously talented and for those of you looking for a local connection, he is trained by Kathy Ritvo. Working five furlongs in :57 flat is very fast and the only question is whether or not that took too much out of him. I don’t think it did – I’m all in on him. Watching Indianapolis work with his stablemate Secret Circle served in doing two things – it made me like Indianapolis and confirmed my thoughts that Secret Circle has lost a step this year. I also really like Rich Tapestry who looked very, very strong on the track and has the running style to really work well here. 

Mile

Without two-time champion Wise Dan, the Mile has become a very different race. Toronado (IRE) looms as a very legitimate favorite and has been in excellent form against top international company. The only question for me with him is whether he is at his best on a truly firm turf course or not. Anodin (IRE) has some big horse shoes to fill. He is the little brother of three-time Mile champion Goldikova. Though at this point he does not appear to be the horse his sister was, he is a legitimate contender in his own right. I wanted to like Seek Again but for a horse with known issues racing outside of horses, the twelve post is not ideal. That being said, he still is a serious talent and maybe the strongest of the stateside based contenders.

Classic

Since I saw him in person at Saratoga this summer, I have maintained that Cigar Street is the Classic winner. Though he has been plagued by injuries throughout his brief career, this horse is the real-deal talent wise. There is a lot to like about him – he is making his third start off of an extended layoff and should be poised for a peak effort. Also, Bill Mott. Mott is not the kind of trainer to run a horse solely for the sake of having a horse in a big race – if the horse is in the starting gate, they have a chance. My strongest pick of the Breeders’ Cup. My other selection here is more of a longshot - Footbridge . I’ve been high on this colt since his maiden win and while he has not quite liven up to the potential, his recent races have been encouraging and he is proven at Santa Anita. He doesn’t seem to like to win but could certainly get a piece of the action. Rounding out my exotics with Tonalist and California Chrome .

Good luck!

Breeders' Cup 2014 - Friday

October 29, 2014 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

The Breeders’ Cup is the equivalent of Christmas and my birthday all rolled into one. Without question, it is my favorite racing event of the year and this year is no exception. Even with some pretty major defections (Wise Dan, Beholder, American Pharaoh, the entire older male division), the races have shaped up to be extremely competitive and there is some real value to be had. Let’s take a loon at Friday’s races.

Juvenile Turf

Hootenanny figures to be the favorite here and it is difficult to knock his impressive record. He has competed in three separate countries, four different racetracks and run well on turf, dirt and synthetics. The only thing he has not done is win going two-turns and may have some distance limitations. In a race that has been dominated by international horses, I am looking to Juddmonte’s homebred Commemorative (GB) . With his running style, if he breaks well and takes to the firm turf, he may be a big gate to wire threat. The hard-knocking and experienced War Envoy seems like a logical contender for Aiden O’Brien and while he has never won a stakes race, he has been keeping top company. Imperia is exceptionally well-bred and is out of multiple Grade 1 winner and Chilean Horse of the Year Cocoa Beach. He broke his maiden pretty impressively in the Pilgrim (G3) and the only concern is a mile may actually be too short for him.

Dirt Mile

While the Breeders’ Cup is a great place to find some big longshots, there are certain races where the favorite just looks too formidable. This is one of them. If I’m playing a multi-race wager, Goldencents is a strong single for me. He was narrowly defeated by Rich Tapestry (who I think is a top threat in the Sprint on Saturday) last time out and has been training sharply. In addition, he draws the rail and just looks too tough here. I like the hard-knocking veterans Pants on Fire and Golden Ticket in the exotics but don’t think the reigning winner is getting dethroned here.

Juvenile Fillies Turf

It is a good thing I am using Goldencents as a single because this is a race where I like several longshots and may have to go a little bit deeper into a multi-race wager ticket. I’m fascinated by Sivoliere (IRE) who is making her stateside debut for Chad Brown. More notably, she will have Gary Stevens aboard after a rapid comeback from knee surgery. It is the Stevens angle I really like here – there is no one better on a big day and her international form is good enough to make her interesting. I also like Lady Zuzu because really, what would the Breeders’ Cup be without D. Wayne Lukas winning a two-year-old race? If you overlook the Spinaway (G1) where she clearly did not belong, her form is pretty good and she is a ridiculously well-bred half-sister to Optimizer. Sunset Glow looms as the favorite and rightfully so after winning on turf and synthetics. I also like Raihna Da Bateria after an impressive win in the Jessamine Stakes (G3) at Keeneland.

Distaff

Close Hatches is tabbed as the second choice in the morning line and could really offer some value if Untapable gets all of the attention. While her race in the Spinster (G1) was disappointing, everyone is allowed a bad day and her overall body of work is way too good. She has been a powerhouse all year and if her recent bullet at Belmont is any indication, she is ready to run big. Untapable is a horse that for some reason, I just don’t like. She has been very dominant against three-year-old fillies this year but has yet to prove she can run against older horses. At a short price, I’m looking elsewhere. Tiz Midnight I do think is an interesting potential longshot. She was a good second to Beholder in her first try against graded stakes competition and while she will have some pressure out front, she could surprise.

Good luck everyone! 

Introducing Roimes Chirinos

June 2, 2014 | Dino DiFronzo

Roimes Chirinos may be new to Suffolk Downs this season, but he is no stranger to being one of the world's most promising jockeys.

Chirinos, a 31 year old Venezualan native, has been riding for fourteen years and has a very impressive track record in that time. Riding in his home country of Venezuaela, he won the Venezuelan Triple Crown not once, not twice, but three times! He has also proven himself greatly in the United States. In one of the most impressive jockey performances in recent memory, Chirinos won an astonishing six races in one day riding at Retama Park in Texas!

Sincle riding at Suffolk Downs the last few weeks Chirinos continues to be dominant. He has an impressive record and has won a perfect 4 out of 4 for trainer Juan Pablo Silva. Keep your eyes open for Roimes Chirinos!    

Kentucky Derby

May 2, 2014 | Jessica Paquette

Kentucky Derby Day has arrived and with it, we will start our 2014 live racing season. I was pleasantly surprised to see one of my favorite horses in the entries for the opening day feature – Glowing Promise. The best part of the racing season starting up again is seeing so many familiar faces, both human and equine. I’m looking forward to the start of a great season.

Now, on to the Kentucky Derby.

It is tough to get past California Chrome . Though I am an unabashed East Coast elitist and am hard wired to bet against West Coast-based horses, I think this colt is the real deal. As one by one the top Derby contenders fell to the wayside with injury, he has emerged as the most consistent of the bunch and has passed every test with flying colors.

His greatest test is going to be whether or not he can be effective over Churchill Downs, away from his home track out west. The surface has proved particularly difficult for some and has been the one blemish on the otherwise impressive careers of some of racing’s start. His other issue may be coming out of the gate – he has a tendency to break poorly and cannot afford that kind of costly mistake here.

Samraat has won me over. The gutsy New York bred may have lost the Wood Memorial but it was a game performance and he may be able to move forward after passing the gut check.

While he may have some distance limitations and is not helped by his resistance to switch leads in the stretch. He will need to run the race of his life to win here but has proven he is as tough as anyone here and will put in an honest effort.

If you’re looking for consistency, Ride on Curlin could offer some value. Though he has never won a stakes race nor has he won going past six furlongs, he is bred to handle the distance and has been routinely holding his own against respectable company.

He may not be the type of horse who actually wants to win, but he seems like a very logical horse to use in exotics and will certainly be picking up the pieces at the end.

Todd Pletcher, as always, will send out an arsenal in pursuit of his second Kentucky Derby victory. The strongest of the four may be Intense Holiday . Though his runner-up finish in the Louisiana Derby was ugly – he cross fired throughout the stretch and nearly crashed into the rail – he is no doubt talented and if he can run professionally he should be a contender.

Good luck everyone and enjoy the Run for the Roses!

Kentucky Oaks

April 29, 2014 | Jessica Paquette


After a long, cold winter, the Kentucky Oaks and Kentucky Derby are finally here to bring spring – and the start of our live racing season – with them. Live racing begins on Saturday along with Boston’s Biggest and Best Kentucky Derby Party and I cannot think of a better way to spend Derby Day.

Before we turn our attention to the Run for the Roses, the fillies will take center stage on Friday in the Kentucky Oaks.

Untappable is the obvious top contender. The Steve Asmussen-trained filly is a perfect two-for-two on the year and has one major advantage – she is also undefeated from two starts at Churchill Downs. Her lone real career blemish came in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile in what was her only start without Lasix. 

One filly who could potentially offer more value than the heavy favorite Utapable is Unbridled Forever . Though her dam, Lemons Forever, was not a model of consistency, she did win the one that mattered – the Kentucky Oaks. This filly will try to follow in her mother’s hoofsteps. She did get dusted by Untapable in the Fair Grounds Oaks in her final prep, but she does handle Churchill well and could have upset potential.

My Miss Sophia may lack experience with only three career starts under her belt. However, she has flashed some real talent and passed the class with flying colors in the Gazelle Stakes. Though Todd Pletcher's Derby arsenal may not be the strongest (though it is the largest), he looks like he as always has a major chance to sweep the Oaks/Derby Double.

Unbridled Forever
Untapable
My Miss Sophia
 

Entries for our opening day will be drawn on Wednesday so stay tuned for that and for a complete analysis of the Kentucky Derby!  

OTTB of the Month - Southoftheborder

January 27, 2014 | Jessica Paquette

 

When New England champion Massachusetts-bred Southoftheborder made her final start this summer, I assumed the multiple local stakes winner was off to the breeding shed for owner and breeder Lloyd Lockhart.

That was in fact, not the case. Southoftheborder was not quite ready to hang up her horseshoes and completely retire. Laurine Barreira, Lloyd’s granddaughter, has taken over the management of the family’s Cedar Lock Farm in Florida and saw potential in the big, good-looking mare for a second career off the racetrack.

“She was so athletic, talented, willing to please and fun to work with throughout her career. Watching her in the field with Petesamassbred made me realize she just wasn't ready to be a broodmare retired from working,” said Barreira. “It was evident that she still wanted to strut her stuff; so I decided I would retrain her as a hunter/jumper for myself.”

The eleven-year-old daughter of Senor Conquistador has always been a favorite of New England Hall of Fame owner and breeder Lockhart. “Grampa always called her his pet, and that's exactly how she acts. She is just so loving and sweet, and always alert and waiting for my next instruction.”

One common misconception is that an older Thoroughbred is more difficult to retrain. Often the more experienced war-horses are passed by as show prospects in favor of something that is more of a blank slate. I have found that while an empty canvas can be nice, you know with a seasoned racehorse that they already have the fire and competitive spirit to excel in the show ring. “I have retrained many OTTB's over the years, and I have to say that it all has to do with the horse and their personality,” said Barreira. “South is definitely one of the easiest I've had in a long time. It’s safe to say I'm absolutely smitten.”

An advocate for off-the-track Thoroughbreds, Barreira has become an advocate for OTTBs and has successfully sent many of the family’s homebreds off to successful careers as show horses and pleasure mounts.

Across the country, more and more Thoroughbred exclusive shows have been popping up as a way to promote the OTTB in their second careers. Barreira has created one of her own and it could be an exciting addition to the competitive Florida Show circuit this spring.

“The all-new "Run for the Ribbons" Horse Show Series will be an exclusive Hunter/Jumper horse show series for all tattooed, registered, and identifiable Thoroughbreds. Our mission is to create a meaningful competitive environment, raise the demand for Thoroughbreds, and to help owners in expanding second career options for OTTB's (Off-Track Thoroughbreds). We envision the Run for the Ribbons as a great way to showcase the talents and abilities of Thoroughbred horses in the second stage of their careers in the world of Hunter/Jumper competition. We will also have in-hand classes for thoroughbreds that are no longer able to compete under saddle. This will encourage and reward those who have taken on the responsibility of caring for those horses. This exciting and meaningful show will provide prospective horse buyers with a fresh look at the OTTB as the potential source of their next horse, rather than selecting other more conventional breeds. We also believe that this show will encourage trainers and owners of current racehorses to retire their horses in sound condition, knowing that there is a market by way of this new exclusive Thoroughbred show series. We envision this series as an opportunity to remove the dark cloud hanging over the horse racing industry, providing for the wellbeing of OTTB’s and opening the door to new opportunities for them and their owners. Caring for our beloved Thoroughbreds after their lives in racing has become the driving force behind this series and its success. This new life “after racing” will also go far in generating substantially greater positive public opinion about racing. We recognize the hardships faced by retiring Thoroughbred racehorses, and have created this show series exclusively for the purpose of honoring this elegant and competitive breed, giving them a new lease on life, and providing greater home opportunities for them after they cross the “finish line” for the last time. This show also allows us to further the industry’s current conscientious efforts to enhance thoroughbred retirements.”

More information about Cedar Lock Farm and the Run for the Ribbons show series can be found here: http://www.cedarlockfarm.com/run-for-the-ribbons-horse-show-series.html 


2013

PIERMARINI TAKES TOP HONORS FOR THE MEET

November 18, 2013 | Lynne Snierson


Tammi Piermarini is Boston Strong. Even though she ranks as the all-time third winningest female jockey in North America and just enhanced her stellar status by capturing her fourth straight leading rider title and fifth overall at the recently concluded Suffolk Downs 2013 live meet, she remains loyal to her roots.

“New England is my home and I love riding at Suffolk,” said the 46-year-old Amesbury, MA native who began riding racehorses almost 30 years ago after a career in the show ring. “I have been asked to move to California and ride for a couple of different owners and I also have an offer to go to New York, but I’m staying here. You bet I’m Boston Strong.”

The purses and the spotlight are much bigger and far brighter on the major Southern California and New York circuits, and the rivalry in the riders’ room is more intense. Despite being the top dog in these environs, the highly-competitive Piermarini, who has won races at 15 different tracks over her 30-year career, was still concerned about holding her own at Suffolk when the season began.

“I’m very happy to have won the title again, but I was very nervous at the beginning of the year,” she explained. “(Trainer) Marcus (Vitali) didn’t come back this year and I had been riding first call for him, so I didn’t think I could win the title. But I hadn’t gone anyplace else to ride over the winter because I stayed home to take care of my (seriously ill) father-in-law. So I was the first one here when everybody shipped in and I got a jump start. I was getting on a lot of horses in the mornings for a lot of different trainers and I was really fit.”

The trainers noticed and responded positively so the phone of John Piermarini, Tammi’s agent and husband, never stopped ringing. By the end of the 80-day meet, she had won 101 races and her mounts bankrolled $1.1 million in purses.

“When the trainers who never rode me before because of Marcus found out that I was now eligible to ride for anybody, they gave me their business,” she said. “I’m very lucky and I’m grateful to have had everybody back me and give me the keys to their Mercedes out there (on the track) this year.”

While it is indisputable that only two other women, National Museum of Racing and Hall of Fame inductee Julie Krone (3,704 wins) and Rosemary Homeister, Jr. (2,627 wins as of Nov. 17) have made more trips to the winner’s circle than Piermarini, the exact number of her victories is a mystery.

That’s because prior to her marriage she rode under her maiden name as Tammi Marie Campbell and her records were not accurately merged afterward.

“I know I’m pretty darn close to 2,300 wins,” said Piermarini, who now has a combined 2,293 under both surnames according to Equibase statistics. “Even with the combined stats, I know I’m missing some. They were lost because of my name change.”

The misses notwithstanding, her 15,732 mounts have earned just shy of $20 million in purses. All of her stats are impressive, and must be considered even more so because she missed a lot of time in the saddle over a period of 10 years and then had three children, Izabella, Johnny and Sophia, now aged 12 to 3.

“I’m really proud of my longevity,” she said. “I’ve been blessed, knock on wood. I’m not complaining, but this business is especially tough for girls. Jill (Jellison, her sister Suffolk rider) and I have been around for a long time. I was really sick during that 10 year span and I’ve still been able to produce those numbers. No other woman has been this successful coming back after three separate years of pregnancy.”

Piermarini, who famously returned to the saddle against her doctor’s orders shortly after undergoing a Caesarian section, has no thoughts of quitting any time soon. She, John and the children are soon heading to Arizona so she may join the jockey colony at Turf Paradise for the winter months, but she plans to be back in the Spring.

“I want to get to 3,000 wins and I hope to make it into the New England Turf Writers Association Hall of Fame before my father-in-law passes. I want my father to be able to see that, too. I wish my mom were still alive and could maybe see that happen one day,” she said. “I also have the goal to make it into the national Hall of Fame.”

Those goals are in reach because she is riding as well as ever.

“It’s all about the horse and getting on the right ones in the right spots. This is not jockey racing, it’s horse racing,” said. “And it’s what I absolutely love doing.”

In other end-of-meet honors, John Rigattieri was Suffolk’s leading trainer for the 10th consecutive year with 57 wins from 199 starters, and Frank Bertolino’s Monarch Stable captured the leading owner trophy for the third consecutive year with 31 victories.

OTTB of the Month - Wheel Base Bill

November 15, 2013 | Jessica Paquette

The moment Tammy Hicock walks into the barn, Wheel Base Bill or "William" as he is called now, immediately lights up. The tall, elegant dark bay gelding begins to nicker excitedly, ready to go to work.

Bred by Michael Benson and raised at Indian Rock Farm in Saugus, William learned the basics trail riding through the picturesque Lynn Woods before beginning his career at the racetrack.  Though his career as a racehorse was not noteworthy, Hicock saw "something special" in him when she came to Suffolk Downs in the Fall of 2011 horse shopping for someone else.

"He stuck his head out of the stall and just said "Pick me, pick me!", said Hicock. "I felt like we were kindred spirits."

Wheel Base Bill moved to Twisdenwood Farm in Georgetown, MA and began to learn his second career. With over 30 years of professional experience and a passion for bringing along horses off-the-track, the pair bonded quickly. Known as the class clown around the barn, William is always into something.

"He has more personality than any horse I've ever worked with," said Hicock as William was showing off his impressive flexibility while maneuvering himself in the cross ties. 

With his natural athleticism and good looks, William looks well on his way to success in the hunter ring. But, Hicock always lets the horse dictate which career path they ultimately wind up taking.

"We will do whatever William wants to do. I'm letting William set his path with whatever talents he shows me. 

And for now, the pair are celebrating each milestone. Patience is the name of the game when retraining horses off the racetrack and Hicock's patience and understanding have been tireless with her big gelding.

"He's mine forever. I so enjoy every little step with him - I'm proud of every accomplishment he makes."



The Future of Racing

November 15, 2013 | Chip Tuttle

It has always been our plan and our intention to preserve and enhance racing here if we are successful in earning a license to develop a world-class destination resort.  We have no plans to move the racetrack itself and will continue to pursue options that allow us to preserve our 78-year legacy of Thoroughbred racing here.  Opponents have suggested that we would have to close the track to accommodate a gaming facility on the Revere portion of the property.  This, like many other of their distortions, is simply not true.

With the new circumstances of having to site the resort entirely on the Revere portion of our property, we are looking at alternative sites for the current barn area. In our prior proposal, the gaming and racing facilities were integrated.  Now, they must be separate.  I met with representatives of the New England Horsemen’s Benevolent and Protective Association and the Massachusetts Thoroughbred Breeders Association this past week to brief them on this very topic.

Make no mistake about it, the "no" vote in East Boston puts the future of racing here very much in doubt.  In addition to the 350 jobs at Suffolk Downs during the racing season, there are hundreds of decent, hard-working people who make their living in some way taking care of the horses that are stabled here from April to November, along with hundreds more whose businesses are supported by racing.  Owners, breeders, trainers, jockeys, exercise riders, grooms, stable hands, blacksmiths, feed and tack suppliers, veterinarians -- these people depend on racing to put food on their tables.

A report by Christiansen Capital Advisors that we commissioned as part of our application process estimates 1,486 jobs supported by the Thoroughbred industry in the Commonwealth and that number could more than double if we are successful in earning a gaming license -- that does not include the thousands of good jobs that would be created at the gaming facility itself.Our commitment to Thoroughbred racing and the people whose livelihoods depend on it has not wavered and we are continuing to work to keep Suffolk Downs -- the last remaining Thoroughbred racetrack in New England -- going.


Local employees write: It's about people

October 31, 2013 | Christian Teja

A letter to the editor from a group of employees at Suffolk Downs who live in East Boston appears in this week's East Boston Times-Free Press.  Here is what they wrote:

To the Editor:

As residents of East Boston and employees of Suffolk Downs, next Tuesday’s referendum is of exceptional importance to us and our fellow co-workers, many of whom also reside in East Boston, whose livelihoods and means of supporting our families are likely hanging in the balance.

Suffolk Downs has been a steady source of employment for each of us.  It has provided us with opportunities to buy a house, pay our rent, support our children and receive medical benefits.  At this difficult economic time, we are fortunate to have these jobs.  We all know family members or friends in our community who have been looking for work.

We have all seen the signs that say “It’s About Jobs” and it most certainly is.  But it is also about people.  Real people like us who live in this community, have kids in local schools, dine at local restaurants and run errands at local businesses.  And about the people who are currently out of work for whom a casino at Suffolk Downs would offer good-paying jobs with benefits, regardless of their level of education.

Without a casino, the future of Suffolk Downs is very much in jeopardy.  We try not to think about the possibility of the track closing, but it is something we as employees need to face up to in the event it does close and we and about 300 other people are left to find another way to support ourselves and our families.

On the flip side, we are potentially on the verge of a life-changing situation in a positive direction and we are doing our best to remain optimistic.  A resort casino at Suffolk Downs would provide not only job security for us and our co-workers, but also opportunities to pursue additional career paths and advance within the company.  With so many uncertainties in life, having a reliable source of income can ease a lot of stress. Of course, a casino would go way beyond helping the current workforce, but it would also create thousands of new jobs, many of which would go to East Boston residents.

Voting yes for Suffolk Downs is voting yes for neighbors like us.  We can’t imagine the idea of voting against something that could put neighbors out of work.  We urge all residents of East Boston to consider the livelihood of people like us and our families when you cast your ballot next Tuesday.

Vote YES for Suffolk Downs!

Sincerely,

Lou Ristaino

Dawn Lepore

Miriam Sanchez



Breeders' Cup 2013

October 30, 2013 | Jessica Paquette

I look forward to the Breeders’ Cup the way a little kid looks forward to Christmas. This year’s two-day event did not disappoint and both cards are loaded top to bottom with the best horses and jockeys in the world.

The only bittersweet part of the Breeders’ Cup is that is the final day of our live racing season as well. Thank you to all of the fans who joined in the conversation on Twitter this year (@jmpaquette) and helped make this such a fun meet.

Here is a rundown of each race. Enjoy and good luck!

MARATHON

This race has been one that I have had the winner in nearly every year but this year’s installment does lack some star power. EVER RIDER will try to replicate the incredible performance from Calidoscopio and bring home another Breeders’ Cup victory to Argentina. This horse is not quite as accomplished as his predecessor but does have one major advantage – Gary Stevens. I think Stevens is going to have a spectacular two days and he could kick it off here.  He is also one of only two horses in the field proven at the distance. BLUESKIESNRAINBOWS has been very successful at Santa Anita and his tactical speed makes him a major front-running threat. In these long races, a front-runner can steal the show if they can coast uncontested on the lead.  It is tough to exclude the European invader LONDON BRIDGE who will get big-money rider Mike Smith aboard and Lasix for the first time. He should have no issue whatsoever with the distance and his biggest question mark will be conventional dirt.

JUVENILE TURF

BOBBY’S KITTEN may be one of my stronger opinions on the card. This colt has gotten better with each start and is yet another offspring of the red-hot stallion Kitten’s Joy who will be represented at the Breeders’ Cup. This colt is named after Bobby Frankel and while he has a long way to go before he is thought of like the other horse who had that honor, European superhorse Frankel, he seems incredibly talented.  OUTSTRIP has been looked the part on track this week and this colt has some serious pedigree. His dam was a G1 winner on synthetics and his form should translate here.  The Euros are always dangerous in the turf races.  It is also difficult to leave out either Aiden O’Brien horse, WILSHIRE BOULEVARD or GIOVANNI BOLDINI as O’Brien has won this race the past two years.

DIRT MILE

The defection of Graydar this week changed everything. I did not like Goldencents during the Triple Crown and still don’t, so I do think he is a beatable likely favorite here. BRUJO DE OLLEROS ran a dynamite race to finish second to Graydar in the Kelso and if you were impressed by Graydar, this potential longshot has appeal, too. He is likely still rounding into form off of a layoff and proved last time he can run with top company. Also coming out of that race is HYMN BOOK who may not be quite good enough to win here but will get a pretty honest pace set up and should have every opportunity to be effective. He is winless this year and his most recent win came last fall against ungraded stakes company, so he will need to run a big race.  VERRAZANO is capable of being completely brilliant. He is also capable of being completely disappointing. He has two major blemishes on his otherwise flawless record. If the Verrazano that won the Haskell shows up, everyone else is running for second.


JUVENILE FILLIES TURF

The Juvenile Turf races are the perfect opportunities to find some big longshots. Dancing House broke her maiden on the main track at Saratoga but did run well against stakes company on the turf in the Miss Grillo. Her form is not what is intriguing, her pedigree is. She is out of West Coast turf sensation Tout Charmant and if she is at all her mother’s daughter, she could have longshot potential here. The buzz filly has been My Conquestadory who showed professionalism beyond her two races to win at Keeneland last time out. She made her career debut against male rivals in the Summer Stakes and won handily, cementing herself as a potential star on the rise. How good is she really? We will find out on Friday but she is battle tested and apparently a very tough filly. Testa Rossi was flying late to win the Miss Grillo in her stateside debut last time out and gave a terrific impression. Her French form was competitive and having had a race to get acclimated in the U.S. may give her an edge over several talented European rivals

Distaff

This race essentially boils down to being a showdown between the princess and the queen. Two-time Distaff champion Royal Delta will try to avenge her loss to the up and coming star Princess of Sylmar in the Beldame Stakes last time out. Though the Princess has been nothing short of exceptional this season, the decision to go to the Distaff was somewhat of a last minute one and she has had a long, demanding campaign that had been originally planned with the Beldame as the final stop of the year. Did she peak then? All year the Distaff (or at one point, the Classic) has been the end game for Royal Delta and she will try to join Goldikova in the exclusive company of three-time Breeders’ Cup winners. She has been training sharply for the final start of her remarkable career and will try to go out a champion. Do not overlook the West Coast sensation, Beholder . She has true home track advantage and the reigning Juvenile Fillies winner has matured into a formidable three-year-old.

 

JUVENILE FILLIES

Though she is likely a big longshot, Scandalous Act could have upset potential for New England Hall of Fame owner and breeder Gilbert Campbell. This filly has dominated at Calder and took the Florida Stallion Series impressively. How good is she? That remains to be seen and she will get a stiff test on Saturday. Artemis Agrotera seems like the logical top contender and will put her undefeated streak on the line after a game effort in the Frizette. She has done everything right so far. The well-bred Secret Compass may have home track advantage and showed significant improvement once she switched to conventional dirt from synthetics. She proved that she can prevail in a battle and showed a lot of tenacity for a young horse.

FILLY AND MARE TURF

Romantica may be one of my favorite longshots of the day. This filly is out of Banks Hill who won this race in 2001 and was second in 2002. Her half sister, Intercontinental won the event in 2005. This filly has been holding her own against solid European company and while her last effort behind the brilliant Treve was poor, she is not facing quite the likes of that rival here. Marketing Mix will try to avenge her loss in this race from last year and could give Gary Stevens one of possibly several wins on the card. No one is riding better than him right now and he may be the extra edge this filly needs to win against the top Europeans. Throw Alterite into the exotics off of a sharp win in the QEII last time out. This filly looks like she is getting really good at exactly the right time.

FILLY AND MARE SPRINT

Is Groupie Doll the same horse as she was last year? She got a well deserved break after that hard fought defeat in the Cigar Mile and sometimes when mares go to the farm for a refresher, they never come back quite as sharp. She could be a vulnerable favorite here. Sweet Lulu cuts back to a sprint here after a game effort to the highly regarded Close Hatches in their last start. She had been undefeated prior to that and the cut back in distance should help her here. No denying this filly is talented and fast. Book Review should benefit from a sharp pace and is well proven at Santa Anita.

TURF SPRINT

Caracortado will try to win a Breeders’ Cup race in only his second start off of an extended layoff. Though a major feat, it is not an impossible one. (Da Hoss, anyone?) This gelding turned in an encouraging effort in his first start since January of 2012 and obviously needed a race. Second start back, over a track he likes, he may be poised for a huge effort. Mizdirection is taking on the boys to defend her title and though she is making her first start since a fifth place finish at Belmont, she is proven off of similar layoffs and perfect at Santa Anita. That race in New York can be excused as she would not be the first California-based horse to not be successful shipping east. This is her race to win or lose. Reneesgotzip has a ton of speed and may try to be a gate to wire threat. She held her own against male rivals in this race last year as a three-year-old and is two for two on the year.

JUVENILE

What did we learn from the Triple Crown season this year? Never, ever count out D. Wayne Lukas. Though Strong Mandate was a big disappointment in the Champagne Stakes, he was generating quite a bit of buzz before that race and should not have had any issue with the distance. He is bred to excel around two turns and could surprise here. It is tough to argue with Havana and his perfect two for two record but like Shanghai Bobby last year, he just has not done anything to “wow” me. He has done everything right up until this point and defeated the horse I regard as my Derby horse for 2014, Honor Code, so will get his chance to impress here. New Year’s Day has been training sharply for his first try against stakes company and appeared to defeat a quality field in that maiden win including Bond Holder, who won a G1 at next asking. Bob Baffert is always a big player in these races and this colt could have minor upset potential.

TURF

Point of Entry may be up against it here making his comeback race off of an injury that sidelined him for half of the season. He was the best of the American turf horses last year and has proven that he can translate his very strong East Coast form to Santa Anita. With most horses, I would immediately toss them out in this spot off of that sort of injury and layoff. But Shug McGaughey is not most trainers. If this conservative horseman thinks this horse is up to the task, then I am willing to buy into it. The Fugue will take on male rivals here and has been beating the boys for much of the year overseas. She was a bad trip away from winning the Filly and Mare Turf last year and may appreciate the additional quarter mile here. All summer at Saratoga, there were signs hanging to “Keep Calm and Buy a Kitten’s Joy”. Big Blue Kitten represented his stellar sire well this summer and may be the strongest of the United States turf horses this year. He is battle tested and seems to run his race on any surface.

SPRINT

Sprinters have never been my specialty but Secret Circle looks like he might be awfully tough here. He returned off of an extended layoff and dominated an allowance/optional claimer field with an impressive 104 Beyer. Since then, he has been lighting up the worktab and may be even sharper second off of the layoff. The question is whether or not he bounces off of that big effort and this group is a little tougher than what he faced last time. Trinniberg will try to defend his title after pulling the upset in last year’s Sprint. To call his form average this year would be an understatement, but his recent workouts have been an encouraging return to the brilliant speedball of last year. At his best, he is fast enough and he will have to bring his best here. I will be a little sentimental with my longshot selection here and go with Majestic Stride . This gelding returned off of a significant layoff this year and has had back to back wins against much softer. He is relatively unproven against graded stakes company but his worktab has been very sharp and he could be a potential upset contender. I know one thing, my off-the-track Thoroughbred What a Trippi will be rooting for him.

MILE

Wise Dan can not be too criticized for his last race. It was just such a bizarre race with the apocalyptic weather and the racing coming off the turf in a last minute decision. His record this year has just been too dominant and too powerful to overlook. He defeated a much tougher field last year including Kentucky Derby winner and eventual Dubai World Cup champion Animal Kingdom and this field is not nearly as tough. While his campaign has been knocked for lacking ambition, that is not his fault and he is still something special to watch. Za Approval has been in the shadow of the big horses on either coast all season. He has steadily and quietly improved and could have upset potential. He just needs to prove here that he can win against the top tier horses, not just hold his own. Olympic Glory has been a legitimate Group 1 horse in Europe all year and that form always makes a horse a top contender here. The biggest question mark with him will be whether he takes to Santa Anita’s hard, fast turf course – many of his better efforts have come over much softer surfaces.

CLASSIC

It is very tough to argue with Game on Dude's record and in a year where Horse of the Year is still up for grabs, he has a lot riding on this race. He does seem stronger and more dominant than last year and seems to have benefited from skipping the trip to Dubai. However, Moreno may not be quick enough to be a contender at the end but he is just fast enough to make sure the Dude has to work for the lead. This is a much deeper group than he has been facing in California and cannot have any excuses. Mucho Macho Man has one major advantage in this race – jockey Gary Stevens. In all of his accomplishments including numerous victories in Triple Crown races and Breeders’ Cup triumphs, he does not have a Classic win. And you can be the uber competitive Hall of Fame rider wants to add that one to his trophy case. Will Take Charge will try to prove that this group of three-year-olds is legitimate. This colt is a physical powerhouse and because he is a later foal, he is likely still developing and growing into his towering frame. He seems to have hit his best stride the second half of the year and will be making his bid for the sophomore Eclipse. Though he will need to run the race of his life, it is impossible not to root for Paynter. After winning the battle with colitis and laminitis, he has nothing else to prove but a win in the Classic would cap off his fairy-tale comeback.

 

OCTOBER OFF-TRACK THOROUGHBRED OF THE MONTH – WELFARE LINE

October 10, 2013 | Lynne Snierson

Most senior citizens of his advanced age prefer spending their golden years in a lush paddock where they can simply graze on the green grass and soak up the sun’s rays, but former New England campaigner Welfare Line will have none of that.  “Welfie”, at the age of 28, can still be found at Suffolk Downs, where he relishes his job as a pony for trainer John Pimental.

“Welfie is an iron horse, that’s for sure. We even call him ‘The Old War Horse’ sometimes. Knock on wood, he’s doing great and he’s sound. He’s always been sound,” said Pimental, who has been a trainer for 24 years as well as a pony person for 30 years. “He’s an excellent pony, too, because of his great disposition and his work ethic. He loves the work.”

With 30 being the average lifespan of a Thoroughbred, it is remarkable that Welfie, who was foaled on February 1, 1985,  is still going strong, let alone able to perform the duties required of his role.

“He really loves it. John has four ponies and if he goes out on another one, Welfie gets jealous. He’ll start running around the stall and he lets John know,” said jockey agent Diana Pimental, who celebrates her 40th anniversary with John this month. ‘He’s really something.”

Welfare Line, a Canadian-bred, raced 116 times in his career and had 15 wins, 11 seconds, and 17 thirds while earning $54,860.  Although he made his first start at Gulfstream Park in February of 1988, all but three of his efforts were either at Suffolk Downs or Rockingham Park.  Welfare Line competed for the late owner/trainer Lou Hasbany and John Pimental was his exercise rider.

“He was a run-off when he was a racehorse,” said Diana. “John was the only one who could handle him. John was told that when Welfie was done with racing, he was his.”

When Welfie was 9, his days as a racehorse were through and his second career with John Piemental was about to begin.

“He’s my favorite now, but he wasn’t back then because he was so tough to handle,” said John. “Even at this age he can still be tough sometimes. If they (any racehorses he’s leading to post) try to get ahead of him, he’ll pin his ears back and let that horse know he’s not allowed to do that.”

Welfie even recognizes when the last race of the day arrives. Diana said that all John has to do is sit in the saddle and the beloved old warrior goes right back to the barn on his own.

“I believe I gave $1,100 for him when I got him,” John recalled. “He’s made that and more back for me many, many times over. I take him to Florida with me every winter and he works at Tampa Bay Downs, too. He’s a sweetheart, and he’s attached to me just like I am to him. Maybe we’ll retire together, who knows?”

But for now, retirement to that lush paddock is not in Welfare Line’s immediate future.

“It’s amazing that a horse of that age can still do the job, and do it with no complaints,” said John. “He really is pretty special.”

CAMPBELL AND BERNARDINI HONORED WITH MONTHLY AWARDS

October 1, 2013 | Lynne Snierson

Ask anyone involved in New England racing about apprentice rider Janelle Campbell, and the answer is always the same.

 

“Everybody loves Janelle,” said longtime jockey agent Diane Pimental. “She grew up on the racetrack and we’ve all known her since she was young. There isn’t one person who would have anything bad to say about her. She’s a great girl.”

 

Even better, the 29-year-old is now getting known for her ability as well as her sunny personality. After winning four races in September, all aboard longshots, to add to her total of five (through September 27) for the current meet at Suffolk Downs, she has been honored with the September Jockey of the Month Award.

 

“I had a great month,” she said with her trademark bright smile. “The trainers are starting to notice me and give me a shot to ride their horses.”

 

Campbell has the bloodlines to be a successful jockey. Her father, Robert, is the brother of leading rider Tammi Piermarini, who ranks as the third leading female rider in Thoroughbred history even though the record keepers are not exactly sure how many wins she has overall. That’s because she rode as Tammi Campbell before her marriage to agent John Piermarini.

 

“My grandmother didn’t want me to be a jockey because she knew how hard this life is and how much my aunt had to go through to get where she is in the business,” Tammi’s niece said. “My father also knew what I was getting into, but he’s so supportive. He only wants me to do what I want to do and what will make me happy. Being a jockey makes me happy. It’s what I love.”

 

Despite her family connections, nobody on the backside cut her any breaks when she first came on the track nine years ago. After Piermarini taught her to gallop at Rockingham Park when she was taking a break from the saddle and training horses, Campbell got a job as an exercise rider for trainer Marcus Vitali. Then she became a groom for Billy Longorio and also worked as a pony person.

 

“When I wanted to be a jockey, he put me on my first horse. Three of the five races I’ve won have been for Billy,” she said.

 

Still, it took a while for Campbell to get rolling. She started her career in 2012 at Suffolk and went 0-for-20 while learning the ropes. This year she came back and had her first winner on the second Saturday of the meet. From her first 78 mounts she had two fives and 15 thirds to go along with her five victories.

 

“It took her a long time to learn her craft, but she learned it from the ground up. She knows every aspect of this business,” said agent Jeri Vieira . “The mark of a good rider is being one who is willing to learn and that’s Janelle. She’s always asking question. When she makes a mistake, she asks how she can be better next time.”

 

Campbell, who is a natural lightweight at 99 pounds and doesn’t have to struggle to make the lower imposts apprentice riders are allowed, has an expert and fabulous role model right in her family. But Piermarini isn’t her only tutor.

The biggest asset I have is that I grew up on the racetrack and know so many people who are willing to help me. My boyfriend is Luis Garcia (a member of the Suffolk jockey colony) and other veterans like Jorge (Vargas), David (Amiss), and Jill (Jellison) are so helpful whenever I ask,” she said.

 

The other riders must be giving Campbell the right answers and the willing student of the game can’t get enough.

 

“I’m having a ball. I love being a jockey” she said. “There is no feeling like winning. Every time I watch the replay of my first in, I get the same chills all over again. I want more.”

 

Jay Bernardini, who was voted the 2012 Outstanding Trainer by the New England Turf Writers Association, is Suffolk’s September Trainer of the Month.

 

He is no stranger to the winner’s circle or the leader board so it’s no surprise that his horses ran well all month long. With 35 victories through September 27, he ranked second in the standings and enjoyed a three-win day on September 17 to go along with his other multiple win days during the meet.

 

Paul Cudworth, who cares for horses in the barn of owner and trainer John Pimental, is the September Groom of the Month. Cudworth’s dedication to the horses in his care is evident and he has groomed prominent New England champions including National Hero.

 

What a Trippi - August's Off-Track Thoroughbred of the Month

September 10, 2013 | Lynne Snierson

Even though he wasn’t tall, dark and handsome, it was love at first sight.

From that moment on, Jessica Paquette knew that somehow, someday, What a Trippi would be hers.

“I don’t know why, but it hit me the first time I saw him at Suffolk Downs,” she said “He wasn’t even my type, which is tall and black, long and athletic, the way a horse like (former Suffolk runner) Riversrunrylee looks. I’d never felt that way about a racehorse before and I’ve never felt it since.”

In her position as Suffolk’s racing analyst and publicist, Paquette sees a myriad of Thoroughbreds on a daily basis. But this small, bay Florida-bred son of multiple graded stakes winner Trippi and Avert Your Eye’s, who stands a mere 15.2 hands, was the bad boy who stole her heart.

“He was known around the track for being…difficult,” she said. 

What a Trippi was trained by George Saccardo at the time and Paquette loyally followed the horse’s career. When he was entered for a $7,500 tag at Aqueduct in March 2009, Michael LeCesse haltered him. So Paquette did some detective work and tracked down LeCesse’s contact information to let him know that the horse could have a home with her when it was time to take his racing shoes off for the last time.

She and LeCesse stayed in touch while What a Trippi ran 16 more times, 15 of which were at Finger Lakes. One day, she finally got the call she had dreamed of – LeCesse offered her the horse at a very reasonable price, knowing that Trippi would be in good hands.

But making the purchase was the easy part.

“It took a village of New England horsemen to get him from upstate New York back here,” Paquette said. “Karl Grusmark pitched in and vanned him to Belmont, where Joe Signore kept him in his barn for a couple of days. Then Pat Vassallo brought him up here to me. Then I needed a place to keep him, so my friend Jess Creighton came from Maine and took him to her farm.”

It was there that What a Trippi, who had raced 42 times and won nine times for total earnings of $111,228, was given ample time to wind down so he could be a horse again.

“Off the track Thoroughbreds really need a lot of patience. People need to understand that and give them more of it,” she said.

When Trippi was ready, it was time for Paquette to get in the saddle as he transitioned into his new career as a show horse. She recently brought him to Tammy Hicock’s facility in Georgetown, MA to be closer to where she lives while they continue their lessons.

“I’m there twice a day, every day. It is a lot of work, but it has really allowed us to bond,” said Paquette. “He can still be difficult and quirky, but I am amazed by how smart he is. He has that great Thoroughbred work ethic. He loves his job and he loves understanding what that job is. He went from being a wild man in a field all the way toward having a show career.”

Suffolk jockeys Tammi Piermarini and David Amiss rode the horse when he raced at Suffolk. They continue to be a wealth of information when Paquette needs to better understand her horse and how the pair can continue to progress.

“This is a tremendously rewarding experience and What a Trippi is really worth it,” Paquette said.  “It’s a happily ever after love story.”

Rigattieri and Panell Receive August Trainer and Jockey Honors

August 31, 2013 | Lynne Snierson

Dyn Panell won a lot of races in the month of August for trainer John Rigattieri, but that was hardly earth-shattering news. After all, this dynamic duo has racked up scores of victories together since Panell first showed up as an apprentice jockey at Suffolk Downs 15 years ago.


“I don’t know what the number is. I don’t keep count, but it’s a lot,” said Panell, who leaped up the leader board into second place with his strong showing this month and had won 37 races through August 29.


Panell literally blew into town as an unknown and untested young jockey after a tropical hurricane swept across his native Puerto Rico.


“The hurricane destroyed my island and I was looking for someplace to go. Some friends called and said they needed bug riders up in New England so I came here,” he said.


Panell, who spoke little English when he arrived on the old New England circuit, quickly impressed horsemen at Rockingham Park and Suffolk. Rigattieri, who has a sharp eye when it comes to claiming horses, was also a good evaluator of the young rider’s talent. It wasn’t long before Panell was riding first call for him.


At the current meet, the pair is enjoying status as the top ranked trainer-jockey combination with 21 wins, 18 seconds and nine thirds from 75 starts through August 29. Their win percentage together is a lofty 28%.


“Thanks to God and to John Rigattieri,” said Panell who won his first race in the United States at Suffolk on October 11, 1998. “It’s been 14 years and in all of that time, it’s been a wonderful partnership. We’ve won a lot of races along the way and had a lot of success together.”


August 20 was a day indicative of what they can do together. Horses trained by Rigattieri and ridden by Panell won all three legs of the early Pick 3. Just one day later, together they won the afternoon’s featured race with Monarch Stables’ Frankie Rules. Monarch’s Frank Bertolino has been the principal Rigattieri client for a number of years.


Rigattieri, who is ably assisted by stable foreman Juan “Moses” Sanchez, had won 29 races to this point in the meet and sat atop the trainer’s standings. He won his first race at Hialeah Park on January 9, 1976 and over the years had amassed 2,471 victories, 45 of them in stakes, while his horses have bankrolled more than $25 million.

Race Caller Mark Johnson Visits Suffolk Downs

August 21, 2013 | Lynne Snierson

As T.D. Thornton and Mark Johnson were traversing the back roads of New England while on their way to Fryeburg, Maine five years ago, Johnson got a phone call from Churchill Downs that would ultimately alter his life. But Thornton knew it would never change his friend and fellow track announcer.

“There we were, in the car on our way to the Fryeburg Fair to go to a harness race on the same day that he was notified that he was one of the (five) finalists for the announcer’s job at Churchill Downs. His phone was ringing off the hook with people congratulating him, but what was almost as exciting for him was that he was going to see a new racetrack way out of the way in Maine,” Thornton, the Suffolk Downs announcer, recalled. “He shares the same infectious enthusiasm for calling racing at even the smallest nook and cranny track as he does for the big tracks.”

Johnson, a native of Great Britain, won the competition and became Churchill’s new announcer in 2009. He brought his trademark style and that unbridled passion to Suffolk last week and Thornton graciously handed him the microphone and binoculars to call a few races over several days. Even before Johnson was the on-track voice of the Kentucky Derby, he was a regular in the booth at the East Boston oval.

“I’ve been coming here for 12 or 15 years. Suffolk was the second track in North America I ever called, with Calder (in Miami) the first. “(British racing journalists) Mary and Chris Pitt said you really ought to come over to Boston, you’ll love the place. Boston was always a place I wanted to visit because of the history. They introduced me to Larry (Collmus, who preceded Thornton in the booth and is now NBC’s voice of the Triple Crown) and T.D. was here as well so I got to know them and call races here.”

Suffolk has not been the energetic Johnson’s only point of call, literally and figuratively, since Churchill’s spring meet ended six weeks ago. Suffolk is the 20th track he has called, including 18 in mainland Britain and one on the little island of Jersey in the Channel Islands. After he and his significant other, Rachel, vacationed in Boston, he was headed back to call again at Jersey before returning for Churchill’s inaugural Homecoming Meet in September and then jetting to Paris for the prestigious Arc de Triomphe on October 6. After that, he will call the Eastern European equivalent of the Grand National when the horses go over the jumps in the Czech Republic.

“I don’t know where I get my energy, but I never get tired of it. It’s what I love and what I live for. I adore announcing,” said Johnson, who has called 59 of the 60 professional tracks in Britain and works in his native land when Churchill isn’t racing live. “I’m never really happier than when I’m with a field of horses about to spring from the gate and with a pair of binoculars and a microphone. I would hope nobody could ever fault me for my enthusiasm.”

His legion of intercontinental fans, many of whom cast ballots for him in the Churchill competition decided by popular vote, certainly would not. No matter the venue, the value, or the importance of the race, the quality of the call remains the same.

“Calling a race at Suffolk can be very different from calling the Kentucky Derby on one hand but on the other, it’s exactly the same,” he explained. “It’s the same for a jockey, the starter, or anyone else. When the nerves start to get to you, remember it is simply another horse race.”

Nevertheless, each track and every race can present particular challenges. At Suffolk, it’s the landscape.

“There are s few trees in the middle so you get a little blind by the six furlong point, more in the turn than when they go in the chute,” said Johnson, who knew by age 3 that this was his life’s calling. “It’s a really lovely, lovely track to call and they’ve got a really lovely booth that would put most booths in Great Britain to shame. Suffolk is a charming track and what you see on the feed doesn’t do it justice. And you do get the sense it’s a proper, old school racetrack. You get the feel there is history here.”

Johnson, who considers 2010 Breeders’ Cup Classic winner Blame his favorite horse and 2009 Kentucky Derby winner Mine That Bird’s victory his favorite- as well as career-making- call, has met members of the British royal family.

“We know that Her Majesty (Queen Elizabeth II) watches racing quite regularly on the two race channels that we have. I was lucky enough to be introduced to the Queen Mother (Elizabeth) a couple of times when she was alive at Sandown Park. She was a wonderful lady,” he said. “In fact, I called the Queen Mother’s last ever winner before she died (in March 2002). The horse’s name was First Love. He started his career running in Her Majesty’s colors on the flat and then went on to run in the Queen Mum’s colors over jumps. I’m quite proud of calling her last winner.

“You watch a film like The King’s Speech and you see what she went through. And on several occasions she held the royal family together through the second World War, through an abdication (of King Edward VIII) so she therefore became the queen, effectively, and then through the rise of the Third Reich, and later on through all of the controversy with what went on with Princess Diana. Let us also not forget that she was the best ambassador for horse racing that Britain has probably ever had. It was great to meet her.”

Unlike in America, in Britain there is a small and finite number of professional race callers who are individually assigned to the most important events. Johnson was elated to learn recently he has been selected as the announcer for the prestigious Grade 1 King George at Kempton Race Course during the Christmas season and the steeplechase event will be another gold star on his impressive and growing resume. Yet he has no desire to call more tracks and big races across North America.

“At the moment, although I would never say no, I am in the most enviable position that any professional, not just a track announcer, or anyone in any walk of life, can have,” he said. “I am in that pleasant position where I have my cake and I can eat it. I have no idea how long this ride will last. Now I’m calling really big races in Britain. I do things like the Cheltenham Festival and the Grand National. I’ve done 12 St. Ledgers, which is the final leg of the Triple Crown. Now the Homecoming Meet at Churchill automatically draws me out of the St. Ledger, but that was bound to clash. But really, I absolutely adore my top class jump racing.”

He and Rachel, who is American and employed by Churchill Downs, could not be happier with the way everything is coming together.

“I’m just very lucky. I absolutely adore it here and Rachel absolutely adores Britain, so we’re both very happy and we enjoy a wonderful lifestyle at the moment,” he said.

Mr. Meso – July's Off-Track Thoroughbred of the Month

August 10, 2013 | Lynne Snierson

Just call him the Amazing Mr. Meso.

Even though he won his first two stakes at age 2, his last pair of added money events as a 10-year-old and raced at tracks in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Louisiana, Texas, Oklahoma, Arkansas,Minnesota, Kentucky and Delaware in 68 starts, it is the handsome bay gelding’s second career that makes him extra special at Suffolk Downs.

After being retired from racing at age 11 in 2011, he let trainer Matthew Clarke know that he wasn’t ready for the equine version of the rocking chair. So Mr. Meso became a pony, escorting other horses to the starting gate instead of breaking from it himself.

"He's very smart, he's extremely smart," said Clarke, whose son, Dylan, works in concert with Mr. Meso in the afternoons. Mr. Meso, who won 24 races and earned almost $500,000 in his career, is so intelligent that he learned his new job in only two hours. It can take other horses months to adapt to the role.

"He went out and galloped as a racehorse on one day, and then the next day, we put pony tack on him and Dylan just rode him around the backside," Matthew Clarke said. "They went out to the track, stood, stood with the outrider and just watched while the horses ran, and they came back to the barn. Then Dylan took the horse out straightaway."

"He was bred by Lloyd Lockhart back in the day and he ran here as a two-year-old and a three-year-old. He won the Massachusetts Derby at three. And he won the Rise Jim and the Last Dance when he was 10," said Clarke. "I had an owner who was looking to claim a Mass-bred in the fall of 2009 and the spring of 2010. I researched every Mass-bred that had been born in the last ten years, and tried to find out where they were, if any of them were still running, and if they were going to be any good. And I came up with Mr. Meso."

But at the time the horse had been away from the races for about six months and had fallen off the radar, out of the blue his name showed up on the work tab at Delaware Park and in May 2010, he was entered in a $5,000 claiming race.

"That was when we claimed him," Clarke reminisced. "But then he couldn't run for sixty days here because he'd been claimed at Delaware. But on the sixty-first day after he was claimed, I ran him in the Rise Jim (Stakes) and he won. And then three weeks later he ran in the Last Dance, and he won that stake, too."

Mr. Meso got some time off to winter at the farm, and came back to the track the next year. But his two efforts were lackluster, so Clarke knew it was time to stop on him.

"He took to being a pony straightaway. He loves his job. He's out there every afternoon," said Clarke, who treated the horse to a retirement ceremony in 2011.

"What's unique about him, and I've seen other horses who have had the same ability, he takes it to another degree. He has the unique ability to be able to determine the ability of the rider on his back. If you put Dylan on him, he's quite spirited and a bit spunky. On the other hand, I can put my sixyear-old on him and he walks around like an old pony and takes little baby steps. It’s quite incredible."

Mr. Meso, who raced for nine years yet was as sound as a silver dollar at the end of his career, does not like being on the farm as he becomes bored quickly. He's happiest when he’s working at the track, where he occupies a place of honor in the first stall in Clarke’s barn.

"He's a remarkable, wonderful horse, yes he is," said Clarke. "He'll have a home with me for the rest of his life."

Bill Sienkewicz and Tammi Piermarini Light Up the Toteboard in July

August 2, 2013 | Lynne Snierson

When Mister Dixie won his fourth race of the season with a dominating 15 1/4 lengths win under Tammi Piermarini on July 10, it put an exclamation point on the kind of month trainer William Sienkewicz and racing's third all-time winningest female jockey enjoyed at Suffolk Downs.

A regular fixture in the winner's circle, Sienkewicz vaulted up the trainers' standings and by the end of July he ranked third in earnings and first in the number of wins (18). Piermarini, well on the way to her fifth overall Suffolk riding title, posted multiple win days throughout the month to extend her commanding lead in the standings. She notched four-win days on July 15, 27 and 30 and posed for winner’s circle photos three times July 10. By month's end, she had 44 victories, more than twice as many as her nearest competitor.

"Things are all going pretty good right now," said Sienkewicz, who has 21 horses in his barn and has been training for about seven years after taking care of lay-ups on the farm he previously owned in Fall River, Mass. "My horses are running great. I pinch myself every day and am very thankful."

Sienkewicz used to take care of top quality horses for New England Turf Writers Association Hall of Fame inductees Bill Perry, Ned Allard, and Ron Dandy, among others, when their horses needed some rest and relaxation. Then his good friend and former client Jim Fahey convinced him to take a string of his own to the track. "I also take care of all of Allard’s horses when he sends them up here. Three years ago, we won 32 races between the two of us," he said.

Having his charges ready to run is only half the battle. Sienkewicz, currently posting an impressive win percentage of 39, also has to place them in the most advantageous spots on each day's card, and then be adept at playing the claiming game.

"I believe in only running my horses in the right places. The condition book has been my best friend so far," he explained. "You also have to know which horses to claim and which ones to drop down the ladder."

Three of the most successful horses at Suffolk Downs so far this season, Ventura Bar, Mister Dixie, and K Girl's Dream, are in his stable. Sienkewicz elected to give them the entire winter off and they each spent the months just being a horse at his Fall Brook Farm in Middleboro, Mass.

"When you start with a fresh horse, it really makes such a big difference," he said.

Piermarini, who is going after her fourth consecutive riding title and fifth overall, is riding as well as ever at 46.

"It’s all about the horse. This isn't jockey racing, it's horse racing" said Piermarini, who rides almost every race on each card. "But the older you get and the more experience you have can only help. People think I'm under a lot of pressure, but I don't feel it. Either I win or I lose. All I can do is come out and do my best in every race."

But she does have pressure away from the track as a wife, mother of three young children, and primary caretaker for a seriously ill father-in-law who lives with the family.

"I have a lot of jobs; nurse, mother, wife, and jockey," she said. "My schedule never changes."

Nor does the high esteem in which she is held by horsemen and fans alike.

"I love Tammi. She is so smart and has such a keen understanding of all aspects of this business. She is outstanding," said Sienkewicz. "I also use Dyn Panell and Gary Wales and they are both great, too. They are very confident and capable riders and easy to get along with. All three of them are great people, too. I'm pretty good about staying with riders."

He's also good about sticking with his help, and gave special recognition to grooms Alfredo Reyes and Joaquin Villaneuva.

"They have both been with me for the entire seven years and have never missed a single day of work," he said. "All of my help are such a big part of the barn's success. I couldn't even come close (to the number of wins) without my help. They all work very hard and do a great job every day."

Monthly Honors - Catalano and Wales off to Fast Start

July 11, 2013 | Lynne Snierson

One is a local guy and the other hails from across the pond, but what they have in common is a knack for finding the winner’s circle at Suffolk Downs.

Michael Catalano, Jr. and Gary Wales, the first recipients of the Trainer of the Month and Jockey of the Month Awards, respectively, added to their collection of win photos with stellar performances throughout the month of June.

Moreover, Catalano was flawless. He shipped in with just five runners in his stable and all five horses he saddled crossed under the wire first in their races. Amazingly, this was not the first time he’s had the Midas touch with every horse he’s led over to the paddock.

“One year at Rockingham (Park), which was my last year there in 2000, I went real deep like this. I won with the first eight or nine horses I sent out,” said the third generation horseman who was born and raised around the corner in Everett, MA. “It’s always great to start a meet like this.”

“It is very important to get off to a good start,” said 27-year-old Scottish native Wales, who took four of nine races on the June 17 card. “I’m going to keep working hard and I’d like to keep doing well. I was the fourth leading rider at Parx and I’d like to be the leading rider here, but it’s going to be tough.”

Wales, currently third in the standings, came to America as a 22-year-old apprentice after riding 30 races in England and is in his third season as a member of the Suffolk jockey colony. In June he won 15 races, almost half of his total for all of 2012, and had 13 seconds and 13 thirds from 81 mounts, turning a lot of heads in the process.

“Business is really picking up and I’ve got more trainers backing me now. It’s very gratifying,” said Wales, who works a lot of horses in the mornings to increase his chances of getting the mount in the afternoons. One trainer who Wales won’t have to convince to leg him up is his wife, Katie. She got her license last year and currently is the owner/trainer for her one-horse stable.

“When the horse is ready to run, I’m sure I’ll get to ride him,” said Wales with a broad smile.

Catalano also has a big smile on his face these days after spending the last dozen or so years stabled at tracks up and down the East Coast from Pennsylvania to Florida.

“I love Suffolk Downs and I am one of the happiest people to be here,” said the trainer, who through July 4 has won 602 races from 3,817 starts. “Gulfstream, Calder, Philly (Parx), Penn National, Laurel, Pimlico, you name it, I raced there. I left New England because I grew up here and was always thinking I’d like to go someplace else. But my dad (Michael Catalano) told me that someday I would want to go home and he was right. Last year at Christmas time I made the decision to come back here and I’m so glad I did. It was the right choice.”

Catalano, 45, started training when he was 20 and now decades later he still has most of the same clients, who include Suffolk longtime employee Julie Firicano, Roland Hopkins and Sonny Stable among others.

“The sport is really great here because it’s so local and it’s not like that anywhere else,” he said. “At Suffolk, you see the same people supporting the game and the industry year in and year out. They’ve made the commitment. A big reason I came back is because of the people here.”

Of the original five horses Catalano brought to the track, he lost one through the claim box but then added a horse haltered in Kentucky to keep the stable at five. “I think I can go ten for ten,” he said. “With a little luck, with a little luck...”

The Groom of the Month is Everton Hebert, affectionately known as “Tweety.” Working for trainer Kevin McCarthy, Tweety is extremely dedicated to his barn and his horses are always well turned out when he leads them into the paddock.

Preakness Stakes Day

May 16, 2013 | Jessica Paquette

With the Preakness Stakes right around the corner, as far as I am concerned all roads lead to Orb . I have completely given in to the hype surrounding this horse and want him to be as special as he is hinting that he might be. Really, how often have you ever heard Shug say a horse gives him chills?

Though Orb will be the favorite, that is not to say there is not value to be had handicapping the Preakness.

Orb did draw the inside post and for a horse that has been somewhat difficult at the gate, that is not the ideal draw. However, he would have had every excuse to fall apart behind the gate at the Kentucky Derby with the exuberant crowds and he kept himself well composed. This colt is maturing with each start and really coming into his own. The inside post should not be an issue. Jockey Joel Rosario should be able to drop back after the break and let the pace unfold in front of him before launching their bid.

The interesting new shooter is the well-bred Departing who pointed specifically for this race. I find it endlessly entertaining that he and Orb were paddock mates as babies at Claiborne Farm and now the two childhood playmates get to race for real. Departing at this point has defeated suspect competition in his victories and his best effort may have come in his loss in the Louisiana Derby. He showed there he can run with the big boys and by all accounts Revolutionary is a legitimate racehorse. I think he is Orb's biggest threat but I do not think he can beat him.

Will Take Charge has one of my favorite things going for him here. He is making his second start off of a layoff. I liked him somewhat in the Derby but a seven week gap is a lot to ask, particularly for a colt his size. He is a big, awkward 17 hands and seems like the type that needs a tightening sort of race to be at peak condition. We will find out Saturday if that is true. He is impeccably bred and for a brief moment in the Derby was able to match Orb stride for stride.

And that leaves me with Govenor Charlie . For the life of me I still cannot figure out what to do with this colt. He either is a complete freak and wins easily, or he is nowhere to be seen. His effort at Sunland was not flattered when Midnight Lucky ran so flatly in the Kentucky Oaks (their races were quite comparable) and he needs to prove he can really run with top competition in a stakes race. Interestingly, in his debut he caught an absolute monster in Let Em Shine, a West Coast sprinter who will be a big name by the end of summer.

The stretch of time between the Kentucky Derby and the Preakness is an exciting one. At this point, the hope of a Triple Crown is a live and well. After Saturday, I think it will still be.

Kentucky Derby 2013

May 1, 2013 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

The Kentucky Derby is one of the most iconic sporting events in American history and each year, when the gates open, there is that moment of hope and promise. Maybe this will be the year we have a Triple Crown winner. Whether the eventual Derby champion can go all the way will remain to be seen, but one thing is certain – this should be a very exciting race.

The new and much-debated points system is not without its flaws, but it was an interesting way to watch all of the prep races this year. The last couple of days have been a game of musical starting gate with defections and surprise additions to the field. As if this year’s complex Derby hasn’t been hard enough to figure out, now there is a chance of an off track thrown into the mix!

Regardless of who is in and who is out, my top selection has remained the same since I watched him unleash a sharp closing kick to win the Fountain of Youth. This is not the year where I am trying to be clever and pick some obscure longshot. Orb is one of the only horses in this crop to actually be a total package. And, as a bonus, he has one of the strongest off-track pedigrees of the group.

I will shamelessly admit that I am a bit of a McGaughey/Phipps/Janney fangirl. I wanted to like Orb from the beginning, but he has really earned my respect over the course of the early season. McGaughey is known for his conservative approach with horses and while Orb did win the Florida Derby, he was likely nowhere near peaked for that race. Though he is a closer, he has proven he can be slightly more involved early and that new dimension he showed in the Florida Derby was encouraging. In a field of twenty, sometimes the serious deep closers are just left with too much work to do and too many tired horses to weave through.

While it was not a vote of confidence that jockey John Velazquez chose the undefeated Verrazano over Orb, there are more factors that go into decisions like that than simply which horse is better. It is a business and he has an incredibly long, successful history being Todd Pletcher’s go-to man. Orb will be reunited with Joel Rosario who was aboard for his first two career victories. Can you really think of a jockey who is having a better 2013 so far than Rosario? He won the Dubai World Cup aboard Animal Kingdom and now regained a top Derby contender.

A horse that may offer slightly more generous odds is Oxbow . If you just glance down at the jockey and trainer, you may think you time traveled to the 1990s but D. Wayne Lukas and Gary Stevens are back for a last hurrah. Oxbow has been a frustrating horse throughout the preps this year as he has had more excuses than he has actually had victories. Poorly timed rides, unlucky post positions and bad trips have compromised his chances but Lukas has remained confident and sometimes that is enough to make me stick with him. Unlike several rivals who may have serious distance (or surface) limitations, he is bred to just keep on going. Even if he does have some traffic issues here, he might just have enough left to pick up the pieces and be a real contender. While his inside post draw is continuing his streak of bad luck, if anyone can overcome that it is Gary Stevens.

Revolutionary has gained appeal as the week has gone on. Though I maintain that I think he is the sort of horse that finds trouble, you have to like how battle tested he is going into this race. There is no doubt with this colt that he can persevere and overcome a rough race and still find the winner’s circle. This colt is another instance of a jockey jumping ship for a different mount (Javier Castellano opted to ride Normandy Invasion) but Calvin Borel is no stranger to Churchill Downs and his fearless riding style should fit this colt’s bold running style perfectly. It would not surprise me in the slightest if these two stole the show.

To round out my superfecta, I will throw in Palace Malice even though he breaks one of my cardinal rules handicapping the Derby. I really try to avoid horses that are still eligible for NW2L here. He has proven he can compete with the big horses and has run mostly very well, but he has not yet proven he can beat anything other than maidens. He has however been competitive enough to use in exotics and has the stamina to be there at the end.

I will be the first to admit I just do not know what to do with Verrazano . For an undefeated horse, he is as unheralded as I can remember and everyone seems to be trying to find flaw with him. I do have several key issues that are likely strong enough to make me leave him off my ticket. He has been extremely professional and done everything asked of him so far, but there is a big difference between what he has faced in his preps and a 20 horse field. He has never been bumped around or had to overcome any real adversity and that is where experience (or lack thereof) becomes an issue. My other fault with him is his lack of stamina in his pedigree. I was willing to overlook it until I saw him in person at the Wood Memorial and was just not blown away by how he finished. Maybe his dial wasn’t cranked all the way up and he is a freak and will win by 30 lengths. But maybe not, and at a short price I’m willing to look elsewhere. It is worth noting that Todd Pletcher visibly breathed a sigh of relief when Verrazano drew the 14 hole.

My selections:

1. Orb
2. Oxbow
3. Revolutionary
4. Palace Malice

There you have it. Enjoy the big race and be sure to come celebrate Boston’s Biggest and Best Kentucky Derby Party with us at Suffolk Downs! See you there!

Kentucky Oaks 2013

April 30, 2013 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

The Kentucky Oaks is one of my favorite racing days of the year. I remember when I was a little kid, I would convince my mother to let me stay home from school on that Friday so I could watch all of the coverage. Some of my fondest, earliest memories of being a racing fan involved walking to my local convenience store that morning to pick up my Daily Racing Form (remember, these were pre-internet days! There weren't PDFs of past performances easily available to download) and soaking up any bit of information I could find.

To this day, I have a soft spot for the Kentucky Oaks and this field has shaped up to be a very deep, exciting one. With a field of eleven sophomore fillies slated to go to post, there are quite a few fillies with very legitimate chances.

I had the opportunity to go to Aqueduct for the Wood Memorial and while I was not particularly impressed by any of the three-year-old boys I saw in person that day, Close Hatches actually made me take notice in the undercard. This filly will face a more accomplished group here than she did in the Gazelle but seems like a filly with serious talent for the masterful Bill Mott. She may offer some minor upset potential here.

Though Bob Baffert’s Derby dreams came crashing down, he has a chance to soften that blow with the brilliant Midnight Lucky . She turned in an effortless performance in track record time in the Sunland Park Oaks. Take nothing away from that victory, but it was a lightning fast track against dubious competition. With only two starts, it looks like we haven’t come close to seeing the bottom of this filly and Baffert has been successful going from Sunland to Churchill in the past with Plum Pretty.

Beholder and Dreaming of Julia will get a rematch after Beholder defeated the Todd Pletcher-trained filly in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last fall. Both of these fillies have serious talent and the most exciting part about both of them is that they appear to be even stronger as three-year-olds than they were as babies.

Beholder has gotten sharper with each start this season and made it look easy in the Santa Anita Oaks last time out. The biggest question mark with her is going to be the 1 1/8 distance against tougher company than she faced in California. Though she looked like she finished well, she had everything her own way and may have to work a little harder on the front end against the likes of Midnight Lucky.

After a flat, somewhat disappointing sophomore debut, Dreaming of Julia turned in one of the most buzz-worthy performances of the year and annihilated a very respectable field in the Gulfstream Park Oaks. She does have the ability to rate which makes her appealing in a speed filled race and if the pending forecast of rain is accurate? With her pedigree she should be almost unstoppable over an off track.

My selections:

1. Close Hatches
2. Dreaming of Julia
3. Midnight Lucky
4. Beholder

March 1, 2013

March 1, 2013 | Jessica Paquette

Since the racing season ended, I made a big change and began a new adventure with my off the track Thoroughbred and former New England champion, What a Trippi. I moved him close to home after keeping him at a friend's farm in Maine since I got him in November of 2011.

For him, the best thing right off of the racetrack was to go hang out in a field and learn to just be a horse again. But, after his extended vacation I thought it was time that we really got to bond and that he was ready to go back to work again. I have opted to rough board him, which means that I am there twice a day, every day and in charge of his full care. This has been a great experience, though I may have said otherwise when it was 3 degrees and even the hoses were frozen solid!

The first thing I did once I moved him home was to enlist the help of a professional. I think there is a major difference between being a good rider and being a good trainer and, having never trained a horse myself, I wanted to make sure he had every opportunity to succeed learning his second career. We began working with Tammy Hickock , a trainer with plenty of experience with OTTBs.

For the first two months, she worked with him five days a week, teaching him both on the ground and in the saddle. It was wonderful to watch him blossom – he seemed so happy to have a job again and was quick to catch on to what was being asked of him. Did he have some bad days? Oh absolutely, but that is part of the process and I kept reminding myself of that when I would leave feeling like a complete failure.

Right as his full training was coming to an end and I was going to assume more of the responsibility for his riding and work, we had our first major hurdle. He had an accident in the paddock. The phone call every horse owner dreads is when someone at the barn calls you and tells you that you better call your vet and get back to the barn immediately. He had gotten bitten in the eye by his turnout companion and it was an ugly injury. Luckily, Dr. Sheehan was close by and he did a tremendous job stitching him back together. It was a rough couple of days initially as at first Trippi was not the most cooperative patient but we got through it. I think years from now I will look back on that accident as a huge turning point for T and I. We bonded in a way that we hadn't yet done as we treated his injury and he really began to trust me.

Luckily, there turned out to be no permanent vision damage and two weeks later the stitches came out and we were back to work.

The first couple of rides I will admit were a little rocky for both of us. We took our time figuring out each other’s buttons and gears. I made a point to keep our sessions short and positive – nothing good would come from either of us getting frustrated or not understanding what the other one was trying to communicate. Little by little, he and I grew more and more confident.

Every ride gets better and better. He is continuing to get a couple of pro rides from Tammy each week and in addition, he and I are taking lessons. Having eyes on the ground to me is the most valuable tool and each week we are taking away homework to practice until our next session.

I am amazed every time I ride him by how smart he is and by his willingness to please. I think the greatest thing about an OTTB is their work ethic – from an early age, they have a job and that translates into their second career as well. I feel like I hit the lottery with this horse. I have never in all my years riding felt as comfortable or trusting on a horse than I do with him.

He makes me a better rider, a better horsewoman and a better person. Are OTTBs easy? No, but they are absolutely worth it.

2012

November 28, 2012

November 28, 2012 | Jessica Paquette

The best part about my job is obviously the horses and in the off season, I very much miss getting to see racehorses out my office window on a daily basis. Luckily, I have my very own retired racehorse living ten minutes from my home and have plenty of opportunity to visit other Suffolk retirees.

Today, after my morning chores with my What a Trippi, I set out to the Plymouth County Sheriff's Farm to visit with some special Suffolk Downs alumni. Though the weather wasn't great, it was wonderful to see these former racehorses enjoying their relaxing retirement and they looked wonderful. Even the very senior Tony, who worked as a lead pony for many years, looked fabulous. Combined, the horses there have over half a million dollars in earnings (well over a million when Sing Me Back Home was there, but he has moved on to his happily ever after as a pleasure horse) and have dozens of victories to their credit.

One of my favorite parts of visiting Plymouth is the herd of miniature horses that are in the paddock adjacent to the racehorses. I am not a tall person and their heads are roughly hip high, which means they can reach perfectly into my pockets to steal peppermints.

An inmate, Carlos, is largely in charge of their day to day care and he reminded me of who was who among the group out in the field. It was great to see his face light up as he talked about each one and their individual quirks and to see how well the horses respond to him. When he called her name, Revere Beach Babe immediately trotted up to say hello and look for a peppermint.

In a separate paddock, St. Augustine and Sonny's the One are by themselves because they get a little bit bullied in a big group. They seemed very bonded and looked great. Sonny was unimpressed with the peppermint lifesavers I had brought as treats and spit them out each time I tried. St. Augustine, however, was happy to have them.

In other happy OTTB news, I have finally moved What a Trippi home from Maine to begin a new adventure. He is back in steady training and proving each day that Thoroughbreds are the greatest equine athletes. He is so smart and so willing to do anything that his trainer or I ask him to do. Carlos asked me if they make good riding horses after the track and with confidence I was able to respond, "The best".

Breeders' Cup 2012 Analysis

October 30, 2012 | Jessica Paquette

I hope everyone weathered the storm well. I spent the duration of the storm at my computer with pages of past performances, working on my analysis for both days of the Breeders' Cup. To me this is the equivalent of Christmas and the Super Bowl rolled into one and I cannot wait for all of the exciting racing this weekend. Just a reminder, we are racing on Saturday so you will also be able to enjoy the final day of our live racing season along with Breeders’ Cup action!

FRIDAY

JUVENILE SPRINT

Super Ninety Nine is a well bred colt who is proven over the surface and off of that seems like a logical choice here. He defeated what appears to be a quality field in his debut and has the pedigree to be a very good horse. His dam is a 3/4 sister to the ill-fated but very talented Exogenous and there is plenty of precocity in all sides of his pedigree. Hightail may be an interesting longshot cutting back to a sprint. He is the most experienced of the juveniles here and has performed well without lasix. The speedy Merit Man is the morning line favorite and the speed of the speed.

MARATHON

This has become possibly my favorite of the recent additions to the Breeders' Cup. I love studying pedigree and this race has become a great challenge in looking for hidden stamina and distance in a horse’s breeding. One of the more fascinating of the contenders is the Argentinean horse Calidoscopio . Though his sire, Luhuk’s, most well-known offspring was top sprinter Avanzado, this horse is an incredible router. He has been competing against top company in Argentina and carrying in excess of 130lbs in many of those races. He seems like an iron horse who can run for days and while many of his rivals are backing up, he should have plenty left. I do have a soft spot for Eldaafer who did give me one of the best Breeders' Cup scores I’ve ever had back in 2010. He has a couple of things against him here – he doesn't seem to be in quite the form he was a couple of years ago and he is a glaring 0 for 2 at Santa Anita. He will need to show improvement off of his recent form to earn his second Marathon title but he is fast enough to control the pace and have something left. Fame and Glory has been regarded as one of the best in Europe for years and is a multiple Group 1 winner. He has never raced on a surface other than turf, but he has a ton of stamina and if he handles the dirt he may have a class edge here, too.

JUVENILE FILLY TURF

Kitten's Point could be one of my stronger Breeders' Cup opinions. The new rule of not allowing the juveniles to compete with lasix has sparked much debate. Graham Motion has raced this very talented filly in both of her starts without medication and she looks like she has the ability to hold her own against the formidable Europeans. She is a nose away from being two for two and is proven on both turf and synthetics. Sky Lantern seems like the strongest of the Europeans in this spot and is already a Group 1 winner. She has been very impressive overseas and her only question mark may be the distance. Spring Venture is a perfect three for three and has shown serious ability on a variety of surfaces. She won on synthetics last time out and notched her other two wins on firm and yielding turf courses. She has yet to be seriously challenged from three starts to date and figures on paper to be a contender.

JUVENILE FILLIES

In what calls to mind some of the most immortal East Coast/West Coast Breeders' Cup rivalries (Sunday Silence vs Easy Goer, anyone?), the showdown between the East's Dreaming of Julia and the West’s Executiveprivilege looks like it could be a race for the ages. Though neither filly will have it easy on the front end, both are exceptionally fast and each has their own advantages. Dreaming of Julia gets my nod for one key fact – she is battle tested. She slugged it out with a very talented filly in My Happy Face and proved that she has the heart to match her talent. Executiveprivilege is proven both at this distance and over Santa Anita and home track advantage can count for quite a bit. In addition, she may not be the type that needs the lead – she inherited the lead last time out and was much the best, but has been able to rate. That kind of versatility makes her very appealing. To round out the trifecta, toss in longshot Spring in the Air who may be a question mark over conventional dirt, but is talented and has the running style to capitalize on what could be a sharp pace.

FILLY AND MARE TURF

Nahrain has ton of appeal here because she has proven not just once, but twice, that she can ship across the pond and be successful. She lost by under a length in last year's installment of this race and defeated a quality field of US turf horses in the Flower Bowl at Belmont. Though her European form this year hasn't been as strong as it was going into the Breeders' Cup last year; that last win was sharp and she seems primed for a big effort. The Fugue has had exceptional European form and that usually translates very well on Breeders’ Cup Day. She is a perfect two for two at this distance and her most recent defeat came to the very highly regarded Shareta. Up was a top selection of mine in the Juvenile Fillies Turf last year and ran a good race to finish fourth. Though her other trip to the US was not as successful, a sixth place finish in the Beverly D. this summer, she won two in a row against group company following that and this globe-trotting filly does have some real ability. She isn't the most consistent but she comes out for one of the top barns in the world and they are often very live on Breeders’ Cup Day. An interesting longshot may be In Lingerie trying the turf for the first time. This filly is very talented and proven to be a G1 contender on both dirt and synthetics. That synthetic form, coupled with a bullet over the Santa Anita turf, makes the possibility of her excelling on the lawn very real.

LADIES CLASSIC

Love and Pride seems like a filly who has gotten very good at the right time and is going for her third consecutive Grade 1 victory. She took down the champion Royal Delta at the Spa and proved at Santa Anita that was not a fluke performance. Her dam is a half sister to Bernardini and she has an incredible female family which it seems like she is finally starting to live up to. She has been generating some buzz on track at Santa Anita in preparation for this race. She will have pressure on the lead, but she may be a main threat. Royal Delta is a champion in every sense of the word and will try to repeat and earn her second Breeders' Cup victory. She has had an exciting, ambitious campaign this year and though I personally wish it culminated with a shot against the boys in the Classic, it is difficult not to root for her. Two Breeders' Cup Juvenile Fillies winners, Awesome Feather (’10) and My Miss Aurelia will put their undefeated streaks on the line here. Both have been lightly campaigned since their championship seasons though it appears My Miss Aurelia has been tackling tougher company, recently defeating Questing (who, as an aside, I think may be the most talented of the group but her tendency to get out in the stretch deters me from picking her). It's hard to argue with an undefeated record but My Miss Aurelia may have more upside here – she is making her third start of the year, second around two turns and looks poised for a big effort.

SATURDAY

JUVENILE TURF

Per a new rule this year, two-year-olds will no longer be eligible to compete with lasix in the Breeders' Cup. There is no race where that may have more of an impact than this race where the Europeans, who generally have an edge in the turf races to begin with, are all already proven medication free. Dundonnell will be carrying the familiar green and pink silks of Juddmonte Farms and has a phenomenal pedigree. He is by the impeccably well-bred First Defence, the first foal of Breeders’ Cup Sprint runner-up Honest Lady. In addition, his dam is a full sister to the incomparable Danehill. This colt has all of the goods and has been keeping stakes company overseas. Though he is unproven at a mile, it should be within his scope. Noble Tune may be one of the more interesting of the American based horses here and is a perfect two for two on the turf. He is out of a mare named Serena’s Cat, a granddaughter of champion Serena's Song. (Boy does that make me feel old!) He has been much the best in both starts to date and looks like he has no distance limitations. George Vancouver is another European colt with major pedigree and what seems like some real talent. He has one win from six starts overseas and this high priced colt is a half brother to stakes winner Saarland.

FILLY AND MARE SPRINT

I’d be lying if I said I wasn't rooting for Belle of the Hall to give my favorite stallion, Graeme Hall, his first Grade 1 winner as a stud. That being said, she is up against it here and will have to run the race of her life to win. Is she talented? Yes, but she has yet to prove she is truly a graded stakes sort of filly. There has been a ton of buzz about Groupie Doll and she has apparently been training freakishly well since her impressive win at Keeneland last time out. She has four consecutive wins against graded stakes company this year and this is really her race to win her lose. Though her recent successes have come on synthetics, she dominated on the dirt at Churchill and has been reportedly getting over Santa Anita very well. An interesting filly that may offer some value is Rumor . She has three wins to her credit at Santa Anita and may have a slight home track advantage though she is another one that does need to prove she is a top graded stakes sort of filly – that lone blemish on her record came in her only Grade 1 attempt. It is tough to leave defending Sprint champion Musical Romance off a ticket as well as she has done very little wrong this year and seems to come into this race in good order.

DIRT MILE

Fed Biz is one of the least experienced horses in this tough field but this lightly raced colt seems to have a ton of talent and has been battle tested in his last two races. He may be the quickest of the speed here and is a perfect two for two at his home track, Santa Anita with all three career victories to date coming at a mile. The fan favorite, Shackleford will try to go out on a high note and cap off what has been a great career. This colt has a big heart and a ton of speed and though he does have the occasionally really poor effort, those have often come over an off track and the weather report is very much in his favor. It is worth noting that while at first glance the veteran Rail Trip looks like a value at 10-1 with three wins from four starts at Santa Anita, those victories came several years ago when the track still had a synthetic main track, not conventional dirt.

TURF SPRINT

Bridgetown is making his third Breeders' Cup appearance and ran second over the Santa Anita turf course back in 2009 in the Juvenile Turf. He was also fourth in the Turf Sprint two years ago and will try to improve off of that performance. His form this year has been excellent and he seems to be in his best, most consistent form yet. Don't count out the European invader Starspangledbanner who returned in 2012 off of an extended layoff. Back in 2010, he was regarded as one of Europe’s best sprinters and earned multiple Group 1 wins. He has tons of back class and very capable of pulling off an upset here. California Flag will compete in his fifth Breeders’ Cup Turf Sprint, which in itself is a remarkable accomplishment. He won the race back in 2009 and while his most recent two attempts have not been noteworthy, he is a significantly better horse at Santa Anita than he seems to be most anywhere else. He also has only had one start, a winning effort in a G2 in April, but has proven he can run a huge race off of a layoff. He reminds me of a turf version of the blue collar, California based Kona Gold – at this point it would be surprising to not see his name on the entries for this race.

JUVENILE

Fortify could be an interesting contender here and while he has only won once from three starts, he is the lone contender in this race to have already won without medication. All of his rivals will be competing without lasix for the first time and it is enough of an angle to make him interesting at what figures to be a price. This colt is impeccably bred with plenty of stamina on both sides of his pedigree and is worth a look. Power Broker is from a great female family, is by a top stallion, comes out of one of the most dominant barns in the country and is a Grade 1 winner at Santa Anita. What’s not to like? He showed major improvement over conventional dirt and was a dominant winner over a good field. He looks like the West Coast's strongest juvenile Shanghai Bobby is a perfect four for four and has done nothing wrong. Despite that, he has yet to really "wow" me and he will have some stiff opposition for the lead.

TURF

Point of Entry is the best turf horse in America and will try to cap off his sensational year with a victory against some of the best in the world. This colt has gotten better and better as the year has gone on and has won his last five starts, three of which came against G1 company. He has been training extremely well since his last victory and is a top contender to take on a strong group of Europeans here. It is very tough to get past St. Nicholas Abby , especially when you see the kind of company he has been keeping – Frankel, Nathaniel, Danedream and Snow Fairy to name a few. His last race, the ‘Arc, is too poor of an effort to be true and he is just a better horse than that. He was much the best in the Breeders’ Cup Turf last year and has proven he can ship overseas and win. He will look to add another high profile win to his already remarkable resume and it will be no surprise if he succeeds. Now for a longshot. Do I think Optimizer is a good enough horse to beat this group? Not likely, but he could very well hold on for a piece at likely a huge price. He has turned into a different horse since he finally switched back to turf after a really unsuccessful summer of competing in the dirt classics. He has a lot of early speed and if he can get involved early, he should have enough stamina to get the distance. And what's the Breeders' Cup without D. Wayne pulling off a shocker?

SPRINT

Jimmy Creed ran a very good race last time out in what was only his fifth career start and first on conventional dirt. He stands to move up second over the track and his worktab since that race has been strong. While he is lightly raced, he is impeccably bred and is out of a G1 winning mare and a half to California star Pussycat Doll. While he had shown speed in his prior starts, he showed a new dimension on dirt and that growing versatility gives him a big shot. Smiling Tiger , third in the 2010 Sprint, has been turning heads with his impressive worktab since coming to Santa Anita. Though his form this year has been sort of average, he has always been fast enough to keep up with the top horses and seems to excel over this racetrack. Amazombie will try to defend his title in this race after a narrow victory in last year's installment. He does have home track advantage and is a four time winner at Santa Anita. His form this year has been strong and his ability to close makes him appealing in a race loaded with speed.

MILE

In what may be one of the most competitive races on the card, the Mile is the race on Saturday I am looking forward to most. I think it is a bold move on Graham Motion's part to bring Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom back off of a significant layoff against a field of this caliber. His comeback race this year off of a similar layoff was very impressive and while his greatest achievement of course came on dirt in the Derby, he may be even better on turf. It was sporting of his connections to bring him back and I hope that is rewarded. Excelebration may be one of the more anticipated horses running on Saturday, for me at least. He has had two very impressive Group 1 wins in a row after getting absolutely crushed by Frankel in his two prior starts. I could go on and on about Frankel, but I will spare you and focus on this horse and this race. Excelebration was simply facing a different league of horse overseas and had it not been for Frankel, he would have been regarded as a superhorse in his own right. Today he will likely get to shine on a major stage all on his own. Wise Dan has been a winning machine this year and will try to earn his fourth straight win, fifth of the year. He has dominated on the turf at three different tracks this season and really seems like an honest, game horse who shows up every time. While there is no denying his record, this is by far the toughest group he has faced to date and he may be vulnerable at 9-5.

CLASSIC

It is very tough to argue with Game on Dude 's record and the fact that he is a perfect five for five at Santa Anita. That being said, I wouldn’t blame you for picking him on top but I am going to try to beat him. While I don’t think this is a field full of superstars, it is a field full of very evenly matched, consistent older horses and no one is by any means a lock. Bill Mott has a stacked deck for this race with three extremely talented and extremely different horses in Flat Out , Ron the Greek and To Honor and Serve . My nod here and my pick to win is going to be Flat Out . He defeated the best of the East Coast last time out to earn his second JCGC victory and seems like a horse getting better and better this second half of the year. Look back to last year’s Classic – he had an awful trip and only lost by three lengths. It was a deceptively good effort. He also may get an ideal pace set up here if Alpha shows up (which, by the way, he has not yet proven he can do outside of New York) and hooks "Dude" early. I haven't given up on Alpha entirely though he does tend to disappoint on the big days. This colt has shown some real talent and has proven that he can stretch his speed to a mile and a quarter, so if the real Alpha shows up he is a real threat on the lead. One other horse who I do like (though had he run in the Dirt Mile I would have thought he was an absolute cinch) is the very handsome Nonios . He held his own against a tough group of older horses in the Awesome Again Stakes and may be a young horse who is developing. I had the pleasure of seeing him in person schooling before his disappointing effort in the Travers and he has a real presence. He is bred to get the distance, now he needs to prove he can. So in short, my Classic superfecta is Flat Out over Game On Dude, Alpha and Nonios.

Enjoy the races everyone and good luck!

October 7, 2012

October 7, 2012 | Jessica Paquette

I had the pleasure of spending this morning at the North East Thoroughbred Sport Horse Association's first show.

It was wonderful to get to see so many familiar faces – human and equine – come out in support of off track Thoroughbreds.

Many of you may remember Razzle Dazzle Guy , the hard-knocking veteran with a reputation for pulling upsets over an off track. He made the final start of his remarkable 105 race career exactly one year ago from tomorrow. And today? He was popping over cross-rails, earning ribbons and acting like he has done this all a million times.

I remember when he went home last year from CANTER New England's annual Suffolk Showcase. His new owner, an old friend of mine Cathy, was so excited to start their new adventure. Today I got to watch the pride on her face, along with two other friends who have helped her bring "Razz" along, as she told me how well he was doing.

A horse like Razzle Dazzle Guy is a true example of a great off the track Thoroughbred. He is kind, willing and most of all brave. In his class over fences (which, by the way, he only started learning recently) he knocked down a rail but that didn't stop him – he kept going and finished the course.

I also got to meet a wonderful young lady and her mare, Minor Distraction . Her mother was telling me what a bonding experience it has been for them since they took the mare home last year and it was clear immediately that this girl and her horse were quite a pair. It has been such a great experience for them that they eventually want to get another off the track Thoroughbred from Suffolk Downs as well.

I saw some other familiar faces from recent years, too. Willie Cruise , a flashy chestnut, looked fabulous, as did his stablemate Hot Tea . She is only four years old and off the track just about a year and couldn’t have been more professional.

Not all of these horses won on the racetrack and not everyone went home with a ribbon today, but they are all winners. I can't wait to take my off the track Thoroughbred What a Trippi to next year’s show.

Are you interested in learning more about owning an OTTB? Be sure to come to CANTER's Annual Suffolk Showcase next Sunday!

Preakness Stakes 2012

May 16, 2012 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

With the dust starting to settle after an exciting Run for the Roses, the question now remains whether I'll Have Another can make it two in a row and begin his bid for immortality with a shot at the Triple Crown.

I'll admit, my innate East Coast bias got the better of me and I didn’t give the West Coast contenders nearly enough credit in the Derby. Both I'll Have Another and Creative Cause proved that the Santa Anita Derby was the key prep this season. I think both the Derby winner and Creative Cause will get overlooked in the Preakness in favor of the brilliant, fast Bodemeister .

Creative Cause had plenty go against him in Kentucky and this colt is the type that is just too quietly consistent to overlook. He is tenacious, battle-tested and will try to turn the tables here.

In several recent years, it was easy to make a case against the upset Derby winner in the Preakness (Mine That Bird, anyone?). This is not one of those years. I'll Have Another is as honest as they come and his three consecutive wins, all against top stakes company, are not flukes. He has made a huge transition from two to three and has been perfectly ridden by Mario Gutierrez. And, as an aside, how cool is it that the great Lava Man is his pony? Both of them have reportedly looked very good at Pimlico this week.

Bodemeister is the horse getting all the buzz and deservedly so after such a staggeringly impressive effort in the Derby. There is no denying this colt has tremendous heart, speed and talent. There is also a very real chance he gets everything his own way out front and that makes him a legitimate gate-to-wire threat. My only knock on him, and the reason I don’t want to take him at 8-5, is that after two monster efforts in a row it wouldn’t come as a surprise if he simply bounced.

Went the Day Well is the big mystery for me. He ran just a dynamite race at Churchill and was arguably moving best of all at the end. It was such a strong performance and he does have the advantage of having had more rest between his final Derby prep (six weeks over Creative Cause/I’ll Have Another’s four weeks or Bodemeister’s three) and the Derby. He might at this point have a little more gas in the tank than his top rivals here. However, he might also need more of a pace to run at than he likely will get.

I do not think any of the new shooters have much of a shot at making an impact here. This group of sophomores is too good and some of the new faces look like they are a notch below at this stage in the game.

So, my selections are:
1. Creative Cause
2. I'll Have Another
3. Went the Day Well
4. Bodemeister

Also on Saturday, do yourself a favor and watch the undefeated Frankel in the Lockinge Stakes (G1) at Newbury. He is the best horse in the world and doing his namesake justice.

Kentucky Derby 2012

May 3, 2012 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

As many of you know, I am a huge fan of social media in sports. This year, it has really allowed fans unprecedented behind-the-scenes access to the Derby and has managed to make handicapping an already incredibly deep field harder and easier at the same time.

I have thoroughly enjoyed all of the candid photographs, news and opinion and the instantaneous coverage has made me feel like I am right there on the backside of Churchill Downs.

I am blown away by the quality of this crop. Last year, I felt it was very much a wide open race but it was because I thought the entire lot of them were equally average. This year, I feel like a legitimate case could be made for more than half the field and that we could be seeing some true stars on the rise. It is a talented, exciting and multi-dimensional group of sophomores.

Take Charge Indy was my favorite juvenile last season and he has lived up to the potential he showed as a two-year-old, developing into a serious racehorse this year. While he does have tactical speed, he is by no means a one-dimensional front-runner and his gate-to-wire effort in Florida Derby was a masterful ride by Calvin Borel. Speaking of Borel, who would you rather have in the irons on the first Saturday in May?

He has looked the part this week on and off the track. He is a regal, athletic-looking colt who bears a remarkable resemblance to his dam, multiple G1 winner Take Charge Lady and while she hasn’t produced anything spectacular to date, I think this colt is the real deal.

I'm finding it impossible to leave Union Rags off of my list, though he could again find himself in similar traffic to what added to his third-place finish in the Florida Derby. Even with the traffic issues, the impression that was given was that trainer Michael Matz had him by no means cranked to 100% for that race and he has been training exceptionally well since then. Physically he is as impressive-looking an individual as you will find and could very well be a real star.

Gemologist comes into the Run for the Roses with a five-race undefeated streak on the line and impressive, gritty victory over the highly regarded Alpha to his credit in his last start. He gave a lot of people flashbacks to his sire, Tiznow, in that race and I love seeing a horse go into the Derby after getting a real gut-check and passing with flying colors. He is battle tested and has proven he has the heart to go with his talent and good looks. It is also worth noting he is 2-2 at Churchill Downs, so no question that he likes the track.

And for a bit of a longshot to round out my exotics, I'll be using Went the Day Well for the same connections that teamed up for an upset victory with Animal Kingdom last year. I am a major Graham Motion fan and he has been quietly confident in this horse all along. He will get the addition of blinkers today and while equipment changes for the first time in such an important race usually deter me (if it isn't broken, why fix it?), I'll go with the same logic that landed me on Animal Kingdom last year – in Graham Motion I trust.

Join us on Saturday for Boston's Biggest and Best Kentucky Derby Party and best of luck with your selections!

May 1, 2012 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

"It’s the most wonderful time of the year…"

No, I don't mean Christmas. It's Kentucky Derby week! This crop of three-year-olds is one of the most competitive, interesting groups I can remember and I am so excited to see who emerges as a true star.

On the Oaks undercard, there are several horses I also very much like. As a fan, I am extremely excited to see Wine Princess potentially break her maiden in the opener. She is the third foal from champion mare Azeri and I can’t wait to see what sort of career she has.

In the sixth race, the La Troienne (G2), Plum Pretty is my single of the day. Though we didn’t get to see the match-up with Havre de Grace in the Apple Blossom last time out, she was so much the best and seems to have gotten even better with age, like her pedigree suggests. She is no stranger to the winner’s circle at Churchill Downs and wore the blanket of lilies last year in the Oaks.

In the tenth, the American Turf (G2), Flashy Dresser will put his undefeated streak on the line in his first attempt on the lawn. He has some grass influence in his female family and while this is by far the toughest field he has faced to date, he has done nothing wrong and will get a solid class test here.

The Kentucky Oaks is equally as competitive and has drawn a field of fifteen, with one filly on the also-eligibles list, the aptly-named Oaks Lily.

The filly to beat is Grace Hall who will be trying to avenge a game loss to My Miss Aurelia in the Juvenile Fillies under the Twin Spires last November. She has never been worse than second from six starts and her tactical speed makes her tough.

That being said, my top choice is Broadway's Alibi who is a length away from being undefeated from five starts, with her only defeat coming in her debut. While she likely won’t get everything her own way out front, she may be the quickest of the speed here and has enough depth in her pedigree to handle the distance.

Believe You Can has been lighting up the worktab at Churchill and generated quite a bit of buzz after her last workout. Providing her last workout, five furlongs in :58 2/5, didn’t take too much out of her, she seems like she is sitting on a monster effort.

And Why Not may have some upset potential here. Though at first glance, her form is far from impressive, she did turn in a terrific effort in her lone start at Churchill Downs. With Michael Matz and Julian Leparoux teaming up on Saturday to try for immortality in the Derby, an Oaks/Derby double doesn’t seem out of the realm of possibility.

1.BROADWAY'S ALIBI
2.AND WHY NOT
3.BELIEVE YOU CAN

Stay tuned later in the week for my Kentucky Derby analysis!

March 9, 2012

March 9, 2012 | Jessica Paquette

I decided to take advantage of yesterday’s gorgeous weather and went out to George and Arlene Brown’s Briar Hill Farm to see the latest additions. Spring is nearly here and it means one thing – babies! And really, who can resist a newly born future racehorse, toddling around on impossibly long legs, investigating the world?

When I arrived, the first thing I was blown away by was simply how busy the farm was. Stalls were being cleaned, horses were being tacked up and exercised (the Brown’s have a great ¼ mile training track), the vet was there checking up on mares that had already or were about to foal and even the dentist, who George referred to as the “tooth fairy”, would be by shortly.

Our first stop was to see two very exciting additions to the Massachusetts breeding industry. Stallions Indian Ocean and Wild Desert both recently arrived and will now be standing at stud in Massachusetts, joining top Massachusetts stallion Sociano and veteran Red Scamper.

Wild Desert has some serious credentials. He earned over $1 million on the racetrack and was a multiple stakes winner, most notably winning the prestigious Queen’s Plate at Woodbine in 2005. I was impressed by him physically in person as well – very big, well put together and he has a great shoulder.

The real standout, however, is Indian Ocean. He is just has that intangible “something special” to him and has real presence. Once he got turned out, he stretched his legs a little bit and is a really lovely mover. I already know I like his offspring – the incredibly talented Libby’s Indian is one of his, along with former New England juvenile champ Oceans of Honey – and I am really excited to see what else he produces now that he is here.

The next stop on the tour was to see the potential future Mass-bred stars, the foals. So far, three have been born and many others are expected at any time. Two colts and one filly so far, and it was no surprise who I liked best. I’ve always had a soft spot for the hard-trying Long Hill Glider and his little sister, born last Tuesday by Sociano, may be my next favorite Mass-bred. She is a spunky baby and was bouncing around the paddock, showing off her long legs.

A big thank you to George and Arlene for taking time out of their very busy spring schedule to give me a wonderful tour.

March 9, 2012

March 9, 2012 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

I decided to take advantage of yesterday’s gorgeous weather and went out to George and Arlene Brown’s Briar Hill Farm to see the latest additions. Spring is nearly here and it means one thing – babies! And really, who can resist a newly born future racehorse, toddling around on impossibly long legs, investigating the world?

When I arrived, the first thing I was blown away by was simply how busy the farm was. Stalls were being cleaned, horses were being tacked up and exercised (the Brown’s have a great ¼ mile training track), the vet was there checking up on mares that had already or were about to foal and even the dentist, who George referred to as the “tooth fairy”, would be by shortly.

Our first stop was to see two very exciting additions to the Massachusetts breeding industry. Stallions Indian Ocean and Wild Desert both recently arrived and will now be standing at stud in Massachusetts, joining top Massachusetts stallion Sociano and veteran Red Scamper.

Wild Desert has some serious credentials. He earned over $1 million on the racetrack and was a multiple stakes winner, most notably winning the prestigious Queen’s Plate at Woodbine in 2005. I was impressed by him physically in person as well – very big, well put together and he has a great shoulder.

The real standout, however, is Indian Ocean. He is just has that intangible “something special” to him and has real presence. Once he got turned out, he stretched his legs a little bit and is a really lovely mover. I already know I like his offspring – the incredibly talented Libby’s Indian is one of his, along with former New England juvenile champ Oceans of Honey – and I am really excited to see what else he produces now that he is here.

The next stop on the tour was to see the potential future Mass-bred stars, the foals. So far, three have been born and many others are expected at any time. Two colts and one filly so far, and it was no surprise who I liked best. I’ve always had a soft spot for the hard-trying Long Hill Glider and his little sister, born last Tuesday by Sociano, may be my next favorite Mass-bred. She is a spunky baby and was bouncing around the paddock, showing off her long legs.

A big thank you to George and Arlene for taking time out of their very busy spring schedule to give me a wonderful tour.

2011

November 9, 2011

November 9, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

I cannot believe how quickly the season flew by. It seems like it went from opening day, to the NETWA awards dinner, to the end of the meet in the blink of an eye.

While I do enjoy the little bit of downtime that comes with the end of the season, I felt out of sorts this morning just throwing on jeans and heading out the door at a leisurely pace (faithful assistant Gibbs the Bull Terrier in tow, of course). My brain is so programmed that Wednesday = racing day. Instead, I will spend my day watching the extended Suffolk family compete across the country.

Our leading rider, Tammi Piermarini has escaped the New England cold and will be spending her second winter at Turf Paradise in Arizona. Jackie Davis , an up and coming local star, is back home in New York and I think she is going to have a terrific winter at Aqueduct . Hector Ramos and Dyn Panell are both heading to Laurel , Jordano Tunon has mounts at Parx , Vernon Bush will be at Beulah and David Amiss and Luis Garcia are off to Tampa . It looks like Suffolk will be well-represented from coast to coast.

Looking back on the 2011 season, there are several major highlights for me.

The most impressive performance of the season for me was either when Sassy City defeated a star studded field including Snow Down & Technically Wicked in June or when first-time starter Pennie’s Appeal broke her maiden in an eye-popping last-to-first performance. Both gave me goosebumps. Speaking of, Pennie’s Appeal is running today at Laurel .

Though Sassy City was the real star of the season to me, the group of top older horses was outstanding. Beijing House, Snow Down, Lovethatdirtywater, Technically Wicked, and Southern Rainbow knocked heads throughout the season and handicapping those races was a real treat. How often is it that you get six former champions still competitive at the top level, some years after their award winning season? And I can’t forget Western Tease and his triumphant return to Boston on closing day.

The thing that never ceases to amaze me about Sassy City is the way she has captivated fans in Boston for years. Our slogan this season was that we were “the Hometown Favorite” and she really embodied that. Though she didn’t win the O’Malley in October, fans cheered for her as she walked back to the barns.

Personally, one of the greatest moments of the past year for me was getting to ride my very own OTTB, What a Trippi for the first time and getting to watch him develop into a pretty awesome pleasure horse. It is hard to believe he is the same horse that used to race and win against the best on the grounds – his fastest gear at this point if it is up to him is a slow trot and the only time I see hints of his former life as a racehorse is when he is chasing his friends away from the round bale in the field.

Let the off season begin!

November 3, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

The Breeders' Cup is hands down my favorite event in sports. As both a fan and a handicapper, it is the most anticipated two days of the year for me. Since pre-entries came out last week and official entries came out early this week, my printed out copies have been coming with me pretty much everywhere.

In addition, this Friday and Saturday will mark the conclusion of our 2011 live racing season (expect a retrospective blog next week) and the local cards on both days are deep and competitive. I am as excited about our closing day feature (Technically Wicked vs Lovethatdirtywater vs Western Tease!)as I am about any of the races at Churchill Downs.

Here are my selections for the Breeders' Cup races.

FRIDAY

JUVENILE SPRINT

In what is likely one of the more wide-open races on the card, SEEKER seems like a logical contender after three competitive efforts thus far in his career. Sire Hard Spun is second in the first-crop stallion standings and fourth overall for success with juveniles and this colt seems precocious and professional. SECRET CIRCLE is the likely favorite and will try to remain undefeated after two visually impressive victories in California. He has run well on conventional dirt and synthetics and his recent workout at Churchill was encouraging. VEXOR rebounded nicely to pull the upset in the Nashua over a similar field last time out and with the exception of one poor effort on a sloppy track, his record is strong.

JUVENILE FILLIES TURF

The European horses always warrant a strong look on Breeders' Cup Day, particularly in the turf races and this race is no exception. UP (IRE) delivered as the favorite to break her maiden in Ireland last time out and will try winners for the first time here. She is a half-sister to a French juvenile G1 winner and has the pedigree to be an interesting contender providing she traveled well. STOPSHOPPINGMARIA will try the turf for the first time and has the pedigree to excel on the lawn. She is by More Than Ready, a stallion has developed a reputation for producing precocious turf horses - it is worse noting that he sired both Pluck and More Than Real, winners of the BC Juvenile Turf and Juvenile Fillies Turf last year. SOMALI LEMONADE is two for two and has proven that she can win against large fields and overcome adversity and that experience edge could work in her favor. As a local connection, she is a half sister to Sir Taypot, a local horse.

FILLY AND MARE SPRINT My sentimental dollars will be going with TAMARIND HALL as I would love nothing more than to see stallion Graeme Hall get a Breeders' Cup winner added to his resume. However, she does seem to be a slight cut below the top tier here and the brilliantly fast TURBULENT DESCENT does seem like a very legitimate 6-5 favorite. The only knock against her is that she is unproven at Churchill Downs and it can be a tricky surface. SWITCH was a good second in this race last year, is proven over the surface and will try to avenge that loss.

JUVENILE FILLIES

It is East Coast vs West Coast with the undefeated fillies MY MISS AURELIAand WEEMISSFRANKIE both putting their perfect records on the line. MY MISS AURELIA seemed to get more impressive stretching out to two turns and while she will likely have company out front, she may just be too quick. QUESTING (IRE) a longshot competitor shipping in from Europe is a question mark on dirt but has a precocious, dirt oriented pedigree and has shown enough talent and professionalism to make her interesting if she can transition her turf form to dirt.

FILLY AND MARE TURF

The European contenders are very difficult to look past here, with rivals NAHRAIN (GB) and ANNOUNCE (GB) looking for a rematch of their 1-2 finish in the Prix de l'Opera (GI) at Longchamp. With only four starts, NAHRAIN (GB) will try to remain perfect and undefeated and establish herself as a star on the rise. STACELITA (FR) seems like the leading contender of the United States-based contenders, though she is a new addition stateside and two wins and a third-place finish to her credit since shipping in over the summer. Her two recent victories have been powerful performances and that third-place finish came against top male rivals in the United Nations.

LADIES’ CLASSIC

PLUM PRETTY returns to the site of her greatest career achievement and will try to repeat her impressive triumph in the Kentucky Oaks. Her form since that victory has been competitive and she has been holding her own against similar rivals, most recently defeating IT'S TRICKY in a gate to wire effort in Pennsylvania. IT'S TRICKY will try to turn the tables on her rival here and should get the proper pace set up. ULTRA BLEND was a very good second to Zazu, a filly who would have been the likely favorite in this race had she not been forced to miss it. Though at first glance this mare appears to be a synthetic specialist, she has actually done very well over conventional dirt and could have upset potential.

SATURDAY

MARATHON

ELDAAFER came through and pulled off a minor upset in the Marathon last year and will seek to repeat here. His greatest advantage is that he was able to prove last year that he could excel under the Twin Spires and though his form isn’t quite as solid this year as it was going into the 2010 running of this race, he was more ambitiously campaigned this year. MEEZNAH is taking on the boys and while conventional dirt is a question mark for her, the distance certainly shouldn’t be as she has the pedigree to run all day. She has been keeping good company in Great Britain and if she handles the dirt she can hold her own here. BRIGANTIN is another Euro trying dirt for the first time and he, like the filly, will have no problem with the distance.

JUVENILE TURF

STATE OF PLAY is modestly bred but has shown plenty of natural ability and professionalism from two starts to date and will try to remain undefeated in the toughest test so far in his career. He did defeat a quality field, including the highly regarded Dullahan, last time out and will get to prove how good he may be. The Europeans generally warrant a good look in the turf events and this one is no exception. WROTE (IRE) has shown plenty of ability from four starts to date and has been keeping good company overseas. LUCKY CHAPPY (IRE) like Wrote is a son of Breeders’ Cup Turf champion High Chaparral (IRE) and he may have a slight advantage having already had a race in this country. He was a good third and was gaining at the end against a stakes field on the turf at Keeneland and his prior Italian form had been encouraging.

SPRINT

BIG DRAMA, last year's authoritative winner of the Sprint, will seek to repeat and remain undefeated this season. He has had only two starts since winning the 2010 installment, one in January and one in September, but his recent victory was sharp and any question about whether he would be fit enough for this race was answered. FORCE FREEZE and Churchill Downs specialist HAMAZING DESTINY round out my trifecta.

TURF SPRINT

HOOFIT (NZ) is an interesting longshot here and is two for two over synthetics since coming to the United States from New Zealand. While his form there was inconsistent, he did earn three victories against what appears to have been quality competition on turf and if he handles the Churchill lawn he has upset potential. CHAMBERLAIN BRIDGE is another 2010 Breeders' Cup winner looking for his second consecutive victory and this veteran gelding is impossible to throw out here, even though his form is less than it was last year. He is a horse for the course over the local turf and his effort last out was one of his best of the season. Throw in REGALLY READY, who with the exception of that dismal effort two back, has been way too consistent to overlook.

DIRT MILE

SHACKLEFORD rebounded off of a disappointing performance in the Travers to finish second as the favorite in the Indiana Derby and should be primed for a big effort in this race. He has been training exceptionally well, is proven at Churchill and consistently established himself this season as extremely honest and competitive on the front end. A mile should be an ideal distance for the 2011 Preakness winner. WILBURN comes into this race riding a three-win undefeated streak and will try to extend that and earn his fist G1 victory here. He got to coast through relatively soft fractions last time out and may have to step it up here. JERSEY TOWN was third of four in the Kelso last time out but has proven he is capable of keeping G1 company as evidenced by his game triumph in the Cigar Mile last fall. Not super consistent, but an interesting enough longshot.

TURF

MIDDAY (GB) has nothing left to prove in the Filly & Mare Turf, with a victory and a narrow defeat as the favorite to her credit, and will tackle the boys here in her third appearance stateside. She has already proven she can hold her own with Europe's best of either gender and appears to be as good this year as she has ever been. AWAIT THE DAWN debuted as a highly regarded juvenile in 2009 and while there have been some gaps since, he proved last time that he can compete with some of the best in Europe and should be a contender. SEA MOON (GB) is from the female family of the brilliant Workforce and this impeccably bred colt seems to be getting better and better with only limited experience so far. He had a rough trip last time and should benefit from that educational experience.

JUVENILE

TAKE CHARGE INDY will need to make a big step forward to prove he is a top tier juvenile but does have the pedigree to improve significantly switching from synthetics to conventional dirt. His dam, Take Charge Lady, was an incredible racehorse who enjoyed major success under the Twin Spires and this colt could be a big surprise. DULLAHAN is, at first glance, better suited for turf or synthetics but it is worth remembering that he is a half brother to Kentucky Derby upset winner Mine That Bird and seems like a young horse that is getting really good at the right time. He pulled the upset last time and warrants a shot here. UNION RAGS has been perfect from three starts and will try to solidify his status as the top juvenile with a win here. He was very professional last time and did seem to show marked maturity from his second to third start.

MILE

GOLDIKOVA. What else can I say? I am first and foremost a racing fan and she is just incredible. This international superstar is going for her fourth consecutive victory in the Breeders' Cup Mile and will cement her legacy today as an all-time great. Will use her with COURAGEOUS CAT and GIO PONTI.

CLASSIC

With the favorite, UNCLE MO, looking awfully vulnerable and the overall crop of older males being somewhat average, this race could offer some real value. DROSSELMEYER was one of the most talented horses of his crop last year and while he did win a classic, the Belmont Stakes, he has never quite gotten the respect he deserves. His lone victory this year did come against minor stakes company, but he is talented and the distance is not an issue. HAVRE DE GRACE takes on the boys here after back to back victories, including one against male rivals in a terrific performance in the Woodward. This filly is a total superstar and is the one to beat here. TO HONOR AND SERVE shares a trainer with Drosselmeyer and this colt seems to be getting really good at the right time. He was highly regarded as a two year old and while he missed the spring classics, the time off seems to have been beneficial.

Happy Ending

June 21, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

I believe in fate. Certain people, and certain horses, come into your life for a reason.

When I printed out the past performances for the first race on the first day of the 2011 racing season, I saw a horse named Auto City and was immediately interested – he was a gallant old class horse, just the type that I usually root for. It was when I saw his dam that I did a double take and grabbed my cell phone.

I have been fortunate over the course of my career at Suffolk Downs to meet many incredible people and make some real friendships. One of those friendships is with another Jessica, a young woman who has a big heart and a bigger farm and has taken many horses off the track over the past several years, offering them a chance at a happy ever after. She was the first person to assure me I wasn’t crazy when I decided to finally take What a Trippi home and she has done an amazing job helping him transition from a racehorse to a pleasure horse.

The backstory here is that she owned Auto City’s dam for the final stage of her life and that mare had left a deep impact on Jess. Some horses just leave a permanent mark, and Saucy Maisie was one of those special ones. Last summer, Jess lost Maisie and was heartbroken. When I called her and told her one of Maisie’s first sons had wound up at Suffolk, she had to have him. It was meant to be.

So I called Jerome Palumbo, a few days before opening day, not even entirely sure he would remember me from last season. I explained the backstory and told him that whenever he was ready to retire Auto City, I would have a trailer waiting to take him to Maine. Without hesitation, he told me that as soon as he was ready, Auto would be ours.

One month and three races later, he kept his word.

As Mike LeCessee, Trippi’s former trainer, could probably attest to, I can be quite persistent and wasn’t shy about popping by the barn to visit Auto, chat with Jerome and remind him that a big open pasture in Maine was waiting for the gorgeous old chestnut. Jerome obviously had a real fondness for him and I would text message pictures of Auto to Jess whenever I could. He had his mother’s eyes. She sent me a picture of Maisie and the resemblance was uncanny.

Jerome had nothing but praise for Auto City’s class (and with 61 starts, thirteen wins and over $300,000 in earnings, there was plenty of it) and wanted him to go out a winner. On June 20, Auto City finished fifth in what would be his final career start. He may not have made that final trip to the winner’s circle, but in a winning gesture from Jerome he told me to come to the barn the next day to get him.

I picked him up today and as I was walking with him, I explained to him that he would be heading to Maine to meet someone who he meant the world to, even though they had never met. And that my horse has a penchant for chestnuts, so hopefully they would get along well. While I was chatting with Auto, Jerome was sending me text messages wishing his former racehorse well in the second chapter of his life and stressing again how much Auto had meant to him. It is amazing that this big chestnut could touch so many different people’s lives.

On Thursday, we leave for Maine where his happily ever after begins. Maybe in a few months I’ll have some great pictures of me, Trippi, Jess and Auto hitting the trails.

This isn't just a happy ending. It is a happy beginning.

Preakness Analysis

May 18, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

I’ll be the first to admit, my excitement this week is more centered around our own opening day than it is about what is going on in Maryland this weekend. Though on Friday, I will be paying attention to the undercard – my little chestnut spitfire, Libby’s Indian, is making her last start before coming back to Boston.

I think the Preakness is wildly bettable and highly doubt Animal Kingdom will get the respect he deserves off of an impressive Derby win, making him appealing again from a wagering perspective.

ANIMAL KINGDOM looked like the real deal in the Run for the Roses and firmly answered any and all questions about whether or not he could transition from synthetics to conventional dirt. Though he is the morning line favorite, with a full field it seems unlikely he goes off as a heavy favorite if he is even the top betting choice come post time, making him likely a value again. Graham Motion is no stranger to Maryland racing and it may work to this colt’s advantage that he was able to return to their home base at Fair Hill and essentially decompress between the Derby and now.

DIALED IN has a lot to gain by winning the Preakness in the way of a $5.5 million bonus if he is able to pull off the Holy Bull, Florida Derby and Preakness trifecta. Along with the financial incentives, there is a certain amount of redemption to be had after a very disappointing afternoon at Churchill Downs two weeks ago. With the field of nineteen in the Derby, he was at the mercy of traffic and trip and with a smaller field here he may be able to return to the form that made him one of the more exciting horses in the crop early in the year.

MUCHO MACHO MAN has a heart-warming story and enough local connection to make it easy to root for him. Couple that with an impressive run in the Derby and he seems like a logical contender. However, horse is so big and because he is a late foal (June), he is likely still both physically and mentally maturing. You have to wonder how much his last race took out of him and whether or not this is the race he regresses in.

ASTROLOGY was one of the horses that was on my early Derby short list last fall after showing some serious talent as a youngster. Though his runner-up effort to Twice the Appeal was hardly flattered in the Derby, he put in a respectable effort in the Jerome and has the advantage over several rivals here in that he is coming in fresh. Another new shooter that is interesting is KING CONGIE after a tenacious effort in the Blue Grass despite a rough trip. It remains to be seen whether or not he can transition to conventional dirt, but he has some off track influence in his pedigree and could be a live longshot if the rain continues.

My picks: 1. Animal Kingdom
2. Dialed In
3. King Congie
4. Astrology

Good luck everyone!

2011-05-18

May 18, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

I’ll be the first to admit, my excitement this week is more centered around our own opening day than it is about what is going on in Maryland this weekend. Though on Friday, I will be paying attention to the undercard – my little chestnut spitfire, Libby’s Indian, is making her last start before coming back to Boston.

I think the Preakness is wildly bettable and highly doubt Animal Kingdom will get the respect he deserves off of an impressive Derby win, making him appealing again from a wagering perspective.

ANIMAL KINGDOM looked like the real deal in the Run for the Roses and firmly answered any and all questions about whether or not he could transition from synthetics to conventional dirt. Though he is the morning line favorite, with a full field it seems unlikely he goes off as a heavy favorite if he is even the top betting choice come post time, making him likely a value again. Graham Motion is no stranger to Maryland racing and it may work to this colt’s advantage that he was able to return to their home base at Fair Hill and essentially decompress between the Derby and now.

DIALED IN has a lot to gain by winning the Preakness in the way of a $5.5 million bonus if he is able to pull off the Holy Bull, Florida Derby and Preakness trifecta. Along with the financial incentives, there is a certain amount of redemption to be had after a very disappointing afternoon at Churchill Downs two weeks ago. With the field of nineteen in the Derby, he was at the mercy of traffic and trip and with a smaller field here he may be able to return to the form that made him one of the more exciting horses in the crop early in the year.

MUCHO MACHO MAN has a heart-warming story and enough local connection to make it easy to root for him. Couple that with an impressive run in the Derby and he seems like a logical contender. However, horse is so big and because he is a late foal (June), he is likely still both physically and mentally maturing. You have to wonder how much his last race took out of him and whether or not this is the race he regresses in.

ASTROLOGY was one of the horses that was on my early Derby short list last fall after showing some serious talent as a youngster. Though his runner-up effort to Twice the Appeal was hardly flattered in the Derby, he put in a respectable effort in the Jerome and has the advantage over several rivals here in that he is coming in fresh. Another new shooter that is interesting is KING CONGIE after a tenacious effort in the Blue Grass despite a rough trip. It remains to be seen whether or not he can transition to conventional dirt, but he has some off track influence in his pedigree and could be a live longshot if the rain continues.

My picks: 1. Animal Kingdom
2. Dialed In
3. King Congie
4. Astrology

Good luck everyone!

May 18, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

I’ll be the first to admit, my excitement this week is more centered around our own opening day than it is about what is going on in Maryland this weekend. Though on Friday, I will be paying attention to the undercard – my little chestnut spitfire, Libby’s Indian, is making her last start before coming back to Boston.

I think the Preakness is wildly bettable and highly doubt Animal Kingdom will get the respect he deserves off of an impressive Derby win, making him appealing again from a wagering perspective.

ANIMAL KINGDOM looked like the real deal in the Run for the Roses and firmly answered any and all questions about whether or not he could transition from synthetics to conventional dirt. Though he is the morning line favorite, with a full field it seems unlikely he goes off as a heavy favorite if he is even the top betting choice come post time, making him likely a value again. Graham Motion is no stranger to Maryland racing and it may work to this colt’s advantage that he was able to return to their home base at Fair Hill and essentially decompress between the Derby and now.

DIALED IN has a lot to gain by winning the Preakness in the way of a $5.5 million bonus if he is able to pull off the Holy Bull, Florida Derby and Preakness trifecta. Along with the financial incentives, there is a certain amount of redemption to be had after a very disappointing afternoon at Churchill Downs two weeks ago. With the field of nineteen in the Derby, he was at the mercy of traffic and trip and with a smaller field here he may be able to return to the form that made him one of the more exciting horses in the crop early in the year.

MUCHO MACHO MAN has a heart-warming story and enough local connection to make it easy to root for him. Couple that with an impressive run in the Derby and he seems like a logical contender. However, horse is so big and because he is a late foal (June), he is likely still both physically and mentally maturing. You have to wonder how much his last race took out of him and whether or not this is the race he regresses in.

ASTROLOGY was one of the horses that was on my early Derby short list last fall after showing some serious talent as a youngster. Though his runner-up effort to Twice the Appeal was hardly flattered in the Derby, he put in a respectable effort in the Jerome and has the advantage over several rivals here in that he is coming in fresh. Another new shooter that is interesting is KING CONGIE after a tenacious effort in the Blue Grass despite a rough trip. It remains to be seen whether or not he can transition to conventional dirt, but he has some off track influence in his pedigree and could be a live longshot if the rain continues.

My picks: 1. Animal Kingdom
2. Dialed In
3. King Congie
4. Astrology

Good luck everyone!

May 16, 2011

May 16, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

The best thing about the first few weeks of training before the meet officially begins is seeing so many familiar faces and getting to know some new ones. One blog request I have gotten is to offer an update on who is back so far this year, both human and equine, and I remembered that while I was walking around in the rain back there this morning.

Despite how large the Suffolk Downs backside really is, it has a close-knit, family-like atmosphere. Even on a miserable, rainy morning (seriously, it is May 16, I should not be in my winter boots and jacket at this point), there is a “first day of school” atmosphere back there – a lot of joking, catching up and the optimism of a great season.

Many of the familiar faces of the jockey colony are back – Tammi Piermarini, Jacqueline Davis, Hector Ramos, Jordano Tunon, Taylor Hole, Luis Garcia, David Amiss and Gilbert Estrella have all been back and busy. I also saw Gary Wales back in town after spending last year riding in Pennsylvania. Perennial top jockey Winston Thompson will unfortunately be missing some time at the beginning of the season due to an injury, but he should be back in action soon and we are wishing him a speedy recovery.

Though some of the barns have moved due to construction (seeing the first two barns missing right when you walk on the backside took some getting used to!), many of the regular trainers are back and settled in.

Many of the Assimakopoulos horses are shipping in today and tomorrow, so first thing in the morning you can guess where I will be tomorrow. Though my favorite won’t be here until next week – Libby’s Indian is running Friday at Pimlico, so I will have to wait a little longer to see my special filly. I am very excited that former New England champion Southern Rainbow will be back, along with 2010 champion turf mare Battingstar.

On the other side of the shedrow, the John Pimental horses are all settled in. That is one of my favorite barns to visit – everyone is always so welcoming and there is usually coffee and snacks in the tack room. John introduced me to some of the new horses, including a son of El Prado named Andalusian who just has a ton of class. The other son of El Prado in the barn is of course champion grass horse National Hero.

Many other New England champions are back to defend (or reclaim) their titles including Technically Wicked, Mr. Meso, Sassy City, Lovethatdirtywater, Snow Down, Little Tara, Sociano’s Legacy, Miscoe Gray, PJ’s Lil Toni, Dadsfourwheeldrive and more. I cannot wait for entries to come out on Wednesday for Saturday as there have been several horses who have looked phenomenal in the mornings.

One who looks likely to race on opening day is Dumpster Diver for Mike Fallisi. This gelding looks fantastic and really seems to be thriving. He was never a horse I tended to pick as he can be a bit of a one dimensional speedball, but I’ll be the first to admit he has charmed me and judging by how well he has been training, he may be a value if he gets in on opening day.

Have a great day!

Kentucky Derby Analysis

May 5, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Playoff hockey, playoff basketball, baseball and it is Kentucky Derby week. Really, can it get any better?

This year’s Derby is by far one of the most wide open in recent memory and I have really enjoyed the extra dynamic social media has added this year. The commentary and discussion on Twitter has been very interesting, though it has only complicated my thought process on the race even further. Couple that with the unpredictable Kentucky weather (handicap for an off track or no? I say consider it, just in case).

So, let’s break it down horse by horse and see what we can come up with.

1. Archarcharch has been visually impressive on track all week at Churchill and seems like a horse that is flourishing at the right time. Physically, he is a powerhouse and don’t let the long prices in his two stakes wins fool you – this colt is the real deal. The inside post is far from ideal, but he still may be my top choice. The generous morning line of 10-1 adds to his appeal. I was on the treadmill in the middle of a run when I was watching the draw and when I saw he was 10-1 and Nehro was 6-1, I nearly fell off the treadmill.

2. Brilliant Speed seems like a turf or synthetic specialist to me. Interesting off track pedigree, but not enough to make him a contender in my mind.

3. Twice the Appeal has been touted by several friends who I think have respectable opinions, but I’m having a hard time seeing the upside here. It was a game effort last time out at Sunland Park and I imagine he will be lower than the 20-1 morning line with Calvin Borel in irons – likely to garner some attention.

4. The Most Interesting Horse in the World, Stay Thirsty will try to improve off of a dreadful Florida Derby and will lose the blinkers here. His Gotham win was sharp over the horse who would have been my strong top choice, Toby’s Corner, but he is inconsistent and I’m not convinced this will be his ideal distance.

5. Decisive Moment looks like he will be part of the pace early and probably not much longer than that.

6. Comma to the Top is another one that will be a factor early. There is a common theme in his recent running lines and he tends to drift out, so it will be interesting to see if that causes any sort of chain reaction once he gets leg weary.

7. Pants on Fire turned in a game effort to win over the highly-regarded Nehro (and again, how is Nehro 6-1 and this one is 20-1?) and Mucho Macho Man last time out to earn his spot here. He has been inconsistent, but seems like one of the more legitimate front-runners here and his maiden win over a sloppy track is a plus as well if the track becomes an issue.

8. Dialed In is a deserving favorite here and his effort two back did exactly what it was supposed to do – set him up for a big effort in the Florida Derby. He has a visually impressive, explosive turn of foot, he should have no issue with the distance and he has plenty of wet track influence in his pedigree. My only issue is that typically these one-run closers are at the mercy of the racing gods to weave through the inevitable traffic without getting stopped and having to re-rally.

9. Derby Kitten showed very little in his only prior start over a dirt track. He seems to be a talented grass horse that can also be effective on synthetics, neither of which bode well for him Saturday.

10. Twinspired has suspect dirt form and though he has shown some versatility and ability, tough to take beyond a hunch bet with his name and the fact that a few years ago jockey Mike Smith rode another longshot gray to victory in the Derby from the ten-hole – Giacomo.

11. Master of Hounds has been intriguing if only for the fact that I have seen so little of him, thus not giving him the chance to disappoint me like many of the contenders this year. I am concerned about not only the transition to dirt, but also conditioning after arriving on Tuesday and then spending two days in quarantine after only having one race this year. His last effort in this country was uninspiring in the Juvenile Turf, but he has a terrific pedigree for all surfaces, despite the European turf influence. I want to see how he gets over the track, but I’ll be the first to admit he looks like he is in the weeds here.

12. Santiva is a horse I really liked last year as a juvenile and he seems to have fallen off of a lot of radars. His last effort was pretty abysmal, but he had a rough trip and may be able to rebound off of that. I’m willing to overlook it, particularly because it was over synthetics and he may be very, very overlooked.

13. Mucho Macho Man has some local connections in Kathy Ritvo and is a son of Mass Cap winner Macho Uno. This colt has done very little wrong and while he isn’t one that I’ve been particularly wowed by, this really isn’t a sensational group and he is consistent.

14. Shackleford has been generating plenty of buzz this past week and from what I have heard and read, he looks wonderful and has been training very well. He nearly pulled off a giant upset in the Florida Derby and looks like another very legitimate front-runner. Not convinced enough that he can sustain his speed 1 ¼ though, so I won’t be using him.

15. Midnight Interlude has been training well since his sharp win in the Santa Anita Derby and Bob Baffert has been quietly confident about him. He seems to be one of the few here that should be able to handle the distance and though he is lacking on experience, he isn’t out of the question.

16. Animal Kingdom (who for some reason I insist on calling American Lion, a horse that I really liked in last year’s Derby… that obviously did not work out for me) may not have been Graham Motion’s big horse going into this race, but a good performance from him may help ease the disappointment from Toby’s Corner. There has been speculation about him being able to translate his stakes winning form from synthetics and turf to dirt, but he has gotten over the Churchill main track well and is an interesting longshot for me, mostly because I really like Graham Motion.

17. Soldat was the horse of the moment after a front-running victory in the Fountain of Youth. He needs to have everything his own way out front to be successful and he may not be quick enough to have that luxury here. However, he gets over an off track exceptionally well and I imagine his connections are doing a bit of a rain dance today.

18. Where do we start with Uncle Mo ? At the start of the year, he was the most talked about Thoroughbred in training. He still is, though not in quite the same way. I admire the way Mike Repole has marketed this colt and really want him to be as special as he looked under the Twin Spires last fall. However, with the rumor mill buzzing with typical Derby-week tales of whether or not he even makes it to the gate on Saturday and speculation from onlookers via Twitter that he doesn’t look all that great (what did we do before social media?), I have to look elsewhere. As a side note, while I don’t think his pedigree is ideal to go 1 ¼, I don’t think it as woeful as some have made it seem and when he is 100%, he is a very effective mover and is built like a horse that should handle it.

There is a horse like 19. Nehro every year. The so-called “wise guy’s horse” who generates a lot of buzz going into the big race. Yes, he has two strong efforts – narrow defeats behind Archarcharch and Pants on Fire, but he still only has a maiden win to his credit. The thing I do like about him is that he has faced sizeable fields in his last two races and performed well despite eventful trips, so that experience may help him when some of his rivals have never really had the misfortune of getting jostled around in a large field. I cannot take 6-1 on a horse that hasn’t beaten winners yet.

20. Watch Me Go had no possible excuse last time beyond maybe, just maybe, a bounce off of a hard-fought victory over a very, very average field in the Tampa Bay Derby. That being said, nothing would make me happier than to see New England Hall of Fame owner/breeder Gil Campbell’s green and white silks in the Churchill Downs winner’s circle. This is such a wide open field, he has as much of a chance as any of them and will be getting some sentimental cash from my wallet.

My selections:

1. Archarcharch
2. Animal Kingdom
3. Dialed In

Longshot: Watch Me Go

Good luck everyone!

Kentucky Oaks Analysis

May 3, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

The theme the early half of Derby week has been more about who isn’t running than who actually is. With the defection of both R Heat Lightning from the Oaks and Toby’s Corner from the Run for the Roses, I was left to go back to the drawing board for my top selections in both races.

I was disappointed to see Arienza not wind up in the field, but her best is yet to come and I hope she turns out to be a star like her dam. So, let’s try to make some sense of the Oaks, shall we? Since neither of the two fillies I liked are in, I’m going to go horse by horse.

Joyful Victory has been installed as the 5-2 favorite for the (un)retired Larry Jones . This filly has done nothing wrong from two starts this year, including handily defeating the highly regarded Arienza last time out. She looks like a legitimate top choice and the only fault I can try to find is that flat performance in the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Fillies last fall which did come over the sometimes tricky Churchill Downs surface.

To her outside is Lilacs and Lace , a front-running longshot winner last out in the Ashland. She has two things to prove – one that she is not just a synthetic specialist and two that that upset win at nearly 50-1 wasn’t a fluke.

The other filly coming in for the (un)retired Larry Jones is Summer Soiree off of back to back open length victories. She obviously has plenty of ability but she just seems like a notch below some of the other speed here.

Kathmanblu was unimpressive over the synthetics at Keeneland in the Ashland and was third as the favorite following two strong victories on both the turf and the main track. I love her versatility and the fact that she has proven that she can perform well over this surface. Willing to forgive that last race.

Next in line is longshot Suave Von Faire . She is still eligible for NW2L and not one I will be including on my tickets.

Another filly that interests me here is the other daughter of Tapit, Zazu . Plenty of wet track influence in her pedigree, which could offer an advantage with the unpredictable weather in Louisville. With an impressive lifetime record of two wins and four seconds from seven starts, she really has done little wrong.

Her Smile , a longshot at 20-1, has been holding her own against minor stakes company since breaking her maiden at Laurel last fall. She hasn’t been worse than fourth and that one blemish from seven starts did come on the turf. She seems like she puts in her effort every time, though not sure that will be good enough here.

Bouquet Booth is also 20-1 and comes in to this off of a pair of fourth-place finishes against Kathmanblu and Lilacs and Lace. Next.

Another big price here with Daisy Devine , a modest $5,500 Keeneland September purchase who has certainly been worth the investment – three wins, $359,788 in earnings from five starts. Her only poor performance came over synthetics in her debut and since she is a neck away from being undefeated in four starts. She hasn’t beaten anything spectacular but could be an interesting longshot.

Street Storm is another hefty price at 50-1 morning line and really will need to show huge progression to be a factor. Her lone stakes victory came last time out when the race came off the turf and her form prior had been inconsistent.

Holly Heavens was running on well last time out and while she wasn’t going to catch Joyful Victory, it was an encouraging step forward and she may be a longshot to use to fill out an exotic wager. The wet track pedigree is there which may or may not also help move her up a bit if there is more rain in Kentucky.

Plum Pretty won by nearly Secretariat-like margins in her last race at Sunland Park. It was an impressive race, yes, but she didn’t beat much at all. However, she did prove in her two prior starts that she can hold her own against G1 caliber fillies in California and there does seem to be plenty of upside to this filly.

Rounding out the field of thirteen is 30-1 longshot St. John’s River . This filly has been generating enough buzz on the Twitterverse to make me give her a second look and she is somewhat interesting at a big price. Strong closing effort last time out and she gets the services of the red-hot Rosie Napravnik.

Still reading?

1.Zazu
2.Kathmanblu
3.Plum Pretty
Longshot: Daisy Devine

Good luck everyone! Next step, try to figure out the Derby!

April 26, 2011

April 26, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Today I had the pleasure of visiting one of the busiest farms in Massachusetts, George and Arlene Brown’s Briar Hill Farm.

I was blown away by the flurry of activity. With just over 40 acres and as many as 50 horses on the grounds at any time, ranging in age from newborns to senior stallion Lycius, there is never a dull moment and this is their busiest time of year.

In addition to a full breeding facility, the Browns also train their horses at the farm over a quarter mile training track. Though it obviously is not an option for many trainers, I think it is a fantastic opportunity for their horses to be able to train away from the hustle of the racetrack. Their farm is really peaceful and the horses all seem to thrive.

I got there right as Sociano’s Legacy, our champion juvenile filly from last year, was getting some grooming before heading to the track. I first noticed how much she had grown from last year and was thrilled I had made it in time to see her gallop.

While she was getting ready, I got the beginning of the tour and got to meet the babies that had already been born. With five on the ground and more on the way, the Browns have essentially living next to their foaling stall. The babies are adorable – all legs and curiosity and energy. Perhaps I even saw a future New England star, happily bouncing around the field, pestering his mom.

Before Sociano’s Legacy went to the track, a young two-year-old that George has high hopes for went out for a gallop. The chestnut was physically very mature looking and looked like a natural athlete. His name is “Outa My Way” and was named by a young girl who won a contest at Equine Affaire this past fall.

On our way back, I got to meet Sociano. From three starters in his limited stallion career, all three have won and the two juvenile fillies last year both looked incredibly talented. His appeal has risen and he has quite a few now two-year-olds, yearlings and new foals. He was happily in his paddock, watching the activity going on around him.

Sociano’s Legacy finally made it to the track and she made rider Luis Bethancourt work for a mile and a half gallop. She is feeling good and it looks like she is more than ready to defend her championship this year.

One of my favorite Massbreds, the hard-knocking Long Hill Glider was next on the track. The consistent gelding is such a fluid mover and it was really fun to watch an old pro go through the motions in a training environment he really seemed to love.

I had a really great time visiting the farm and really learned a lot. The huge reach that a Massachusetts farm has on the local agriculture community is amazing – the wood for the fences, the grain, the equipment – nearly all of it is local. I also learned that George Brown at one point worked for Red Pollard (of Seabiscuit fame!) and got to see some incredible old photos from the days of old New England racing – Narraganset, Agawam Downs (yes, this really existed!).

Tomorrow, it is back to Suffolk to watch training and continue preparations for opening day!

April 22, 2011

April 22, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

After what can only be described as a long winter (and that is putting it kindly), I had the pleasure of seeing the first tell-tale sign of spring this morning – horses training on the track.

Today marked the first day of training and the backside was abuzz with activity. With trailers pulling in, horses unloading and horses that arrived yesterday settling it, everyone seemed very busy.

My first stop was a visit to one of my favorite barns. John Botty shipped in yesterday after having his horses spend the winter in Florida on a farm. I have to say I was blown away by how spectacular everyone looked – Rubato and Cat Sonata were both on the walker and both looked like the winter in the sunshine state was good to them.

I visited with a trio of New England champions as well - Snow Down , Sassy City and two-time award winner Lovethatdirtywater . It was great to see familiar faces.

Next stop was to the track to watch a few horses train, including the handsome gray sprinter Perfectus .

I paid a visit next to Ernie Smith and saw another New England award winner, Dadsfourwheeldrive . I was most impressed by Leadfootxpress , a talented juvenile last year who grew like a weed over the winter. Ernie sent a two-year-old son of High Cotton to the track and he handles his first day of work very well.

I can’t wait to see even more familiar faces in the coming weeks. There really is no place like home.

April 9, 2011

April 9, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

It is an exciting time of year. With the racing season nearly upon us, the local farms are in full swing preparing horses to race. Spring also means something else – BABIES! In the coming weeks, I am hoping to tour several New England breeding and training farms and get a sneak peek at the future Suffolk stars.

With ideal weather and a great afternoon of racing on tap (as I am writing this blog, I am on the couch with my dog watching Keeneland, Tampa and Aqueduct – how is that for a great Saturday?), I set out late this morning to visit Ken Posco’s New England Stallion Station, located conveniently only a half hour from me.

Farm manager and trainer Matthew Clarke and his son Dylan gave me the grand tour and it was wonderful to see so many familiar faces from previous racing seasons – St. Augustine, Graceful Bay, the consistent Bay Miner and of course the old warrior, Mr. Meso. Phyiscally, there isn’t anything special about him at all – he is a small, plain bay. But, at eleven-years-old he looks fantastic and has such a cool “been there, done that” attitude. Horses like him are the real stars of the sport as far as I am concerned. I am a sucker for the old campaigners.

Next stop was a visit with Zong , the highly regarded recent addition to the stallion barn. A $1.7 million weanling, this guy looks every bit like his father Unbridled’s Song. I’m looking forward to seeing his babies on the track as I imagine they will be very precocious.

In addition to seeing some familiar faces, I also saw some new ones. A name to remember for the latter half of the year is Fonzi – he is a two-year-old that Matthew thinks has all the goods. Outside, I saw the future stars of New England racing. The crop of yearlings on the farm is outstanding and I was blown away by some of the pedigrees. In addition to having foals from Bandini and Raffie’s Majesty, there is also a very good looking son of Heatseaker out of Dance With Grace, making him a half brother to the unlucky but very talented Setsuko, last seen finishing second in the G1 Santa Anita Handicap.

After visiting with the Zedonk (yes, that’s a zebra and donkey cross) and meeting the camel, Dylan brought me into the field to meet the lone foal on the ground so far. He was born literally during the time change, so that is what he has been called so far. He was just perfect looking and who knows, perhaps some day he will be a New England champ.

I had a great day and would like to thank Matthew, Anne and Dylan for taking time out of their busy day and showing me around. Now it’s time to watch some Derby preps – Go Mo!

March 26, 2011

March 26, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Today is Dubai World Cup Day and it is one of my favorite racing days of the year. Being a morning person, I find something very satisfying of being able to watch world class horse racing while having my morning coffee.

It is hard to root against a horse like Gio Ponti . He is the type of horse it is easy to take for granted because he is so consistent and has been around for a long time. He really deserves a huge win like the World Cup after spending the better part of his career running second to champion mares like Zenyatta and Goldikova (who, by the way, I could not be more excited to watch her campaign this year).

For longshots to add with him, I like Prince Bishop and Golden Sword . The field is full, bet-able and very wide open.

And for a brief update on my guy, What a Trippi . He is spectacular. He and Suffolk alum Cardiologist are pretty much inseparable and spend most of the day finding new ways to annoy each other in the field. Cardiologist will be heading back to the track soon, so T will have to find someone new to harass. He starts under saddle in a few weeks and I am so excited to see the horse he will turn into.

Having him has also really reaffirmed my commitment to doing the best I can to enhance awareness of OTTBs as pleasure or show horses and helping as many horses as I can find their special person. I’m just really fortunate that he was with such good people – George Saccardo at Suffolk and Mike LeCessee at Finger Lakes and both really took excellent care of him.

Enjoy the day everyone!

March 11, 2011

March 11, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

We have an exciting weekend ahead at Suffolk Downs . In addition to the second pool of the Kentucky Derby (and Oaks!) Future Wager being available, the early Derby favorite Uncle Mo will make his much anticipated sophomore debut.

Oh, and did I mention we are offering complimentary (FREE!) programs on both Saturday and Sunday?

I am very excited to see Uncle Mo’s three-year-old debut and I am really hoping he has transitioned into being as impressive now as he was as a juvenile. I love the way Mike Repole is marketing this colt and I think that is just what the sport needs. I am, for the record, a giant Repole fan and was so impressed with what he did for Thoroughbred retirement last spring with my favorite equine senior citizen, Cool N Collective.

Today we do have some noteworthy entries. At Aqueduct, Tropical Trip may really benefit from an off track for Jacqueline Falk. Tropical Trip has the same sire as my What a Trippi and the more I see from their sire’s offspring (Gourmet Dinner, R Heat Lightning, etc), the more disappointed I am he no longer stands at stud in this country.

At Tampa today, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Wildfire Fast second off of a long layoff. She ran surprisingly well last time and may have needed that start.

At Laurel, Papa Charlie is in for David Lezell. I’ve always liked Papa Charlie and am hoping he can return to form.

Good luck to everyone racing and wagering today!

February 25, 2011

February 25, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Yesterday, I made the drive to the Plymouth County Sheriff’s Farm to pay a visit to some Suffolk alumni. I absolutely picked the right day – yesterday was sunny and relatively warm, unlike the lovely rain and snow mix I woke up to today.

I had a wonderful time at the farm. It is pretty awesome that a “day at the office” for me can involve getting to spend a few hours giving cookies to horses and reminiscing about their racing careers.

I was met upon my arrival by Captain Dan Callahan of the Mounted Unit. We walked through a paddock full of mini horses and they quickly realized I had treats and therefore must be accosted. I am a sucker for fat, fuzzy, obnoxious minis and immediately wanted to throw at least two of them in the back of my Corolla and take them home. My favorite was this tiny (even by mini standards), rotund stud who just stood at the back of the paddock, observing.

By that time, the former racehorses all came over to investigate (and demand cookies). I was so pleased to see just how well everyone had wintered. It can be tough to keep weight on an off-track Thoroughbred, particularly one that is reaching his senior years like Red Miah. However, everyone looked spectacular. Red Miah, Kentucky Magic, Ivannarun, Sunshine Coffee, Energy Center, Future Fantasy and Tony the pony are all spending their retirement enjoying a huge field, plenty of hay and a ton of attention. Veteran Sing Me Back Home has been adopted and is living happily ever after, along with Charlie Business.

It was immediately clear who runs the show in the paddock. Energy Center, the youngest of the group, is a naughty, naughty guy. He was first in line for treats and was quite insulted whenever anyone else ventured over for a cookie. A total brat, but not at all mean – just likes to be the center of attention. Kentucky Magic and Ivannarun, both clearly tired of competing with Energy Center for my attention, gave up and wandered away for a good roll.

My favorite of the bunch is Sunshine Coffee. The big, plain bay didn’t have an easy go of it on the racetrack and he is just such a sweet, kind horse. He was more interested in a good ear scratch than the treats and it made me so happy to see him enjoying a well-deserved retirement.

The horses aren’t the only ones who are thriving. Dan told me how the prisoners in charge of them absolutely dote on them. I’ve always believed that it is impossible to spend any extended period of time with horses and not fall head over heels in love, and there may really be some truth to it.

February 17, 2011

February 17, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! I am back from a wonderful visit with What a Trippi in Maine. He is doing so spectacularly well. Since coming off the track in November, he has settled in and really started to relax. At first, he was quite head-shy and anxious when unfamiliar people came into his stall, but he is really starting to warm up.

His paddock buddies right now are Suffolk veterans Pap’s Pal and Cardiologist until they go back to the track. It is really funny watching Trippi and Cardiologist just harass each other. They stand next to each other and then like little kids in the backseat during a long car ride, they just poke and pester and nip.

We concocted some plans for his retraining yesterday as well. I can’t wait for the ice to melt and spring to come so we can get started. He is so sensible and really very kind, so I think (and hope) he will be a pleasant horse to restart under saddle.

Though it is a super long drive out to Maine, I am so glad Trippi is there. He seems very happy and very relaxed, and ultimately that is my top priority.

February 14, 2011

February 14, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

There are some noteworthy results from yesterday.

At Turf Paradise , Tammi Piermarini continued her success with a pair of victories on the card.

At Tampa , former New England champion Hold on Smokey made it two in a row with Hector Ramos aboard. I’m thrilled to see Hold on Smokey really hit his stride again. At his best as a sophomore at Suffolk, he was just brilliant. He kept exceptional company as well – Nijinsky Bullet, Southern Rainbow, etc.

Since there aren’t any noteworthy entries today, let’s talk Derby and social media, two of my favorite things.

If you are on Facebook and you don’t “like” Uncle Mo yet, do it now. His fan page is constantly updated and hilarious. Huge kudos to Mike Repole for presenting his champion colt in such a way that really makes the fans feel like they are a part of the experience. This colt has a lot of things going for him to make me like him, notably being a son of one of my favorite stallions, Indian Charlie . Do I think a mile and a quarter is an ideal distance for him? Absolutely not, but at this point I am totally rooting for him.

The disappointments from some horses that were generating some big early buzz this weekend, namely Tapizar, and the early defection of Boys at Toscanova, has blown the Derby picture even more wide open.

Brethren has all the makings of following in his brother, Derby winner Super Saver’s hoofsteps with a sharp win at Tampa on Saturday. I have to say, I like him more than I liked his brother for whatever reason.

Now on to social media. I enjoy Twitter, Facebook and blogging, and I also enjoy reading other horsie-related blogs. Have you ever wondered what happened to a lovely old warhorse? I always wondered what happened to New York veteran Spite the Devil . Turns out, he is living happily ever after as reported on www.offtrackthoroughbreds.com. This a spectacular blog and really highlights some truly great success stories. (There was even a blog about me and Trippi back in December!)

Have a great day everyone!

February 10, 2011

February 10, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone. I’ve spent the past ten days or so recovering from a pretty severe tendon injury and it has given me an all new understanding and sympathy for horses with soft tissue injuries. Even as it is starting to heal, it is just so easy to aggravate it again. This may have put my half marathon plans for May on hold, so hopefully I will be able to compete in one at the end of summer.

There are no noteworthy results from yesterday except Tammi Piermarini continued her success at Turf Paradise with another victory.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the opener, Pam Angevine has Hrossey Ferry .

In the seventh, Angevine has Yogi’s Valentine .

In the ninth, John Rigattieri has Handsome Bruno and His Sisters Mister . Handsome Bruno is also entered in the ninth at Charles Town .

Aqueduct

In the sixth, Joe Signore, Jr has Sonny’s the One .

Gulfstream

In the opener, Marcus Vitali has Tripleconsolidator . He also has Twentyoneandtwo in the ninth.

Tampa

In the second race, Ernest Poxon, Jr has Cathy Got Even . He also has Beautiful Insight in the tenth.

In the fourth, Bobby Raymond has Sweet Baby Blue .

In the eighth, William Downing has Uncle Mickey . Also, John Pimental has Superlook .

Have a good day!

February 5, 2011

February 5, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! I spent all morning on the phone with one of my best friends, constructing some plans for Trippi this summer. Thinking of all of the fun things we will be able to do this spring makes getting through the winter just a little more tolerable.

RESULTS

Gulfstream

In the tenth, Gator’s Tracks was second.

Also, Orlando Bocachica and Giuseppe Iadisernia teamed up to win the eighth race.

Laurel

In the fourth, Da Boots was third. Also, BL’s Big Fish was fifth.

In the seventh, Bait and Switch was third and Fast Approach was twelfth.

In the eighth, Soldier Field was second and Shawhan Select was fourth.

Tampa

In the opener, Just a Dream was fourth.

In the second, Latest Expense gave the Lockhart barn another victory. Also, Genuine Forgery was fifth and Sweet Baby Blue was seventh.

In the third, Unbridled’s Jewel was fifth.

In the fifth, Entice was seventh.

In the seventh, Prized Best was fourth and Will Run for Beer was seventh.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct

Joe Signore, Jr has the wonderful old warrior Rampant in the opener.

Laurel

In the second, Pam Angevine has Two Dragons , a remarkably consistent horse this past year.

In the seventh, John Rigattieri has Grand Slam Frankie .

Tampa

In the third, John Pimental has Oorah and Ernest Poxon has Serengeti Storm .

In the sixth, In the seventh, Brenda McCarthy has Cocktail Music .

In the eleventh race, William Downing has Nana’s Hope .

Have a great day!

February 4, 2011

February 4, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS

Tampa

In the first race, Gonna Blow was sixth.

In the third, Juan Camilo saddled Sweet Content to victory, Strategic Aim was fourth and Flashy Wonder was fifth.

In the seventh, Macho Chick was seventh.

In the tenth race, Lloyd Lockhart and Yamil Rosario pulled the shocker with Top Spot - $141!

Laurel

In the third, Boracay Wonder won for David Lezell . Zapper was seventh.

In the fourth, Rigattieri and Dyn Panell teamed up for a victory with In Summation . They made a second trip to the winner’s circle in the ninth with Novel Force .

In the seventh, Albright was second, beaten only a neck. Joann’s Appeal was third and Becata was fourth.

ENTRIES

Tampa

In the opener, Bernard Bramante has Just a Dream .

In the second, Lloyd Lockhart has Latest Expense . Also, Bobby Raymond has Sweet Baby Blue an

In the third, Juan Camilo has Unbridled’s Jewel .

In the fifth, Tom McCooey, Jr has Entice and Marcus Vitali has Artistic Talent .

In the seventh, William Downing has Will Run for Beer and Lockhart has Prized Best .

In the tenth, John Pimental has Downinfront .

Laurel

In the fourth, Pam Angevine has Da Boots . Also, John Rigattieri has BL’s Big Fish .

In the seventh, David Lezell has Bait and Switch and Fast Approach .

In the eighth, Rigattieri has Shawhan Select and Soldier Field

Gulfstream

In the tenth race, New England Hall of Fame trainer George Handy has former New England champ Gator’s Tracks .

Have a great day!

February 3, 2011

February 3, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

I apologize for the lack of blog the past few days. I’ve been too busy doing what most of Massachusetts has been doing – shoveling! There are no noteworthy results from yesterday. ENTRIES

Tampa

In the opener, Bernard Bramante has Gonna Blow .

In the second, Juan Camilo has Sweet Content .

In the third, Bramante has Strategic Aim and William Downing has Flashy Wonder .

In the fifth, Bramante has Dancing Buki .

In the seventh, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Macho Chick .

In the tenth, Lloyd Lockhart has Top Spot .

Gulfstream

In the fifth, Marcus Vitali has Follia .

Laurel

In the third, David Lezell has Boracay Wonder and John Rigattieri has Zapper .

In the fourth, Rigattieri has In Summation .

In the sixth, Lezell has Halavah .

In the seventh race, Assimakopoulos has the lovely Albright and Rafael Ramos has Becata . Also, Rigattieri has Joann’s Appeal .

In the eighth, Ramos has Witch Hunter .

In the ninth, Rigattieri has Novel Force .

Aqueduct

In the fifth, Joe Signore, Jr has Minister’s Fate .

January 31, 2011

January 31, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS

Congrats to Tammi Piermarini on another win at Turf Paradise!

Tampa

In the opener, Lite up the Stage was second.

In the second race, Charlie Assimakopoulos finally broke the ice with Angel’s Concerto , Hector Ramos aboard.

In the fourth, Dixie Causeway was fourth.

In the seventh, Wise Frolic was seventh and Just Jane’s Girl was tenth.

In the eighth race, Dr Rico was tenth.

Brenda McCarthy’s success continued with a victory with Saucy Sixer in the tenth.

Gulfstream

In the third, Big Zeet was fifth and Twentyoneandtwo was sixth in the ninth.

No noteworthy ENTRIES today. Have a great day!

January 30, 2011

January 30, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

Suffolk Downs was well represented across the country yesterday. At Turf Paradise , our leading rider Tammi Piermarini won the fifth and ninth races. At Tampa, John Pimental and Jorge Vargas teamed up for an upset win with Great Patriot and William Downing followed up in the next race with Capt Zippounas .

ENTRIES

Gulfstream

In the third, Marcus Vitali has Big Zeet and also has Twentyoneandtwo in the ninth.

Tampa

In the opener, Bobby Raymond has Lite up the Stage .

In the second race, Charlie Assimakopoulos has both Angels Concerto and Lipstick N Desire .

In the fourth race, Tom McCooey, Jr has Dixie Causeway .

In the seventh race, Brenda McCarthy has Just Jane’s Girl and John Pimental has Wise Frolic . Also, Raymond has Sweet Baby Blue .

In the eighth race, Assimakopoulos has Macho Chick and McCooey has Dr Rico .

In the tenth, McCarthy has Saucy Sixer .

Have a great day!

January 29, 2011

January 29, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS

Tampa

In the fifth, Katrina’s Prince was eighth.

In the eighth race, Fetch’s Fuse was sixth, LP’s Tiger was seventh and Belonged to Sy was eighth.

In the ninth race, Hector Ramos and New England champ Hold on Smokey lit up the toteboard and returned $89, a nose over fellow longshot and Suffolk alum Exchange the Limit . All the Bases was sixth.

Aqueduct

In the seventh, Risky Gamble was fourth.

Gulfstream

In the third, Paster’s Bad Habit was seventh and Valid Ocean Pass was second in the sixth.

ENTRIES

Gulfstream

In the fourth, Marcus Vitali has Artistic Talent

Laurel

In the fourth race, David Lezell has Seeking the Point and John Rigattieri has El Tune .

In the seventh, Rigattieri has His Sisters Mister and Vindicat .

In the eighth, Rigattieri has Afternoon Action .

Tampa

In the opener, Bernard Bramante has Tequila’s Desire and Lloyd Lockhart has Prized Dream .

In the second, Brenda McCarthy has Taxicab and Uno Way Calle . Also, John Pimental has Great Patriot and Bobby Raymond has Zipper .

In the third, William Downing has Capt. Zippounas .

In the fifth, McCarthy has EJ Little Boy .

In the ninth race, the Manatee Stakes, Raymond has New England champion mare and Tampa specialist, Technically Wicked .

Have a great day!

January 28, 2011

January 28, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS

A congratulations to Gilbert Estrella , winner at Turfway yesterday.

Tampa

In the second, More Memories was vanned off and did not finish.

In the third, Chillin Dylan was fourth.

In the fifth, No More Goodbyes turned in an impressive, tenacious performance to finish second. Also in the fifth, My Buddy Richie was sixth.

In the ninth race, All for Peace was fourth.

In the tenth, Robbie’s Express was fifth and Rocket Legs was sixth.

ENTRIES

Tampa

In the fifth, Bobby Raymond has .

In the eighth race, Juan Camilo has LP’s Tiger and Alison Hassig has Belonged to Sy . Also, Ernest Poxon, Jr has Beautiful Insight .

In the ninth, Joyce Kielty has former New England champion Hold on Smokey . Also in the ninth, Brenda McCarthy has Exchange the Limit and Tom McCooey, Jr has All the Bases .

Laurel

In the opener, John Rigattieri has Storm Forecaster .

In the sixth, Rigattieri has Shawhan Select .

Aqueduct

In the seventh, Joe Signore, Jr has Risky Gamble .

Gulfstream

In the third, Marcus Vitali has Paster’s Bad Habit . He also has Valid Ocean Pass in the sixth.

Have a great day!

January 27, 2011

January 27, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! I stepped outside today to take my dog out and promptly stepped into a snowbank that was literally almost up to my waist. I really, really hate winter.

So far today, Aqueduct and Laurel have both cancelled and we will be closed for simulcasting today.

RESULTS

Tampa

In the third, Baldelli was eleventh.

In the sixth, Pogo’s Prize was sixth.

In the eighth, Penitant Prayers was fifth.

In the ninth, Let it Be Hardyboy was fifth.

ENTRIES

Tampa

In the second race, Brenda McCarthy has More Memories .

In the third, Bobby Raymond has Baldelli .

In the fifth, McCarthy has No More Goodbyes , a Mass-bred who had moments of brilliance early in his career. Also in that race, Tom McCooey, Jr has My Buddie Richie .

In the seventh, Raymond has Four Fs and a D .

In the ninth, Charlie Assimakopoulos has All for Peace .

In the tenth, McCooey has Rocket Legs and Raymond has Robbie’s Express .

Have a great day!

January 26, 2011

January 26, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I had a really nice day off yesterday – went to the gym, went running and then went riding. I am moving Trippi back to Massachusetts the end of March and then he will begin his retraining. As much fun as it is to ride a variety of other horses, mostly I just can’t wait to begin my adventure with Trippi. I’m glad he was able to get the whole winter off to go barefoot and just be a horse.

Susan Salk (http://www.offtrackthoroughbreds.com/) does a wonderful blog about Off Track Thoroughbreds and recently did a Q&A with Larry Bramlage of Rood & Riddle Equine Hospital. It’s totally worth reading.

ENTRIES

Both Laurel and Parx cancelled due to weather today.

Tampa

In the third, Bobby Raymond has Baldelli .

In the sixth, Raymond has one of my favorites, the pint-sized Pogo’s Prize .

In the seventh, Brenda McCarthy has Favorite Flashback .

In the eighth race, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Penitant Prayers .

In the ninth, Bernard Bramante has Let it Be Hardyboy .

Have a great day!

January 24, 2011

January 24, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! It is just miserably cold outside. Days like this make me just a little bit glad that I missed out on winter racing in New England.

RESULTS

Yesterday, Orlando Bocachica and Giuseppe Iadisernia teamed up to win the fifth at Gulfstream. Also on Saturday, Tammi Piermarini notched another victory at Turf Paradise.

Tampa

In the second race, Brenda McCarthy saddled her second winner of the season in Glass Path .

In the third, Bucks Wink was sixth.

In the fifth, Miss Tricky Me was second.

In the tenth race, Romanola was eighth.

Gulfstream

In the second, Capitalism at Risk was fifth and Tripleconsolidator was fourth in the third.

Today, Tammi Piermarini has mounts in the first, second and sixth at Turf Paradise .

Have a great day!

January 22, 2011

January 22, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! After spending most of the week on stall rest with the flu, I’ve managed to work myself off the vet’s list and am back on track. I am training for a half marathon in May, so missing what I viewed as crucial training days was a little stressful for me.

RESULTS

Laurel

In the opener, David Lezell saddled Seeking the Point to victory and Quad’s Double was fourth.

In the fourth, Bill’s Jewell was second.

In the sixth, Soldier Field was fourth.

Tampa

In the third, Constabulary was seventh.

In the seventh, Downingfront was ninth and stablemates Linus E and Take it Home Don were tenth and eleventh. Four Fs and a D was twelfth.

In the eighth, Lite up the Stage was fourth and Oorah was seventh.

In the ninth, EJ Little Boy was sixth.

In the tenth, Just a Dream was ninth and stablemate Tiger Jane did not finish.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the first race, John Rigattieri has Midas’ Secret .

In the second race, Pam Angevine has Yogi’s Valentine and Rigattieri has Gimmesomeaction .

In the third, Angevine has fan favorite filly Hot Chile Soup .

Tampa

In the first race, Bill Downing has Nana’s Hope .

In the second, John Pimental has Superlook .

In the fifth, Pimental has Ambuscade .

In the seventh, Downing has Will Run for Beer .

In the eighth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Latest Expense and Bobby Raymond has Genuine Forgery .

In the tenth, Downing has the talented Go Anna Go .

Have a great day!

January 21, 2011

January 21, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! I am more than ready for spring to be here and all of this snow to go away. So far today, Aqueduct has cancelled.

RESULTS

Laurel

In the second, Havalah was third.

In the fifth, Cajun Quickstep was second.

In the sixth, Storm Door was second and Leon Royale was sixth.

In the seventh, Princess Daisy was fourth.

In the eighth, Boracay Wonder was sixth.

Tampa

In the first, Crash in Boston was second and Mr Black Jack was tenth.

In the fourth, Technically Wicked was fifth.

In the fifth, Cocosette was ninth.

In the tenth, Dancing Buki was seventh.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the opener, David Lezell has Seeking the Point and John Rigattieri has Quad’s Double .

In the fourth, Lezell has former New England champion Bill’s Jewell .

In the sixth, Rigattieri has Soldier Field.

Tampa

In the third, Tom McCooey Jr has Dr. Rico and Bobby Raymond has Constabulary .

In the seventh, Brenda McCarthy has Linus E and Take it Home Don . Also, John Pimental has Downinfront and Raymond has Four Fs and a D .

In the eighth, Pimental has Oorah and Raymond has Lite up the Stage .

In the ninth, McCarthy has EJ Little Boy .

In the tenth, Bernard Bramante has both Tiger Jane and Just a Dream .

Have a great day!

Good morning! I am more than ready for spring to be here and all of this snow to go away. So far today, Aqueduct has cancelled.

RESULTS

Laurel

In the second, Havalah was third.

In the fifth, Cajun Quickstep was second.

In the sixth, Storm Door was second and Leon Royale was sixth.

In the seventh, Princess Daisy was fourth.

In the eighth, Boracay Wonder was sixth.

Tampa

In the first, Crash in Boston was second and Mr Black Jack was tenth.

In the fourth, Technically Wicked was fifth.

In the fifth, Cocosette was ninth.

In the tenth, Dancing Buki was seventh.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the opener, David Lezell has Seeking the Point and John Rigattieri has Quad’s Double .

In the fourth, Lezell has former New England champion Bill’s Jewell .

In the sixth, Rigattieri has Soldier Field.

Tampa

In the third, Tom McCooey Jr has Dr. Rico and Bobby Raymond has Constabulary .

In the seventh, Brenda McCarthy has Linus E and Take it Home Don . Also, John Pimental has Downinfront and Raymond has Four Fs and a D .

In the eighth, Pimental has Oorah and Raymond has Lite up the Stage .

In the ninth, McCarthy has EJ Little Boy .

In the tenth, Bernard Bramante has both Tiger Jane and Just a Dream .

Have a great day!

January 20, 2011

January 20, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS

At Turf Paradise, Tammi Piermarini earned her second local victory with a win in the seventh race.

Tampa

In the fourth, Great Patriot was seventh and Uno Way Calle was eighth.

In the fifth race, Prized Best was third.

In the seventh race, Dixie Causeway was fifth.

In the ninth race, O’Kid was second.

Gulfstream

In the third, Dance Floor Maniac was third.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the second race, David Lezell has Halavah .

In the fifth, John Rigattieri has Cajun Quickstep .

In the sixth race, Rafael Ramos has Storm Door and Rigattieri has Leon Royale .

In the seventh, Ramos has Princess Daisy .

In the eighth, Lezell has Boracay Wonder and Ramos has Witch Hunter .

Tampa

In the opener, Tom McCooey, Jr has Crash in Boston and Bobby Raymond has Mr. Black Jack .

In the fourth race, Bobby Raymond has New England champion and Tampa main track specialist Technically Wicked .

In the fifth race, John Pimental has Cocosette .

In the tenth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Romanola and Bernard Bramante has Dancing Buki .

Have a great day!

January 19, 2011

January 19, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

Most importantly, I want to wish Kristina McManigell a quick recovery. She was pretty seriously injured in a spill at Parx early in the week. Reports from Bloodhorse have been positive, but she is in our thoughts here at Suffolk Downs. In her first season this past year, she left a positive impression with both her talent and her great attitude and work ethic.

ENTRIES

Tampa

In the fourth, John Pimental has Great Patriot and Brenda McCarthy has Uno Way Calle .

In the fifth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Prized Best .

In the seventh, Tom McCooey, Jr has Dixie Causeway .

In the eighth, Bobby Raymond has Expecting the Best .

In the ninth, McCarthy has O’Kid .

Gulfstream

In the third, Marcus Vitali has Dance Floor Maniac .

Have a great day!

January 17, 2011

January 17, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! Like most New England sports fans, I am in a state of bitterness and disappointment today. What a truly frustrating game to watch. The upside is, football can temporarily be forgotten tonight with the Eclipse Awards! I think Blame will get Horse of the Year, but I am pulling for Zenyatta. To take nothing away from Blame, ten years from now non-racing fans will still remember her and he will be “that horse that won the Classic”, nothing more.

Some belated results from Saturday – congrats to Kristina McManigell for a win at Parx and Tammi Piermarini broke the ice at Turf Paradise!

RESULTS

Aqueduct

In the fifth, Sonny’s the One was fifth.

Parx

In the third, Da Boots was sixth.

Gulfstream

In the fourth, I’m it Wayne was third.

In the fifth, Orlando Bocachica teamed up with New England Hall of Fame trainer George Handy for a win with former New England champion Gator’s Tracks .

Tampa

In the opener, Mr Guska was third.

In the second, Uncle Mickey was third.

In the third, Alcanudance was third and Penitant Prayers was fourth.

In the fourth, Top Spot was seventh and Cathy Got Even was tenth.

In the sixth, Lipstick ‘n Desire was seventh.

In the ninth, Luckee Match was sixth.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct

In the opener, Joe Signore, Jr. has the wonderful old warrior Rampant .

Laurel

In the second race, Pam Angevine has Chapel Affair and John Rigattieri has Lions Maddy .

In the third, Rigattieri has Stavros the Great .

In the fourth, Rigattieri has Zapper and he also has My Summation in the seventh.

In the eighth race, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Granted Ruler in the Native Diver Stakes.

Good luck!

January 15, 2011

January 15, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS

Laurel

In the fifth, Shawhan Select was second.

Aqueduct

In the seventh race, Joe Signore, Jr. and Jackie Davis teamed up for a narrow victory with Minister’s Fate .

Gulfstream

In the opener, BL’s Big Fish was fifth and Valid Ocean Pass was fourth in the third.

In the fourth, Orlando Bocachica and Giuseppe Iadisernia teamed up for an 8-1 victory with All on Me .

Tampa

In the second, Belonged to Sy was second.

In the third, Martins Flyin was fifth and Jolly Image was seventh and Mac a Dude was eighth.

In the fourth, Beautiful Insight was sixth.

In the eighth, Beijing House was seventh.

In the ninth, Exchange the Limit was ninth.

In the tenth, Flash Wonder was third and Same Day Pleasure was seventh.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the second, John Rigattieri has Vindicat .

In the fifth, David Lezell has Kate’s Dance Card .

In the sixth race, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Shopper’s Return .

In the ninth, Lezell has Rica’s Grandsteed and Rigattieri has Storm Forecaster .

Gulfstream

In the fourth race, Marcus Vitali has Oh Mandie and in the sixth he has Follia .

Tampa

In the opener, Juan Camilo has Sweet Content .

In the second race, Lloyd Lockhart has Prized Dream .

In the third, Bernard Bramante has Gonna Blow , Bobby Raymond has Zipper and Brenda McCarthy has Taxicab .

In the fourth, Assimakopoulos has All for Peace and McCarthy has Saucy Sixer .

In the tenth, Tom McCooey, Jr has Fabulous Lauren .

In the eleventh race, McCarthy has Miss Tricky Me .

Also today, Jackie Davis has mounts in the first, second and fourth at Aqueduct, Gilbert Estrella rides the fifth at Turfway, Kristina McManigell is in the first and second at Parx and the eighth at Penn National and Tammi Piermarini rides the first and fourth at Turf Paradise.

Good luck!

January 14, 2011

January 14, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS

Laurel

New England champion Southern Rainbow was fourth in the eighth race.

In the ninth, Seeking the Point was second by a neck to the Rigattieri-trained El Tune .

Tampa

In the third, Genuine Forgery was fifth.

In the eighth, Take it Home Don was third and Red Ranger was fourth.

Gulfstream

In the opener, Trooper Dave was fourth and in the third, Nightnightnight was tenth.

Aqueduct

In the opener, Risky Gamble was third.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct

In the seventh race, Joe Signore, Jr has Minister’s Fate .

Gulfstream

In the opener, Marcus Vitali has BL’s Big Fish and he also has Valid Ocean Pass in the third and Bluewater Cat in the sixth.

Laurel

In the fifth race, John Rigattieri has Shawhan Select .

Tampa

In the second race, Alison Hassig has Belonged to Sy .

In the third, Joyce Kielty has Martins Flyin , Tom McCooey, Jr has Mac a Dude and Lloyd Lockhart has Jolly Image .

In the fourth, Ernest Poxon has Beautiful Insight .

In the eighth, McCooey will saddle former New England champion juvenile Beijing House .

In the ninth, Brenda McCarthy has Exchange the Limit .

In the tenth race, Bill Downing has Flashy Wonder , Bobby Raymond has Same Day Pleasure and Poxon has Beneath the Crown .

Also today, Gilbert Estrella has mounts in the second and eighth at Turfway, Kristina McManigell rides the eighth and ninth at Parx and Tammi Piermarini is in the third, fifth, eighth and ninth at Turf Paradise.

Good luck!

January 13, 2011

January 13, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Hopefully this snow will melt as quickly as the first big storm did.

RESULTS

Laurel

In the second, Dude Again was fourth.

In the third, Maddy’s Ravens was third and stablemate Midas Secret was fourth.

In the fifth, John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell teamed up for a narrow victory with Bobcat Brody .

In the sixth, Hill Crossing was fourth.

Bid til Included was third in the eighth race.

In the ninth, Jaftjam was fifth.

Tampa

In the third, Rockin Clockin was seventh.

In the tenth, Dixie Causeway was eighth.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Seeking the Point and John Rigattieri has El Tune and Grand Slam Frankie .

Tampa

In the third, Bobby Raymond has Genuine Forgery .

In the eighth, Brenda McCarthy has Take it Home Don . Also, Ernest Poxon, Jr has Red Ranger .

Aqueduct

In the opener, Joe Signore, Jr. will send out Risky Gamble .

Gulfstream

In the first, Marcus Vitali has Trooper Dave and he has Nightnightnight in the third.

Good luck!

January 12, 2011

January 12, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

Like many of you, I woke up to over a foot of snow outside and as I was shoveling a path so I could take my dog out (yes, my 75lb Bull Terrier is a wimp in the snow) I was thinking how nice it would be to be in Florida right now.

Aqueduct and Parx both cancelled live racing today. In addition, we are closed for simulcasting.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the second, John Rigattieri has Dude Again .

In the third, Rigattieri has Maddy’s Ravens and Midas Secret . He also has Bobcat Brody in the fifth, Hill Crossing in the sixth and Bid Til Included in the eighth.

In the ninth, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Jaftjam .

Tampa

In the third, Assimakopoulos has Rockin Clockin .

In the tenth, Tom McCooey, Jr has Dixie Causeway .

Good luck!

January 10, 2011

January 10, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! First off a belated thank you to everyone that came out and participated in our handicapping tournament this weekend. The turnout was great and I really enjoy helping host those events. The crowd is usually a great group of really knowledgeable horseplayers and this Saturday was no exception.

No major noteworthy results from the weekend. Kristina McManigell had a winner at Parx yesterday and Dyn Panell and John Rigattieri teamed up for a victory with Afternoon Action on Saturday at Laurel.

Today, Kristina McManigell rides the fifth, sixth, eighth and tenth at Parx and Tammi Piermarini is in the third, sixth and seventh at Turf Paradise.

Good luck!

January 8, 2011

January 8, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

Today, in addition to some fantastic simulcasting, we are hosting a handicapping tournament in the Topsider Room! The entry fee is only $40 and includes lunch and a Daily Racing Form. So brave the elements and come down!

RESULTS

Gulfstream

In the opener, Marcus Vitali and Orlando Bocachica lit up the toteboard with Capitalism at Risk . Boca was also second in the next race. Further congratulations are in order – Bocachica and longtime girlfriend welcomed a son, Orlando Rudolph Bocachica, earlier in the week.

Laurel

In the fifth, Lady Muriel was fourth.

In the eighth, Leon Royale was eighth.

Tampa

In the first, Lloyd Lockhart sent Fetch’s Fuse out to victory.

In the third, More Memories was second.

In the fourth, Mr Black Jack was eighth.

In the seventh, Cold Orient was ninth.

In the eight, Mr. Guska was fifth.

In the tenth, Bucks Wink was fifth and Four Fs and a D was ninth.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the third race, Pam Angevine will send out the lovely Hot Chile Soup . In the sixth, John Rigattieri has Afternoon Action and in the seventh he has Pride of Mambo .

Gulfstream

In the opener, Marcus Vitali has Tripleconsolidator and in the fourth he has Duchess of Doom . Turfway

In the first, Odin Londono, Jr has My Princess and in the tenth he has Regal Fling . Gilbert Estrella is named aboard both.

Tampa

In the second race, Bobby Raymond has Expecting the Best .

In the third, Brenda McCarthy has Cocktail Music .

In the fourth, Bobby Raymond has Robbie’s Express .

In the sixth, John Pimental has Ambuscade .

In the sixth race, Charlie Assimakopoulos has New England champion turf mare Battingstar , looking to improve off of an excellent effort last time out.

In the eighth, Pimental will send out champion turf horse National Hero . In the ninth race, Tommy’s Memory will look to add another victory to his impressive resume. Yes, it looks like a tough spot but if he is fit enough, he has proven he is talented enough to be at this level. His regular trainer, Tony Ryan I think did a masterful job campaigning this horse – he really took his time with him.

In the tenth, Bernard Bramante has Let it be Hardyboy .

Also today, Tammi Piermarini rides the third, sixth and ninth races at Turf Paradise and Kristina McManigell has mounts in the second, fifth, sixth seventh and ninth at Parx. Winston Thompson will ride one of the better local juveniles, Jerry the Mush in the third at Aqueduct and also a horse in the seventh.

Good luck!

January 7, 2011

January 7, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I’m spending the majority of this morning getting everything ready for tomorrow’s handicapping tournament here at Suffolk! Though it isn’t a national qualifier, it is still a lot of fun and I encourage everyone to come down and give it a try – the entry fee is only $40 and includes lunch and a Daily Racing Form.

RESULTS

Tampa cancelled yesterday due to technical difficulties.

Laurel

In the second race, Yogi’s Valentine was second.

In the third, Grenadine was ninth.

In the fourth, Gimmesomeaction was second and Kate’s Dance Card was third.

In the sixth, Papa Charlie was sixth.

In the eighth, Soldier Field was fourth.

In the ninth, By Your Side was second, Seeking the Point was sixth and Cray Cray was seventh.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the fifth, David Lezell has Lady Muriel .

In the eighth, John Rigattieri has Leon Royale .

Tampa

In the opener, Lloyd Lockhart has Fetch’s Fuse .

In the third, Brenda McCarthy has More Memories .

In the fourth, Bobby Raymond has Mr Black Jack .

In the seventh race, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Cold Orient and Raymond has Robbie’s Express .

In the eighth, McCarthy has Mr Guska .

In the tenth, Lockhart has Bucks Wink and Raymond has Four Fs and a D .

Gulfstream

In the opener Marcus Vitali has Capitalism at Risk .

Also today, Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first, second and ninth at Gulfstream. Jackie Davis will ride in the fourth and ninth at Aqueduct, , Winston Thompson is on Special Jak in the second in New York, Kristina McManigell has a mount in the fourth at Parx and Tammi Piermarini rides the second, fourth and ninth at Turf Paradise.

Good luck!

January 6, 2011

January 6, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I somehow managed to lose all of my contacts on my iPhone last night while finally getting around to a belated update of my software. Once I got over the initial rage and panic this morning, I was able to recover my photos (most important) and my music. I really hate technology sometimes.

Now on to a belated congratulations for a good showing at Aqueduct last week for Jackie Falk and Chris Trakas with Tropical Trip . Chris has one of the best attitudes of anyone I have ever met at the racetrack and his enthusiasm is admirable.

RESULTS

Congrats to Orlando Bocachica , winner of the opener at Gulfstream and Kristina McManigell for a pair of wins at Parx. Also a congrats to Clifford Dooley on a hat trick at Charlestown!

Laurel

In the second, Bait and Switch was second.

In the fourth, the talented Albright earned a victory for Charlie Assimakopoulos . Becata was fourth.

In the fifth, Storm Forecaster was seventh.

In the seventh, Cajun Quickstep was sixth.

In the eighth, Witch Hunter was third and Boracay Wonder was seventh.

In the ninth, John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell teamed up for a victory with Masabi King .

Tampa

In the opener, Ocala Gator broke the ice for the Bobby Raymond barn and won.

In the third, Go Anna Go was fifth.

In the fifth, Bridled Quest was fifth, Strategic Aim was seventh and Sweet Fleet Feet was last.

In the ninth, Luckee Match was eighth.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the second, Pam Angevine has Yogi’s Valentine .

In the third, Rafael Ramos has Grenadine .

In the fourth, David Lezell has Kate’s Dance Card and John Rigattieri has Gimmesomeaction .

In the sixth, Lezell has Fast Approach and Papa Charlie .

In the seventh, Rigattieri has Hill Crossing .

In the eighth, Rigattieri has Soldier Field .

In the ninth, Angevine has Cray Cray and Lezell has Seeking the Point . Also, Rigattieri has Quad’s Double and By Your Side .

Tampa

In the sixth, Marcus Vitali has Artistic Talent . He also has Kaz Dear also-eligible in the seventh.

In the eighth, Brenda McCarthy has Cocktail Music , an upset winner last out.

Also today, Orlando Bocachica rides the first, second and fourth at Gulfstream. Good luck!

January 5, 2011

January 5, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

Yesterday, Orlando Bocachica won he opener at Calder and Tammi Piermarini had a second and a third from five mounts at Turf Paradise . Also, Marcus Vitali won the seventh race yesterday at Calder.

ENTRIES

Today is opening day at Gulfstream . Very exciting!

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first through fourth races and also in the ninth.

Laurel

In the second, David Lezell has Bait and Switch .

In the fourth, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Albright and Rafael Ramos has Becata .

In the fifth, John Rigattieri has Storm Forecaster . He also has Cajun Quickstep in the seventh and Mesabi King in the ninth.

In the eighth, Lezell has Boracay Wonder and Ramos has Witch Hunter .

Tampa

In the third, Bill Downing has Go Anna Go .

In the fifth, Bernard Bramante has Strategic Aim and Sandi Cataldi has the lovely Bridled Quest . (remember him from a few seasons back?) Also in the fifth, Poxon has Sweet Fleet Feet .

In the ninth, Brenda McCarthy has Luckee Match with Luis Garcia making his return to the races after missing some time with injury.

Also today, Jackie Davis has a mount in the ninth at Aqueduct and Winston Thompson is scheduled to ride in the fourth and seventh races. At Parx , Kristina McManigell has a mount in every race except the sixth.

Have a great day!

January 3, 2011

January 3, 2011 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

I had a wonderful time in Maine visiting the big horse. My love of ponies seems to have rubbed off on my English Bull Terrier – Gibbs was absolutely head over heels for the horses, particularly a giant Belgian draft horse named Clyde. All of the horses seemed at least interested in the 75-lb, ecstatic dog except, of course, Trippi. He couldn’t be bothered by the dog and was more interested in what treats I had hiding in my pockets for him.

No noteworthy results to report from the weekend.

ENTRIES

Calder

In the sixth race, Marcus Vitali has Oh Mandie .

Also, Kristina McManigell has a mount in the fifth at Parx and Tammi Piermarini is competing in the fourth, fifth and sixth races at Turf Paradise .

Have a great day!

2010

December 30, 2010

December 30, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

I am leaving first thing tomorrow morning to go to Maine and spend the weekend celebrating the New Year What a Trippi and some wonderful friends. All Thoroughbreds turn a year older on January 1st, so we are having a little birthday party for all of the horses.

Last year, my New Year’s resolution was to play more multi-race wagers (and eat more vegetables). I guess I didn’t specify that in addition to playing more multi-race wagers, cashing a few would be nice. So this year’s resolution is to continue to play more Pick 3s and Pick 4s and maybe even cash a few.

Looking back at the 2010 racing season, there were some real highlights both locally and nationally. The talent level of the jockey colony was the highest it has been in years and there were several new faces that really added a lot of excitement to the season, along with the local veterans. I also still maintain my belief that you can find real stars at a small track if you look hard enough – this year, Technically Wicked, Lovethatdirtywater and a tenacious group of turf horses (National Hero, Battingstar, Lightning Power, etc) really took center stage.

Nationally, it was all about the girls this year. Zenyatta and Goldikova were the two real stars of the year for me. My favorite racing moment of the year was watching Goldikova’s groom run down the track as she won her third consecutive Breeders’ Cup Mile. That is what the sport is all about, really.

Since I will be out of town for a few days, I’m going to add the entries for tomorrow and Saturday as well.

RESULTS

In the first, Miss Tricky Me was seventh.

In the third, Great Patriot was sixth and Oorah scratched.

In the fifth, Uno Way Calle was third and Zipper was ninth.

In the seventh, Take it Home Don was eighth.

In the ninth, Honour Isabel was fourth and Ambuscade was sixth.

ENTRIES

THURSDAY

Mountaineer

In the sixth, Odin Londono, Jr has Sure Money .

Calder

In the fourth, Marcus Vitali has Duchess of Doom . He also has Cat Daddy in the fifth and Paster’s Bad Habit in the sixth.

Aqueduct

In the eighth, Mark Tasso has Flying Wildcat .

Tampa

In the fourth, Alison Hassig has Belonged to Sy and Bobby Raymond has Win Jane’s Heart .

In the fifth, Raymond has Same Day Pleasure .

In the sixth, Charlie Assimakopoulos has New England champion turf mare Battingstar .

In the seventh, Assimakopoulos will again team up with Hector Ramos with Indian Rodeo .

In the ninth, Raymond has Chillin Dylan .

FRIDAY

Calder

In the fifth, Orlando Bocachica will team up with Giuseppe Iadisernia with Pastero , a stunning son of Johar who really blew me away in his career debut here.

In the sixth, Vitali has Follia . He also has Targe in the sixth.

Aqueduct

In the fourth, Jacqueline Falk has Tropical Trip .

Tampa

In the opener, Lloyd Lockhart has Jolly Image .

In the second, Ernest Poxon, Jr has Red Ranger .

In the fourth, Assinmakopoulos has Orient Shopper and Bobby Raymond has Genuine Forgery .

In the fifth, Joyce Kielty has Super Craft .

In the sixth, Assimakopoulos has Macho Chick .

In the seventh, Raymond has Lite Up the Stage .

In the ninth, Juan Camilo will aim for two in a row with Alcanudance .

In the tenth, McCooey has Laurens Go Go and Poxon has Beautiful Insight .

SATURDAY

Parx

In the third, Pam Angevine has Hrossey Ferry

Calder

In the opener, Vitali has The Cat Rules . He also has BL’s Big Fish in the fourth.

Aqueduct

In the fifth, Falk has Take Down Two . Also in that race is the speedy Lights of Broadway .

Laurel

In the first, Rafael Ramos has Alpha Wave .

In the sixth, Rigattieri has Pattysbuddy . He also has Lion’s Maddy in the ninth.

Tampa

In the first, Lloyd Lockhart has Prized Dream .

In the second, Tom McCooey, Jr has Dixie Causeway .

In the third, John Pimental has Cocosette and Poxon has Cathy Got Even .

In the fourth, McCooey has Mac a Dude and Assinmakopoulos has Romanola .

In the fifth, Bobby Raymond has Shetakesthecake .

In the sixth, Assimakopoulos has Macho Chick and Pimental has Conrad Crossing .

In the seventh, Lockhart has Top Spot .

In the tenth, Bill Downing has Flashy Wonder , Pimental has Oorah , Poxon has Serengeti Storm and Brenda McCarthy has O’Kid .

Good luck and happy new year!

December 29, 2010

December 29, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

ENTRIES

Tampa

In the opener, Brenda McCarthy has Miss Tricky Me .

In the third, John Pimental has Oorah . This good-looking gray gelding always had longshot potential locally… perhaps he can translate that to Florida? He also has stablemate Great Patriot in the same race.

In the fifth, McCarthy has Uno Way Calle and Bobby Raymond has Zipper .

In the seventh, McCarthy has Take it Home Don and Pimental has Downinfront .

In the ninth race, Charlie Assimakopoulos has the talented and beautifully bred Honor Isabel and Pimental has the hard-knocking Ambuscade .

Also, Jacqueline Davis has a mount in the fourth at Aqueduct, Gilbert Estrella rides two at Turfway and Winston Thompson rides two at Aqueduct.

Good luck everyone!

December 27, 2010

December 27, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! Just a reminder that due to the blizzard, we are closed today. I have managed to brave the elements for Starbucks but now have no further intention of leaving the house.

RESULTS

Tampa

In the first, Sweet Content was ninth.

In the third, Angels Concerto was fourth.

In the fifth, Lionofwallstreet was seventh.

In the tenth, All for Peace was fourth and Will Run for Beer was tenth.

Mountaineer

In the fourth, Regal Fling was ninth. Also, My Princess was second in the sixth and Lola’s Ridge was second in the eighth.

Calder

Artistic Talent was fifth in the fourth.

ENTRIES

Calder

In the third, Marcus Vitali has Bluewater Cat .

In the eighth, John Pimental has New England champion turf horse National Hero .

Good luck!

December 26, 2010

December 26, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I could not be less amused with the prospect of a blizzard on the horizon here, but once I get the gym and errands out of the way this morning I plan on spending the day alternating between TVG and NFL RedZone. Really, a top notch way to spend a snowy Sunday afternoon.

ENTRIES

Tampa

In the opener, Juan Camilo has Sweet Contebt .

In the third, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Angels Concerto .

In the fifth, Assimakopoulos has the talented Lionofwallstreet .

In the tenth, Assimakopoulos has All for Peace and Bill Downing has Will Run for Beer .

Calder

New England Hall of Fame trainer George Handy has New England champ Gator’s Tracks in the fourth. Also in that race, Marcus Vitali has Artistic Talent .

Mountaineer

In the fourth, Odin Londono, Jr has Regal Fling . He also has My Princess in the sixth and Lola’s Ridge in the eighth.

Have a great day!

December 23, 2010

December 23, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

I have already managed to fall not once, but twice, in the snow this morning. Very impressive. I am also more than ready for winter to go away and it to be summer again.

RESULTS

Calder

Orlando Bocachica won the third race and was sixth in the ninth with Kaz Dear

Penn National

In the fifth, Uncle Mickey was fifth.

Mountaineer

In the fourth, Just Another Bud was sixth and Annika’s Love was a good second in the fifth.

Tampa

In the fifth, Crash in Boston was eighth.

In the sixth, Barry Meatball was eighth and Mr Black Jack was eleventh.

In the seventh, Beijing House was fifth and Robbie’s Express was tenth.

In the tenth, Gonna Blow was eighth, Nana’s Hope was ninth and Strategic Aim was tenth.

ENTRIES

Tampa

In the opener, Lloyd Lockhart has Jolly Image .

In the third, Brenda McCarthy More Memories .

In the fourth, John Pimental has Bartok’s Banker .

In the seventh, Lockhart has Fetch’s Fuse .

In the ninth, Bobby Raymond has Four F’s and a D .

Have a great day!

December 22, 2010

December 22, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! On Monday, I finally got around to doing something that I have been meaning to do for quite awhile – contact What a Trippi’s breeders and let them know he was home. Throughout his career at Suffolk, his breeders would order a win photo after all of his victories, something I always found really endearing. So, I assumed they would want to know that he was retired – and I was correct. I had a wonderful conversation with Doris Link and I was touched by how much she genuinely cared and kept track of all of the horses she and her husband had bred.

ENTRIES

Mountaineer

Charles River Racing has Just Another Bud in the fourth and Annika’s Love in the fifth.

Penn National

Bill Downing has Uncle Mickey in the fifth.

Calder

In the ninth, Marcus Vitali has Kaz Dear .

Tampa

In the fifth, Tom McCooey, Jr has Crash In Boston .

In the sixth, Joyce Kielty has Barry Meatball and Bobby Raymond has Mr Black Jack .

In the seventh, McCooey has former New England champion Beijing House who has really impressed me over the years maturing from a brilliant juvenile to a hard-knocking older horse. Also in the seventh, Raymond has Robbie’s Express .

In the tenth, Bernard Bramante has Gonna Blow and Strategic Aim . Also, Downing has Nana’s Hope .

Have a great day!

December 20, 2010

December 20, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS

Aqueduct

In the opener, Minister’s Fate ran really well to finish third.

In the seventh, Mo Dular was sixth.

Calder

In the eighth, Dance Floor Maniac was second and Trooper Dave was sixth in the tenth race.

There are no noteworthy entries today. Just a reminder that this week we are open for simulcasting today, Wednesday, Thursday and Sunday .

December 19, 2010

December 19, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I had an amazing ride on the beach yesterday. Perfect way to spend a Saturday.

RESULTS

Laurel

In the fifth, Storm Forcaster was second.

In the sixth, El Tune was second.

In the seventh, Bill’s Jewell was eighth.

In the ninth, Stavros the Great was sixth.

Tampa

In the second race, Orient Shopper was eighth.

In the third, Southern Rainbow was fifth.

In the fourth, Brenda McCarthy and Hector Ramos teamed up for a longshot victory with Cocktail Music .

In the fifth, Ashtyn Too was eighth.

In the sixth, Go Anna Go was tenth.

In the seventh, Get Ready Go was eighth.

In the eighth, Juan Camilo made his return a winning one with Alcanudance .

In the ninth, Belonged to Sy was tenth.

In the tenth, Flashy Wonder was fifth.

Calder

I’m it Wayne was seventh in the third and Cat Daddy was eighth in the eighth.

ENTRIES

Calder

In the eighth, Marcus Vitali has Dance Floor Maniac and in the tenth he has Trooper Dave .

Aqueduct

In the first race, Joe Signore, Jr. has Minister’s Fate .

In the seventh, Mark Tasso has Mo Dular .

Have a great day!

December 18, 2010

December 18, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

Today I am spending my morning at Suffolk then this afternoon I am going riding. Thanks in large part to working here and being involved with CANTER New England, I have made some wonderful horse-y friends and was invited to go riding on the beach today by a wonderful woman I met over the summer as she was looking for polo prospects. I’m very excited to see some of the Suffolk alum enjoying their second careers!

RESULTS

Laurel

In the second, Rica’s Grandsteed was seventh.

In the third, Handsome Bruno was seventh.

In the fifth, Masabi King was second.

In the seventh, Queen Pegasus was tenth.

In the eighth, Witch Hunter was third.

Mountaineer

True Jazz lit up the toteboard at 26-1 for Odin Londono, Jr . Nicely done!

Calder

In the third, Celebrating Sarah won for Marcus Vitali and Orlando Bocachica . Tripleconsolidator was sixth in the fourth. Tampa

In the second, both Superlook and Sweet Fleet Feet were outdistanced and did not finish.

In the third, Cocosette was eleventh.

In the fifth, Extra Fuse scratched.

In the seventh, Conrad Crossing was sixth and Cold Orient was eighth.

In the ninth, Exchange the Limit was seventh.

In the tenth, Genuine Forgery was fourth.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the fifth, John Rigattieri has Storm Forcaster . He also has El Tune in the sixth and Stavros the Great in the ninth.

In the seventh, David Lezell has former New England champion Bill’s Jewell .

Calder

In the third, Vitali has I’m It Wayne and he has Cat Daddy in the eighth.

Tampa

In the second race, Charlie Assimakopoulos has the insanely well-bred Orient Shopper , a half sister to Put it Back.

In the third, former New England champion Southern Rainbow looks to be in a good spot for his Tampa debut.

In the fourth, Brenda McCarthy has Cocktail Music .

In the fifth, Alison Hassig has Ashtyn Too

In the sixth, Bill Downing has the talented Go Anna Go .

In the seventh, Tom McCooey, Jr has the big, good-looking Get Ready Go . I was so perplexed by how bad he ran in his last race at Suffolk. Loved his win two starts back.

In the eighth race, Juan Camilo will saddle Alcanudance . It is wonderful to see Juan’s name back in the entries. He was in a pretty serious car accident at the beginning of the year and I’m glad he is back in action. Really one of the good guys.

In the ninth, Hassig has Belonged to Sy .

In the tenth, Downing has Flashy Wonder .

Good luck and have a great day!

December 17, 2010

December 17, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Is it spring yet? I am already tired of this weather and according to the forecast, we may even get some serious snow this weekend. Spectacular. I am pretty excited to see how Gibbs reacts to the snow, though. He was born last November and we got him in February, so he really hasn’t had the chance to really play in it yet. So at least there will be one bright spot to our first storm of the year.

RESULTS

Laurel

In the third, Princess Daisy was fifth.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the second race, David Lezell has Rica’s Grandsteed .

In the third, John Rigattieri has Handsome Bruno and in the fifth he has Masabi King .

In the seventh race, Rafael Ramos has Grenadine and Queen Pegasus .

In the eighth, Ramos has Witch Hunter .

Mountaineer

In the fifth race, Odin Londono, Jr has the lovely True Jazz .

Calder

In the third, Marcus Vitali has Celebrating Sarah and in the fourth he has Tripleconsolidator .

Tampa

In the second race, Ernest Poxon, Jr has Sweet Fleet Feet and John Pimental has Superlook . He also has Cocosette in the third.

In the fifth, Lloyd Lockhart has the veteran mare Extra Fuse .

In the seventh race, two of my favorite local grass horses will square off - Cold Orient for Charlie Assimakopoulos and Conrad Crossing for John Pimental .

In the ninth, Brenda McCarthy has Exchange the Limit . Remember his upset win last year?

In the tenth, Bobby Raymond has Genuine Forgery .

Good luck!

December 16, 2010

December 16, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

Yesterday, my 2011 copy of the Bloodhorse Stallion Register arrived, sufficiently putting a stop to any notion I had about having a productive afternoon. Since I was a freshman in high school, this has been one of my favorite sources of amusement and I remember going page by page, slowly figuring out what I did and did not like in stallions.

I entertained myself for a few hours yesterday, going page by page and determining which newer stallions I really like and those who I think have no business in the breeding shed. Though he breaks one of my major rules (only two wins, both came as a juvenile and a glaring 0 for 4 as a three-year-old), I think Majestic Warrior may be a real success at stud. He has a terrific stallion’s pedigree and physically he is to die for. I’ll admit I may be a bit biased as I was a huge, huge fan of his brilliant dam Dream Supreme, but I was pleasantly surprised to see how good he looks.

As always, I think Graeme Hall is the biggest value at stud, especially for only a $5,000 stud fee. I also think Borrego is going to be a leading second crop sire next year.

RESULTS

Aqueduct

First off, I am happy to report that both Jackie Davis and Rampant are okay after a nasty incident in the seventh race. It was a really scary moment and I’m really relieved both are okay.

Also, Charming Country was eighth in the opener.

Laurel

In the first, Seeking the Point was seventh and Zapper was eleventh.

In the second, Call Me Now was fourth.

In the third, Winston Action was sixth.

In the fourth, Storm Door was second and Cray Cray was fourth.

Charles Town

Hot Chile Soup was scratched.

Tampa

In the fourth, Mr Guska was seventh.

In the fifth race, All For Peace was second, Will Run for Beer was eighth and Katrina’s Prince was tenth.

In the sixth, Saucy Sixer was third, Indian Rodeo was fourth. and Let it Be Hardyboy was fifth.

In the ninth, Technically Wicked was ninth.

In the tenth, Win Jane’s Heart was eighth.

ENTRIES

Charles Town

In the seventh, Pam Angevine has Chapel Affair .

Laurel

In the third, Rafael Ramos has Princess Daisy .

In the ninth, John Rigattieri has Stavros the Great .

Good luck!

December 15, 2010

December 15, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

I had a fantastic, relaxing trail ride yesterday and on the way back to the barn there were snow flurries. I am really not ready for winter and would like to fast forward to spring, if at all possible.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct

In the opener, Mark Tasso has the handsome Charming Country .

In the seventh, Joe Signore, Jr. will send out the incredible old warhorse Rampant with Jackie Davis aboard. He didn’t have the best trip last time and did prove that even at this age, his class can show through and he can be competitive against this level in New York.

Laurel

In the opener, David Lezell has Seeking the Point and John Rigattieri has Zapper .

In the second, Rafael Ramos has Call Me Now .

In the third, Angevine has Winston Action and in the fourth she has Cray Cray .

Also in the fourth, Ramos has the highly regarded Storm Door .

Charles Town

In the third, Pam Angevine has Hot Chile Soup , at one point one of the most talented local horses at Suffolk.

Tampa

In the fourth, Brenda McCarthy has Mr Guska .

In the fifth, Charlie Assimakopoulos has All for Peace , the talented Granted Ruler’s little brother. Also, McCarthy has Saucy Sixer .

In the fifth, William Downing has Will Run for Beer and Bobby Raymond has Katina’s Prince .

In the sixth, Assimakopoulos has Indian Rodeo and Bernard Bramante has Let it Be Hardyboy .

In the ninth, Raymond has champion mare Technically Wicked . If the race was by some miracle to come off the turf, then she looks fantastic. On the grass? Not so much.

In the tenth, Raymond has Win Jane’s Heart .

Good luck everyone!

December 13, 2010

December 13, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I spent Saturday in Maine visiting What a Trippi . He is settling in really well and was more than happy to accept the Jolly Ball and treats I brought him. On Sunday, it was the Bull Terrier Club of New England’s annual holiday party and I brought Gibbs to see Santa. After the teeth fiasco Thanksgiving weekend, care to guess which list he was on? He also may or may not have tried to pull Santa’s beard off.

Opening day at Tampa looked great and though none of the local horses really fared well, Hector Ramos won the Lightning City Stakes , representing the Suffolk jockey colony very well.

RESULTS

Calder

In the fifth, Nightnightnight was fifth. The Cat Rules was second in the sixth and Follia was seventh in race seven.

ENTRIES

In the eighth, Marcus Vitali has BL’s Big Fish .

You may be wondering where our leading rider and fan favorite jockey Tammi Piermarini is riding this winter. Today, she has mounts in the first and ninth races at Turf Paradise in Arizona and has four mounts there tomorrow.

Have a great day!

December 10, 2010

December 10, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

There will be no blog tomorrow because I am making the long trek to Maine to visit What a Trippi . I went to a local tack store last night and bought him a Jolly Ball, so I’m very excited to bring him presents. I’ve also bought my Bull Terriers quite a few Jolly Balls over the years and somehow they manage to destroy them in roughly twenty minutes, so hopefully Trippi plays nicer.

Saturday is opening day at Tampa so I will cover Saturday’s entries as well. It is a good thing my friend has TVG in Maine so I can still watch the locals!

RESULTS

Laurel

In the second, Dude Again was fourth.

In the third, Lucky Stride was third.

In the fourth, Bid Til Included was fourth.

In the fifth, Papa Charlie was fifth, Bobcat Brody was sixth and Richie’s O Kay was seventh. Also, I didn’t catch him in the entries but the very game Mountain Climber was third!

In the sixth, veteran Hi Time Scott was fifth.

In the eighth race, Charlie Assimakopoulos and Hector Ramos made a trip to the winner’s circle with Rockin Clockin

Aqueduct

In the eighth, Risky Gamble was tenth.

ENTRIES

FRIDAY

Laurel

In the second, John Rigattieri has Lacy’s Tune .

In the third, Rigattieri has both Maddy’s Ravens and Midas Secret .

In the fifth, Rafael Ramos has both Swanky Girl and Midnight Dancing .

In the seventh, Charlie Assimakopoulos has Jaftjam and in the eighth he has Penitant Prayers . Ramos is named on both. Also in the eighth, Rigattieri has Leon Royale .

In the ninth, Rigattieri has Cajun Quickstep .

Calder

In the fourth, Marcus Vitali has Targe .

SATURDAY

Laurel

In the third, Rigattieri has Shawhan Select .

In the fourth, Rafael Ramos has Alpha Wave and Major Bravo .

In the fifth, Assimakopoulos has the talented filly Albright and Rafael Ramos has Becata .

In the seventh, David Lezell has Seeking the Point and Rigattieri has Quad’s Double and By Your Side .

Tampa

In the opener, Lloyd Lockhart has Jolly Image .

In the third, Ernest Poxon has Red Ranger . He also has Serengeti Storm in the fourth.

In the fifth, Bobby Raymond has Baldelli .

In the sixth, Bill Downing has Come On Donna .

In the seventh, Macho Chick will make his Tampa debut for Assimakopoulos. I think he will have a dynamite season in Florida and am really looking forward to this race.

In the eighth, Raymond has Pogo’s Prize , the first foal from Pogo Stick who broke his maiden towards the end of the meet. He is the mirror image of his mother and was one of my favorites this past racing season. In the eleventh, Brenda McCarthy has Taxicab . She had such a good season last year (remember the big longshot Exchange the Limit? ) and is one to watch again.

Have a great day!

December 9, 2010

December 9, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS

Laurel

Looks like it was a good day for Dyn Panell in Maryland. He won the opener for David Lezell aboard Kate’s Dance Card and was second in the second and sixth races aboard Lion’s Maddy and Gimmesomeaction for John Rigattieri .

Aqueduct Mo Dular was seventh.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the second, John Rigattieri has Dude Again with Panell aboard.

In the third, Rafael Ramos has Lucky Stride .

In the fourth, Rigattieri has Bid Til Included .

In the fifth, David Lezell has Papa Charlie and Richie’s O Kay and Rigattieri has Bobcat Brody .

In the sixth, the wonderful veteran Hi Time Scott will try to add another win to his impressive resume for Bill Downing .

In the seventh, Rigattieri has Pride of Mambo .

In the eighth race, Charlie Assimakopoulos and Hector Ramos will team up with Rockin Clockin .

Aqueduct

The talented Risky Gamble is in the eighth race for Joe Signore, Jr. . Jacqueline Davis will be aboard and she also has mounts in the third, sixth and ninth races.

Calder

In the fifth, Marcus Vitali has Celebrating Sarah with Orlando Bocachica . Boca also has mounts in the fourth and eighth races for New England connections George Handy and Sandi Cataldi

Also, Gilbert Estrella has mounts at Turfway Park today and New England fan favorite Clifford Dooley is riding at Charlestown .

Have a great day!

December 8, 2010

December 8, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

To everyone that thinks that an off-track-Thoroughbred is the most difficult thing in the world to ride, I would like you introduce you to the six-year-old, green as grass Welsh pony I have been taking lessons on. She spent the better part of our hour-long lesson yesterday trying to figure out ways to get the pesky person (me!) off of her back. The good thing about her being only 13.2 hands is that it isn’t that far to fall when I inevitably will hit the deck. Ponies are so sneaky. I find racehorses to be much more outright about what their intentions are.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the first, David Lezell has Kate’s Dance Card .

In the second, John Rigattieri has Lion’s Maddy .

In the sixth, Rigattieri has Gimmesomeaction and in the seventh race he has Dude Again .

Aqueduct

Mark Tasso has Mo Dular in the fourth.

Have a great day everyone! Tampa Bay Downs opens this weekend and I cannot wait to see many of the local horses back in action!

December 6, 2010

December 6, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! It is definitely starting to feel like winter here in Boston. That, along with all of the familiar names I am starting to see pop up in the Tampa worktab (Battingstar, National Hero and Conrad Crossing to name a few) is making me insanely jealous of all of the Suffolk crew that will be spending the winter enjoying the warm weather in Florida.

RESULTS

Calder

National Hero scratched out of the sixth race.

Aqueduct

In the ninth, Charming Country was eighth.

ENTRIES

Calder

In the third, Marcus Vitali has Capitalism at Risk

In the fourth race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Pastero . Pastero won his career debut here two seasons ago in what was one of the most impressive turf debuts I can remember. This son of Johar really impressed me and he is making his second start off of a layoff today. Also in that race, Vitali has Bluewater Cat .

In the fifth, Vitali has I’m It Wayne who has the distinction of running the fastest six furlongs of the 2010 Suffolk season.

Mountaineer

Odin Londono, Jr. has the lovely True Jazz in the seventh and Sure Money in the eighth.

Have a great day!

December 5, 2010

December 5, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I had an outstanding day yesterday making the long haul up to Prospect, ME to visit a good friend and of course see What a Trippi .

It was my first time seeing Trippi’s new digs in person and it was really like a mini Suffolk Downs reunion. Walking through the barn, I saw many familiar faces - Falcon Trace, Cardiologist, Truer Than True, Pap’s Pal, Ray’s Princess and Ten Ten .

In the fields, there were many other former Suffolk horses, preparing for their next career as broodmares or riding horses. I think Trippi is going to be very happy there.

The weather was too wet for him to go outside, so I spent the better part of the afternoon giving him carrots (which he liked) and kisses (which he tolerated). It made me really happy to see that he, according to my friend and her husband, is much more affectionate and attentive with me than anyone else. He knows who pays the bills, at least.

It is a long drive up there, but worthwhile. I think it is a perfect, peaceful place to begin his retraining.

RESULTS

Laurel

In the fifth, Dyn Panell guided Vindicat to victory for John Rigattieri .

Hot Chile Soup and Dyn Panell won the seventh for Pam Angevine .

Beulah

Speaking Out was eighth.

Aqueduct

In the ninth, Cajun Belle was seventh.

Calder

In the sixth, Oh Mandie was eighth.

ENTRIES

In the sixth, New England champion turf horse National Hero is in for John Pimental .

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, Charming Country is in for Mark Tasso .

December 3, 2010

December 3, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS

Laurel

In the fifth race, Pattysbuddy was second and Take Down Two was fourth.

In the seventh, Leon Royale finished first by ¾ of a length for John Rigattieri .

In the ninth, Rica’s Grandsteed was second.

Calder

In the third, Tripleconsolidator was fifth.

Bluewater Cat scratched out of the fourth and Dance Floor Maniac was second in the sixth.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct

Minister’s Fate is in the second race for Joe Signore, Jr. .

Mountaineer

In the seventh race, Odin Londono, Jr has Lola’s Ridge .

Laurel

In the seventh, Rigattieri has Grand Slam Frankie .

Calder

Marcus Vitali has Duchess of Doom in the opener.

Have a great day!

December 2, 2010

December 2, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! I am pleased to report that What a Trippi has settled in beautifully in his winter digs in Maine. After getting his shoes taken off, he is now spending his days with fellow Suffolk Downs veterans Falcon Trace, Cardiologist and Pap’s Pal who are all taking a winter vacation.

RESULTS

In the second, Bill’s Jewell and Dyn Panell made a trip to the winner’s circle for David Lezell .

In the fourth race, Lucky You battled back gamely to get second after setting the pace with UK Girl who finished fourth.

In the fifth, Chapel Affair was fifth.

In the sixth, Cray Cray was second and El Tune was sixth.

Beulah

In the sixth, El Quixote was fourth and Regal Fling was fifth in the eighth.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct

In the second race, Joe Signore, Jr has Minister’s Fate .

Calder

Marcus Vitali has Tripleconsolidator in the third, Bluewater Cat in the fourth and Dance Floor Maniac in the sixth.

Laurel

In the fifth, Pam Angevine has Take Down Two and John Rigattieri has Pattysbuddy .

In the seventh, Rigattieri has Leon Royale .

In the ninth, David Lezell has Rica’s Grandsteed .

Have a great day!

December 1, 2010

December 1, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! I apologize for the lack of recent blog. I had a bit of an emergency on Saturday – my English Bull Terrier accidentally headbutted me and broke my two front teeth, resulting in an emergency dentist trip on Saturday night and many subsequent visits. The joy of owning animals, right?

ENTRIES

In the second race, former New England champion Bill’s Jewell will make her first start since the end of the Suffolk Downs meet for David Lezell .

In the fourth race, Pam Angevine has UK Girl . Also in that race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Lucky You , a veteran mare who has always been competitive against top quality horses.

In the fifth, Angevine has Chapel Affair and John Rigattieri has Lacy’s Tune .

In the sixth, Angevine has Cray Cray and Rigattieri has El Tune .

In the seventh, Rafael Ramos has Panamera and Lady Gia .

Beulah

In the sixth race, Odin Londono, Jr. has El Quixote and in the eighth he has Regal Fling .

Aqueduct

In the third race, Joe Signore, Jr. has Cajun Belle .’

In the fourth, Mark Tasso has the classy Charming Country .

Have a great day and good luck!

November 27, 2010

November 27, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

I apologize for the lack of a blog yesterday. I was up and out bright and early to go to Pat Vassallo and Anna Fenton’s farm and visit with my What a Trippi .

He is a dream come true, really. Though I doubt he remembered me, he was happy to reacquaint himself when he realized I came loaded with carrots and peppermints. I took him outside, wandered around and let him graze and then brought him into the round pen. For a horse that excelled over an off track, he wanted nothing to do with the puddle at the entrance and jumped it easily.

One of the misconceptions about off-the-track Thoroughbreds is that they come off the track extremely hot and are difficult to be around. It is a horse by horse situation and he has been nothing but a gentleman, tolerating hugs and kisses and a whole lot of me fussing over him. He also seems to be adapting very well to the more relaxed atmosphere of the farm. For about ten minutes, I watched him follow a chicken around the round pen.

There were some noteworthy results yesterday. Again, local connections did extremely well at Laurel Park with Charlie Assimakopoulos and Hector Ramos teaming up for two victories. One came with Rockin Clockin and the other came with the highly regarded Honour the Deputy . He is now a neck away from being undefeated from four starts and this powerhouse gray gelding was one of the highlights of the summer for me. He started his career locally and trained her for the entirety leading up to his first race. Some of my fondest memories of the summer are of standing by the rail in the morning, talking horses with John Assimakopoulos and watching this promising gelding learn the ropes.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct

In the second race, Joe Signore, Jr. and Glenridge Stable will send out Sonny’s the One . Jackie Davis will be aboard. I think these guys are going to have a strong season in New York this year. Also in the second race, Mark Tasso will have the gorgeous Risk it all For Me with Winston Thompson aboard.

Laurel

In the second race, Bill Downing has Uncle Mickey with Dyn Panell aboard.

In the third, John Rigattieri has Lacy’s Tune .

In the sixth, Rigattieri has His Sisters Mister

In the seventh, Rafael Ramos has Sea Gitter .

In the ninth, Rigattieri has Zappa and Dude Again .

Have a great day!

November 25, 2010

November 25, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone and Happy Thanksgiving! We will be open today from 10:30 a.m. until 4:30 p.m. Though I won’t be in the office today, I plan on alternating between TVG and the Patriots game and watching other races on my laptop. Perfect holiday.

RESULTS

Laurel

In the first, Lying Walder was fifth.

In the second, Angels Concerto was fifth.

In the third, Masabi King was seventh. Midas’ Secret scratched.

In the fourth, Pride of Mambo was fourth.

In the fifth, Cajun Quickstep was fifth.

In the seventh, entrymates Jaftjam and Indian Rodeo were sixth and ninth.

In the eighth, Southern Rainbow was fourth.

In the ninth, Winston Action was fourth.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the first, John Rigattieri has Maddy’s Raven and Midas’ Secret .

In the third, Rafael Ramos has Becata .

In the fourth, veteran gelding (and NETWA honoree!) Hi Time Scott will try to make his 101st career start a winning one for Bill Downing . Dyn Panell is named aboard both Handsome Bruno and Hill Crossing for Rigattieri .

In the fifth, Rigattieri has Quad’s Double .

In the sixth, Charles Assimakopoulos has Honour Isabel .

In the seventh, the highly regarded Lionofwallstreet will make his second career start. Also in the race, Rigattieri has Waquoit’s Raven .

In the eighth, Assimakopoulos will team up with go-to rider Hector Ramos with Granted Ruler .

Calder

In the fourth, Marcus Vitali has Cat Daddy .

Enjoy the day!

November 24, 2010

November 24, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Owning an off-the-track Thoroughbred is an adventure, even more so for the first time horse-owner. Though I’ve ridden off and on since I was very young, there has never been a horse that I have absolutely needed until What a Trippi. (Well, there may have been Graeme Hall but he was never attainable due to that whole multiple graded stakes winner, top Florida stallion thing).

Since I got the phone call on closing day that Trippi was ready to come home, I have been touched by how helpful and supportive many of our local horsemen have been in helping make my dream of owning Trippi a reality. Whether it was offering to assist in transporting him or providing him with a place to stay between trips from New York to Massachusetts to ultimately his winter destination of Maine, the outpouring of support and generosity has left me truly thankful.

Yesterday was my first time back in the saddle in about two years. I rode a lovely Clydesdale mare (yes, Clydesdale) named C.C. and we had a lot of fun. It is very much like riding a bike – though the confidence may take some time to come back, you never totally lose the basics. Today, however, I am just so, so sore. And I can’t wait to go back and do it again.

Trippi made his trip from Belmont to Massachusetts yesterday and is settled in with Pat Vassallo and Anna Fenton until this Sunday, when he starts the final leg of his journey “home”.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the first race, David Lezell has Lying Walder with Hector Ramos aboard.

In the second, Charlie Assimakopoulos and Ramos will team up with Angel’s Concerto .

In the third, John Rigattieri has Midas Secret and Masabi King .

In the fourth, Rigattieri and Dyn Panell will team up with Pride of Mambo and again in the fifth with Cajun Quickstep .

In the seventh race, Assimakopoulos has Indian Rodeo and also Jaftjam is on the also-eligible list.

In the eighth, former New England champion Southern Rainbow will return to one of his favored surfaces. I’ve been really looking forward to seeing him pop back up in the entries – he was a standout this past season locally.

In the ninth race, Pam Angevine has Winston Action

Have a great day!

November 23, 2010

November 23, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! A reminder to everyone that we are open six days a week for simulcasting but are closed on Tuesdays.

RESULTS

Calder

In the third, Bluewater Cat was seventh and in the sixth, Oh Mandie was again the bridesmaid.

Finger Lakes

In the second, Real Gentleman was seventh.

In the fourth, Tropical Trip was second.

In the eighth, Gold Bear was sixth.

Several other local horses ran for new connections at Finger Lakes yesterday, including A Fleeting Memory and Primal Humor , though neither did anything noteworthy.

Have a great day! I'm spending this gorgeous day going riding. I'm dusting off the cobwebs because as of today, my beloved What a Trippi is on his way home from New York to live happily ever after with me. It's been a few years since I was riding regularly, so I want to get comfortable again before I begin to work with him.

It's been over three years since I first fell head over heels for him and I am so thankful to everyone who played a part in getting him home. Over the next few months, I plan on blogging about my adventures with my first off-the-track Thoroughbred.

November 22, 2010

November 22, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I missed the blog yesterday, but some congratulations are in order. The Suffolk Downs crew was well-represented on Saturday at Laurel

Kate’s Dance Card and Dyn Panell kicked things off with an upset in the third race. In the seventh and eighth, Hector Ramos and Charlie Assimakopoulos made consecutive trips to the winner’s circle with Penitant Prayers and Shopper’s Return . Well done!

RESULTS

Calder

Marcus Vitali and Orlando Bocachica dominated the card, winning three races. I’m It Wayne, Coach Gravy and Celebrating Sarah all won.

ENTRIES

Calder

Former New England champion Gator’s Tracks is in the sixth race for New England Hall of Fame trainer George Handy . He also has Sole Runner in the fourth.

In the third, Vitali has Bluewater Cat and the consistent Oh Mandie will tackle Gator’s Tracks in the sixth.

Finger Lakes

Rafael Ramos has Lamster in the fifth and Nagajuskita in the ninth.

Have a great day!

November 20, 2010

November 20, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I’m having a rare day out of the office and will be spending it getting my hair cut and colored and watching racing on my laptop. It makes the long appointments go by very quickly. Isn’t modern technology great?

RESULTS

Laurel

In the second, Richie’s O Kay was sixth.

In the sixth race, Albright was second.

In the seventh, Witch Hunter was second and Leon Royale was third.

In the eighth, Bid Til Included was third.

In the ninth, Lucky Stride was third.

Finger Lakes

In the fifth, Again Eleven was fourth.

Calder

In the fourth, Jazz Nation was seventh and Capitalism at Risk was ninth in the eighth.

ENTRIES

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Lion’s Maddy .

In the third race, David Lezell has Kate’s Dance Card and Rafael Ramos has Enzian .

In the fourth, Ramos has Maverick Man and Alpha Wave .

In the fifth, Lezell has Glowing Promise .

In the seventh race, Charlie Assimakopoulos and Hector Ramos will team up with Penitant Prayers. Also in that race, Rafael Ramos has the highly regarded Storm Door and Rigattieri has Big Zeet .

Assimakopoulos also has the talented Shoppers Return in the eighth.

In the ninth, Rigattieri has Bobcat Brody .

Finger Lakes

In the ninth, Tony Ryan has state-bred Same Day Pleasure .

Aqueduct

Mark Tasso has the talented Half a Note in the third.’

Calder

In the twelfth, Marcus Vitali has Tripleconsolidator .

Have a great day!

November 19, 2010

November 19, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS

Laurel

In the second race, Hot Chile Soup was third.

By Your Side was fourth in the sixth race.

In the seventh race, Lawdy Me and Osterville both scratched.

Calder

In the fifth, Cat Daddy was fourth.

Aqueduct

Happy to report that Jackie Davis is okay after her mount took a bad stumble and lost the rider in the ninth race.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct

Jackie Davis will team up with Joe Signore, Jr. and Glenridge Stable in sixth race. These two had a lot of success the second half of the Suffolk Downs meet and I hope that continues in New York.

Laurel

In the second race, David Lezell has Richie’s O Kay .

In the sixth race, both Angel’s Concerto and Albright are entered for Charles Assimakopoulos . Hector Ramos is named to ride both.

In the seventh, Rafael Ramos has Witch Hunter and in the ninth he has Lucky Stride .

Also in the seventh, John Rigattieri has Leon Royale with Dyn Panell and he has Bid Til Included in the eighth.

Finger Lakes

Rafael Ramos has Again Eleven in the fifth.

Calder

In the fourth, Marcus Vitali has Jazz Nation and in the eighth he has Capitalism at Risk . Orlando Bocachica is named on both.

Have a great day!

November 18, 2010

November 18, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! I was disappointed to see the races were off the turf at Laurel yesterday, so quite a few of the locals wound up scratching.

RESULTS

Laurel

Though National Hero, Luckee Match and Giovanna Alyssa all scratched, the local connections were still well represented.

In the third race, Gimmesomeaction was fourth.

In the fourth, Zapper was eleventh.

John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell teamed up to win the sixth race with Shawhan Selection and the eighth with Afternoon Action .

ENTRIES

Laurel

Fan-favorite Hot Chile Soup is entered in the second race for Pam Angevine .

In the sixth, John Rigattieri has By Your Side .

In the seventh, David Lezell has Lawdy Me . Also in the seventh, David Amiss and Larry Mason will team up with Osterville , though they are on the also-eligible list.

CALDER

In the fifth race, Marcus Vitali and Orlando Bocachica will team up with Cat Daddy .

Have a great day!

November 17, 2010

November 17, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

The 2010 racing season hasn’t even been over for a week and I already miss my daily routine of talking and writing about ponies. So, the (mostly) daily blog has returned for the off-season!

Last night, the New England Turf Writers met to decide our 2010 champions and award winners. That meeting is one of my favorite parts of the year. Really, what is better than eating pizza and debating the best of the best of the year? I think there were some truly outstanding individuals, both human and equine, and am pleased with our choices.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the third race, David Lezell will send out Luckee Match . Also in that race is Gimmesomeaction and the gorgeous Givonna Alyssa for 2010 leading trainer John Rigattieri .

In the fourth race, Rigattieri has Zapper .

In the fifth race, a trio of NETWA honorees with team up. Champion turf horse National Hero will try to add another win to his exceptional resume for the powerhouse jockey/trainer team of Hector Ramos and Charles Assimakopoulos .

In the sixth, Rigattieri has Shawhan Select and in the eighth he has Afternoon Action . The barn’s go-to rider, Dyn Panell is named to ride all five horses on the card.

Have a great day!

November 15, 2010

November 15, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

In a time where horses are whisked away to the breeding shed after their three-year-old season or retired prematurely with injury, you learn to appreciate the old warhorses.

Hi Time Scott is, as described by his trainer William Downing “the kind of horse that doesn’t come around every day.”

On November 9, he splashed home over a sloppy track to make his 100th career start a winning one, drawing off by 3 ¾ lengths to earn his 24th career victory, and ninth since being claimed by Downing and Whitney Racing Stable, Inc. back in 2005.

When Downing first thought about claiming Hi Time Scott, affectionately referred to just as “Scotty”, back in 2005, he passed the first time. Scotty won by five lengths that day and in his next start nine days later he joined the Downing barn after a three-way shake. At the time, he was just a horse to “fill a stall”, nothing special. But after five years and nineteen victories, including a $100,000 stakes win at Laurel, he has become a very special horse to all of those around him.

“No matter what, I loved him even more, “ said Downing. “Scotty is the best, he’s my man.”

The racetrack tends to be full of coincidences and on November 8, the day before Scotty made his centennial start, nine-year-old Fortunate Trail earned his 24th career victory as well. The veteran gelding began his career with the same connections as Hi Time Scott and at one point they were even workmates.

Hats off to the old-timers.

Breeders'Cup - Friday

November 3, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

MARATHON

ELDAAFER has had two consecutive victories in a row and while they may have come against arguably softer competition, he could offer a value here as he has the depth to his pedigree to run all day. He doesn’t appear to have any distance limitations and I was a big fan of his dam, the talented Habibti. BRIGHT HORIZON is another here that should handle the distance without an issue. The biggest question mark with him is whether or not he can be as effective over conventional dirt as he has been on synthetics and turf in Europe. He gets Lasix for his first start in the United States and seems to be a young, relatively inexperienced colt that is progressing with each start. GABRIEL’S HILL brings back some Breeders’ Cup memories from years past. I was a big fan of his dam, Lailani, and remember standing in the freezing cold at Belmont Park to see her run in the Filly and Mare Turf. She didn’t succeed, but perhaps her baby will bring home the Breeders’ Cup Trophy. As it so happens, I am also a huge Seth Benzel fan and would love to see him in the winner’s circle as well.

JUVENILE FILLY TURF

TOGETHER looks like the strongest of the European turf fillies here and she comes into this race off of a pair of narrow defeats in Great Britain. From seven starts, she has done very little wrong and she has generated a positive impression at Churchill as well. WINTER MEMORIES looks like a legitimate favorite here and this beautifully bred filly is a perfect two for two, including a graded stakes win last time out against a similar group. She has an explosive turn of foot and seems to be maturing after a very green debut. FLOOD PLAIN will carry the familiar green and pink silks of Juddmonte Farm and has had two strong career efforts to date. Unlike many of her European counterparts here, she does not get Lasix for her United States debut.

FILLY AND MARE SPRINT

GABBY’S GOLDEN GAL has been causing quite a buzz at Churchill Downs and her worktab prior to going to Kentucky was impressive. This filly has been on the shelf since a Grade 1 win back in January and it may be asking a lot for her to come back and defeat this high quality group of fillies, but again that work tab is encouraging and this filly has never been short on talent. INFORMED DECISION is the defending champion and has been training well to try to earn her second consecutive Breeders’ Cup crown. She has turned out to be a synthetic specialist and she may be slightly more effective over that type of surface. However, she has been competitive in both Churchill starts and is the one to beat. SARA LOUISE was highly regarded as a three-year-old and had the reputation of being one of the only horses to defeat the brilliant Rachel Alexandra. She made her first start off of an extended layoff an encouraging one with a third-place finish and she may be sitting on a big race.

JUVENILE FILLIES

A Z WARRIOR has all of the credentials to be a success early on and she solidified herself as a main threat here with an impressive front-running victory over a quality field in her first start over conventional dirt. She had shown plenty of ability over synthetics but seemed to move up with the additional distance and switch to dirt. THEYSKEN’S THEORY is also a daughter of Bernardini and she will try dirt for the first time after three strong performances in Europe. She has the pedigree to succeed on dirt and to be successful early on as she is a half-sister to 2005 Juvenile champion Stevie Wonderboy. R HEAT LIGHTNING still has some maturing to do but has shown plenty of ability. She closed well to finish second behind AZ Warrior in the Frizette last time out and showed a tremendous turn of foot to earn a Grade 1 victory in the Spinaway two starts back.

FILLY AND MARE TURF

MIDDAY is under two-lengths away from being perfect since her impressive victory in the Filly & Mare Turf last fall. She has had three Group 1 wins to her credit since then and comes into this race looking like one of three females poised for major repeat wins over the next two days. Very tough to find fault with her form and she looks like a very legitimate favorite. PLUMANIA was no match in the Arc last time out but her form the rest of the year had been very sharp against top European competition. She may offer a value here and did prove two starts back she can hold her own against the likes of Midday. FOREVER TOGETHER is looking for her second victory in the Filly & Mare Turf and she took home the honors back in 2008. Last year, she was a fast-closing third behind Midday and though her form hasn’t been as competitive since then, she still may be able to defend her crown here.

LADIES’ CLASSIC

BLIND LUCK has been an exciting, brilliant filly in her own right though she has been largely overshadowed by Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. She has done everything right this year, winning five races at five different tracks, coast to coast. She was gallant in victory in the Kentucky Oaks under the Twin Spires back in May and will be trying to avenge her third-place finish in the Juvenile Fillies last year. UNRIVALED BELLE comes into this race off of a good runner-up finish to the talented Life at Ten and she is another filly here that is proven over this surface. She has been on the board in all five starts over conventional dirt and it is just always easy to root for Bill Mott on Breeders’ Cup Day. LIFE AT TEN is a five-time winner this season and was much the best last time out at Belmont Park in the Beldame. She has a ton of tactical speed and has been a much-hyped filly throughout the season.

Ask Queenie

September 30, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

For the past seven years, Ask Queenie has been a fixture in New England racing. The “Queen of the Mass-breds” has been dominant not only in the state-bred ranks, but against open company both locally and out of town.

When I pulled her lifetime past performances, I was blown away. To see in black and white her accomplishments over the past seven years is truly amazing. From 63 total starts, she earned 27 victories at distances ranging from five-furlongs to a mile and an eighth, on both dirt and turf with a bankroll of $780,365. Of those 27 victories, 19 came against stakes company.

In addition to those victories on the track, she has been honored by the New England Turf Writers with the title of Champion New England-Bred on four separate occasions, in addition to receiving the award for Champion Turf Horse in 2004 and being the recipient of the prestigious James B. Moseley Horse of the Year trophy that year.

My most vivid “Queenie” memory was actually a day she did not wind up racing. For whatever reason, she scratched out of a start several years ago. I was in the grandstand, setting up a promotion we were running that day and a patron came up to me, looking upset. At first glance, he looked like a hardened, veteran railbird. He proceeded to tell me that he was so disappointed to hear she would not be racing that day and that he had come to the track that day just to see her.

That was when I really understood what she meant to New England racing fans. She may not have been the best-bred or the best looking, but even when the odds were against her, she gave 110%.

On Wednesday, her connections announced that the fan-favorite champion had been officially retired and would be bred, though the stallion has not yet been decided.

Someday, perhaps we will be watching that baby win the Ask Queenie Stakes, as it seems only a matter of time before she adds that honor to her resume.

Happy retirement, Queenie. You earned it.

Rome is Burning

August 18, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

As Rome is Burning was being led into the winner's circle following his eleventh career victory on August 11, it was announced that the bay gelding was officially retired and would be off to pursue a second career as a riding horse for some lucky person.

I made a trip to the barn this morning to visit Rome is Burning, wish him luck on his next career and hear some stories from John.

Joining John and Kathleen Botty in the winner's circle were Hall of Fame jockey Pat Day and family and friends, on hand to celebrate the White Horse Festival the next day. Prior to that race, Botty had told Pat Day that if Rome is Burning won, he would donate 10% of the purse to the Racetrack Chaplaincy program (which he did). John told me how special it was to have Pat Day there to be a part of such a milestone.

It was an emotional scene in the winner's circle, with happy tears being shed from nearly everyone involved. Rome is Burning was a special horse and he had been a part of their life for nearly five years.

In October of 2005, John Botty claimed Rome is Burning as a three-year-old at Keeneland. Through the years that followed, the lanky bay gelding was a popular claim and changed hands many times. He always wound up back with John and Kathy. After an extended period apart, when Rome is Burning and Kathy were finally reunited, John told me that the big gelding wouldn't stop squealing when he finally saw his old friend.

Since returning to Suffolk this year as an eight-year-old, he just didn't seem able to hit his stride like he had in the past. After a poor seventh-place finish on July 28, John wanted to give him one more chance because he didn't want him to go out like that. Rome is Burning came through with a final, courageous effort and went out on top.

His win also marked one other milestone for the barn - it was John Botty's 300th career win as a trainer and just one more reason Rome is Burning will never be forgotten.

June 16, 2010

June 16, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Mark Phillips has traveled the world since his banner season in 2003 with 107 wins locally as an apprentice rider.

Since then, the Dublin-native has been back to Ireland, Australia and even Dubai. Now 24 years old, he returned to New York and reunited with trainer George Saccardo. Mark is quick to credit George with his return to the races in Boston, referring to him as his "best friend" here. Several times throughout our interview, he mentioned how appreciative he was that George gave him a chance.

Funny thing is, George said nearly the same thing to me just yesterday about Mark.

The pair teamed up for a hard-fought victory with a game Coney Island and they were jubilant in the winner's circle. I've known George for a few years now and he has always been reserved, both in victory and in defeat. Yesterday, there was an enthusiasm I haven't seen before.

After the race, we were talking by the rail and he was full of praise for Mark's work ethic and character. "I really believe in him," said George. "He's as good as anyone here."

I'm looking forward to seeing what the rest of the meet brings for these two because, as Mark told me, "the best is still to come."

June 7, 2010

June 7, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Suffolk Downs is the type of track that has always been welcoming to young riders. It is a great place to learn and this year we are fortunate to have quite a few talented young riders in the jockey colony.

I had the pleasure of sitting down with Kristina McManigell on Saturday morning and my first impression was that this girl has a fantastic attitude.

The 21-year-old native of S. Illinois is a graduate of Chris McCarron's North American Riding Academy and rode in her first race in December of 2009. She made her first trip to the winner's circle in January of this year.

She grew up near Ellis Park and though she had the dream of being a professional jockey, she didn't start riding seriously until she attended the jockey school. Before she started riding races, she spent time working in Todd Pletcher's barn and galloped some of his rising starts such as Belmont Stakes starter Interactif.

One thing I have found with some younger riders, especially those that have the opportunity to start out with the top outfits, is that they look down on the smaller circuits and feel entitled to ride the best of the best from the beginning. Kristina was a pleasant surprise - she is very receptive to learning as much as she can and sees great opportunity at a small track both to pick up more mounts and to learn from the veteran jockeys, such as Tammi Piermarini and Jill Jellison.

She had nothing but great things to say about the barns she has been riding for and gushed about Lovethatdirtywater, John Botty's champion two-year-old who she has been working in the mornings.

Kristina has a bright future ahead of her and she has the attitude to go far.

May 17, 2010

May 17, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

My office has been a revolving door of jockeys this morning!

After realizing that there were a multitude of names I did not recognize on Saturday's program, I began the day calling agents and asking them to bring their jocks up to the press box for an introduction and a chat.

My first visitor was Hector Ramos. Ramos, a 28-year old native of Puerto Rico, started the meet off with a bang with two winners on Saturday's opening day card.

Ramos is a graduate of the Eddie Belmonte jockey school in Puerto Rico that has produced many top riders both locally and nationally, including Dyn Panell and Orlando Bocachica. In his first start in the United States at Penn National, he won with his first mount.

I had been hearing some buzz about him and was pleased to see he lived up to the expectations, winning one for New England Hall of Famer Ned Allard and another for Elizabeth Lezell. Two winners already and it appears that he will be riding for some high level outfits, including John Assimakopoulos.

When asked if there were any horses in particular he was excited about riding in the future, he quickly named 2008 champion older male Southern Rainbow and local turf star National Hero. I had the pleasure of visiting with Southern Rainbow last week and was blown away by how good (and ready for a big season) he looks.

Ramos's agent, Diane Pimental, is one of the kindest, friendliest people on the backside and she has had a great deal of success as an agent. She also has apprentice Anthony Groth, a 22-year-old who has won fifteen races at Hawthorne. He turns 23 on May 27, so a happy early birthday Anthony!

My next visitor was a young lady who I had met the day before opening day, Jacqueline Davis.

She is a tiny firecracker and it is impossible not to like her. A part of the inaugural graduating class of Chris McCarron's North American Riding Academy, she jumped right into an A-circuit and won her first race at Aqueduct in November of 2008, two months after she began her career.

Her father, well-respected former jockey Robbie Davis, was not always supportive of his daughter's notion of following in his footsteps. Jackie graduated from high school and enrolled in a fine arts college with her sights on fashion. However, the racetrack was simply in her blood.

When the opportunity to attend McCarron's school presented itself, she knew it was the right path for her to follow. Eventually, she got her father's blessing. Now, her father is her biggest supporter. They talk after every race and he is quick to offer praise and advice.

Though Jackie is often introduced with "This is Robbie Davis's daughter", I have a feeling she will be making her own name for herself before long. She is articulate, driven and a very talented young rider.

In only her second local start, she gave Nicoletti a perfect ride to pull off a four-length win at 6-1 for Mark and Michelle Tasso. Davis is quick to give credit to Mark and Michelle for encouraging her to give Boston a try.

For both of these fresh new faces to the Suffolk Downs jockey colony, it looks like the sky is the limit.

This is only the beginning - there are quite a few other new riders I hope to get a chance to talk to this week. Stay tuned!

Kentucy Oaks

April 30, 2010 | Patrick Lamberty

Colts have the Kentucky Derby. Fillies have the Oaks.

The Derby is known as the Run for the Roses.

The Oaks, or the Llllies for the Fillies, is racing version of a fraternal twin-sister that couldn't keep up with her more accomplished brother.

If the Derby was Kiefer Sutherland, the Oaks would be his twin-sister Rachel, who is probably a lovely person, but simply not as famous or interesting as everyoneS favorite jump jockey-sized saver of the free world.

Restricted to three-year-old fillies, the $500,000 1 1/8 miles Kentucky Oaks has drawn a full-field of 14.

Here is a look at the field from the rail out:

#1 IT'S TEA TIME - Alan Garcia/ Rusty Arnold (15-1) Trainer Rusty Arnold is a conservative guy, but he has heaped praise upon this filly since she arrived at the barn. Daughter of Dynaformer broke her maiden from an impossible post at Gulfstream in late February on dirt, before finishing second in the G1-Ashland at Keeneland over a synthetic surface a month ago; she was best in that race despite losing and is eligible to take a major step up in class today. Has the talent, the breeding and connections to upset this race.

#2 JODY SLEW - Miguel Mena / Bret Calhoun (30-1) Here is an filly that rarely gets supports at the betting windows despite winning 4-of-10 career races. A $9,500 yearling purchase, this daughter of Slew City Slew's last three wins have been at juicy odds of 10-1, 23-1 and 8-1. She will be a big number here and her off the pace running style could allow her to clunk up for a piece if the pace collapses, which is a genuine possibility.

#3 QUIET TEMPER - (10-1) Robby Albarado / Dale Romans A favorite in her last four races, this Quiet American filly displayed good determination when battling through the long stretch in New Orleans to grind out a half-length win in the G2-FG Oaks. Seems to be maturing, as she was more manageable and able to rate a stalking trip in that effort. A live contender for respected Kerntucky-based connections.

#4 AGE OF HUMOR - Rajiv Maragh/ Mike Maker (30-1) One has to wonder if this Distorted Humor filly really want to go 1 1/8 miles off her career form. On the board in consecutive graded stakes, she does not look fast enough to crack this tough group.

#5 BLINK LUCK - Rafael Bejarano/ Jerry Hollendorfer (6-5) The morning-line favorite, this Pollard's Vision filly has won four graded-stakes races in her career and she is coming off a breakthrough performance where she earned easily the highest speed figure in this field. Certainly the most accomplished filly in the race, but she could bounce off her last; tough to advise taking a short price in this wide open race that could very well turn into a roughly run affair, which will not help this filly coming out of small fields in California.

#6 BEAUTICIAN - Alex Solis/ Kenny McPeek (15-1) Has not won since breaking her maiden as a debut starter last June over this Churchill surface, but she is nonetheless regarded as one of the best of this crop, competing in 7 consecutive stakes races, including Grade I races at four different tracks. While many will like her chances due to her experience against the best, one can also argue she has had plenty of chances to beat this type without success.

#7 CRISP - Joel Rosario/ John Sadler (8-1) Like all the California-based horses, she is a question mark coming from synthetic to dirt, but it was a great angle this year at Oaklawn, where they dominated when shipping over the Rockies. Not sure she wants to go this far and has too many unknowns to really entice.

#8 TIDAL POOL - Calvin Borel/ D. Wayne Lukas (8-1) Like most of the Lukas horses, she has plenty of longshot stakes experience and has been ambitiously campaigned throughout the season. She has lost all six of her graded-stakes races. Despite being the most successful trainer of the modern-ear, Lukas has a 1-for-84 record in graded stakes going back a few years, although he loves to say he has won more races he did not belong in than most have ever won.

#9 BELLA DIAMANTE - Mike Smith/ Allen Milligan (30-1) This sprint-bred daughter of Lost Soldier lacks the pedigree and experience to excel going this far in distance. Some people like late closing sprinters stretching out in distance, those people like to lose money when gambling.

#10 CHAMPAGNE d'ORO - MARTIN GARCIA/ ERIC GUILLOT (30-1) Finished second in the G2-Fair Grounds Oaks at 12-1 odds after controlling the pace on the lead. She might not get the lead here, but is a daughter of Medaglia d'Oro won this race last year and his fillies are so good one should have at least a $2 saver bet on this regally-bred bay.

#11 EVENING JEWEL - Kent Desormeaux - James Cassidy (10-1) Benefited from a smart ride to win the G1-Ashland in her last race, showing she is more than just a California-bred that can only dominate her own kind. Feel she will regress in this race now making her first start over conventional dirt.

#12 AILALEA - Johnny Velezquez - Toad Pletcher (15-1) Add blinkers for this start, and considering her last two races Pletcher and his team must think she is not properly focusing during her races. The connections won this race with the top-class Ashado a few years ago, but this filly does not look fast enough to win this race,

#13 AMEN HALLELUJAH - Julien Leparoux/ Richard Dutrow (8-1) Has developed well since being purchased privately and transfered to Richard Dutrow, finishing on the board in all five of her races against top graded stakes runners. Not sure she wants to go this far and her pedigree lacks depth, but she held her form well and fit the profile of a live horse for Dutrow.

#14 JOANIE'S CATCH - PACO LOPEZ/ BARRY ROSE (30-1) The pink-bridled invader from Florida could be using this as a prep for a Florida-bred stakes next month at Calder. Consistent and durable now making her 19th career starts, she is an easy horse to admire, but this race looks a stretch.

1) IT'S TEA TIME
2) QUIET TEMPER
3) AMEN HALLEJUJAH
4) BLIND LUCK

Kentucky Derby

April 30, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

For a horse with "luck" in his name, Lookin At Lucky doesn't seem to have even a little bit of it. From bad post position draws (way outside in the BC Juvenile and now on the rail) to bad trips (three of his last four starts) to atrocious rides, this colt has had to prove early on he can overcome adversity and still run his race.

It isn't often that a horse that is such a standout as a juvenile even makes it to the gate the first Saturday in May, let alone comes into the race with such strong credentials. Though he was soundly beaten by Sidney's Candy in the Santa Anita Derby, his jockey Garret Gomez seemed largely to blame for that. The thing I liked most about his effort in that race is that despite the mishaps in the race, he still appeared to come on again.

He has only made one start on conventional dirt and that was arguably one of his more impressive efforts this year. I think this is the type of colt that is capable on either surface but may move up a couple of lengths on real dirt. With the forecasts for Churchill this weekend looking ominous, he is one that has an excellent off track pedigree.

Dublin hasn't been to the winner's circle since early in his two-year-old campaign, but he has been incredibly consistent in his preps leading up to this race. D. Wayne Lukas needs no introduction to competing in a race of this magnitude and though Dublin may not be good enough to win here, he seems difficult to throw out at a generous price.

American Lion has one distinct advantage over many contenders in this field. I think there are quite a few in this race that may face some serious distance limitations whereas he is one that has been screaming for added distance. His first race over conventional dirt was an encouraging one and his morning line odds are enticing at 30-1.

April 27, 2010

April 27, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

I wanted to take the blog in a different direction as we prepare to kick off the meet and I thought it could prove interesting to follow around some of racing's hardest working individuals and see what a typical day in their life is like. To start, I decided to follow a track veterinarian.

Dr. Richard Sheehan, known by everyone on the Suffolk Downs backside simply as "Doc Sheehan", was bred for his job. He is in his 23rd year as an equine veterinarian and currently operates a private practice at Suffolk Downs, overseeing nearly half of the horses stabled here at any given time.

His father, also Dr. Richard Sheehan, was a track veterinarian for 35 years and really came up through the ranks on the backside. He dropped out of school in East Boston in the 9th grade and in 1943 began hotwalking horses. At 19, he was drafted by the army and went to Korea. Eventually, he would go on to get his G.E.D., attend college at the University of Massachusetts and become one of the most respected veterinarians in the area.

Doc was exposed to the racetrack at a young age, working alongside his father for many years. It was through those experiences that he has not only developed strong relationships with many of the long-time regulars, but earned a respect of his own an outstanding veterinarian.

I met up with Doc Sheehan and his assistant of twelve years, Terri, around 7:30am. They had already been at the track for about an hour. During the live racing season, when the backside is abuzz with activity, their day generally goes from 6:00am until 6:00pm and during that day they see anywhere between 100-150 horses.

Our first visit is to see a familiar face, Fifty Seven G, in Matthew Clarke's barn. Fifty Seven G, a very big chestnut Mass-bred, has been very competitive in and out of the state-bred ranks throughout the years. He came out of his stall, jogged a bit, and Doc Sheehan could immediately asses that his movement was "very typical" for him. Doc has a mental database of the horses he treats that rivals my own - his memory is impressive.

Our next stop is to treat a patient of a different variety - a cat! Named "Arwen" after The Lord of the Rings, the pretty calico cat was a bit under the weather. With some fluids and antibiotics, she should quickly be on the road to recovery.

Next stop is Marcus Vitali's barn. His big filly Deona, a winner of five of her seven career starts, was about to go to the track so we went to the rail to watch. Normally Doc wouldn't have the luxury of being able to relax and watch a horse gallop, but he is enjoying it now before the racing season gets in full swing. The filly looks great and she should be a very tough customer whether she stays here or ships out.

After that, we went over to check in on a multiple New England champion and fan favorite, Ask Queenie. The durable nine-year-old mare is gearing up for another successful season.

Our next stop was Sherryl Meade and a check up with her mare, Softly Rizing. Doc is treating the eight-year-old mare for a bladder stone. Sherryl also wanted me to mention that the mare is an absolute sweetheart and would make a lovely pleasure horse. She is very interested in finding her a good home since her racing career may be nearing a close.

Pam Angevine's barn was next on our trip. Her shedrow is really a pleasure to walk through. It is immaculate and her horses look fantastic. We stopped at every stall and Pam introduced us to each of her horses, glowing like a proud mom as she talked about each. The main reason of our visit was Cape Cod Rose, a daughter of Calling Fappiano who has been a high-level competitor throughout her impressive career here. The big mare sustained an injury over the winter and Doc and Pam both seemed very pleased with how she has progressed.

There was also a very interesting filly in Pam's barn. A lovely gray filly named Runaway Heart could be a name to keep in mind. Last year, early in her career, this filly ran twice against superstar Rachel Alexandra. In an allowance race at Keeneland, she even had the lead at the top of the stretch against the super filly before getting a bit tired.

Of course, once we heard that, it was off to the track kitchen to warm up with coffee and pull up footage of the race on YouTube. This filly sure looks like a runner. Also in the track kitchen, I got an impromptu pop quiz to see if I could identify large photos of two former New England stars. I recognized Mom's Command, but Bounding Basque's Mass Cap photo stumped me.

Our next stop was at Wayne Marcoux's barn. It was good excuse for me to visit with a big, unraced and unnamed three-year-old son of Sky Mesa that has caught my eye. He's super good looking and I'm looking forward to seeing him on the track. The reason for our visit was Rubaiyat, a five-year-old son of Awesome Again that was scheduled to get some preventative treatment for his joints.

Doc has some really fantastic stories and an obvious deep respect for both the sport and the animal. His favorite part of his job?

"The challenge. You can never get to the point where you know everything."

2010-04-11

April 11, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

After a winter of blogging about the exploits of the Suffolk horses and horsemen out of town, I think the time has come to refocus my attention locally. Horses are shipping in daily and pretty soon, we will be underway with our 2010 racing season.

Thank you all for reading this over the winter and stay tuned - my goal for the upcoming weeks is offer some insight as to what is going on with the horses preparing for the new season and hopefully introduce you to some new faces, both human and equine.

April 9, 2010

April 9, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 4/8

Laurel

In the third race, Glenwood Ace was second, Irish Blast was fourth and Handsome Reward was seventh.

In the fourth, Katie's Raven was fourth.

In the eighth race, Bobcat Brody was fifth.

Gulfstream

In the ninth, I Love to Say Yes was ninth.

Tampa

ENTRIES 4/9

Laurel

In the first, John Rigattieri has Rough Shod Heir .

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has Zavata's Trick and Rigattieri has Blondie's Halos .

In the fifth, Rigattieri has Puttingonthemist and Billy Sienkewicz has Dan's Edith .

In the ninth, Ramos has Wonder Struck .

Aqueduct

In the third, George Saccardo has Littlebitofgrace .

In the fifth, Joe Signore, Jr. has Cajun Belle . He also has Lulu's Secret in the ninth.

Mountaineer

In the sixth race, Jay Bernardini has Lir Jet .

Tampa

In the first race, Bernard Bramante has Tequila's Desire , Sandra Cataldi has Miss Quack Quack , Tom McCooey, Jr. has Mrs. Lovett , Ernest Poxon, Jr has I'lldoitanyway and Bobby Raymond has Diva De .

In the second, Bramante has Miss Kris Kross

In the third, Lloyd Lockhart has Prized Dream and Brenda McCarthy has Cocktail Music .

In the fifth, Bramante has Tiger Jane .

In the sixth, McCooey has Affirmed Action , John Pimental has Conduct of Honour and Raymond has Speeder and Hit Another Gear .

In the seventh, Bramante has Lil Ashley Girl and McCarthy has Miss Tricky Me .

In the eighth, Bramante has Boston West End , McCarthy has EJ Little Boy and Pimental has Arctiz .

In the ninth, Bramante has Master Gino .

In the tenth race, Joyce Kielty has the brilliant Hold on Smokey and Raymond has Heavyweight .

In the eleventh race, Pimental has Little Advice .

Have a great day!

April 8, 2010

April 8, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 4/7

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson teamed up for victory with Lamster . Legends Way was fifth.

In the fourth, Saltinthecity was sixth.

In the sixth, Destinedtobemine was second and Security Guard was sixth.

In the ninth, Score Now was second.

Gulfstream

In the fifth, Romanscoliseum was seventh.

In the sixth race, Saratoga Blitz was tenth.

In the seventh, Rocky Miswaki was eighth.

In the eighth, Winner Jak was sixth.

Tampa

In the second race, Second Glance was fifth.

In the seventh race, Beautiful Insight was eighth.

ENTRIES 4/8

Laurel

In the third race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Glenwood Ace and Nelson S. Espaillat has Handsome Reward . Also, Rafael Ramos has Irish Blast .

In the fourth, David Lezell has Katie's Raven .

In the eighth, John Rigattieri has Bobcat Brody .

Gulfstream

In the ninth, Charles Fontana has I Love to Say Yes .

Have a great day!

April 7, 2010

April 7, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

I spent some time this morning visiting the backside and it is so wonderful to see horses there again. I saw the old warhorse Gothic and then stopped by Wayne Marcoux's barn for a visit with Mountain Climber . That gelding looked like he had a great winter - he looks really good. He also was full of energy and I think he was as happy as I was that the racing season would be starting soon.

RESULTS 4/6

Mountaineer

In the second race, Summer Legacy was ninth.

ENTRIES 4/7

Laurel

In the first race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Legends Way and Rafael Ramos has Lamster .

In the fourth, Ramos has Primal Baby and Saltinthecity .

In the sixth, Ramos has Security Guard and John Rigattieri has Bid til Included and Destinedtobemine.

In the ninth, David Lezell has Rica's Grandsteed and Ramos has Score Now .

Gulfstream

In the fourth, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Privy Seal .

In the fifth, Iadisernia has Romanscoliseum .

In the sixth race, Charles Fontana has Saratoga Blitz .

In the seventh, Fontana has Rocky Miswaki .

In the eighth race, Iadisernia has Winner Jak .

In the ninth, George Handy has Very Very Clever .

Tampa

In the second race, Juan Camilo has Second Glance .

In the ninth race, Anthony Ryan has Color Book .

In the tenth, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Beautiful Insight and Bobby Raymond has Bea Precise .

Have a great day!

April 6, 2010

April 6, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

Today is the first day horses can ship back on the grounds and that means one thing - the meet is right around the corner. I cannot wait to see some old friends, human and equine.

RESULTS 4/5

Mountaineer

In the ninth, Summer of Summers was fifth.

ENTRIES 4/6

Mountaineer

In the second race, Jay Bernardini has Summer Legacy .

Have a great day!

April 5, 2010

April 5, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! I apologize for the temporary hiatus this weekend. I made a day trip to Aqueduct on Saturday to see the wonderful Cool N Collective enjoy his retirement celebration. It was really amazing to see the old warrior get his happy ending.

A belated congratulations to Anthony Ryan and David Amiss for winning the Hilton Garden Inn Sprint Stakes at Tampa this weekend with Tommy's Memory .

ENTRIES 4/5

Mountaineer

In the ninth race, Jay Bernardini has Summer of Summers .

Have a great day!

April 2, 2010

April 2, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 4/1

Laurel

In the second race, Bid til Included was third.

In the seventh race, Sea Foam Blue was second and Frankly Frank was fifth. Pinnacle Pete scratched.

In the ninth, Crude Load was fourth.

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, Fujimo was ninth.

Gulfstream

In the third race, Miss Gold Indy was ninth.

ENTRIES 4/2

Laurel

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Lion by My Side and Billy Sienkewicz has Louann's Boot .

In the third, David Lezell has Goodness Greatness , Rafael Ramos has Hot Brew and Sienkewicz has Dan's Edith .

In the eighth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Cold Orient and Rigattieri has Macho's Gold .

In the ninth, Lezell has Aiming High , Ramos has Live Tiger and Sienkewicz has Roger's Julie .

Mountaineer

In the tenth, Jay Bernardini has Tin Soldier .

Gulfstream

In the third race, Charles Fontana has Mean Kisser and Giuseppe Iadisernia has Cross the Atlantic .

In the fifth, George Handy has Very Very Clever .

In the seventh, Fontana has She's Got Bling .

Tampa

In the second race, Lloyd Lockhart has Freighter .

In the sixth race, Joyce Kielty has the veteran mare Song of Nora and Bobby Raymond has Ocala Gator .

In the eighth race, Sandra Cataldi has Greeley's Kiss , Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Kim's Wonder and Lockhart has Grand Bahama .

In the tenth, Cataldi has High Water .

Have a great day!

April 1, 2010

April 1, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 3/31

Laurel

In the first, Primal Baby was sixth.

In the second race, Prince Kisses was fifth.

In the fourth, Seekingvindication was eighth.

In the eighth race, Lucky You was second and Swing Music was fifth.

In the ninth, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson teamed up for victory with Golden Mustang . Peaceful Ruler was eighth.

Aqueduct

In the ninth, Casa Pippo was sixth.

Gulfstream

In the third, Five Card Monty was ninth.

Tampa

In the first race, Skip the Lightning was ninth.

In the third race, Great Squawk was sixth.

In the fourth, Miss Tricky Me was sixth.

In the fifth, Kismet's Boy was sixth.

In the seventh, Syncopation was fifth.

In the eighth, Wicked Smile was tenth.

In the ninth race, Cake Walk was third.

In the tenth, Upper Key was ninth and Nudara was tenth.

ENTRIES 4/1

Gulfstream

In the third race, Charles Fontana has Miss Gold Indy .

Laurel

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Bid til Included .

In the seventh race, David Lezell has Sea Foam Blue , Billy Sienkewicz has Pinnacle Pete and Rigattieri has Frankly Frank .

In the ninth, Rigattieri has Crude Load .

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, Mark Tasso has Fujimo .

Have a great day!

March 29, 2010

March 29, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/28

Mountaineer

In the third race, Some Kind of Magic was fourth. Jay Bernardini then sent out A Fleeting Memory to win the fourth and I'm Flattered to win the sixth.

Gulfstream

In the first race, Sole Runner was seventh.

Tampa

In the first, Jill Jellison and Bobby Raymond teamed up for victory with Brisk Tide . Mrs. Lovett was seventh.

In the fifth, Brenda McCarthy had another longshot winner with Entice . Shetakethecake lost contact with the field and did not finish.

In the ninth race, Pink Tights was tenth.

In the sixth race, Gentle Fred was eighth.

In the eleventh, Coby was sixth.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today.

Have a great day!

March 28, 2010

March 28, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope you all enjoyed the fantastic racing yesterday.

RESULTS 3/27

Laurel

In the first race, CG's Striker was sixth.

In the second race, Roger's Julie was seventh.

In the fourth race, Lamster was fourth and Brother Joey was sixth. Prince Kisses scratched.

In the fifth race, Jersey Moon was sixth.

In the sixth, Nagajuskita was second.

In the seventh, Dixielandbandito finished third and Classic Guy was tenth.

In the eighth race, Travelin John Paul was third.

Philadelphia

In the tenth race, Lulu's Secret was eighth.

Aqueduct

In the eighth race, Real Gentleman was ninth.

Mountaineer

In the tenth race, Vy Vy Vy was second.

Gulfstream

In the fourth race, Special Jak was ninth.

Tampa

In the second race, Gonna Blow was ninth.

In the third, Boston West End was seventh.

In the fourth race, BB's Concorde was third.

In the fifth race, Darn Proud was fifth and Latest Expense was seventh.

In the sixth race, Beijing House was seventh.

In the eighth race, Robbie's Express was fourth.

In the ninth race, Sister Dolores was seventh.

In the tenth race, Speeder was sixth.

In the eleventh race, Ariel's Silver was second, Cat Sonata was sixth, Simplepunch was tenth and I'm No Choir Boy finished twelfth.

ENTRIES 3/28

Charlestown

In the third race, the consistent Rearrange is in for Dimitrios Synnefias .

Mountaineer

In the third race, Jay Bernardini has Some Kind of Magic . He also has A Fleeting Memory in the fourth and I'm Flattered in the sixth.

Gulfstream

In the first race, George Handy has Sole Runner .

Tampa

In the first race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Mrs. Lovett and Bobby Raymond has Brisk Tide .

In the fifth race, Brenda McCarthy has Entice and Raymond has Shetakesthecake .

In the sixth race, Bernard Bramante has Gentle Fred .

In the ninth, McCooey has Pink Tights .

In the eleventh race, Bramante has Coby .

Have a great day!

March 27, 2010

March 27, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Happy Dubai World Cup Day!

RESULTS 3/26

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson teamed up for a victory with Security Guard . Evil Buddha was fourth.

In the third race, Hi Poppy was second, Pushed Over was fourth and Southern Renegade was eighth.

In the fifth, Mount Wilton was third.

In the sixth race, Courting Elaine was second.

In the ninth race, Katie's Raven was third.

Gulfstream

In the tenth race, Bandit Nailhead was seventh and Mean Kisser was tenth.

Tampa

In the second race, Tape Deck was seventh.

In the fourth, Bluegrass Dolly was outdistanced and did not finish.

In the fifth, Second Glance was fourth. Also, Jimmy's Palace was seventh and Swirland was eighth.

In the seventh race, Stag Film was eighth.

In the eighth race, Sin Bin was sixth and Prima Diva was seventh.

In the tenth, Serengeti Storm was fifth and Unshatterable was seventh.

ENTRIES 3/27

Laurel

In the first race, John Rigattieri has CG's Striker .

In the second, Billy Sienkewicz has Roger's Julie .

In the third, Rigattieri has .

In the fourth race, Rafael Ramos has Lamster and Rigattieri has Brother Joey and Prince Kisses .

In the fifth, Rigattieri has Jersey Moon .

In the sixth, Ramos has Nagajuskita .

In the seventh, Rigattieri has Dixielandbandito and Sienkewicz has Classic Guy .

In the eighth, Sienkewicz has Travelin John Paul .

Aqueduct

In the eighth race, Jacqueline Falk has Real Gentleman .

Philadelphia

In the tenth race, Joe Signore, Jr. has Lulu's Secret .

Mountaineer

In the tenth race, Jay Bernardini has Vy Vy Vy .

Gulfstream

In the fourth, Charles Fontana has Special Jak .

Tampa

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Gonna Blow .

In the third, Bramante has Boston West End .

In the fourth race, Bobby Raymond has BB's Concorde .

In the fifth, Joyce Kielty has Darn Proud and Lloyd Lockhart has Latest Expense .

In the sixth, Brenda McCarthy has Rocket Legs and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Beijing House .

In the seventh race, Bramante has Northern Bayou .

In the eighth, Raymond has Robbie's Express .

In the ninth, Sandra Cataldi has Sister Dolores .

In the tenth race, Raymond has Speeder .

In the eleventh race, John Botty has Cat Sonata , Ernest Poxon,Jr. has I'm No Choir Boy and McCooey has Simplepunch .

Have a great day!

March 26, 2010

March 26, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/25

Laurel

In the first race, Phil C was third.

In the second, Blondie's Halos was second and Hot Brew was fifth.

In the seventh race, Snuck in the Back was seventh.

In the eighth race, Bobcat Brody was fourth.

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, Laugh A Minute ran a big race to finish second at generous odds.

Tampa

In the first race, Latest Expense was seventh.

In the second race, Beautiful Insight was fifth and Real Place was eighth.

In the fourth race, Red Ranger was third and Let It Be Hardyboy was sixth.

In the sixth race, Brenda McCarthy sent out All the Bases to a 1 length victory.

ENTRIES 3/26

Laurel

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has Security Guard and John Rigattieri has Evil Buddha .

In the third race, Ramos has both Southern Renegade and Hi Poppy . Rigattieri has Pushed Over .

In the fifth race, Rigattieri has Mount Wilton .

In the sixth, Ramos has Courting Elaine .

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Katie's Raven .

Gulfstream

In the third race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Winner Jak .

In the seventh race, Charles Fontana has Devilish Mecke .

In the tenth race, George Handy has Bandit Nailhead and Iadisernia has Cross the Atlantic .

Tampa

In the second race, Joyce Kielty has Tape Deck .

In the fourth, John Pimental has Bluegrass Dolly .

In the fifth race, Brenda McCarthy has both Swirland and Jimmy's Palace .

In the seventh race, Bernard Bramante has Stag Film .

In the eighth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Sin Bin and Bobby Raymond has Prima Diva .

In the tenth race, McCooey has Unshatterable and Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Serengeti Storm .

Have a great day!

March 25, 2010

March 25, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 3/24

Laurel

In the second race, Puttingonthemist was fifth and Dan's Edith was seventh.

In the third race, Dyn Panell and Weekend Games made a trip to the winner's circle. Stablemate D'lightful Appeal was second, followed by A Bit of Madness in third. Glenwood Ace was fifth and Legends Way was seventh and last.

In the fourth, Hey Mouth was sixth.

In the seventh race, John Rigattieri had his second win on the card with His Sisters Mister . Gold Bid was seventh.

In the ninth race, Tootletheflute was fifth.

Aqueduct

In the sixth, Titletown Tiger was third.

Gulfstream

In the first race, Grammie's Jammies was seventh.

Charlestown

In the eighth race, Blackfeet was seventh.

Tampa

In the fourth race, Miracle Cat was seventh.

In the sixth race, Triple J Silver was fourth.

In the seventh race, Classic Speed was eighth.

In the ninth race, EJ Little Boy was seventh.

In the tenth race, Unbridled's Jewel was fifth.

ENTRIES 3/25

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has Phil C .

In the second race, Ramos has Hot Brew and John Rigattieri has Blondie's Halos .

In the seventh race, Espaillat has Snuck in the Back .

In the eighth, Rigattieri has Bobcat Brody .

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, Sandra Cataldi has Laugh a Minute .

Charlestown

In the third race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Jose .

Tampa

In the first race, Lloyd Lockhart has Bucks Wink .

In the second race, Juan Camilo has Real Place and Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Beautiful Insight .

In the fourth race, Bernard Bramante has Let it Be Hardyboy and Poxon has Red Ranger .

In the sixth race, Brenda McCarthy has All the Bases .

Have a great day!

March 24, 2010

March 24, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Puttingonthemist .

In the third race, Glenwood Ace is in for Charles Assimakopoulos and Nelson S. Espaillat has Legends Way . Also, Rigattieri has D'lightful Appeal and Weekend Games and Sienkewicz has A Bit of Madness .

In the fourth, Rigattieri has Hey Mouth .

In the seventh race, Assimakopoulos has Gold Bid and Rigattieri has His Sisters Mister .

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Tootletheflute .

Aqueduct

In the sixth race, George Saccardo has Titletown Tiger .

Charles Town

In the second race, Billy Sienkewicz has Dan's Edith . He is cross-entered in the second at Laurel as well.

In the eighth race, Jay Bernardini has Blackfeet .

Gulfstream

In the first race, George Handy has Grammie's Jammies .

Tampa

In the fourth race, Bernard Bramante has Miracle Cat .

In the sixth, Bramante has Triple J Silver .

In the seventh, Bobby Raymond has Robbie's Express .

In the ninth, Brenda McCarthy has EJ Little Boy .

In the tenth race, Juan Camilo has Unbridled's Jewel .

Have a great day!

March 22, 2010

March 22, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 3/21

Gulfstream

George Handy sent out Dade Babe to victory in the seventh race.

Tampa

In the first race, David Amiss guided Exchange the Limit to victory for Brenda McCarthy . Vicar in the House was seventh.

In the second race, Garlington was fifth and Coby was sixth .

In the third race, Syncopation was second.

In the fifth, Four F's and a D was ninth. Robbie's Express scratched. In the eighth race, Shadow de Maya was twelfth.

In the ninth, Conduct of Honour was fourth and Affirmed Action and Speeder scratched.

In the tenth race, Technically Wicked put in another strong performance and was second.

In the eleventh race, Tequila's Desire was eighth and Dia Mayo was ninth.

ENTRIES 3/22

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini has A Fleeting Memory in the tenth race.

Have a great day!

March 21, 2010

March 21, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I took my puppy to the beach for the first time yesterday and it was just a spectacular day. I even managed to make it back to Suffolk in time to catch the stakes races.

RESULTS 3/20

Laurel

In the second race, Stellar Ambition finished fifth and stablemate Storm Door was seventh.

In the fourth race, Frankly Frank was fourth.

In the seventh race, Score Now was third and Rica's Grandsteed finished fifth.

In the eighth race, Macho's Gold was third.

Mountaineer

In the second race, Yes Imatiger finished sixth.

In the fifth, Coach Doug won by 6 lengths for Jay Bernardini .

Charles Town

In the fifth race, Nikobokko was fifth and stablemate Ivannarun was tenth and last.

In the seventh race, Pinnacle Pete was tenth.

Tampa

In the fifth race, Royal Malibu was third and Master Gino was ninth.

In the seventh race, Take Down Two was fourth.

In the eighth race, Crown Colony was seventh and Loose Goose was tenth.

In the eleventh race, Hunting Money was fourth.

ENTRIES 3/21

Aqueduct

In the fourth race, George Saccardo has Coney Island . Gulfstream

In the seventh race, George Handy has Dade Babe .

Tampa

In the first race, Joyce Kielty has Vicar in the House and Brenda McCarthy has Exchange the Limit .

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Coby and John Pimental has Garlington .

In the third race, Syncopation is in for Juan Camilo .

In the fifth race, Bobby Raymond has both Four F's and a D and Robbie's Express .

In the eighth race, Bramante has Shadow de Maya .

In the ninth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Affirmed Action , Raymond has Speeder and Pimental has Conduct of Honour .

In the tenth race, Bobby Raymond has the extremely game and in-form Technically Wicked .

In the eleventh race, Bramante has Tequila's Desire .

Have a great day!

March 20, 2010

March 20, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 3/19

Laurel

In the first race, Courting Elaine was second. Little Miss Kisses was third.

In the second race, Bid til Included was fourth.

In the third race, Saltinthecity was fifth.

In the fifth race, Louann's Boot was second.

In the seventh race, Midnight Dancing was fifth.

In the seventh, Fusafast had a two-length victory under Winston Thompson for Rafael Ramos . Stablemate Nagajuskita scratched.

Aqueduct Emblemosophy was eighth.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Senor Pedro was seventh.

In the fourth race, Saratoga Blitz was twelfth.

In the fifth race, Cross the Atlantic was fifth and Gimmeawinkpoppy was eleventh.

Charles Town

In the second race, Snuck in the Back was ninth and Legends Way was fourth in the fifth race.

Tampa

In the first race, Mortal Sin was sixth.

In the second race, Yamil Rosario guided Kris's Special to a maiden win for Lloyd Lockhart . Miss Kriss Kross was seventh.

In the fourth race, Markswayornoway was fifth.

In the sixth race, Out of Spite was second. No Brahms was tenth.

Song of Nora scratched out of the seventh.

In the eighth race, Diva De was tenth.

In the ninth race, Tiger Willie was fifth.

In the tenth, Charming Country was a good second at 42-1.

ENTRIES 3/20

Laurel

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has both Stellar Ambition and Storm Door .

In the fifth race, Sienkewicz has Nikobokko .

In the seventh race, David Lezell has Rica's Grandsteed , John Rigattieri has Frankly Frank , Sienkewicz has Pinnacle Pete and Ramos has Score Now .

In the eighth race, Rigattieri has Macho's Gold .

Mountaineer

In the second race, Jay Bernardini has Yes Imatiger . He also has Coach DOug in the fifth race.

Charles Town

In the fifth race, Billy Sienkewicz has Ivannarun .

Tampa

In the fifth race, Bernard Bramante has Master Gino and Lloyd Lockhart has Royal Malibu .

In the sixth race, Bobby Raymond has Speeder .

In the seventh race, Brenda McCarthy has Take Down Two .

In the eighth race, Lockhart has Crown Colony .

In the tenth race, Joyce Kielty has Another Smokey .

In the eleventh race, Anthony Ryan has Hunting Money .

Have a great day!

March 19, 2010

March 19, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope you're all enjoying this weather as much as I am. This type of weather means one major thing - racing season is right around the corner.

RESULTS 3/18

Laurel

In the fourth race, A Bit of Madness was fifth.

In the sixth race, Bill's Jewell was second and Lion's Maddy was fifth.

In the ninth race, Runinthefastlane was eighth.

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Cajun Belle was fifth.

Gulfstream

In the third race, Devilish Mecke was fourth and Romanscoliseum was sixth.

In the sixth race, I Love to Say Yes was eighth and Rocky Miswaki was tenth.

In the tenth race, She's Got Bling was tenth and Gator's Tracks scratched.

Tampa

In the first race, Miss Quack Quack was third.

In the fourth race, Rome Is Burning was fifth.

In the fifth, Sister Dolores was third and stablemate Pompano Beach Rose was seventh.

Loose Goose scratched out of the eighth.

In the tenth, Bedbug Eddy was third and Busy Roma was eighth.

ENTRIES 3/19

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has Courting Elaine and Rigattieri has Little Miss Kisses .

In the second race, Rigattieri has Bid til Included .

In the third race, Ramos has Saltinthecity .

In the fifth race, Espaillat has Legends Way , Billy Sienkewicz has Louann's Boot and Rigattieri has Lion by My Side .

In the seventh, Ramos has Midnight Dancing .

In the ninth, Ramos has both Fusafast and Nagajuskita .

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, George Saccardo has Emblemosophy .

Charles Town

In the second race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Snuck in the Back .

Gulfstream

In the second race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Senor Pedro .

In the fourth race, Charles Fontana has Saratoga Blitz .

Fontana also has Gimmeawinkpoppy in the fifth and Iadisernia has Cross the Atlantic .

Tampa

In the first race, John Botty has Mortal Sin .

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Miss Kriss Kross and Lloyd Lockhart has Kris's Special .

In the fourth race, Markswayornoway is in for Juan Camilo .

In the sixth race, Joyce Kielty has No Brahms and Anthony Ryan has Out of Spite .

In the seventh, the veteran mare Song of Nora will make her 2010 debut.

In the eighth race, Bobby Raymond has first-time starter Diva De .

In the ninth race, Brenda McCarthy has Tiger Willie .

In the tenth, Raymond has Charming Country .

Have a great day!

March 18, 2010

March 18, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/17

Laurel

In the first race, Goodness Greatness was second and Sneaky Deeds was fourth.

In the second race, Peaceful Ruler was fifth.

In the third race, Live Tiger was second and Under Mandate was seventh.

In the fifth, Sea Foam Blue was fourth.

In the sixth race, Prince Kisses was sixth.

Gulfstream

In the first race, Onwingsandaprayer was fourth.

In the sixth, Strong N Silent was fifth. Quiet Revolution was eased.

Tampa

In the second race, Second Glance was second by a head.

In the third race, Desirable Desiree was third.

In the fourth race, Win Jane's Heart was seventh.

In the fifth race, Greeley's Kiss made a trip to the winner's circle after a 2 length victory.

In the eighth, Grandma Me Too was placed fifth.

In the ninth race, Hold on Smokey ran a huge race to finish fourth, beaten only two lengths after setting the pace. He looks like he could be heading back to his 2008 championship form.

In the tenth race, Cat Sonata was fourth.

ENTRIES 3/18

Laurel

In the fourth race, Billy Sienkewicz has A Bit of Madness .

In the sixth race, champion older mare Bill's Jewell will make her 2010 debut for David Lezell .Also in that race, John Rigattieri has Lion's Maddy .

In the ninth race, Rigattieri has Runinthefastlane .

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Joe Signore, Jr. has Cajun Belle .

Gulfstream

In the third race, Charles Fontana has Devilish Mecke and Giuseppe Iadisernia has Romanscoliseum .

Fontana also has I Love to Say Yes and Rocky Miswaki in the sixth race.

In the tenth race, Fontana has She's Got Bling and George Handy has former New England grass champ Gator's Tracks .

Tampa

In the first race, Sandra Cataldi has Miss Quack Quack and Brenda McCarthy has Mighty Mo C .

In the fourth race, John Botty has Rome is Burning

In the fifth race, Cataldi has Pompano Beach Rose and Sister Dolores .

In the eighth race, Bernard Bramante has Loose Goose .

In the tenth race, Botty has Bedbug Eddy and Lloyd Lockhart has Busy Roma .

Have a great day!

March 17, 2010

March 17, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/16

Mountaineer

In the second race, Tin Soldier was second for Jay Bernardini and he sent out Lir Jet to victory in the fourth.

ENTRIES 3/17

Laurel

In the first race, David Lezell has Goodness Greatness and John Rigattieri has Sneaky Deeds .

In the second race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Peaceful Ruler .

In the third race, Espaillat has Under Mandate and Rafael Ramos has Live Tiger .

In the fifth race, Lezell has Sea Foam Blue .

In the sixth race, Rigattieri has Prince Kisses .

Charles Town

In the fourth race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Jose .

Gulfstream

In the first race, Charles Fontana has Onwingsandaprayer .

In the sixth race, Fontana has Strong N Silent and Giuseppe Iadisernia has Quiet Revolution .

In the ninth race, Iadisernia has Privy Seal .

Tampa

In the second race, Juan Camilo has Second Glance .

In the third race, John Pimental has Desirable Desiree .

In the fourth race, Bobby Raymond has Win Jane's Heart .

In the fifth race, Sandra Cataldi has Greeley's Kiss , Raymond has Shetakesthecake and Brenda McCarthy has Entice .

In the eighth race, Cataldi has Grandma Me Too .

In the ninth race, Hold on Smokey , a former New England champ, will make his 2010 debut for Joyce Kielty . In 2008, he was one of the most brilliant horses on the grounds and though his 2009 season was disappointing, he is extremely talented and it wouldn't surprise me if he put in a big upset effort.

In the tenth race, John Botty has Cat Sonata .

Have a great day!

March 15, 2010

March 15, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/14

Tampa

In the second race, Ariel's Silver was third and Let it Be Hardyboy was sixth.

In the fourth, Circling the Bases was fifth and Stag Film was sixth.

In the fifth race, Jean the Queen was tenth.

In the sixth race, High Water was third.

In the seventh race, Delaware Beauty was tenth. Gulfstream

In the second race, Miss Gold Indy was tenth.

In the fourth race, Tommy's Memory was sixth.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today.

Have a great day!

March 14, 2010

March 14, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! The racing yesterday was top notch. I was blown away by Zenyatta's performance and am so excited to see what the rest of the year brings.

RESULTS 3/13

Laurel

In the second race, Seekingvindication was fifth.

In the third race, Blondie's Halos was fourth and Gold Jolie was seventh.

In the fourth race, Stellar Ambition was fifth.

In the tenth race, Bobcat Brody was fifth.

Mountaineer

In the third race, A Fleeting Memory was third. Get Ready Go scratched out of the ninth.

Beulah

In the second race, Rafael Ramos sent Fleet Goddess to a maiden victory.

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, Tigerglider was eighth. Bandit Nailhead scratched.

Tampa

In the first race, Gonna Blow was sixth.

In the second race, Uno Way Calle was second. Sunny Exchange was fifth.

In the third race, Latest Expense was tenth.

In the fourth race, Arctiz was fifth.

In the sixth race, Extra Fuse was second at generous odds and Snow Down put in a big effort to finish third in her second start off of a layoff.

In the twelfth race, Riversrunrylee earned the eleventh victory of his career with a game effort, prevailing by a neck in his trademark gate to wire fashion. He is such a cool horse and it has been amazing to watch his career progress. For the record, he was 14-1. I can never understand why this guy gets no respect at the windowns- he has only been favored three times in his career and hasn't been the favorite since 2007.

ENTRIES 3/14

Gulfstream

In the second race, Charles Fontana has Miss Gold Indy .

In the fourth race, Tommy's Memory will try to keep his undefeated streak alive in the Sunshine State Stakes.

Tampa

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Let it Be Hardyboy and Sandra Cataldi has Ariel's Silver .

In the fourth, Bramante has Stag Film and Bobby Raymond has Circling the Bases .

In the fifth race, Brenda McCarthy has

In the sixth race, Cataldi has High Water .

In the seventh, McCarthy has Delaware Beauty .

Have a great day!

March 13, 2010

March 13, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Enjoy this amazing day of racing.

Laurel

In the second race, Primal Baby was fifth.

In the third, Lion by My Side was second.

In the fourth race, Nagajuskita was fourth.

In the seventh race, Travelin John Paul was third and Scorpion Sting was seventh.

In the ninth race, Katie's Raven was second.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Rosalba Yankee was sixth.

Mountaineer

In the eighth race, Vy Vy Vy was fourth.

Tampa

In the first race, Fries was seventh.

In the second race, Skip the Lightning was sixth.

In the fourth race, Upper Key was third.

In the seventh race, Loose Goose scratched.

ENTRIES 3/13

Aqueduct

In the seventh race, George Saccardo has Emblemosophy .

Laurel

In the second race, Ramos has Seekingvindication .

In the third race, Ramos has Gold Jolie and John Rigattieri has Blondie's Halos .

In the fourth, Ramos has Stellar Ambition .

In the seventh race, Billy Sienkewicz has both Ivannarun and Travelin John Paul .

In the tenth, Rigattieri has Bobcat Brody .

Beulah

Rafael Ramos has his first starter of the meet with Fleet Goddess . I'll admit, this name amused me. When I was a kid, I was a huge fan of the "Thoroughbred" series of books and Fleet Goddess was one of the horses in it.

Mountaineer

In the third race, Jay Bernardini has A Fleeting Memory and in the ninth, he has Get Ready Go .

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, Charles Fontana has Tigerglider and George Handy has Bandit Nailhead .

Tampa

In the first race, Bernard Bramante has Gonna Blow .

In the second race, Brenda McCarthy has Uno Way Calle and Sunny Exchange .

In the third race, Lloyd Lockhart has Latest Expense .

In the fourth race, John Pimental has Arctiz .

In the sixth race, John Botty has New England champion Snow Down . Last time out, it was her first start over the track and first start off of a considerable layoff. She put in an encouraging effort and should move forward. Also in that race, Lockhart has Latest Expense .

In the twelfth race, Juan Camilo will send out New England star Riversrunrylee . You always know where to find him - out front. Whether or not he can wire this field remains to be seen, but he is as honest a horse you will find.

Have a great day!

March 12, 2010

March 12, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! There are so many exciting races this weekend. Of course, there are the two big girls - Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta . But, there are also quite a few local stars - Riversrunrylee , Snow Down and Tommy's Memory to name a few. Throw in some Derby preps and really, it's a great weekend to be a racing fan.

RESULTS 3/11

Aqueduct

In the first race, Fujimo scratched.

In the ninth race, Joan's Choice showed substantial improvement in her second start and was third at generous odds.

Laurel

In the second race, Under Mandate scratched.

In the third race, Classic Guy was second and Jersey Moon was eighth.

In the fourth race, Daily Candy was third.

In the seventh race, CG's Striker was sixth.

In the ninth, Snuck on By was ninth.

Tampa

In the fourth race, Beautiful Insight was fifth.

In the fifth race, Mr. D'or scratched.

In the seventh race, Swirland was fourth and Jimmy's Palace was eighth.

In the eighth race, Pink Tights was sixth.

In the tenth race, Rinaldo's Gold was seventh.

ENTRIES 3/12

Laurel

In the second race, Rafael Ramos will send out Primal Baby .

In the third race, John Rigattieri has Lion by My Side .

In the fourth, Ramos has Nagajuskita .

In the seventh, Ramos has Scorpion Sting and Billy Sienkewicz has Travelin John Paul .

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Katie's Raven .

Gulfstream

In the second race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Rosalba Yankee .

In the eighth race, Charles Fontana has I Love to Say Yes .

Mountaineer

In the eighth race, Jay Bernardini has Vy Vy Vy .

Tampa

In the first race, Brenda McCarthy has Fries .

In the second race, Juan Camilo has Skip the Lightning .

In the fourth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Upper Key and Bobby Raymond has Nudara .

In the seventh race, Bernard Bramante has Loose Goose .

Have a great day!

March 11, 2010

March 11, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/10

Laurel

In the first race, Evil Buddha was sixth.

In the second race, Phil C was third.

In the fourth race, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson made a trip to the winner's circle with Lamster . Stablemate Hi Poppy was third.

In the seventh, Southern Renegade was sixth and Pushed Over was seventh.

In the eighth race, Dyn Panell and Swing Music pulled off a strong victory at 6-1. Halo's Rumble was third and (unfortunately) claimed. I'm going to miss seeing her this summer - she was one of my favorites to watch in the morning.

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Casa Pippo was fourth.

Charlestown

In the seventh race, Craig Stables sent out Cashy Secrets to a 2 length victory.

Tampa

In the first race, Brisk Tide was third.

In the third race, Syncopation was fourth.

In the sixth race, Chillin Dylan was sixth.

In the seventh race, Miss Tricky Me was seventh . In the ninth race, the amazing old warrior Blind River Fox added another victory (and a new track record) to his resume. He is incredible.

In the tenth race, Wha Youdoin was ninth.

ENTRIES 3/11

Laurel

In the second race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Under Mandate .

In the third race, John Rigattieri has Jersey Moon and Billy Sienkewicz has Classic Guy .

In the fourth, Espaillat has Snuck on By and Sienkewicz has Daily Candy .

In the seventh, Rigattieri has CG's Striker .

Aqueduct

In the first race, Mark Tasso has Fujimo .

In the ninth race, George Saccardo has Joan's Choice .

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, George Handy has the fan-favorite old warrior Bandit Nailhead .

Tampa

In the fourth, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Beautiful Insight .

In the fifth race, Brenda McCarthy has Mr. d'Or .

In the seventh race, McCarthy has Swirland and Jimmy's Palace . In the eighth race, Tom McCooey, Jr has Pink Tights .

In the tenth race, Rinaldo's Gold is in for Bobby Raymond .

Have a great day!

March 10, 2010

March 10, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/9

Mountaineer

In the eighth race, Way of an Eagle was fourth.

ENTRIES 3/10

Laurel

In the first race, John Rigattieri has Evil Buddha .

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has Phil C .

In the fourth race, Ramos has both Hi Poppy and Lamster .

In the seventh race, Ramos has Southern Renegade and Rigattieri has Pushed Over .

In the eighth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Halo's Rumble and Rigattieri has the very talented Swing Music .

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, George Saccardo has Casa Pippo .

Tampa

In the first race, Bobby Raymond has Brisk Tide .

In the third race, Juan Camilo has Syncopation .

In the sixth race, Chillin Dylan is in for the Raymond barn.

In the seventh race, Brenda McCarthy has Miss Tricky Me .

In the tenth race, Bernard Bramante has Wha Youdoin .

Have a great day!

March 9, 2010

March 9, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 3/8

Mountaineer

In the first race, Saucy Lass was sixth.

In the second, Real Impact was fourth.

In the third, Summer Legacy was seventh.

In the fifth, Yes Imatiger was fourth.

ENTRIES 3/9

Mountaineer

In the eighth race, Jay Bernardini has Way of an Eagle .

Have a great day!

March 8, 2010

March 8, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/7

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Lulu's Secret was seventh.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Winner Jak was fourth and stablemate Deputy Inspector was eleventh.

Tampa

In the first race, Garlington was fourth.

In the second race, Red Ranger was fifth.

In the fourth race, Mrs. Lovett was seventh.

In the fifth race, Robbie's Express was sixth. In the sixth race, Shadow de Maya was eighth.

In the seventh race, Speeder was fourth, Royal Malibu was seventh, Conduct of Honour was ninth and Ho Ho Ho was tenth.

In the eighth race, Serengeti Storm was eighth.

In the tenth race, Affirmed Action was sixth and Hit Another Gear was tenth.

In the eleventh race, I'm No Choir Boy was eighth and Simplepunch was tenth.

Mountaineer

In the seventh, Lir Jet scratched.

ENTRIES 3/8

Mountaineer

In the first race, Jay Bernardini has Saucy Lass . He also has Real Impact in the second, Summer Legacy in the third, Yes Imatiger in the fifth and Way of an Eagle in the eighth.

Have a great day!

March 7, 2010

March 7, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 3/6

Mountaineer

In the tenth race, Maps Hope was ninth.

Laurel

In the fourth race, Dyn Panell and John Rigattieri teamed up for a victory with Weekend Games. Glenwood Ace was third and Irish Blast was seventh.

In the fifth race, Tootletheflute was fourth.

In the seventh, Rigattieri and Panell made it two for the day with Indy's Honey Gem . Also in that race, Dan's Edith was eighth.

Tampa

In the second race, Exchange the Limit was third.

In the tenth race, Second Glance was ninth.

In the eleventh, Pompano Beach Rose was sixth and LPs Tiger was ninth.

ENTRIES 3/7

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Joe Signore, Jr. has Lulu's Secret .

Mountaineer

In the seventh race, Jay Bernardini has Lir Jet .

Gulfstream

In the second race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Deputy Inspector and Winner Jak .

Tampa

In the first race, John Pimental has Garlington .

In the second race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Red Ranger .

In the fourth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Mrs. Lovett .

In the fifth race, Bobby Raymond has Robbie's Express .

In the sixth race, Bernard Bramante has Shadow de Maya .

In the seventh, Sandra Cataldi has Ho Ho Ho , Bobby Raymond has Speeder and Lloyd Lockhart has Royal Malibu . Also, John Pimental has Conduct of Honour .

In the eighth race, Poxon has Serengeti Storm

In the tenth, McCooey has Affirmed Action and Raymond has Hit Another Gear .

In the eleventh, McCooey has Simple Punch and Poxon has I'm No Choir Boy .

Have a great day!

March 6, 2010

March 6, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 3/5

Aqueduct

In the fifth, Mr. Jolson was fourth.

Laurel

In the second race, Indy's Ahyoka was third.

In the fourth race, Louann's Boot had an open-length victory. Also, Legends Way was fifth.

In the ninth, Amazing Racer was sixth and Crude Load scratched. Tornado Boots was ninth.

Mountaineer

In the first race, Copper Ridge was seventh.

Jay Bernardini made a trip to the winner's circle in the third with Susanne's Honor .

In the eighth, Get Ready Go was third.

Blackfeet scratched out of the ninth.

In the tenth, Simply Fancy was fifth.

Charles Town

In the third, Rearrange remainded consistent with a runner-up finish.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Devilish Mecke was seventh.

In the sixth race, Onwingsandaprayer was eigth.

Sam Houston

In the tenth race, Little Eva M was fifth.

Tampa

In the first race, Ocala Cruise Missile was sixth.

In the sixth race, Out of Spite was sixth. Also, Northern Bayou was eighth and stablemate Triple J Silver was tenth.

In the seventh race, Prima Diva was ninth and Dia Mayo was tenth.

In the tenth race, Another Smokey was fourth.

In the eleventh race, Kris's Special was second.

ENTRIES 3/6

Laurel

In the fourth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Glenwood Ace , John Rigattieri has Weekend Games and Rafael Ramos has Irish Blast .

In the fifth, David Lezell has Tootletheflute .

In the seventh, Rigattieri has Indy's Honey Gem . In the ninth, Ramos has Nagajuskita .

Mountaineer

In the tenth, Jay Bernardini has Maps Hope .

Tampa

In the second race, Brenda McCarthy has Exchange the Limit .

In the tenth race, Juan Camilo has Second Glance .

In the eleventh, Camilo has LPs Tiger and Sandra Cataldi has Pompano Beach Rose .

Have a great day!

March 5, 2010

March 5, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/4

Laurel

In the second race, A Bit of Madness was third. In the third race, Cold Orient finished first in his first start for the Assimakopoulos barn.

In the fourth race, Courting Elaine was third, Lion's Maddy was fourth and Little Miss Kisses was sixth.

In the sixth race, Mount Wilton was second. Lion by My Side and Lamster scratched.

In the seventh race, Macho's Gold was third.

In the ninth, Destinedtobemine rolled to an eleven length maiden win. Score Now was fourth.

Gulfstream

In the third race, Gimmeawinkpoppy was third.

In the fourth race, Sicilian Honor was eighth.

In the seventh race, Mean Kisser was third. Bandit Nailhead scratched.

In the ninth, Special Jak was ninth.

Tampa

In the first race, Bluegrass Dolly was eighth and Miracle Cat was eleventh.

In the second race, Sara's Hot Shot was fourth Beautiful Insight was sixth and Real Place was eighth.

In the third race, Hunting Money was fourth and Crown Colony was fifth.

In the fourth race, Belladonnaofcourse was ninth.

In the seventh race, Markswayornoway made a big return to form with a game runner-up finish at generous odds. Great Squawk was third, also at a nice price.

In the eighth, Potomac Manor was ninth.

In the ninth race, Technically Wicked put in a tremendous, game performance to prevail against a quality field. She has consistently performed at the highest local level at Suffolk and I'm looking forward to her return. Unfortunately, her match-up with champion Sassy City will have to wait for another day. Sassy City , always a bit high-strung in the paddock and on the track, does not seem to have outgrown those antics yet and was scratched before the race after unseating Carlos Quinones . From what I hear, horse and rider are both okay.

In the tenth race, Tequila's Desire finished sixth. Wonder What Now scratched.

ENTRIES 3/5

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Karl Grusmark will send out former New England champ Mr. Jolson .

In the ninth race, Mark Tasso has Nicoletti .

Laurel

In the fourth race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Legends Way and Billy Sienkewicz has Louann's Boot .

In the ninth race, John Rigattieri has both Crude Load and Amazing Racer . Also, Sienkewicz has Tornado Boots .

Mountaineer

In the first race, Jay Bernardini has Copper Ridge . He also has Susanne's Honor in the third, Get Ready Go in the eighth, Blackfeet in the ninth and Simply Fancy in the tenth.

Charles Town

In the third race, Rearrange will make another maiden attempt.

Sam Houston

In the tenth race, Wendy Uhacz has Little Eva M .

Gulfstream

In the second race, Charles Fontana has Devilish Mecke .

In the sixth race, Fontana has Onwingsandaprayer .

Tampa

In the first race, John Botty has Ocala Cruise Missile .

In the sixth race, Bernard Bramante has both Northern Bayou and Triple J Silver . Also, Anthony Ryan has Out of Spite .

In the seventh race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Dia Mayo and Bobby Raymond has Prima Diva .

In the tenth race, Joyce Kielty has Another Smokey . I think he ran a dynamite race on the turf last time out.

In the eleventh race, Lloyd Lockhart has Kris's Special .

Have a great day!

March 4, 2010

March 4, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/3

Laurel

In the first race, Runinthefastlane finished sixth.

In the fourth race, Live Tiger was third and Under Mandate was eighth.

In the sixth race, D'lightful Appeal and Dyn Panell finished first and stablemate Dixielandbandito was third. Classic Guy was seventh.

In the eighth race, Lucky You was fourth.

In the ninth, Bandslammer was seventh and Mighty Elixir was eighth.

Gulfstream

In the fifth race, Dade Babe was third.

In the sixth race, Coraje scratched. His stablemate Winner Jak also scratched out of the ninth race.

Aqueduct

In the sixth race, Titletown Tiger was fourth.

Tampa

In the fourth race, Miss Quack Quack was second. Tiger Jane was tenth.

ENTRIES 3/4

Gulfstream

In the third race, Charles Fontana has Gimmeawinkpoppy .

In the fourth race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Sicilian Honor .

In the seventh, Fontana has Mean Kisser and George Handy has the great old timer Bandit Nailhead .

In the ninth race, Fontana has Special Jak .

Laurel

In the third race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Cold Orient .

In the second race, Billy Sienkewicz has A Bit of Madness

In the fourth race, Rafael Ramos has Courting Elaine . Also, John Rigattieri has both Lion's Maddy and the game Little Miss Kisses .

In the sixth race, Ramos has Lamster and Rigattieri has both Mount Wilton and Lion By My Side .

In the seventh race, Rigattieri has Macho's Gold .

In the ninth, Ramos has Score Now and Rigattieri has Destinedtobemine .

Tampa

In the first race, Bernard Bramante has Miracle Cat and John Pimental has Bluegrass Dolly .

In the second race, Juan Camilo has Real Place and Brenda McCarthy has Sara's Hot Shot .

In the third race, Lloyd Lockhart has Crown Colony and Anthony Ryan has Hunting Money .

In the fourth race, McCarthy has Belladonnaofcourse .

In the sixth race, Bobby Raymond has Chillin Dylan .

In the seventh, Camilo has Markswayornoway and McCarthy has Great Squawk .

In the eighth race, Pimental has Potomac Manor .

In the ninth race, John Botty has the brilliantly talented Sassy City and Bobby Raymond has the ultra-game Technically Wicked . I love this race and I hope both fillies put in strong efforts.

In the tenth, Bramante has Tequila's Desire and Ryan has Wonder What Now .

Have a great day!

March 3, 2010

March 3, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

There are no noteworthy RESULTS from yesterday.

ENTRIES 3/3

Aqueduct

In the sixth race, George Saccardo has Titletown Tiger .

Laurel

In the first race, John Rigattieri has Runinthefastlane .

In the fourth, Nelson S. Espaillat has Under Mandate and Rafael Ramos has Live Tiger .

In the sixth race, Rigattieri has Dixielandbandito and D'lightful Appeal . Also, Billy Sienkewicz has Classic Guy .

In the eighth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Lucky You .

In the ninth, Assimakopoulos has Bandslammer and Ramos has Mighty Elixir .

Gulfstream

In the fifth race, George Handy has Dade Babe .

In the sixth race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Coraje .

In the ninth, Iadisernia has Winner Jak .

Tampa

In the fourth race, Bernard Bramante has Tiger Jane . Also in that race, Sandra Cataldi has Miss Quack Quack .

In the sixth race, Brenda McCarthy has Torch Me Again .

Have a great day!

March 2, 2010

March 2, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 3/1

Mountaineer

In the second race, Coach Doug was sixth and Mountaineer cancelled after that race.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today.

Have a great day!

March 1, 2010

March 1, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I just have to keep reminding myself it is almost spring. I am so over this weather.

RESULTS 2/28

Gulfstream

In the third race, Futurazo was third.

In the fourth race, Whitehouse Ridge was eighth.

In the seventh, Cross the Atlantic was eleventh and stablemate Winner Jak scratched.

Sam Houston

In the seventh, My Bird's Wired was fourth.

Tampa

In the second race, Sylvia's Cat was seventh.

In the third race, Prized Dream was sixth.

In the fourth race, Cat Sonata was fourth.

In the fifth race, Speeder scratched.

In the sixth race, Grandma Me Too was seventh and Another Mambo was tenth.

In the eighth race, Finally Remembered was sixth.

ENTRIES 3/1

Mountaineer

In the second race, Jay Bernardini has Coach Doug . He also has Real Impact in the seventh, Yes Imatiger in the eighth and Lir Jet in the tenth.

Have a great day everyone! I am all sorts of excited for the ninth race on Thursday at Tampa . Sassy City vs. Technically Wicked . Oh boy.

February 28, 2010

February 28, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/27

Laurel

In the first race, Sea Foam Blue was seventh.

In the second race, Scorpion Sting was fourth.

In the fifth, Goodness Greatness was fourth.

In the eighth race, Daily Candy was third.

Sam Houston

In the first race, Offlee Wedded Wife was fifth.

Tampa

In the second race, Sandra Cataldi and David Amiss teamed up for a minor upset with Sister Dolores . Also in that race, Jimmy's Palace was fourth and Shetakesthecake was sixth.

In the fourth race, Alarming Afleet was sixth.

In the seventh, Valentine Daisy was third.

In the eighth race, Beijing House was sixth.

In the ninth race, Charming Country was fifth.

In the eleventh race, Desirable Desiree was fifth, Miss Tricky Me was eighth and Second Glance scratched.

ENTRIES

Gulfstream

In the third race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Futurazo .

In the fourth race, Marcus Vitali has Whitehouse Ridge .

In the seventh, Iadisernia has both Cross the Atlantic and Winner Jak .

Sam Houston

In the seventh race, Wendy Uhacz has My Bird's Wired .

Tampa

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Sylvia's Cat .

In the third, Lloyd Lockhart has Prized Dream .

In the fourth race, John Botty has Cat Sonata .

In the fifth race, Bobby Raymond has Speeder .

In the sixth race, Sandra Cataldi has Grandma Me Too and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Another Mambo .

In the eighth, Cataldi has Finally Remembered .

Have a great day!

February 27, 2010

February 27, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/26

Laurel cancelled yesterday due to weather.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Miss Gold Indy was eighth.

In the seventh race, Marcus Vitali sent Our Dreamette to a seven length victory.

In the ninth, Very Very Clever was fourth.

Sam Houston

In the fifth, Expect No Equal was seventh.

Tampa

In the second race, Bea Precise and Jill Jellison pulled off a narrow uspset victory.

In the third race, Let it Be Hardyboy was eighth.

In the sixth race, Unshatterable was seventh.

In the eighth race, Arctiz was third.

In the ninth, LP's Tiger was sixth. Pompano Beach Rose scratched.

My buddy Riversrunrylee finished fourth in the tenth after setting a quick pace. He puts in his effort every time and win or lose, he is a horse that deserves a lot of respect.

In the eleventh, Circling the Bases was ninth.

ENTRIES 2/27

Laurel

David Lezell has Sea Foam Blue in the first race.

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has Scorpion Sting

In the fifth, Lezell has Goodness Greatness .

In the eighth race, Billy Sienkewicz has Daily Candy .

Sam Houston

In the first race, Wendy Uhacz has Offlee Wedded Wife .

Tampa

In the second race, Sandra Cataldi has Sister Dolores , Bobby Raymond has Shetakesthecake and Brenda McCarthy has Jimmy's Palace .

In the fourth race, Tom McCooey, Jr has Alarming Afleet .

In the seventh race, McCooey has Valentine Daisy .

In the ninth race, McCooey has former New England champ Beijing House and Bobby Raymond has Charming Country .

In the eleventh race, Juan Camilo has Second Glance and McCarthy has Miss Tricky Me .

Have a great day!

February 26, 2010

February 26, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/25

Aqueduct

In the first race, Cajun Belle was fifth and Jordanna Banana scratched.

In the fourth race, Karl Grusmark and Orlando Bocachica made a trip to the winner's circle with Winitback .

Laurel

In the first race, Fusafast was third.

In the second race, Jackie Lad pulled off a -length victory and was claimed. Ivannarun was fifth.

In the fifth, Disguise was second and Travelin John Paul was fifth.

In the sixth race, Hey Mouth was second and Evil Buddha was fourth.

In the ninth race, Jane's Song was fourth.

Gulfstream

In the fourth race, Romanscoliseum was fourth.

In the ninth race, Gator's Tracks was ninth.

Tampa

In the third race, Yamil Rosario was aboard the winner and returned $19.60. Snow Down was fourth.

In the fourth, Busy Roma was third and Ariel's Silver was sixth.

In the fifth, Master Gino was outdistanced and did not finish.

In the sixth race, Entice was eighth.

In the seventh race, Syncopation was ninth.

In the tenth, Bedbug Eddy was fourth. Cosmic Transit and Red Ranger scratched.

ENTRIES 2/26

Laurel

In the eighth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Lucky You .

In the ninth, Assimakopoulos will send out Bandslammer and Rafael Ramos has Mighty Elixir .

Gulfstream

In the second race, Charles Fontana has Miss Gold Indy .

In the seventh race, Marcus Vitali has Our Dreamette .

In the ninth, George Handy has Very Very Clever .

Sam Houston

In the fifth race, Wendy Uhacz has Expect No Equal .

Tampa

In the second race, Bobby Raymond has Bea Precise .

In the third race, Bernard Bramante has Let it Be Hardyboy .

In the sixth race, Unshatterable is in for Tom McCooey, Jr. .

In the eighth race, John Pimental has the beautifully-bred Arctiz .

In the ninth race, Juan Camilo has LP's Tiger and Sandra Cataldi has Pompano Beach Rose .

In the tenth, Riversrunrylee will try to earn his second victory of the Tampa meet. New England's reigning champion older male is always tough on the lead and I'll certainly be rooting for him today.

In the eleventh race, Raymond has Circling the Bases .

Have a great day!

February 25, 2010

February 25, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 2/24

Laurel

In the first race, Katie's Raven was fourth.

In the second race, Seekingvindication was fifth. Primal Baby scratched.

In the fourth race, Mount Wilton (a son of Graeme Hall! made a trip to the winner's circle. Brother Joey was eighth.

In the fifth, Gold Jolie was fifth.

John Rigattieri had his second win of the day in the seventh race with Indy's Honey Gem . Dyn Panell was aboard.

In the ninth, Soto High was sixth.

Aqueduct

In the fourth race, Casa Pippo was fourth.

Coney Island was fifth in the sixth race.

Gulfstream

In the third race, Rosalba Yankee was seventh.

Tampa

In the first race, I'm No Choir Boy was eighth.

In the second race, Wha Youdoin was eighth.

In the third, Jean the Queen was seventh.

In the seventh race, Laugh a Minute and David Amiss pulled a minor upset for Sandra Cataldi .

In the ninth, Serengeti Storm was sixth.

In the tenth, Mr. d'Or was tenth.

ENRIES 2/25

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has Fusafast .

In the second race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Jackie Lad and Billy Sienkewicz has Ivannarun .

In the fifth race, John Rigattieri has Disguise and Sienkewicz has Travelin John Paul .

In the sixth, Rigattieri has both Hey Mouth and Evil Buddha .

In the ninth, Rigattieri has Jane's Song .

Aqueduct

In the first race, Joe Signore, Jr. has Cajun Belle and Mark Tass has Jordanna Banana .

Gulfstream

In the fourth race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Romanscoliseum .

In the ninth race, former New England champion turf horse Gator's Tracks is in the ninth race for George Handy .

Tampa

In the third race, former New England champion Snow Down will make her Tampa debut after a layoff for John Botty . I think this filly has been beautifully managed and I have to admit, she won me over this summer. I wasn't sold on her as a juvenile but she really showed she had a ton of heart this past season. It is worth noting here that it seems Carlos Quinones has moved his tack to Florida. This talented young rider had a lot of success riding for this barn during our meet.

In the fourth race, Sandra Cataldi has Ariel's Silver and Lloyd Lockhart has Busy Roma .

In the fifth race, Bernard Bramante has Mister Gino .

In the sixth race, Brenda McCarthy has Entice .

In the seventh race, Juan Camilo has Syncopation .

In the tenth race, Botty has Bedbug Eddie , Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Red Ranger and Cataldi has Cosmic Transit .

Have a great day!

February 24, 2010

February 24, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

There are no noteworthy RESULTS today.

ENTRIES 2/24

Laurel

In the first race, David Lezell has Katie's Raven .

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has both Seekingvindication and Primal Baby .

In the fourth race, John Rigattieri has both Mount Wilton and Brother Joey .

In the fifth, Ramos has Gold Jolie .

In the seventh, Rigattieri has Indy's Honey Gem .

In the ninth race, Rigattieri has Soto High .

Aqueduct

In the fourth race, George Saccardo has Casa Pippo .

In the sixth, Saccardo has Coney Island . I really think both of these horses could be sitting on big efforts.

Gulfstream

In the third race, Giuseppe Iadisenria has Rosalba Yankee

Tampa

In the first race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has I'm No Choir Boy .

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Wha Youdoin .

In the third, Brenda McCarthy has Jean the Queen .

In the sixth race, Bobby Raymond has Robbie's Express .

In the seventh, Sandra Cataldi has Laugh a Minute .

In the ninth, Poxon has Serengeti Storm .

In the tenth race, McCarthy has Mr. d'Or .

Have a great day everyone and try to stay dry!

February 23, 2010

February 23, 2010 | Jessica Paquette

Good morning everyone!

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES or RESULTS today, but the next couple of days look very exciting - Snow Down , Riversrunrylee and more!

February 22, 2010

February 22, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/21

Aqueduct

In the sixth race, Emblemosophy finished sixth.

Tampa

In the second race, Brenda McCarthy sent out another winner with Uno Way Calle .

In the fourth race, Garlington was third at a generous price and Mortal Sin finished fifth.

In the sixth, Win Jane's Heart was ninth and Shadow de Maya was tenth.

In the eighth race, Rinaldo's Gold was tenth.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today.

Have a great day!

February 21, 2010

February 21, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! The Derby preps yesterday were certainly interesting. Eskendereya was certainly impressive, but I'm also very interested in Conveyance . I wasn't sold on him before the race, but it was a solid performance and I am a big fan of Indian Charlie as a sire.

RESULTS 2/20

Laurel

In the second race, Blondie's Halos was moved up from third to second via DQ.

In the fourth race, Jackie Lad scratched.

In the fifth, Legends Way was eighth.

In the seventh race, Classic Guy was second at very generous odds. Also in the race, Jersey Moon was fifth, Fifty Seven G was eighth and Jose was twelfth. Dixielandbandito scratched.

In the sixth, Lamster was fifth.

In the tenth race, Halo's Rumble ran a dynamite race to finish first by 4 lengths. Hot Chile Soup , a local fan favorite, finished eighth and last.

Charles Town

In the seventh race, Way of an Eagle was eighth.

Sam Houston

In the fifth race, Offlee Wedded Wife was sixth.

Tampa

In the fourth race, Dia Mayo finished fourth and Prima Diva was ninth.

In the fifth, Mini Goal was seventh and Entice scratched.

In the eighth race, Royal Malibu was seventh.

In the ninth, Conduct of Honour was seventh and Crown Colony was ninth.

In the eleventh race, EJ Little Boy finished fourth and Potomac Manor was tenth.

ENTRIES 2/21

Aqueduct

In the sixth race, George Saccardo has Emblemosophy .

Tampa

In the second race, Brenda McCarthy has Uno Way Calle .

In the fourth race, John Botty has Mortal Sin and John Pimental has Garlington .

In the sixth race, Shadow de Maya is in for Bernard Bramante and Bobby Raymond has Win Jane's Heart .

In the eighth race, Bobby Raymond has Rinaldo's Gold .

Have a great day!

February 20, 2010

February 20, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning!

RESULTS 2/19

Aqueduct

Laurel

In the second race, Courting Elaine was a game second, beaten only a neck.

In the third, Dan's Edith was eighth.

In the fifth, Saltinthecity was eleventh.

In the sixth, Nagajuskita was fifth.

In the seventh, Scorpion Sting was eleventh.

In the eighth, Daily Candy was seventh.

In the ninth, Tootlethelfute was third.

Charles Town

In the first race, Copper Ridge was tenth. Lady Alice was ninth in the second and Coach Doug was fifth in the sixth.

Gulfstream

In the sixth, Special Jak scratched.

In the seventh, Zapper won by a head, Bandit Nailhead was ninth and Tigerglider was eleventh.

Tampa

In the fourth race, Cirlcing the Bases ran a huge race to finish second at 22-1.

In the seventh race, Unshatterable was seventh.

In the fifth, Affirmed Action was third and Ho Ho Ho was sixth.

In the sixth race, Awendaw was sixth.

In the ninth, Charming Country was seventh.

ENTRIES 2/20

Sam Houston

Wendy Uhacz has Offlee Wedded Wife in the fifth race.

Laurel

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Blondie's Halos .

In the fourth race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Jackie Lad .

In the sixth race, Ramos Ramos has Lamster .

In the seventh, Espaillat has both Legends Way and Jose and David Lezell has Fifty Seven G . Also, John Rigattieri has both Legends Way and Dixielandbandito . Most notably for me, Billy Sienkewicz has Blazing Sword's little brother Classic Guy .

In the tenth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Halo's Rumbles .

Charles Town

In the seventh, Jay Bernardini has Way of an Eagle .

Tampa

In the fourth, Tom McCooey, Jr has Dia Mayo and Bobby Raymond has Prima Diva .

` In the fifth, Brenda McCarthy has Entice and McCooey has Mini Goal .

In the eighth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Royal Malibu .

In the ninth, Lockhart has Crown Colony and John Pimental has Conduct of Honour .

In the eleventh, McCarthy has EJ Little Boy and Pimental has Potomac Manor .

Have a good day!

February 19, 2010

February 19, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/18

Gulfstream

In the second race, Quiet Revolution was eighth.

In the fifth race, Sole Runner was tenth and Milwaukee Wolf was eleventh.

In the ninth, Our Sun scratched.

Aqueduct

In the sixth race, Orlando Bocachica rode End of Gulch to victory.

In the ninth, Fujimo was eighth.

Laurel

In the second race, Gold Bid scratched.

In the third race, Tornado Boots was seventh.

In the fourth, Goodness Greatness finished first and Snuck in the Back was tenth.

In the sixth race, Bid Til Included pulled off a game victory, prevailing by a neck.

In the seventh race, Bobcat Brody was seventh.

In the ninth, Sneaky Deeds was seventh.

Charles Town

In the fifth race, Yes Imatiger was tenth.

Tampa

In the third race, LP's Tiger scratched.

In the fourth race, Upper Key was sixth.

In the fifth, Exchange the Limit was sixth.

In the eighth race, Extra Fuse was second.

In the ninth, Mrs. Lovett was fifth.

ENTRIES 2/19

Gulfstream

In the sixth, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Winner Jak .

In the seventh race, Charles Fontana has Tigerglider . Also in that race, George Handy has the wonderful old-timer Bandit Nailhead and Marcus Vitali has Zapper .

Laurel

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has Courting Elaine .

In the third race, Billy Sienkewicz has Dan's Edith .

In the fifth, Ramos has Saltinthecity .

In the sixth, Ramos has Nagajuskita .

In the seventh, Ramos has Scorpion Sting .

In the eighth, Sienkewicz has Daily Candy .

In the ninth, David Lezell has Tootletheflute .

Charles Town

In the first race, Jay Bernardini has Copper Ridge . He also has Lady Alice in the second and Coach Doug in the sixth.

Tampa

In the third race, Anthony Ryan will send out the undefeated and exciting Tommy's Memory . He is a perfect three for three and last time out defeated an impressive field, including the veteran and former New England horse of the year, Blind River Fox .

In the fourth race, Bobby Raymond has Circling the Bases .

In the seventh race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Unshatterable .

In the sixth, Wayne Sargent has Awendaw .

In the ninth race, Sandra Cataldi has Ho Ho Ho , John Pimental has Conduct of Honour , Raymond has Charming Country (and yes, I'm giving him another shot) and McCooey has Affirmed Action .

Have a great day!

February 18, 2010

February 18, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/17

Aqueduct

In the second race, Joan's Choice was sixth.

Charles Town

In the second race, Simply Fancy was seventh.

In the sixth, Vy Vy Vy was eighth.

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, Gimmeawinkpoppy was ninth.

Tampa

In the second race, Sara's Hot Shot was second and Real Place was sixth.

In the fourth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. sent out Alarming Afleet to a game victory by a neck.

In the fifth, Brisk Tide was sixth and Tequila's Desire was tenth.

In the sixth race, Another Smokey ran a big race to finish third at very generous odds. This guy is one to watch next time on grass. Also in that race, stablemate Drews Honoree was tenth.

In the seventh, Prized Dream was fourth.

In the eighth race, Sand Slider was "outdistanced" and did not finish.

In the tenth, Ahoy Mae Tee was sixth and Out of Spite was ninth.

ENTRIES 2/18

Aqueduct

In the ninth, Mark Tasso will send out Fujimo .

Laurel

In the second race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Gold Bid .

In the third race, Billy Sienkewicz has Tornado Boots .

In the fourth race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Snuck in the Back and David Lezell has Goodness Greatness .

In the sixth race, John Rigattieri has Bid til Included .

In the seventh, Rigattieri has Bobcat Brody . Dyn Panell will be aboard.

In the ninth, he will team up with Carlos Quinones with Sneaky Deeds .

Charles Town

In the fifth race, Jay Bernardini has Yes Imatiger . For whatever reason, that name makes me laugh every time. I think because the first time I saw it, it took a solid minute for me to realize what it was.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Quiet Revolution .

In the fifth race, Charles Fontana has Milwaukee Wolf and George Handy has Sole Runner .

In the ninth race, Marcus Vitali has Our Sun .

Tampa

In the third race, Juan Camilo has LP's Tiger .

In the fourth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Upper Key .

In the fifth race, Brenda McCarthy has Exchange the Limit .m

In the eighth race, Lockhart has Extra Fuse .

In the ninth, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Mrs. Lovett .

Have a good day everyone!

February 17, 2010

February 17, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I'm so tired of the snow. I was just about ready to put away my snow boots and take out my flip-flops. I suppose that will have to wait.

There are no noteworthy RESULTS from yesterday.

ENTRIES 2/17

Aqueduct

In the second race, George Saccardo has Joan's Choice .

Charles Town

In the second race, Jay Bernardini has Simply Fancy .

In the sixth, he has Vy Vy Vy .

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, Charles Fontana has Gimmeawinkpoppy .

Tampa

In the second race, Juan Camilo has Real Place and Brenda McCarthy has Sara's Hot Shot .

In the fourth, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Alarming Afleet .

In the fifth race, Bernard Bramante has Tequila's Desire and Bobby Raymond has Brisk Tide .

In the sixth race, Joyce Kielty has both Drews Honoree and Another Smokey .

In the seventh, Lloyd Lockhart has Prized Dream .

In the eighth race, Wayne Sargent has Sand Slider .

In the tenth race, Anthony Ryan has Out of Spite and Sargent has Ahoy Mae Tee .

Have a good day everyone!

February 16, 2010

February 16, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/15

Laurel

In the second race, A Bit of Madness was second, Louann's Boot was fourth, Irish Blast was fifth and Glenwood Ace was sixth.

In the fourth, Indy's Ahyoka was fourth.

In the fifth, Travelin John Paul was third and Bentbutnotbroken was ninth.

In the sixth, Seekingvindication was eighth.

In the ninth, Weathered was sixth.

In the tenth, The Last Bird was second.

In the eleventh, Sea Foam Blue was fourth.

Aqueduct

In the fifth, Nicoletti was ninth.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today.

February 15, 2010

February 15, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Today is the first day of bringing Gibbs to work with me. I hope he loves the Suffolk Downs press box as much as I do.

RESULTS 2/14

Gulfstream

Marcus Vitali saddled Jazz Nation to victory in the second race.

In the sixth, Targe was third.

Aqueduct

In the ninth, Cajun Belle was eighth.

Sam Houston

My Bird's Wired was sixth in the third ace.

Tampa

In the second race, Fries was eighth and stablemate Exchange the Limit scratched.

In the third race, Swirland was DQ'd from third to fourth. Also, Shetakesthecake was sixth.

In the fourth, Silver Spioke was third and Four Fs and a D was eighth.

In the fifth, Arctiz was seventh.

In the tenth, Hunting Money was seventh.

ENTRIES

Laurel

In the second race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Glenwood Ace . Remember his big upset win a couple of weeks back? Also in that race, Rafael Ramos has Irish Blast and Billy Sienkewicz has both A Bit of Madness and Louann's Boot .

In the fourth, Ramos has Indy's Ahyoka .

In the fifth race, David Lezell has Bentbutnotbroken and Sienkewicz has Travelin John Paul .

In the sixth, Ramos has Seekingvindication in the Marshua Stakes.

In the ninth race, Karl Grusmark has his lovely stakes filly Weathered in the Barbara Fritchie Handicap.

In the tenth, Ramos has The Last Bird .

In the eleventh race, Lezell has Sea Foam Blue .

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Mark Tasso has Nicoletti .

Have a great day everyone!

February 14, 2010

February 14, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/13

Aqueduct

In the seventh race, Titletown Tiger was fourth.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Rocky Miswaki was seventh and I Love to Say Yes was tenth.

Tampa

In the first race, Rome is Burning was sixth. Regent Star scratched.

In the second race, Mister Gino was scratched.

Sassy City rolled through some very demanding fractions before fading to fifth in the third race.

In the fourth race, Second Glance was tenth.

In the fifth, Scooties was fourth and Cocktail Music was tenth.

In the sixth, V for Vickie was eighth and Another Mambo was eleventh.

In the seventh race, the veteran Speeder was second at 64-1.Stablemate Hit Another Gear was ninth.

Laurel

In the fourth race, Ivannarun was fifth.

In the seventh race, Live Tiger was fifth and Under Mandate was eighth.

ENTRIES 2/14

Tampa

In the second race, Brenda McCarthy has Fries and Exchange the Limit .

In the third, McCarthy has Swirland and Bobby Raymond has Shetakesthecake .

In the fourth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Silver Spike and Raymond has the hilariously-named Four Fs and a D .

In the fifth, John Pimental has Arctiz .

In the tenth, Anthony Ryan has Hunting Money .

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, Joe Signore, Jr. has Cajun Belle .

Sam Houston

In the third race, Wendy Uhacz has My Bird's Wired .

Gulfstream

Marcus Vitali has Targe in the second race and Jazz Nation in the sixth.

Have a great day everyone!

February 13, 2010

February 13, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Last night, we brought home the newest addition to our family - Gibbs. He is a twelve-week old, mostly black Bull Terrier puppy. I am kind of a boring person, to be honest, and my ideal Friday evening is to spend it at home, watching sports and hanging out with my boyfriend and dog. Our lives were too empty without a dog in it, so we are eternally grateful to Amy Woodman at Skyline Bull Terriers for bringing Gibbs into our lives. He is an awesome puppy and Arnold would have loved him.

I do want to thank everyone for the e-mails and phone calls. The outpouring of kindness and support helped tremendously.

RESULTS 2/12

Gulfstream

In the third race, Mean Kisser was sixth.

In the fourth, Sicilian Honor was fifth and Special Jak was eighth.

Sam Houston

In the third race, Expect No Equal was fifth. My Bird's Wired scratched and is back in for Sunday.

In the ninth, Little Eva M was fourth.

Tampa

In the first race, Let it Be Hardyboy was placed third and I'm No Choir Boy was tenth.

In the second race, More to It was sixth and Moonlit Getaway scratched.

In the third race, Sin Bin was fourth.

In the fifth race, Macho Muchacho seemed to appreciate the sloppy going and pulled a minor upset for Wayne Sargent . Shotgun Sambo was eleventh.

In the sixth race, Chillin Dylan scratched.

In the seventh race, Markswayornoway was eighth.

In the eighth race, Torch Me Again was fifth. Rubato was a good second. ENTRIES 2/13

Gulfstream

In the second race, Charles Fontana has both I Love to Say Yes and Rocky Miswaki .

Aqueduct

In the third race, Mark Tasso has Jordanna Banana .

In the seventh, George Saccardo has Titletown Tiger .

Laurel

In the fourth race, Billy Sienkewicz has Ivannarun .

In the seventh race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Under Mandate Also in that race, Rafael Ramos has Live Tiger .

Tampa

In the first race, John Botty has Rome is Burning and Alejandro Gomez has Regent Star .

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Master Gino .

In the third race, Botty has New England champ Sassy City . Her last race was, I think, a credible performance against a high quality field and I think she could run a big race here.

In the fourth race, Juan Camilo has Second Glance .

In the fifth race, Brenda McCarthy has Cocktail Music and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Scooties .

In the sixth, McCarthy has V for Vickie and McCooey has Another Mambo .

In the seventh race, Bobby Raymond has Speeder and Hit Another Gear .

Have a great day!

February 12, 2010

February 12, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone.

RESULTS 2/11

Gulfstream

In the second race, Saratoga Blitz was eleventh.

In the third, Miss Gold Indy was eighth and Sunny Horizon was eleventh.

Tampa

In the first race, Skip the Lightning scratched.

In the second race, Bea Precise was second.

In the third race, Mom Extraordinary was ninth.

In the seventh race, Greeley's Kiss was third and Pink Tights was seventh.

In the eighth, Valentine Daisy was third.

In the ninth race, Granby Bot was fifth and Makeitsnappyhappy was sixth.

ENTRIES 2/12

Gulfstream

In the first race, Grammie's Jammies was fifth.

In the third race, Charles Fontana has Mean Kisser . He also has Special Jak in the fourth.

Also in the fourth race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Sicilian Honor .

Sam Houston

In the third race, Wendy Uhacz has My Bird's Wired and Expect No Equal . She also has Little Eva M in the ninth.

Tampa

In the first race, Bernard Bramante has Let it Be Hardyboy and Ernest Poxon, Jr has I'm No Choir Boy .

In the second race, Alejandro Gomez has both Moonlit Getaway and More to It .

In the third race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Sin Bin .

In the fifth race, Wayne Sargent has both Shotgun Sambo and Macho Muchacho .

In the sixth race, Bobby Raymond has Chillin Dylan .

In the seventh race, Juan Camilo has Markswayornoway .

In the eighth race, Brenda McCarthy has Torch Me Again .

In the eleventh race, John Botty has Rubato .

Have a good day everyone!

February 11, 2010

February 11, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone. I apologize for the blog hiatus this week. On Monday evening, my beloved Bull Terrier, Arnold, was diagnosed with renal dysplasia after showing absolutely no symptoms of kidney failure in the days prior. On Wednesday morning, I had to say goodbye to him. He was only eighteen months old. I am heartbroken beyond words.

RESULTS 2/10

Tampa

In the first race, Cat Sonata was fifth.

In the second race, Ocala Cruz Missile was third.

In the third, Mr. D'or was eighth.

In the sixth race, Beautiful Insight was sixth.

In the ninth race, Syncopation was third in his first start back off of a considerable layoff.

In the tenth race, Jimmy's Palace was fifth.

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, Romanscoliseum was twelfth.

ENTRIES 2/11

Aqueduct

In the first race, George Saccardo will send out Casa Pippo .

In the second race, Saccardo will team up with Orlando Bocachica again with Joan's Choice.

In the ninth race, Joe Signore, Jr. will send out Cajun Belle with Bocachica aboard.

Gulfstream

In the first race, George Handy has Grammie's Jammies , a daughter of Graeme Hall .

In the second race, Charles Fontana has Saratoga Blitz . He also has Miss Gold Indy in the third.

Also in the third race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Sunny Horizon .

Laurel

In the second race, Billy Sienkewicz has Dan's Edith .

In the fourth race, Rafael Ramos has Scorpion Sting and Sienkewicz has Travelin John Paul .

In the fifth race, David Lezell has Katie's Raven .

In the sixth race, Ramos has The Last Bird .

In the ninth race, Lezell has Sea Foam Blue .

Tampa

In the first race, Juan Camilo has Skip the Lightning .

In the second race, Bobby Raymond has Bea Precise .

In the third race, Bernard Bramante has Mom Extraordinary .

In the seventh race, Sandra Cataldi has Greeley's Kiss and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Pink Tights .

In the eighth race, McCooey has Valentine Daisy .

In the ninth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Makeitsnappyhappy and Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Granby Boy .

February 8, 2010

February 8, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! First off, congratulations to the Saints. It was an exciting game to watch and though I am a cranky Patriots fan and was still slightly bitter that they crashed and burned this year, I'll admit that the right team won the trophy.

Now that football season is officially over, it's Derby season! And, for the record, 82 days until opening day here!

RESULTS 2/7

Gulfstream

In the third race, Devilish Mecke was fourth.

In the fifth, Deona was second and Onwingsandaprayer was fifth.

Tampa

In the first race, Yamil Rosario guided Swirland to victory for Brenda McCarthy . (These two are doing so well this winter. Brenda had a great meet last season at Tampa and is again very competitive.) In the second race, Yamil rode another winner and swept the early double.

In the fourth race, Ahoy May Tee was sixth.

In the sixth race, Stormin Max was sixth.

In the seventh race, Serengeti Storm was seventh.

In the tenth race, Red Ranger was sixth and Busy Roma scratched.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today.

Have a great day!

February 7, 2010

February 7, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I am a Saints fan for the day and am really looking forward to the game this evening.

If you didn't get a chance to see the Donn yesterday from Gulfstream, do yourself a favor and catch the replay. It was a stunning performance.

RESULTS 2/6

Aqueduct

In the first race, Papa Charlie was eleventh.

In the fifth, Jordanna Banana was eigth.

In the seventh race, Coney Island was thrid.

Sam Houston

In the first race, Offlee Wedded Wife was fourth.

Gulfstream

In the first race, Got that Money was seventh.

Tampa

In the first race, Jean the Queen was sixth.

In the second, Nudara was tenth,

Tigerglider scratched out of the third.

In the fourth race, Yamil Rosario guided Desirable Desiree to a maiden victory.

In the sixth race, Latest Expense was eighth and Prime Diva was tenth.

Special Jak was a scratch in the seventh.

In the eighth race, Charming Country was seventh.

In the ninth, Crown Colony was ninth.

ENTRIES 2/7

Gulfstream

In the thrid race, Charles Fontana has Devilish Mecke . He also has Onwingsandaprayer in the fifth.

Also in the fifth, Marcus Vitali has Deona

Tampa

In the first race, Brenda McCarthy has Swirland .

In the fourth race, Wayne Sargent has Ahoy May Tee .

In the sixth race, John Pimental has Stormin Max .

In the seventh race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Serengeti Storm .

In the tenth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Busy Roma and Poxon has Red Ranger .

Have a great day everyone!

February 6, 2010

February 6, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! While it may be cold and gray today, I am so thankful we are not getting hammered with a snow storm like other states right now.

Though several tracks do appear to have cancelled today due to the storm, there is really fantastic racing today in other parts of the country. The Donn Handicap at Gulfstream is today and in that race is Duke of Mischief . If he can upset Quality Road , he could give Graeme Hall his first Grade 1 winner.

RESULTS 2/5

Gulfstream

In the second race, Deputy Inspector scratched.

In the tenth, Cross the Atlantic was fifth.

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Lulu's Secret scratched.

In the seventh race, Chief Operator was fifth and Fujimo was sixth.

Tampa

In the first race, Bucks Wink was fourth.

In the third race, Immense Storm was eighth.

In the fifth race, Robbie's Express ran a good race to finish third.

In the eighth race, Royal Malibu was fifth.

In the ninth race, Second Glance was eighth.

In the tenth race, Tequila's Desire was fourth.

ENTRIES 2/6

Gulfstream

In the first race, Marcus Vitali has Got the Money . He also has Deona in the third.

Aqueduct

In the first race, George Saccardo has Papa Charlie .

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first, fifth, eighth and ninth races. In the eighth, he will ride Estimator for Karl Grusmark .

In the fifth race, Mark Tasso has Jordanna Banana .

In the seventh, Saccardo has Coney Island .

Sam Houston

In the first race, Offlee Wedded Wife will try to make it two in a row after breaking her maiden (and returning over $100!) last time out for Wendy Uhacz .

Tampa

In the first race, Brenda McCarthy has Jean the Queen .

In the second race, Bobby Raymond has Nudara .

In the third race, Charles Fontana has Tigerglider .

In the fourth, John Pimental has Desirable Desiree .

In the sixth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Latest Expense and Raymond has Prima Diva .

In the seventh race, Fontana has Special Jak .

In the eighth race, Charming Country gets another shot for Bobby Raymond .

In the ninth, Lockhart had Crown Colony .

Have a great day everyone!

February 5, 2010

February 5, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/4

Aqueduct

In the fourth race, Ninety Five was ninth.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Miss Unbridled's was scratched.

In the third, Go Six Go was eleventh.

In the fifth race, Dade Babe was sixth.

In the ninth, Marcus Vitali sent Targe to victory. Strong N Silent finished eighth.

Laurel

In the first race, Security Guard was fifth.

In the second race, Destinedtobemien was second.

In the fourth, Soto High was third.

In the seventh race, Classic Guy finished sixth.

In the eighth race, Halo's Rumble put in a strong effort to finish second, beaten only a nose.

In the ninth race, Tootletheflute was fifth.

Tampa

In the first race, Kathy's N Angel broke her maiden for Bobby Raymond and Jill Jellison . Also in that race, Peplum was eleventh.

In the fourth race, Upper Key was tenth.

In the sixth race, Uno Way Calle was fifth.

Mrs. Lovett scratched out of the tenth race.

ENTRIES 2/5

Laurel

In the first race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Gold Bid .

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has both Courting Elaine and Indy's Ahyoka .

In the fourth race, Ramos has Nagajuskita .

In the fifth, Ramos has Phil C .

In the sixth race, John Rigattieri has both Mount Wilton and Brother Joey . Dyn Panell is named aboard both.

In the seventh race, Rigattieri has D'lightful Appeal .

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Joe Signore, Jr. has Lulu's Secret . Orlando Bocachica will be aboard.

In the seventh race, Signore and Bocachica will team up again with Chief Operator . Also in that race, Mark Tasso has Fujimo .

Charles Town

In the seventh race, Jay Bernardini has Coach Doug .

Gulfstream

In the second race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Deputy Inspector .

In the tenth race, Iadisernia has Cross the Atlantic .

Tampa

In the first race, Lloyd Lockhart has Bucks Wink .

In the third race, Sandra Cataldi has Immense Storm .

In the fifth race, Bobby Raymond has Robbie's Express .

In the eighth, Lockhart has Royal Malibu .

In the ninth race, Juan Camilo has Second Glance , making his first start in just over a year.

In the tenth race, Bernard Bramante has Tequila's Desire .

Have a great day everyone!

February 4, 2010

February 4, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 2/3

Gulfstream

In the third race, Delosvientos finished seventh and last.

In the fourth, Hopefully Lucky was eighth and Romanscoliseum scratched.

In the ninth race, Parky was fifth and Bandit Nailhead had an uncharacteristic off-the-board finish and was seventh. Mean Kisser scratched.

Laurel

In the second race, Hey Mouth was fifth.

In the seventh, Pushed Over was second.

In the ninth, Tornado Boots was third, Amazing Racer was eighth, Score Now was ninth and Rica's Grandsteed scratched.

Tampa

In the fourth race, Fries was fourth and Lizard finished sixth.

In the third race, Circling the Bases was seventh and Gucaipuro was ninth.

In the seventh, Kismet's Boy was ninth.

In the ninth race, Regent Star made a trip to the winner's circle following a 3 length victory. Also in that race, Unshatterable was third.

ENTRIES 2/4

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos will send out Security Guard .

In the second, John Rigattieri has Destinedtobemine .

In the fourth, Rigattieri has Soto High and Billy Sienkewicz has a favorite of mine, Classic Guy . Classic Guy is a half-brother to my first love in racing - Blazing Sword.

In the eighth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has the lovely filly Halo's Rumble .

In the ninth, David Lezell has Tootletheflute .

Aqueduct

In the fourth race, George Saccardo has first-time starter Ninety Five .

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth races including Davy's Bank and Winitback for Karl Grusmark .

Gulfstream

In the third race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Go Six Go .

In the fourth, Marcus Vitali has Targe .

In the fifth race, George Handy has Dade Babe .

In the sixth, Vitali has Hemet . Tampa

In the first race, Brenda McCarthy has Peplum and Bobby Raymond has Kathy's N Angel .

In the fourth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Upper Key .

In the sixth race, McCarthy has Uno Way Calle .

In the tenth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Mrs. Lovett .

Have a great day everyone!

February 3, 2010

February 3, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

There are no noteworthy RESULTS today.

ENTRIES 2/3

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the second, third, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth races. In the fifth, he rides Tapits Main Man for Karl Grusmark .

Gulfstream

In the third race, Delosvientos is in for Giuseppe Iadisernia .

In the fourth race, Iadisernia has Romanscoliseum and Hopefully Lucky .

In the ninth, George Handy has the wonderful old-timer Bandit Nailhead , Charles Fontana has Mean Kisser and Marcus Vitali has Parky .

Laurel

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Hey Mouth .

In the seventh race, Rigattieri has Pushed Over .

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Rica's Grandsteed and Rafael Ramos has Score Now . Also, Rigattieri has Amazing Racer and Billy Sienkewicz has Tornado Boots .

Tampa

In the third race, Bobby Raymond has Circling the Bases .

In the fourth race, Alejandro Gomez has Lizard and Brenda McCarthy has Fries .

In the ninth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Unshatterable .

In the tenth race, Sandra Cataldi has Gucaipuro and Gomez has Regent Star .

Have a great day everyone!

February 2, 2010

February 2, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I apologize for the lack of blog yesterday. I was so jet-lagged and exhausted from my red-eye flight that I pretty much spent the day on the couch with my dog. It is amazing how much I missed him while I was away.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES or RESULTS today.

RESULTS 1/31

Tampa

In the third, Another Smokey was fifth.

In the fourth, Aye Guy was fourth.

In the fifth, Implicator broke his maiden for Alejandro Gomez . Sonofabox was seventh.

In the seventh race, Greeley's Kiss scratched. Shetakesthecake was ninth and stablemate Win Jane's Heart was tenth.

In the tenth, New Day Rising was seventh.

Gulfstream

In the first race, Futurazo was fourth and stablemate Cross the Atlantic scratched.

Have a great day everyone!

January 31, 2010

January 31, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! First off, congratulations to Brian Troop and all of the contestants in the DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship this weekend. The three playrers from Suffolk - Gerry Oberle, Jamie Sultan and Kim Leisey - all did really well and certainly made their home track proud.

RESULTS 1/30

There were quite a few weather related cancellations yesterday.

Tampa

In the first race, Real Place finished fourth. Beautiful Insight was sixth.

In the fourth, EJ Little Boy was fourth.

In the eighth race, Beijing House was very game and finished third. Really a huge effort from him.

In the ninth race, Southern Yankee was ninth.

In the tenth, Crown Colony was eighth.

Sam Houston

In the fourth race, My Bird's Wired was eighth and Expect No Equal was sixth in the eighth race.

ENTRIES 1/31

Charles Town

In the third race, Jay Bernardini has Coach Doug .

In the seventh, John Rigattieri has Lion by My Side .

Tampa

In the third race, Joyce Kielty has Another Smokey .

In the fourth race, Alejandro Gomez has Aye Guy .

In the fifth, Gomez has Implicator and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Sonofabox .

In the seventh race, Sandra Cataldi has Greeley's Kiss . Also in that race, Bobby Raymond has Win Jane's Heart and Shetakesthecake .

In the tenth, Gomez has New Day Rising .

Gulfstream

In the first race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has both Cross the Atlantic and Futurazo .

January 30, 2010

January 30, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/29

Laurel

It was a very good day for the Suffolk crew at Laurel.

Winston Thompson started the day with a bang with a $139.80 winner in the opener.

In the second race, Macho's Gold won by a length for John Rigattieri .

In the fourth race, Indy's Ahyoka was fifth and Courting Elaine was seventh.

In the fifth race, Blondie's Halos was fourht and Snuck in the Back was eigth.

In the sixth, Bobcat Brody was sixth.

In the seventh race, Dan's Edith was eighth.

In the ninth race, Glenwood Ace put in another good effort and won by 1 3/4 lengths. Weekend Games was third, Ivannarun was eighth and CG's Striker was tenth.

Charles Town

In the second race, Funky Country was ninth.

I'm a Prize was seventh in the ninth race.

Tampa

In the first race, Exchange the Limit was fifth.

In the second race, Finally Remembered and Yamil Rosario made a trip to the winner's circle. LP's Tiger was fifth.

In the third race, Chillin Dylan was fifth.

In the fourth race, More to It was second, Alarming Afleet was seventh and Moonlit Getaway was eighth.

In the seventh race, Riversrunrylee was fifth against a very tough field.

Sam Houston

In the third race, Offlee Wedded Wife broke her maiden for Wendy Uhacz and returned $129.80!

ENTRIES 1/30

Sam Houston

In the fourth race, Wendy Uhacz has My Bird's Wired . She also has Expect No Equal in the eigth.

Aqueduct

In the seventh race, Joe Signore, Jr. has Chief Operator . Also in that race, Mark Tasso has Fujimo .

In the eighth race, Tasso has Jordanna Banana .

Charles Town

In the second race, Jay Bernardini has Simply Fancy . He also has Way of an Eagle in the sixth.

Tampa

In the first race, Juan Camilo has Real Place and Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Beautiful Insight .

In the fourth, Brenda McCarthy has EJ Little Boy .

In the eighth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Beijing House . Conduct of Honour is on the also-eligible list for John Pimental .

In the ninth race, Alejandro Gomez has Southern Yankee in the Manatee stakes.

In the tenth, Lloyd Lockhart has Crown Colony . Laurel

In the third, John Rigattieri has Destinedtobemine .

In the fourth, Rigattieri has Prince Kisses .

In the fifth, Rafael Ramos has Scorpion Sting . Rigattieri has D'lightful Appeal and Disguise .

In the sixth race, Rigattieri has Bid til Included .

In the eighth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Gold Bid .

Have a great day everyone!

January 29, 2010

January 29, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! So far, Vegas is great. As embarassing as this may be to admit, I may have been in bed by 7pm last night (to be fair, it was 10pm on my time!). I obviously know how to party.

RESULTS 1/28

Charles Town

Coach Doug scratched out of the seventh race along with Fifty Seven G .

Gulfstream

In the second race, Coraje was sixth.

In the fourth race, Gadamis was third.

In the fifth race, Miss Gold Indy was fifth.

In the sixth, Gimmeawinkpoppy was tenth.

In the ninth, Gator's Tracks was tenth.

Laurel

In the first race, Daily Candy won for Billy Sienkewicz .

In the second race, Jackie Lad was second, A Bit of Madness was third, Dude Again was fourth and Legends Way was seventh. Lion by my Side scratched.

In the third race, Louann's Boot was scratched.

In the fourth race, Fusafast was fourth and stablemate Nagajuskita scratched. No Peace at All was fifth.

In the ninth race, Runinthefastlane and Revere Beach Babe were eighth and ninth. Dreaming Prayers was ninth.

Tampa

In the second race, Latest Expense scratched. Sin Bin was seventh.

In the third, Brenda McCarthy had another winner with Torch Me Again .

In the fifth, Extra Fuse was fifth.

In the seventh race, Technically Wicked ran a dynamite race to defeat a quality field. Jill Jellison was aboard.

ENTRIES 1/29

Aqueduct

In the first race, Karl Grusmark has Indian Rush .

Gulfstream

Charles Town

In the second race, Jay Bernardini has Funky Country .

In the ninth race, Bernardini has I'm a Prize .

Laurel

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Macho's Gold .

In the fourth race, Rafael Ramos has both Courting Elaine and Indy's Ahyoka .

In the fifth race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Snuck in the Back and Rigattieri has Blondie's Halos. .

In the sixth race, Rigattieri has Bobcat Brody .

In the seventh race, Billy Sienkewicz has Dan's Edith .

In the ninth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Glenwood Ace and Rigattieri has CG's Striker and Weekend Games . Also, Sienkewicz has Ivannarun .

Sam Houston

In the third race, Wendy Uhacz has Offlee Wedded Wife .

Tampa

In the first race, Brenda McCarthy has Exchange the Limit .

In the second race, Juan Camilo has LP's Tiger and Sandra Cataldi has Finally Remembered .

In the third race, Chillin Dylan gets another shot. I've bet him every single time, so why stop now?

In the fourth race, Alejandro Gomez has both Moonlit Getaway and More to It . Also, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Alarming Afleet .

In the ninth race, Camilo will send out New England champion Riversrunrylee . I'm super excited. This is a tough field but he shows up every time.

Have a great day everyone!

January 27, 2010

January 27, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

There are no noteworthy RESULTS from yesterday.

ENTRIES 1/27

Gulfstream

In the first race, Marcus Vitali has Ski Sky .

In the second race, Charles Fontana has Saratoga Blitz .

In the fifth race, Fontana has Tigerglider

Laurel

In the first race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Bandslammer .

In the second race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Under Mandate and John Rigattieri has Indy's Honey Gem .

In the third race, Billy Sienkewicz has War Morning .

In the eighth race, Rigattieri has Handsome Bruno .

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Sea Foam Blue .

Tampa

In the second race, Sandra Cataldi has Sister Dolores .

In the third race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Another Mambo .

In the fifth race, Bobby Raymond has Bea Precise .

In the seventh race, Raymond has Charming Country . He is a much, much better horse than that last effort.

In the ninth race, Cataldi has Dixville .

In the tenth, Lloyd Lockhart has Busy Roma and McCooey has Silver Spike .

Have a great day!

January 28, 2010

January 27, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I am off to Las Vegas at the crack of dawn Thursday morning so here it is, Wednesday night, and I'm getting the blog done. I'm (over) packed and ready to go!

Good luck to all competing in the DRF/NTRA Handicapping Tournament this weekend!

RESULTS 1/27

Gulfstream

In the first race, Ski Sky was sixth.

In the second race, Saratoga Blitz was eleventh.

In the fifth race, Tigerglider was seventh.

Tampa

In the second race, Sister Dolores was fifth.

In the third race, Another Mambo scratched.

In the fifth race, Bea Precise was fifth.

In the seventh race, Charming Country was sixth.

In the ninth race, Dixville was ninth.

In the tenth race, Silver Spike was seventh and Busy Roma was tenth.

Laurel

In the first race, Bandslammer was third.

In the second race, Indy's Honey Gem was second and Under Mandate was eighth.

In the third race, War Morning was eighth.

In the eighth race, Handsome Bruno and Dyn Panell pulled off a game victory at generous odds of 11-1.

In the ninth race, Sea Foam Blue was was fifth.

ENTRIES 1/28

Gulfstream

In the second race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Coraje .

In the fourth race, Iadisernia has Gadamis .

In the fifth race, Charles Fontana has Miss Gold Indy .

In the sixth race, Fontana has Gimmeawinkpoppy .

In the ninth race, New England Hall of Fame trainer George Handy will send out former New England champ Gator's Tracks .

Charles Town

In the seventh race, Jay Bernardini has Coach Doug and David Lezell has Fifty Seven G .

Laurel

In the first race, Billy Sienkewicz has Daily Candy .

In the second race, Nelson S. Espaillat has both Jackie Lad and Legends Way . Also in that race, Sienkewicz has A Bit of Madness and John Rigattieri has both Dude Again and Lion by My Side .

In the third race, Sienkewicz has Louann's Boot .

In the fourth race, Rafael Ramos has both Fusafast and Nagajuskita . Rigattieri has No Peace at All .

In the ninth race, Ramos has Dreaming Prayers and Rigattieri has Runinthefastlane and Revere Beach Babe .

Tampa

In the second race, Lloyd Lockhart has Latest Expense and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Sin Bin .

In the third race, Brenda McCarthy has Torch Me Again .

In the fifth race, Lockhart has Extra Fuse .

In the seventh race, Bobby Raymond has Technically Wicked .

Have a great day everyone!

January 26, 2010

January 26, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES or RESULTS today.

January 25, 2010

January 25, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I stayed up later than normal last night to watch the Saints game and I am so glad I did. It was a terrific game.

RESULTS 1/24

Aqueduct

In the third race, Mr. Jolson and Orlando Bocachica were third. Also in that racer, Papa Charlie was seventh.

In the sixth race, Emblemosophy scratched.

Charles Town

In the fourth race, Lir Jet was seventh. Get Ready Go was fourth in the eighth race.

Gulfstream

In the fifth race, Jazz Nation clipped heels and lost his rider. Devilish Mecke scratched.

In the sixth race, Zapper was ninth and Privy Seal was twelfth.

Tampa

In the first race, Swirland scratched.

In the third race, the gorgeous Metal Jacket put in a huge effort to win at 8-1 and was claimed.

In the sixth race, Four F's and a D was seventh and I'm No Choir Boy was tenth.

In the seventh race, Macho Muchacho was eighth. Stag Film scratched.

In the eighth race, Tommy's Memory remained undefeated with a one-length victory over the hard-knocking old-timer, Blind River Fox . Sand Slider scratched.

In the ninth race, Eight Faces was fifth, Little Vinnie Boy was ninth and Salsbury was tenth.

In the tenth race, Lizard finished sixth. More to It and Rome is Burning both scratched.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today.

Have a great day!

January 24, 2010

January 24, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/23

Laurel

In the first race, Goodness Greatness was third.

In the second race, Bentbutnotbroken was fourth. Scorpion Sting was sixth.

In the third race, Helen Says was eighth.

In the fourth race, Little Miss Kisses put in another game effort to finish third, beaten only half a length.

In the fifth race, Travelin John Paul was ninth and last.

In the sixth race, Ragabash was fourth.

In the seventh race, the Nellie Morse Stakes, Weathered finished a game second. Lucky You was sixth.

In the eighth race, Lion's Maddy was sixth.

In the ninth race, Soto High and Dyn Panell made a trip to the winner's circle.

Charles Town

In the first race, Saucy Lass was seventh. Coach Doug scratched out of the second race.

In the eighth race, Seekingvindication was second.

Tampa

In the first race, Pompano Beach Rose was fifth.

In the second race, New Day Rising was fifth and Sylvia's Cat was seventh.

In the fourth race, Dwight was tenth.

In the seventh race, Granby Boy was second.

In the ninth race, Drews Honoree was eighth.

In the eleventh race, Brenda McCarthy sent out another longshot winner in Miss Tricky Me . The filly returned $49 with Vernon Bush aboard. Miracle Cat was eleventh. ENTRIES 1/24

Gulfstream

In the fifth race, Charles Fontana has Devilish Mecke and Marcus Vitali has Jazz Nation .

In the sixth race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Privy Seal and Vitali has Zapper .

Aqueduct

Former New England champion Mr. Jolson is in the third race for Karl Grusmark . Orlando Bocachica will be aboard. Also in that race, George Saccardo has Papa Charlie .

In the sixth race, Saccardo has Emblemosophy .

Charles Town

Jay Bernardini has Lir Jet in the fourth and Get Ready Go in the eighth race.

Tampa

In the first race, Brenda McCarthy has Swirland .

Alejandro Gomez has the gorgeous Metal Jacket in the third race.

In the sixth race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has I'm No Choir Boy . Also in that race, the horse with one of the most amusing names - Four F's and a D will make his career debut for Bobby Raymond .

In the seventh race, Bernard Bramante has Stag Film and Wayne Sargent has Macho Muchacho .

In the eighth race, the obviously talented Tommy's Memory will try to maintain his perfect record. Also in that race, Sargent has Sand Slider .

In the ninth race, Sandra Cataldi has Eight Faces and Salsbury . Also in that race, John Pimental has Little Vinnie Boy .

In the tenth race, John Botty has Rome is Burning and Gomez has Lizard and More to It .

Have a great day everyone!

January 23, 2010

January 23, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! There is some fantastic news - Suffolk Downs will now be simulcasting from Gulfstream, Laurel, Oaklawn, Fairground, Santa Anita and Golden Gate again! Just in time for the Derby preps.

RESULTS 1/22

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Coney Island had a rough go of it and hit the gate at the start. He finished sixth.

In the seventh race, Orlando Bocachica guided Hello City to victory.

Laurel

In the first race, Live Tiger was fifth.

In the fourth race, Massecuite was third.

In the fifth race, Hi Poppy was sixth.

In the seventh race, Pushed Over was second by a head. Disguise scratched.

In the ninth race, Jane's Song was third, Miss Jealousy was seventh and On the QB was ninth.

Gulfstream

In the fifth race, Milwaukee Wolf was third and Listowel Boy was seventh. Gimmeawinkpoppy scratched.

Tampa

In the first race, Mortal Sin was sixth.

In the third race, Uno Way Calle was fourth, Unlimited Funds was seventh and Gonna Blow was ninth.

In the fourth race, Barrington Hills was sixth and Shadow de Maya was seventh.

In the fifth race, Robbie's Express was third.

In the sixth race, Sara's Hot Shot was fourth and Beautiful Insight was ninth.

In the seventh race, Deerborough was third and Affirmed Action was seventh. Conduct of Honour scratched.

In the eighth race, Markswayornoway was eighth.

In the ninth race, Serengeti Storm was fifth and Unshatterable was eighth.

In the tenth race, Three Cookies was eighth and Peplum was ninth. Untouchable Lauren was distanced and did not finish.

ENTRIES 1/23

Laurel

In the first race, David Lezell has Goodness Greatness .

In the second race, Lezell has Bentbutnotbroken and Rafael Ramos has Scorpion Sting .

In the third race, Lezell has Helen Says .

In the fourth race, John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell will team up with the consistent and game Little Miss Kisses .

In the fifth race, Travelin John Paul is in for Billy Sienkewicz .

In the sixth race, Ramos has Ragabash .

In the seventh race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Lucky You and Karl Grusmark has Weathered in the Nellie Morse Stakes.

In the eighth race, Rigattieri will send out Carlos Quinones aboard Lion's Maddy .

In the ninth race, Rigattieri has Soto High .

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the fifth and seventh races. In the seventh, he will ride Estimator for Karl Grusmark .

Charles Town

In the first race, Jay Bernardini has Saucy Lass . He also has Coach Doug in the second.

In the eighth race, Rafael Ramos has Seekingvindication .

Tampa

In the first race, Sandra Cataldi has Pompano Beach Rose .

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Sylvia's Cat and Alejandro Gomez has New Day Rising .

In the fourth race, John Botty has Dwight .

In the seventh race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Granby Boy .

In the ninth race, Joyce Kielty has Drews Honoree .

In the eleventh race, Bramante has Miracle Cat , John Pimental has Desirable Desiree and Brenda McCarthy has Miss Tricky Me .

Have a great day everyone!

January 22, 2010

January 22, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/21

Laurel

In the first race, Tornado Boots was fifth and Amazing Racer was sixth.

In the second race, John Rigattieri sent Hey Mouth to a one-length victory. Stablemate Evil Buddha was fifth.

In the third race, Katie's Raven was sixth.

In the fourth race, Destinedtobemine was sixth.

Master Gino scratched out of the fifth.

Aqueduct

In the third race, Cajun Belle was fifth.

In the seventh race, Orlando Bocachica and Rocketing Returns finished a strong second.

In the ninth race, Titletown Tiger ran a dynamite race to finish second by a neck at long odds despite a troubled trip.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Onwingsandaprayer was third.

Sam Houston

In the seventh race, Expect No Equal was sixth.

Penn National

In the seventh race, Rearrange was placed third.

Tampa

In the second race, Hemet was sixth.

In the fourth race, Implicator was second and Sonofabox was fourth.

In the fifth race, Jimmy's Palace was tenth.

In the eighth race, Mrs. Lovett was fifth.

In the ninth race, Kathy's N Angel was seventh and Tequila's Desire was eighth.

Sara's Hot Shot scratched out of the tenth race and stablemate Jean the Queen was sixth.

ENTRIES 1/22

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has Live Tiger with Winston Thompson .

In the fourth race, Ramos will team up with Dyn Panell with Massecuite .

In the fifth race, Ramos has Hi Poppy .

In the seventh race, John Rigattieri has both Pushed Over and Disguise with Panell and Carlos Quinones .

In the ninth race, David Lezell has On the QB and Rigattieri has Jane's Song and Miss Jealousy .

Gulfstream

In the fifth race, Charles Fontana has Milwaukee Wolf and Gimmeawinkpoppy . Also in that race, Marcus Vitali has Listowel Boy .

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first, fourth, sixth, seventh and ninth races. In the first, he will ride Brightrock for Karl Grusmark .

In the fifth race, George Saccardo has Coney Island .

Tampa

In the first race, John Botty has first-time starter Mortal Sin .

In the third race, Bernard Bramante has Gonna Blow and Brenda McCarthy has both Unlimited Funds and Uno Way Calle .

In the fourth race, Bramante has Shadow de Maya and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Barrington Hills .

In the fifth race, Bobby Raymond has Robbie's Express . This guy ran a big race last time out and if he can put two in a row together he has a big shot.

In the sixth race, McCarthy has Sara's Hot Shot and Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Beautiful Insight .

In the seventh race, McCooey has Affirmed Action , Poxon has Deerborough and John Pimental has Conduct of Honour .

In the eighth race, Juan Camilo has Markswayornoway , a half-sister to New England champ Riversrunrylee .

In the ninth race, McCooey has Unshatterable and Poxon has Serengeti Storm .

In the tenth race, Alejandro Gomez has Three Cookies , Anthony Ryan has Untouchable Lauren and McCarthy has Peplum .

Have a great day everyone!

January 21, 2010

January 21, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/20

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica guided Sue the Attorney to victory in the fourt.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Miss Unbridled's was tenth.

Special Jak was fifth in the eighth race.

Charles Town

In the fifth race, Saucy Lass scratched. She is re-entered for Saturday.

In the seventh race, Summer Legacy was seventh.

Tampa

In the second race, Gucaipuro was fifth.

In the fourth race, Garlington finished tenth. Also in that race, Jimmy's Mr. Hicky scratched.

In the fifth race, Immense Storm was sixth.

In the sixth race, Hit Another Gear put in a good effort to finish third. Speeder was eighth and Conrad Crossing was ninth. Affirmed Action scratched.

In the seventh race, Bucks Wink was seventh.

In the ninth race, Delaware Beauty was eleventh.

In the tenth race, Torch Me Again was sixth.

ENTRIES 1/21

Aqueduct

In the third race, Cajun Belle will make her first start since being claimed by Joe Signore, Jr. . She has been on the board in seven of her eighth lifetime starts and though this field looks strong, she could be a filly with a bright future. Orlando Bocachica will be aboard.

In the seventh race, Boca will be aboard Rocketing Returns for Seth Benzel .

In the ninth race, George Saccardo has Titletown Tiger .

Penn National

In the seventh race, the consistent Rearrange will make another maiden attempt.

Laurel

In the first race, John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell will team up with Amazing Racer . Also in that race, Billy Sienkewicz has Tornado Boots in with Carlos Quinones aboard.

In the second race, Rigattieri has Hey Mouth and Evil Buddha .

In the third race, David Lezell has Katie's Raven .

In the fourth race, Rigattieri has Destinedtobemine .

In the fifth race, Master Gino is in for Rafael Ramos .

Gulfstream

In the second race, Charles Fontana has Onwingsandaprayer .

Sam Houston

In the seventh race, Wendy Uhacz has Expect No Equal .

Tampa

In the second race, Marcus Vitali has Hemet .

In the fourth race, Alejandro Gomez has Implicator and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Sonofabox .

In the fifth race, Brenda McCarthy has Jimmy's Palace .

In the eighth race, McCooey has Mrs. Lovett .

In the ninth race, Bernard Bramante has Tequila's Desire and Bobby Raymond has Kathy's N Angel .

In the tenth race, McCarthy has Sara's Hot Shot and Jean the Queen .

Have a great day everyone!

January 20, 2010

January 20, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

There are no noteworthy RESULTS from yesterday.

ENTRIES 1/20

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh races. In the fourth, he will be aboard Weefc for Karl Grusmark .

Gulfstream

In the second race, Charles Fontana has Miss Unbridled's . He also has Special Jak in the fifth race.

Charles Town

Jay Bernardini has Saucy Lass in the fifth and Summer Legacy in the seventh.

Tampa

In the second race, Sandra Cataldi has Gucaipuro .

In the fourth race, Brenda McCarthy has Jimmy's Mr. Hicky and John Pimental has Garlington .

In the fifth race, Cataldi has Immense Storm .

In the sixth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Affirmed Action . Also in that race, John Pimental has Conrad Crossing and Bobby Raymond has both Speeder and Hit Another Gear .

In the seventh race, Lloyd Lockhart has Buck's Wink .

In the eighth race, Pimental has Potomac Manor .

In the ninth race, McCarthy has Delaware Beauty .

In the tenth race, McCarthy has Torch Me Again .

Have a great day everyone!

January 19, 2010

January 19, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I stayed up way past my usual bedtime to watch the Eclipse Awards last night and, like everyone else, I was anxiously anticipating Horse of the Year. I do think both fillies were just tremendous in 2009 and a valid case could have been made for either one to get the main honor.

I am just so excited for racing this year. With both of them poised for a return, it is an exciting time to be a racing fan.

RESULTS 1/18

Aqueduct

In the second race, Joan's Choice finished seventh.

Laurel

In the first race Sneaky Deeds was fourth and Hot Brew was sixth.

In the third race, Jersey Moon was fifth.

In the fourth race, Go Luv was seventh.

In the fifth race, Phil C was fifth.

In the sixth race, Nagajuskita was fifth.

In the eighth race, Swing Music was third.

In the ninth race, Travelin John Paul was third and Fifty Seven G was fifth.

Gulfstream

In the third race, Our Sun was second.

In the fourth race, Delosvientos finished seventh and last. I hope he comes in sharper second start back.

In the sixth race, Cross the Atlantic was fifth.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today. Have a great day everyone!

January 18, 2010

January 18, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! The weather is absolutely miserable today. I am so ready for it to be summer.

RESULTS 1/17

Aqueduct

In the seventh race, Jordanna Banana was eighth.

In the eighth race, Yet Again finished sixth.

Charles Town

Coach Doug scratched out of the fifth.

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, Quiet Revolution was third and Mean Kisser was eleventh.

Tampa

In the second race, Swirland finished fifth, Upper Key was tenth and Miracle Cat scratched.

In the seventh race, Awendaw was eighth.

In the tenth race, Cat Sonata was fourth.

ENTRIES 1/18

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has Hot Brew and John Rigattieri has Sneaky Deeds .

In the third race, Rigattieri has Jersey Moon .

In the fourth race, Rigattieri has Go Luv .

In the fifth race, Ramos has Phil C .

In the sixth race, Ramos has Nagajuskita .

In the eighth race, Rigattieri has Swing Music . A fun fact- her margin of victory of eighteen lengths in one of her wins at Suffolk was the largest margin of victory of the meet.

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Fifty Seven G and Billy Sienkewicz has Travelin John Paul .

Gulfstream

In the third race, Marcus Vitali has Our Sun .

In the fourth race, Giuseppe Iadisernia will send out his stakes winner, Delosvientos , most recently seen running a game second to Riversrunrylee .

In the sixth race, Iadisernia has Cross the Atlantic .

Aqueduct

In the second race, George Saccardo has Joan's Choice . Orlando Bocachica will be aboard.

Boca also has mounts in the fifth and seventh races.

January 17, 2010

January 17, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/16

Laurel

In the third race, Score Now was fifth. Frankly Frank was seventh.

In the fifth race, Adopted Arrival was ninth.

In the sixth race, Southern Twister ran a dynamite race to pull off the victory. I'm a bit disappointed he was claimed as he most likely won't be back at Suffolk this summer. Also in that race, Brother Joey was fourth.

In the eighth race, The Last Bird was second.

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, Chief Operator finished eighth.

Gulfstream

In the second race, Saratoga Blitz scratched.

Rocky Miswaki was ninth in the fourth race.

Tampa

In the first race, Skip the Lightning was eighth in his first start off of a layoff. Aye Guy was ninth.

In the second race, Pensiveness scratched. Metal Jacket was second.

In the third race, No Passing Zone was eighth. Unlimited Funds scratched.

In the fifth race, Boston West End scratched. Arctiz was ninth.

In the sixth race, Granby Boy was sixth.

In the eleventh race, LP's Tiger was fourth.

ENTRIES 1/17

Charles Town

In the fifth race, Jay Bernardini has Couch Doug

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first, third, fifth and eighth races. In the eighth race, he will ride Yet Again for Karl Grusmark in the Affectionately Stakes.

In the seventh race, Mark Tasso has Jordanna Banana .

Gulfstream

In the sixth race, Charles Fontana has Mean Kisser and Giuseppe Iadisernia has Quiet Revolution .

Tampa

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Miracle Cat , Brenda McCarthy has Swirland and Lloyd Lockhart has Upper Key .

In the ninth race, Bramante has Tequila's Desire .

In the seventh race, Wayne Sargent, Sr. has Awendaw .

In the tenth race, John Botty has Cat Sonata .

Have a great day everyone!

January 16, 2010

January 16, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/15

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos sent out Killarney Bay with Winston Thompson aboard to a victory.

In the second race, Macho's Gold stumbled and lost his rider.

In the third race, Zavata's Trick was third.

In the seventh race, Go Angel Go was a game second behind Dyn Panell and Prince Kisses . Legends Way finished sixth and A Bit of Madness was seventh.

In the eighth race, Bid til Included was fifth.

In the ninth race, Tootletheflute was sixth.

Tampa

In the first race, Implicator was second and Red Ranger was fifth.

In the second race, Sandra Cataldi and Yamil Rosario teamed up for a victory with Finally Remembered .

Real Place scratched out of the third race.

In the fourth race, Circling the Bases gave the Bobby Raymond barn their first win of the meet. Aye Guy scratched.

In the fifth race, Regent Star was fifth.

In the sixth race, Greeley's Kiss was second. Mini Goal finished fifth.

In the seventh race, Strong N Silent finished fourth. More to It was fifth.

In the ninth race, Latest Expense was eleventh.

In the tenth race, Chillin Dylan was seventh and Silver Spike was eighth.

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, Fujimo was ninth.

Sam Houston

In the seventh race, Offlee Wedded Wife was fifth.

ENTRIES 1/16

Aqueduct

Joe Signore, Jr. has the beautifully-bred Chief Operator in the ninth.

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first, fourth, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth races.

Laurel

In the third race, Rafael Ramos has Score Now and John Rigattieri has Frankly Frank ..

In the fifth race, David Lezell has Adopted Arrival .

In the sixth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Southern Twister and Rigattieri has Brother Joey .

In the eighth race, Ramos has The Last Bird .

Gulfstream

Charles Fontana has Saratoga Blitz in the second race.

In the fourth race, he has Rocky Miswaki .

Tampa

In the first race, Juan Camilo has Skip the Lightning , a longshot I am kind of interested in today. Aye Guy is in for Alejandro Gomez .

In the second race, Pensiveness is in again for Gomez along with Metal Jacket .

In the third race, Gomez has No Passing Zone and Brenda McCarthy has the speedy Unlimited Funds .

In the fifth race, Bernard Bramante has Boston West End and John Pimental has the well-bred Arctiz .

In the sixth race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Granby Boy .

Juan Camilo has the consistent LP's Tiger in the eleventh race.

Have a great day everyone!

January 15, 2010

January 15, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/14

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica brought home the winner of the first race.

Karl Grusmark's filly Weathered added another stakes victory to her resume in the Darlin Momma Stakes .

Grusmark and Bocachica teamed up in the ninth race for a runner-up finish with longshot Winitback

Laurel

Mighty Elixir scratched out of the first race.

In the second race, Blondie's Halo won for John Rigattieri . Snuck in the Back was seventh.

In the third race, Weekend Games was third, Glenwood Ace was fourth and CG's Striker was fifth. Brogue finished seventh and Louann's Boot rounded out the field in eigth. Irish Blast scratched.

In the fifth race, Last Vindication finished second.

In the eighth race, Bobcat Brody was eighth.

Gulfstream

In the fifth race, Targe was fourth.

Sam Houston

In the eighth race, Little Eva M was fourth.

Charles Town

Lion by My Side finished third in the seventh race.

Tampa

In the second race, Sir Classic Chris was second, Exchange the Limit was fourth and Moonlit Getaway was ninth. Mom Extraordinary scratched.

In the third race, Devilish Mecke was fifth, Southrnhospitality was seventh and Salsbury was eighth.

In the fourth race, Rubato ran a really good race to finish fourth. She looked absolutely beaten once she didn't get the lead and I was impressed by how she came back again. Also in that race, Bea Precise was seventh.

In the fifth race, Another Mambo was fifth.

In the seventh race, Another Smokey was seventh.

In the ninth race, Crown Colony finished seventh.

ENTRIES 1/15

Aqueduct

Mark Tasso has Fujimo in the ninth race.

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the fourth, sixth and seventh races.

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has the beautifully-bred Killarney Bay .

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Macho's Gold .

In the third race, Ramos has Zavata's Trick .

In the seventh race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Go Angel Go and Rigattieri will team up with Dyn Panell with Princes Kisses . Also in that race, Billy Sienkewicz has the well-bred A Bit of Madness .

In the eighth race, Rigattieri will send out Bid til Included . I thought this guy showed a lot of potential in his career debut and I think he has a bright future.

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Tootletheflute .

Tampa

In the first race, Alejandro Gomez has Implicator and Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Red Ranger .

In the second race, Sandra Cataldi has Finally Remembered .

In the third race, Real Place is in for Juan Camilo .

In the fourth race, Gomez has Aye Guy and Bobby Raymond has Circling the Bases .

In the fifth race, Gomez has Regent Star .

In the sixth race, Cataldi has Greeley's Kiss and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Mini Goal .

In the seventh race, Charles Fontana has Strong N Silent and Gomez has More to It .

In the ninth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Latest Expense .

In the tenth race, McCooey has Silver Spike and Raymond has Chillin Dylan .

Have a great day everyone!

January 14, 2010

January 14, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/13

Gulfstream

In the third race, Milwaukee Wolf was victorious for Charles Fontana .

In the sixth race, the fantastic old gelding Bandit Nailhead put in another credible performance to finish third. Also in that race, Parky was fifth.

Aqueduct

In the third race, Mr. Jolson finished fifth for Orlando Bocachica and Karl Grusmark . In the fifth race, those two teamed up for a third place finish with Thunder Reigns .

Charles Town

Storm Door finished fifth in the fourth race.

Laurel

In the first race, Uvada was fourth.

In the third race, Fusafast put in an encouraging debut and finished third.

In the fifth race, Dude Again finished second and Jackie Lad was third. Ivannarun finished tenth.

In the sixth race, Seekingvindication was sixth.

In the ninth race, Goodness Greatness was eighth. Also in that race, Dan's Edith finished twelfth and last.

Tampa

In the first race, Three Cookies was eleventh.

In the second race, Gimmeawinkpoppy was fourth.

In the fourth race, Stormin Max was seventh.

In the fifth race, Kismet's Boy was fifth.

In the seventh race, Sister Dolores finished second. Also in that race, Barrington Hills was fifth, Dixville was seventh and Shadow de Maya was eighth.

Technically Wicked scratched out of the eighth race.

Southrnhospitality scratched out of the tenth race.

ENTRIES 1/14

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has Mighty Elixir .

In the second race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Snuck in the Back and John Rigattieri has Blondie's Halos .

In the third race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Glenwood Ace , Billy Sienkewicz has Louann's Boot, and Espaillat has Brogue . Also, Rafael Ramos has Irish Blast and John Rigattieri has both CG's Striker with Dyn Panell and Weekend Games . Pretty much an entire field of Suffolk horses and people!

In the fifth race, Ramos and Winston Thompson will team up with Last Vindication .

In the eighth race, Rigattieri has Bobcat Brody .

Charles Town

John Rigattieri has Lion by My Side in the seventh race.

Sam Houston

In the eighth race, Wendy Uhacz has Little Eva M .

Gulfstream

Marcus Vitali has Targe in the fifth race.

Aqueduct

Karl Grusmark has his lovely stakes filly Weathered in the eighth race, the Darlin Momma Stakes.

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first, sixth, seventh and ninth races.

Tampa

In the second race, Brenda McCarthy has Exchange the Limit . Also in that race, Bernard Bramante has Mom Extraordinary and Alejandro Gomez has both Sir Classic Chris and Moonlit Getaway .

In the third race, Sandra Cataldi has Salsbury . Also in that race, Charles Fontana has both Southrnhospitality and Devilish Mecke .

In the fourth race, John Botty will send out the speedy Rubato and Bobby Raymond has Bea Precise .

In the fifth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Another Mambo .

In the seventh race, Joyce Kielty has Another Smokey .

In the ninth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Crown Colony .

Have a great day everyone!

January 13, 2010

January 13, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

ENTRIES 1/12

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson will team up with Uvada .

In the fourth race, Ramos has Fusafast , a first-time starter with some serious pedigree. Though I'm not totally wild about the Fusaichi Pegasus offspring, his dam was a Group 1 winner in England. Interesting debut runner.

In the fifth race, Billy Sienkewicz will make his first start of the season at Laurel for Charles River Racing with the speedy Ivannarun . Also in that race, John Rigattieri has Dude Again and Nelson S. Espaillat has Jackie Lad .

In the sixth race, Ramos has Seekingvindication .

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Goodness Greatness and Sienkewicz will team up with Winston Thompson with Dan's Edith .

Aqueduct

Mr. Jolson is in the third race for Karl Grusmark . Orlando Bocachica will be aboard the former New England champion. Boca also has mounts in the fifth, sixth and seventh races.

Charles Town

Rafael Ramos has Storm Door in the fourth race.

Gulfstream

In the third race, Charles Fontana has Milwaukee Wolf .

In the sixth race, New England Hall of Fame trainer George Handy will send out the wonderful old gelding Bandit Nailhead . Also in that race, Marcus Vitali has Parky .

Tampa

In the first race, Alejandro Gomez has Three Cookies .

In the second race, Charles Fontana has Gimmeawinkpoppy .

In the fourth race, John Pimental has Stormin Max .

In the fifth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Kismet's Boy .

In the seventh race, Bernard Bramante has Shadow de Maya . Also in that race, Sandra Cataldi has Dixville and Sister Dolores and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Barrington Hills .

In the eighth race, Bobby Raymond has Technically Wicked . I like her a lot if this race comes off the turf.

In the tenth race, Fontana has Southrnhospitality .

Have a great day everyone!

January 12, 2010

January 12, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! We have no noteworthy ENTRIES or RESULTS today. However, tomorrow looks very interesting so check back then!

January 11, 2010

January 11, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone. There is no exclamation point in my greeting today because I am still beside myself over that travesty of a football game yesterday. Unbelievable.

RESULTS 1/10

Aqueduct

Ninety Five scratched out of the second race.

Orlando Bocachica rode the winner of the fifth race, Marina Market .

In the seventh race, Papa Charlie was seventh.

Charles Town

In the sixth race, Funky Country jumped a fallen rival and lost his rider in the process. I hope everyone involved came back okay.

Tampa

In the first race, I Love to Say Yes was fifth and Sylvia's Cat was seventh.

In the third race, Lizard was seventh.

In the fifth race, both Willsheorwon'tshe and Miss Gold Indy scratched.

Sassy City finished fourth against a seriously tough field in the seventh race.

In the eighth race, Conduct of Honour finished fourth and Charming Country was seventh.

In the ninth race, Eight Faces was seventh.

In the tenth race, Cat Sonata was sixth. Rinaldo's Gold scratched.

Have a great day everyone!

January 10, 2010

January 10, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning! Playoff football and some fantastic racing - what more could a girl ask for?

RESULTS 1/9

Charles Town

In the second race , Jay Bernardini sent out Way of an Eagle to a runner up finish. In the sixth race, he made a trip to the winners' circle with Get Ready Go .

Laurel

In the second race, Disguise was second and Stellar Ambition was third.

In the fifth race, Spaghetti finished sixth.

In the sixth race, Handsome Bruno was sixth.

In the ninth race, Soto High was fourth.

Tampa

In the first race, Desirable Desiree was second, Miss Tricky Me was fourth and Miracle Cat was ninth.

In the fourth race, Jimmy's Palace was eleventh.

In the ninth race, Busy Roma was tenth.

In the tenth race, Beijing House ran a huge race to finish second. Deerborough finished ninth.

In the eleventh race, the horse with the name that makes me laugh, Fries pulled off an upset victory for Brenda McCarthy and Vernon Bush , returning $74! Also in that race, Gonna Blow was sixth, and Uno Way Calle was eleventh.

Gulfstream

In the third race, Ski Sky was fourth.

ENTRIES 1/10

Charles Town

Jay Bernardini has Funky Country in the sixth race.

Aqueduct

George Saccardo has first-time starter Ninety Five in the second and the talented Papa Charlie in the seventh.

Tampa

In the first race, Bernard Bramante has Sylvia's Cat and Charles Fontana has I Love to Say Yes .

In the third race, Lizard is in for Alejandro Gomez .

In the fifth race, Fontana has Miss Gold Indy and Giuseppe Iadisernia has Willsheorwon'tshe .

Despite her disappointing effort last week, Sassy City gets another chance in the seventh race for John Botty . This isn't a barn that runs their horses back on short rest frequently so I'm guessing (and hoping) last Saturday's race was a fluke. This is a seriously tough field, but she gets a cutback in distance and a jockey change and she also may show improvement simply by having a race over the track.

In the eighth race, Charming Country will make his seasonal debut for Bobby Raymond . I like this guy - he is big, gorgeous and when he is "on", he is super tough.

In the ninth race, Sandra Cataldi has Eight Faces .

Botty also has the talented Cat Sonata in the tenth race. Also in that race, Bobby Raymond has Rinaldo's Gold .

Have a great day everyone!

January 9, 2010

January 9, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/8

Laurel

In the second race, Revere Beach Babe was sixth.

In the third race, Indy's Honey Gem was third, Live Tiger was fourth and Under Mandate finished ninth.

In the fifth race, Helen Says was fifth, Marivett was seventh and Snuck in the Back was tenth.

In the sixth race, Dreaming Prayers was ninth.

In the seventh race, Massecuite was ninth.

In the eighth race, Swing Music was fourth.

In the ninth race, Borsa was seventh.

Gulfstream

Akonite was eleventh in the third race.

Tampa

In the first race, Buck's Wink was fifth. Lloyd Lockhart's other entry for the day, Prized Dream , scratched out of the ninth race.

Ocalca Cruz Missile finished seventh in the fourth race for John Botty .

Pink Tights was fifth in the fifth race.

In the sixth race, Dances was eighth.

Aqueduct

Fujimo finished eleventh in the ninth race.

ENTRIES 1/9

Charles Town

Jay Bernardini has Way of an Eagle in the second race and Get Ready Go in the sixth.

Laurel

Rafael Ramos has Stellar Ambition in the second race. John Rigattieri has Disguise .

In the fifth race, Rigattieri has Spaghetti . (Fries is at Tampa, today, too. Now, where's Taco ?)

In the sixth race, Rigattieri will send out Handsome Bruno .

He also has Soto High in the ninth.

Gulfstream

Marcus Vitali has Ski Sky in the third.

Tampa

Bernard Bramante has Miracle Cat in the first, John Pimental has Desirable Desiree and Brenda McCarthy has Miss Tricky Me .

McCarthy also has Jimmy's Palace in the fourth race.

In the fifth race, Pimental has Potomac Manor .

In the ninth race, Lloyd Lockhart has Busy Roma .

In the tenth race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Deerborough back in after an impressive victory last time out. Also in that race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Beijing House who looks like a big threat if he gets in.

Bramante has Gonna Blow in the eleventh race and McCarthy has Uno Way Calle and Fries .

Aqueduct

Former New England champion juvenile Mr. Jolson is on the also-eligible list in the ninth race for Karl Grusmark . Orlando Bocachica will be aboard and also has mounts in the first, sixth and eighth races.

Have a great day everyone!

January 8, 2010

January 8, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/7

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Lulu's Secret was seventh for Joe Signore, Jr. .

In the sixth race, Jordanna Banana was tenth for Mark Tasso .

Laurel

In the first race, Destinedtobemine was third for John Rigattieri .

In the second race, Hot Chile Soup ran a dynamite race to pull off the victory by of a length for Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson . I'm very disappointed she was claimed from this race because she seems like she was finally starting to "get it". I'll be rooting for her wherever her new connections go with her. Her rival, Little Miss Kisses put in another good performance and finished third, beaten only a length.

In the third race, Libby's Indian put in a good effort to finish second for Charles Assimakopoulos .

In the fifth race, Pushed Over was fourth and Scorpion Sting finished eleventh.

In the sixth race, Mount Wilton finished sixth.

In the ninth race, On the QB was sixth for David Lezell .

Gulfstream

In the first race, Southrnhospitality scratched for Charles Fontana . Also in that race, Giuseppe Iadisernia's Futurazo finished ninth.

In the fourth race, Listowel Boy was tenth for Marcus Vitali .

Tampa

In the second race, Torch Me Again was a game second for Brenda McCarthy Also in that race, Stag Film finished fifth for Bernard Bramante , Immense Storm was sixth for Sandra Cataldi and Shotgun Sambo was eighth for Wayne Sargent.

In the third race, Metal Jacket was fourth in a good effort for Alejandro Gomez .

In the fourth race, New Day Rising was fifth and Richie London was sixth.

In the seventh race, Kathy's N Angel finished fourth for Bobby Raymond . The winner was a filly I had been following for quite some time - Ready to Mambo . She is out of a full sister to one of my all-time favorites, Blazing Sword .

In the eighth race, Ho Ho Ho was sixth.

In the ninth race, Juan Camilo's Markswayornoway finished seventh and last.

ENTRIES 1/8

Laurel

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Revere Beach Babe .

In the third race, Rafael Ramos has Live Tiger , Rigattieri has Indy's Honey Gem and Under Mandate is in for Nelson S. Espaillat .

In the fifth race, Ramos has Marivett , Espaillat has Snuck in the Back and David Lezell has Helen Says .

In the sixth race, Ramos has Dreaming Prayers .

In the seventh race, Massecuite is in for Ramos .

In the eighth race, the very talented Swing Music is in for Rigattieri .

In the ninth race, Lezell has Borsa .

Gulfstream

In the third race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Akonite .

Tampa

In the first race, Lloyd Lockhart has Buck's Wink .

In the fourth race, Ocala Cruz Missile will come out for John Botty .

In the fifth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Pink Tights .

In the sixth race, Wayne Sargent has Dances .

In the ninth race, Lockhart has Prized Dream .

Sam Houston

Wendy Uhacz has both My Bird's Wired and Expect No Equal in the sixth. In the ninth, she has Little Eva M .

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, Mark Tasso has Fujimo .

Have a great day everyone!

January 7, 2010

January 7, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/6

Laurel

In the first race, Charles Assimakopoulos sent out Gold Bid to a narrow maiden victory.

In the third race, Katie's Raven finished seventh for David Lezell and Jane's Song was eighth for John Rigattieri .

In the fifth race, Brew for the Band and Carlos Quinones finished third.

In the sixth race, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson made a trip to the winners' circle with Ragabash .

In the seventh race, D'lightful Appeal and Dyn Panell prevailed by a head. Also in that race, Bentbutnotbroken was fifth and Master Gino was ninth.

Gulfstream

In the fourth race, Jazz Nation won for Marcus Vitali . Romanscoliseum finished tenth for Giuseppe Iadisernia . Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica started off the day with a bang with a gate-to-wire longshot win in the first race, returning $35.20. Rounding out the exacta was Nick Zito's Gold Cup Kid who made his career debut at Suffolk .

Tampa

In the first race, Win Jane's Heart finished fourth for Bobby Raymond .

In the third race, Rare Red Birds was placed second for Sandra Cataldi and Implicator was placed third for Alejandro Gomez .

In the fourth race, Gucaipuro finished tenth.

In the fifth race, Boston West End scratched.

In the sixth race, Beautiful Insight ran a huge race to finish second for Ernest Poxon, Jr. . Also in that race, Brenda McCarthy sent out Sara's Hot Shot to a fift place finish and Real Place finished seventh for Juan Camilo .

David Amiss guided home Sam C to victory in the ninth race. Amiss seems to be doing quite well this season at Tampa.

In the tenth race, Bernard Bramante's Wha Youdoin finished ninth.

ENTRIES 1/7

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first, fifth, sixth and seventh races. He will be aboard Lulu's Secret for Joe Signore, Jr. in the fifth. Her last race was her worst in recent memory but I simply think she is a better horse than that.

In the sixth race, Mark Tasso has Jordanna Banana .

In the seventh race, a favorite of mine, East Coaster is making her New York debut. Her full brother, Mount Wilton is in at Laurel today.

Laurel

In the first race, John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell will team up with Destinedtobemine .

In the second race, Hot Chile Soup and Little Miss Kisses will renew their budding rivalry. Last time out, Dyn Panell and LMK got the victory but both of these fillies seem to be really flourishing at Laurel .

In the third race, the highly regarded Libby's Indian will try to break her maiden for Charles Assimakopoulos .

In the fifth race, Rafael Ramos has Scorpion Sting and Rigattieri has Pushed Over .

Carlos Quinones will ride Mount Wilton (a Graeme Hall baby! for Rigattieri . In the ninth race, On the QB is in for David Lezell .

Gulfstream

In the first race, Charles Fontana has Southrnhospitality and Giuseppe Iadisernia has Futerazo .

Marcus Vitali has Listowel Boy in the fourth. Tampa

In the second race, Bernard Bramante has Stag Film , Brenda McCarthy has Torch Me Again , Wayne Sargent has Shotgun Sambo and Sandra Cataldi has Immense Storm .

In the third race, Alejandro Gomez has the gorgeous Metal Jacket .

In the fourth race, Bramante has Richie London and New Day Rising is back in for Gomez .

In the fifth race, Wicked Smile is in for Bramante .

In the seventh race, Bobby Raymond has Kathy's N Angel .

In the eighth race, Cataldi has Ho Ho Ho .

In the ninth race, Juan Camilo has Markswayornoway . I give them credit for trying the turf last time with her, considering her older brother Riversrunrylee has had such success on it. However, she seems to have made it clear in two turf starts she is not a grass horse. She is very talented and this looks like a good spot for her.

An exciting day of racing today! Enjoy everyone.

January 6, 2010

January 6, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/5

Philadelphia Park

Chief Operator finished eighth in the seventh race.

ENTRIES 1/6

Laurel

In the first race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Gold Bid .

In the third race, David Lezell and Carlos Quinones will team up with Katie's Raven . Also in that race, John Rigattieri has Jane's Song with Dyn Panell .

In the fifth race, Rigattieri has Brew for the Band .

In the sixth race, Rafael Ramos will send out Ragabash with Winston Thompson .

In the seventh race, Ramos has Master Gino , Rigattieri has D'lightful Appeal and Lezell has Bentbutnotbroken .

Gulfstream

In the fourth race, Marcus Vitali has Jazz Nation . Also in that race, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Romanscoliseum .

Tampa

In the first race, Bobby Raymond has Win Jane's Heart .

In the third race, Sandra Cataldi has Rare Red Birds and Alejandro Gomez has Implicator .

In the fourth race, Cataldi has Gucaipuro .

In the sixth race, Juan Camilo will send out Real Place .

In the fifth race, Bernard Bramante has Boston West End .

In the sixth race, Brenda McCarthy has Sara's Hot Shot and Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Beautiful Insight .

In the ninth race, Cataldi has Immense Storm .

In the tenth race, Bramante has Wha Youdoin .

Have a great day everyone!

January 5, 2010

January 5, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

There are no noteworthy RESULTS from yesterday.

ENTRIES 1/5

Philadelphia Park

In the seventh race, Joe Signore, Jr. has the beautifully-bred Chief Operator . He seems to be primed for a big effort here.

Have a great day!

January 4, 2010

January 4, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a fantastic weekend. Like most Patriots fans, I spent a good portion of yesterday staring at my television in disbelief about what happened to #83. I have this really neat, framed side-by-side photo of him and Randy Moss from the opening day game against the Jets from 2007 and the thing I find the coolest about that picture is that it is from before we knew how special he was and the impact he would have on the team.

There was, however, one big bright spot yesterday. That race was the fourth at Tampa when I got to see New England champion Riversrunrylee go gate to wire and pull off a big victory. He started 2010 with a bang.

RESULTS 1/03

Gulfstream

In the first race, Coraje finished fourth for Giuseppe Iadisernia .

Tampa

In the first race, Alejandro Gomez sent out the well-bred More to It to victory. His stablemate, Moonlit Getaway finished seventh and last. Also in that race, Unlimited Funds finished third for Brenda McCarthy and John Botty's Rome is Burning finished fourth.

In the third race, Bernard Bramante sent out Tequila's Desire to a third place finish and Ginger Lemon finished fifth for the Botty barn. Also in that race, Sin Bin was sixth for Tom McCooey, Jr. .

In the fourth race, Riversrunrylee took the lead early and never looked back, winning his six-year-old debut by a length for Juan Camilo and Pedro Gonzalez . This made me super happy. He has been such a pleasure to watch develop over the past couple of years.

In the fifth race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. and Yamil Rosario teamed up for an impressive victory with Granby Boy . Chillin Dylan showed some improvement and finished fourth at a big price for Bobby Raymond . I really think he'll get the job done soon and is one to watch for a possible hefty price.

In the sixth race, Jordano Tunon and Lynne Scace finished second with Celebration Dance .

ENTRIES 1/4

There are no noteworthy entries today.

Have a great day everyone!

January 3, 2010

January 3, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 1/02

Laurel

In the first race, Score Now finished third and Frankly Frank was seventh.

In the second race, Nagajuskita was fourth for Rafael Ramos .

In the fourth race, Sneaky Deeds was fourth and Courting Elaine was fifth.

In the fifth race, Jersey Moon was second and Fifty Seven G finished eighth.

In the sixth race, Legends Way finished sixth. Lion by my Side scratched.

In the seventh race, Halo's Rumble was sixth and though I didn't see the race, the chart is a bit troubling so I do hope everything is alright with this filly.

Tootletheflute scratched out of the ninth race.

Calder

Saratoga Blitz finished seventh in the third race.

Aqueduct

In the first race, North Bend finished seventh.

In the sixth race, Coney Island finished seventh.

Sam Houston

In the fourth race, Offlee Wedded Wife finished seventh.

Tampa

In the second race, No Passing Zone was sixth.

In the third race, Delaware Beauty was fifth.

In the fourth race, Circling the Bases finished fourth.

In the fifth race, Deerborough pulled off the victory at 10-1 for Ernest Poxon, Jr. . Speeder was fifth and Conrad Crossing finished sixth.

In the seventh race, Sir Classic Chris was fourth and Exchange the Limit finished tenth.

Sassy City never fired in the eighth race and finished seventh and last, much to my disappointment.

In the tenth race, Hit Another Gear was fifth.

In the eleventh race, Swirland finished fourth Upper Key finished eighth.

ENTRIES 1/3

Tampa

In the first race, John Botty has Rome is Burning, Brenda Mccarthy has Unlimited Funds , and Alejandro Gomez has More to It and Moonlit Getaway .

In the third race, Botty has the talented Ginger Lemon . Also in that race, Bernard Bramante has Tequila's Desire and Tom McCooey, Jr. has Sin Bin .

The fourth race is the highlight of the day for me. Juan Camilo will send out New England champion Riversrunrylee . Rylee is one of my favorite horses to watch run. You can always count on where he will be - out front. He gets the lead not with the frantic intensity of one dimensional speedballs, however. He seems to do it so effortlessly and that is why he has been so successful. I can't wait for him to be back at Suffolk this year so we can continue our Friday morning visits.

In the fifth race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Granby Boy and Bobby Raymond has Chillin Dylan . I like this little guy and I think his effort last time out was decent enough to make him a contender at another big price.

Gulfstream

I'm wishing announcer Larry Collmus a fantastic opening day.

On the card, Giuseppe Iadisernia has Coraje in the first race. Giuseppe was a welcome addition to the Suffolk backside this past season and I am glad to see him back in the entries.

Have a great day everyone!

January 2, 2010

January 2, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! It is absolutely miserable out there today. Unfortunately for me, my dog seems to think snow is the best thing ever, so I spent plenty of time braving the elements on our morning hike today. I'm defrosting in the press box, very much looking forward to some fantastic racing today and extremely jealous of all of our friends at Tampa and Gulfstream right now.

RESULTS 1/01

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson finished second with Killarney Bay .

In the second race, Nelson S. Espaillat's Snuck in the Back was sixth.

In the fifth race, Phil C finished fifth.

In the seventh race, No Peace At All finished sixth for John Rigattieri and Bandslammer finished ninth for Charles Assimakopoulos .

Charles Town

In the seventh race, John Rigattieri sent out Go Luv to an eighth place finish.

In the eighth race, Storm Door finished sixth for Rafael Ramos .

Calder

In the opener, Charles Fontana sent Gimmeawinkpoppy out for a length victory.

In the second race, Special Jak finished fourth and Epic Sal was sixth in the eleventh race.

Aqueduct

In the sixth race, Titletown Tiger finished fourth for George Saccardo .

In the seventh race, Rocketing Returns ran a big race to finish second at generous odds for Orlando Bocachica and Seth Benzel .

ENTRIES 1/02

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has Score Now . John Rigattieri has Frankly Frank .

In the second race, he will team up with Winston Thompson with Nagajuskita .

And in the fourth, those two will team up with Courting Elaine , who looks like she might be getting a bit of a class break here. Also in this race, Rigattieri and Panell will team up with Sneaky Deeds .

In the fifth race, David Lezell has Fifty Seven G and Rigattieri has Jersey Moon .

In the sixth race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Legends Way and Rigattieri has Lion by My Side .

In the seventh race, Halo's Rumble is in for Charles Assimakopoulos . I like this filly - she physically reminds of a little keg of dynamite. She isn't very big, but she is robust and pre-race gets extremely keyed up.

In the ninth race, Lezell and Carlos Quinones will team up with Tootletheflute . Winston Thompson also has a mount in this race.

Hawthorne

In the eighth race, Odin Londono, Jr. has S.M.W. Kaitlyn .

Penn National

In the seventh race, the very consistent Rearrange gets another shot at his maiden.

Sam Houston

In the fourth race, Wendy Uhacz has Offlee Wedded Wife .

Aqueduct

In the first race, Mark Tasso has the wonderful, hard-knocking North Bend . I imagine he will be a big price here and though it looks like a tough spot, he is so game and so honest I find him hard to throw out.

In the sixth race, George Saccardo has Coney Island , a lightly raced colt I think highly of who put in a monster effort at a big price last time out.

Also on the card, Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth races.

Calder

In the third race, Charles Fontana has Saratoga Blitz .

Tampa

In the second race, Alejandro Gomez has No Passing Zone .

In the third race, Brenda McCarthy has Delaware Beauty .

In the fourth race, Bobby Raymond has Circling the Bases .

In the fifth race, John Pimental will send out the always-tough grass horse Conrad Crossing . Also in that race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Deerborough and Bobby Ramond has the veteran Speeder , a two-time winner on the Tampa lawn.

In the seventh race, she and David Amiss will try to pull off another upset with Exchange the Limit . (Remember him? He paid over $100 last time out.)

In the eighth race, John Botty will send out New England champion Sassy City for her four-year-old debut. She will try the grass for the first time today in what I think is an interesting choice for her. She is a brilliantly talented filly and if she decides she likes the turf, she looks like a big contender here. One of my favorite memories of the racing meet centers around this filly, actually. In her last race of the season, her fans made "Sassy" buttons for the occasion and brought them to the track. I think it is so awesome that a horse does not have to be a Grade 1 super star to capture the hearts of fans.

*UPDATE* Just checked the scratches and changes and Tampa is off the turf. Clearly John Botty pays more attention to the weather than I do. Very sharp.

In the tenth race, Hit Another Gear will try to step forward off of his last race for the Raymond barn.

In the eleventh race, Bernard Bramante will send out Miracle Cat . Also in that race, Lloyd Lockhart has Upper Key and Brenda McCarthy has Swirland .

A fantastic day of racing, really. Have a great day everyone!

January 1, 2010

January 1, 2010 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Happy New Year everyone! And of course a big happy birthday to all of the Thoroughbreds that turned a year older today.

RESULTS 12/31

Calder

In the first race, Milwaukee Wolf finished second for Charles Fontana . Gimmeawinkpoppy scratched and is in today.

In the third race, Marcus Vitali sent out Zapper to victory while Fontana's Tigerglider finished tenth.

In the fourth race, Parky finished fifth for Vitali and Devilish Mecke finished sixth for Fontana .

In the sixth race, Miss Unbridled's finished fifth.

Tampa

In the opener, Garlington finished sixth for John Pimental and Yamil Rosario .

In the fourth race, Regent Star finished fourth for Alejandro Gomez .

In the seventh race, Lynne Scace and Jordano Tunon teamed up for victory with Sweet Apple Betty . In the eighth race, Jean the Queen finished sixth for Brenda McCarthy . ENTRIES 1/01

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has the well-bred Killarney Bay with Winston Thompson aboard.

In the second race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Snuck in the Back .

In the fifth race, Ramos has Phil C .

In the seventh race, Charles Assimakopoulos will sent out Bandslammer. Also in that race, John Rigattieri has No Peace At All with Carlos Quinones named to ride.

Calder

Charles Fontana has Gimmeawinkpoppy in the first, Special Jak in the second and Epic Sal in the eleventh race.

Charles Town

John Rigattieri has Go Luv in the seventh race.

Rafael Ramos has Storm Door in the eighth race.

Aqueduct

George Saccardo has Titletown Tiger in the sixth race.

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the second, fifth, seventh and ninth races. In the ninth, he will be riding Rocketing Returns , an impressive local winner, for Seth Benzel .

Have a great day everyone. I hope 2010 is filled with happiness, health and a ton of winners.

2009

December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! So, yesterday I was excited to see Sassy City pop up in the entries for next year. Today, I got the notice that Riversrunrylee is entered for January 3 (which means I'll have football and one of my local favorites all in one day)! 2010 looks great already.

Looking back on 2009, it was a tremendous year to be a racing fan both on the national and local levels. Nationally, we had super stars coast to coast. On the local scene, I really enjoyed our local stars. It has been amazing watching Riversrunrylee develop into the sensational racehorse he is now and his short-lived rivalry with the gorgeous Bridled Quest was very thrilling. We were also treated to Sassy City , a filly with what seems like sky-is-the-limit potential and saw Nijinsky Bullet beat the boys on opening day.

RESULTS 12/30

Aqueduct

Casa Pippo finished sixth in the opener for George Saccardo .

In the fourth race, Lulu's Secret finished tenth for Joe Signore, Jr. .

Charlestown

In the second race, Snuck in the Back scratched for Nelson S. Espaillat and is entered for January 1 at Laurel .

In the third race, Lir Jet finished ninth for Jay Bernardini .

In the fourth race, The Last Bird made a step forward and finished second for Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson .

Storm Door scratched out of the ninth and is entered for January 1.

Tampa

In the first race, LP's Tiger put in a good effort to finish second for Juan Camilo and Pedro Gonzalez .

Technically Wicked ran second in the third race against a tough field for Bobby Raymond .

In the fourth race, Lizard finished fifth for Alejandro Gomez

In the sixth race, Eight Faces finished fifth for Sandra Cataldi , Little Vinnie Boy was sixth for John Pimental and John Botty's Answer My Question finished eighth.

In the seventh race, Arctiz finished fifth. Also in that race, Hunting Money finished tenth for Anthony Ryan .

In the ninth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. sent out Barrington Hills to a tenth place finish.

In the tenth race, Bea Precise made a big step forward to finish second at generous odds and New Day Rising was fifth.

ENTRIES 12/31

Calder

Charles Fontana has Milwaukee Wolf in the first race along with Gimmeawinkpoppy .

In the third race, he has Tigerglider and Marcus Vitali has Zapper .

In the fourth race, Fontana has Devilish Mecke and Vitali has Parky .

In the sixth race, Fontana has Miss Unbridled's .

Charles Town

In the second race, David Lezell has Fifty Seven G .

Rafael Ramos has the talented filly Uvada in the sixth race. Winston Thompson will be aboard.

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the fifth, sixth and ninth races.

Tampa

In the first race, John Pimental and Yamil Rosario will team up with Garlington .

In the fourth race, Alejandro Gomez has Regent Star .

In the eighth race, Brenda McCarthy has Jean the Queen .

Have a great day everyone and wish everyone a wonderful 2010!

December 30, 2009

December 30, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I cannot believe 2009 is almost in the books. I had a fantastic year and I hope 2010 is every bit as exciting.

I did get a very pleasant surprise in my e-mail this morning. On January 2, Sassy City , one of the most exciting Suffolk horses of 2009, will make her four-year-old debut at Tampa . Now that is the perfect way to kick off the new year.

RESULTS

No noteworthy results from yesterday.

ENTRIES 12/30

Aqueduct

Looks like a full day for Orlando Bocachica . He has mounts in all nine races, including three for Nick Zito .

In the first race, Boca will be aboard Casa Pippo for George Saccardo . This filly is extremely consistent, very honest and comes in fresh. I have to say at a morning line of 20-1 she looks quite live here.

In the fourth race, Joe Signore, Jr. will send out Lulu's Secret , another nice mare coming in fresh. She is 0 for 4 on the inner track but she is one I never through out entirely.

Tampa

In the first race, Juan Camilo will team up with Pedro Gonzalez with LP's Tiger .

In the third race, Technically Wicked returns to a surface she has been very successful on and looks like a big contender for Bobby Raymond and Jill Jellison . In the fourth race, Alejandro Gomez has Lizard . In the sixth race, John Botty has Answer My Question . Also in that race, Sandra Cataldi has Eight Faces and John Pimental has Little Vinnie Boy .

Pimental also has the beautifully-bred Arctiz in the seventh race against Anthony Ryan's promising Hunting Money .

In the ninth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Barrington Hills .

New Day Rising is back again in the tenth race for Gomez . Also in that race, Bea Precise will try to improve off of a fifth place finish against similar last time out.

Charles Town

In the second race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Snuck in the Back .

In the third race, Jay Bernardini has Lir Jet .

In the fourth race, Rafael Ramos has The Last Bird . This guy looked like the real deal in his local maiden win.

In the ninth race, Ramos also has Storm Door .

Have a great day everyone!

December 29, 2009

December 29, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! It is absolutely freezing this morning. I am so ready for spring to be here.

RESULTS 12/28

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini sent out Vy Vy Vy to victory in the first race.

In the fourth race, Summer Legacy finished sixth.

Calder

In the fifth, Our Sun scratched for Marcus Vitali .

In the sixth race, Charles Fontana sent out Strong N Silent to a six length victory. His entry mate, Mean Kisser finished third.

In the seventh, Hemut was seventh for Vitali .

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today and a reminder that Suffolk Downs is closed for simulcasting today.

Have a great day!

December 28, 2009

December 28, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend.

RESULTS 12/27

Charles Town

In the second race, Email finished ninth for Jay Bernardini .

Rafael Ramos's Mighty Elixir was a scratch in the fifth race and he sent out Hot Brew to an eighth place finish in the ninth .

Mountaineer

In the sixth race, Real Impact finished second for Jay Bernardini .

Calder

Marcus Vitali sent out Nana's Appeal to victory in the fourth race. His other entry, Hemet , scratched.

Tampa

In the first race, Shadow's Pet finished eleventh for Bernard Bramante .

In the second race, he sent out Shadow de Maya to a fourth place finish.

In the third race, Brenda McCarthy sent out Uno Way Calle and Dinner Backstage to seventh and ninth place finishes. Pensiveness finished eleventh for Alejandro Gomez .

In the fifth race, Another Mambo finished tenth for Tom McCooey, Jr. .

In the sixth race, Royal Malibu was fifth for Lloyd Lockhart .

In the eighth race, Dwight and David Amiss finished fourth for John Botty .

In the tenth race, Cat Sonata ran a big race to just miss the maiden win by a neck for Eighth Note Stable . Silver Spike finished third for McCooey and Red Ranger was tenth for Ernest Poxon, Jr. .

ENTRIES 12/28

Calder

In the fifth race, Marcus Vitali has Our Sun . Hemet is entered for the seventh race.

Charles Fontana has both Mean Kisser and Strong N Silent in the sixth race.

Mountaineer

In the first race, Jay Bernardini has Vy Vy Vy . He also has Summer Legacy in the fourth.

Have a great day everyone!

December 27, 2009

December 27, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! One thing I am thoroughly enjoying is reading and listening to the big debate about whether Horse of the Year should go to Zenyatta or Rachel Alexandra. I can't remember a time in recent years when the HOTY debate was so passionate and both candidates so deserving. 2009 was a great year to be a racing fan.

RESULTS 12/26

In the first race, Rinaldo's Gold scratched.

In the fifth race, Robbie's Express ran a huge race at odds of over 80-1 to finish second. Also in that race, Tiger Willie finishe fifth for Brenda Mccarthy.

In the seventh race, Untouchable Lauren was eighth for Anthony Ryan .

In the eighth race, Granby Boy was eighth for Ernie Poxon, Jr. and he sent out Serengeti Storm to an eighth place finish in the ninth race.

In the eleventh race, Kathy's N Angel finished fifth and Mrs. Lovett was ninth.

Calder

I Love to Say Yes finished ninth in the third race for Charles Fontana .

Aqueduct

Mr. Jolson was fourth as a big longshot in the first race for orlando Bocachica and Karl Grusmark .

ENTRIES 12/27

Charlestown

In the second race, Jay Bernardini has Email .

In the fifth race, Rafael Ramos will send out Mighty Elixer .

In the ninth, he has Hot Brew .

Mountaineer

Real Impact is in the sixth race for Jay Bernardini .

Calder

In the fourth race, Marcus Vitali has Hemet and Nana's Appeal .

Tampa

In the first race, Bernard Bramante has Shadow's Pet .

In the second, Bramante has Shadow De Maya .

In the third race, Pensiveness is back in for Alejandro Gomez . Also in that race, Brenda McCarthy has both Dinner Backstage and Uno Way Calle .

In the fifth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Another Mambo .

In the sixth race, Lloyd Lockhart has the Royal Malibu .

In the eighth race, John Botty has Dwight . This son of Volponi really amuses me. He is such a big horse and when he runs, he still doesn't seem quite to know what to do with his long legs.

In the tenth race, Botty will send out the promising two-year-old Cat Sonata and McCooey has Silver Spike . Also in that race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Red Ranger .

December 26, 2009

December 26, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday. I'll be honest, after just two days away from the track I was itching to get back to the office today.

ENTRIES 12/26

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica looks to have a busy day in New York today with mounts in the first, fourth, fifth, sixth and seventh races. Most notably, he is aboard 2008 New England champion juvenile Mr. Jolson in the first for Karl Grusmark . He looks to be a big price and is certainly in-form right now.

Tampa

In the first race, Rinaldo's Gold returns to the dirt and will try to redeem himself after a poor turf experiment last time out for Bobby Raymond . I pretty much threw out my win ticket on him three strides out of the gate in that last race - he looked like he wanted nothing at all to do with the grass. I do think there is some ability there, though.

In the fifth race, Brenda McCarthy will send out Tiger Willie and Bobby Raymond will saddle Robbie's Express .

In the seventh race, Anthony Ryan will team up with David Amiss with Untouchable Lauren . Amiss has been off to a sharp start at Tampa and has won with two of four starters.

In the eighth race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Granby Boy .

In the ninth, Poxon will send out Serengeti Storm in a two-year-old allowance race.

In the eleventh race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Mrs. Lovett . This filly is talented but green and her last effort was encouraging. Also in that race is Kathy's N Angel for Bobby Raymond who figures to be a main contender.

Calder

Charles Fontana has I Love to Say Yes in the third race.

Have a great day everyone!

December 24, 2009

December 24, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope you all enjoy any holiday festivities you have planned over the next couple of days.

RESULTS 12/23

Tampa

In the third race, Lloyd Lockhart's first time starter Dream Wonder was twelfth.

In the fourth race, New Day Rising was fourth for Alejandro Gomez .

In the fifth race, Markswayornoway answered the question about whether or not she likes the turf- I'm guessing that is a no with her eighth and last place finish.

In the sixth race, Tre Cool scratched.

In the eigth, Beijing House ran a dynamite race first back off of a layoff to finish second for Tom McCooey, Jr. .

In the ninth, Shetakesthecake was eighth for Bobby Raymond . Sister Dolores finished tenth for Sandi Cataldi and her entrymate Greeley's Kiss scratched.

In the tenth, Desirable Desiree finished third.

Calder

In the second race, Rocky Miswaki was seventh for Charles Fontana .

Hawthorne

In the third race, S.M.W. Kaitlyn finished fourth for Odin Londono, Jr. .

Penn National

In the ninth race, the very consistent Rearrange finished third.

Happy Holidays!

December 23, 2009

December 23, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! A reminder that Suffolk Downs is on holiday break through Friday.

There are no noteworthy RESULTS from yesterday.

ENTRIES 12/23

Tampa

In the third race, Lloyd Lockhart has first-time starter Dream Wonder with Janio Cruz aboard.

In the fourth race, New Day Rising is back in for Alejandro Gomez after a very strong runner-up finish on the 16th.

In the fifth race, Juan Camilo and Pedro Gonzalez will team up with Markswayornoway , a half-sister to New England champ Riversrunrylee . I had a great conversation with Juan over the summer about this filly and he has really taken his time with her, letting her mature and figure it all out at her own pace. I think he spots his horses really well and though her only other grass start was pretty uninspiring, I think she is interesting in this spot.

In the sixth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. has Tre Cool .

In the eighth race, McCooey will send out former New England champion juvenile Beijing House . Yamil Rosario will be aboard. This gelding has been on the shelf since a very impressive local win in May but has been working exceptionally well leading up to this race.

In the ninth race, Sandy Cataldi has Sister Dolores and Greeley's Kiss , two very nice grass fillies. Also in that race, Bobby Raymond has Shetakesthecake .

In the tenth race, John Pimental has Desirable Desiree .

Calder

In the second race, Rocky Miswaki is in for Charles Fontana .

Hawthorne

Odin Londono, Jr. has S.M.W. Kaitlyn in the third race.

Penn National

Lori Lockhart has Nu Wonder in the ninth race.

Charles Town

Jay Bernardini has Way of an Eagle in the second and Hope for Joy in the third.

Have a great day everyone!

December 22, 2009

December 22, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I am off for another day of research at the Boston Public Library. It is amazing looking through such old newspapers .

Just a reminder that Suffolk Downs is closed for simulcasting today through Friday. RESULTS 12/21

Calder

Onwingsandaprayer finished second for Charles Fontana in the eighth race.

There are no noteworthy ENTRIES today.

Have a great day!

December 21, 2009

December 21, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Just a reminder that Suffolk Downs will be closed from December 22-25.

RESULTS 12/20

Calder

In the first race, Special Jak finished second for Charles Fontana .

In the second race, Saratoga Blitz was fourth.

In the fifth race, Elegance Noted scratched.

In the sixth race, Targe was fourth for Marcus Vitali .

In the seventh race, Tigerglider finished seventh.

In the eighth race, Our Sun scratched.

Sam Houston

Expect No Equal was second for Wendy Uhacz .

ENTRIES 12/21

Calder

In the eighth race, Charles Fontana has Onwingsandaprayer .

Have a great day!

December 20, 2009

December 20, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Due to the weather, Suffolk Downs will be closed today so my plan involves football, TVG and hot chocolate.

RESULTS 12/19

Laurel

Cancelled due to the weather.

Tampa

In the third race, the Alejandro Gomez trained pair of Pensiveness and No Passing Zone finished third and seventh. Fries finished sixth for Brenda McCarthy .

In the sixth race, Sir Classic Chris finished second, Unlimited Funds finished sixth, Rome is Burning finished tenth and Mom Extraordinary finished twelfth.

In the tenth race, Bobby Raymond has his first win of the meet and Tommys Memory improved his record to a perfect two for two. David Amiss was aboard and this horse looks like one to really keep an eye on.

Calder

Miss Gold Indy finished second in the twelfth race for Charles Fontana .

Turfway

Oceans of Honey finished tenth in the Gowell Stakes for Odin Londono, Jr. .

Sam Houston

My Birds Wired finished seventh in the fourth race for Wendy Uhacz .

ENTRIES 12/20

Sam Houston

Wendy Uhacz has Expect No Equal in the eighth.

Calder

In the first race, Charles Fontana has Special Jak . He has Saratoga Blitz in the second, Elegance Noted in the fifth and Tigerglider in the seventh.

Marcus Vitali has Targe in the sixth and Our Sun in the eighth.

Have a great day everyone!

December 19, 2009

December 19, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! The racing looks very exciting today from coast to coast.

RESULTS 12/18

Tampa

In the first race, David Amiss and Running on Clouds were fourth. Hats off to the top two finishers in that race- they both put in tremendous efforts proving once again that a race doesn't need to be a Grade 1 stakes event to be thrilling.

In the third race, Sylvia's Cat and Lucie Herkova finished eighth and last for Bernard Bramante .

In the fourth race, Hold 'em or Fold 'em finished third.

In the seventh, Robbie's Express finished seventh for Bobby Raymond .

In the eighth race, On the Vineyard finished second as the favorite.

In the ninth, Deerborough finished sixth.

In the tenth, Shadow's Pet finished tenth.

Laurel

In the first race, Disguise and Carlos Quinones were second for John Rigattieri .

Last Vindication finished fourth in the second race for Rafael Ramos .

In the fifth race, Libby's Indian put in an encouraging debut and finished second for Charles Assimakopoulos .

In the seventh race, the game Little Miss Kisses held off Hot Chile Soup by 3/4 of a length. Both fillies put in fantastic efforts. Also in that race, Gramatic was sixth.

In the ninth race, Tootletheflute was fourth for David Lezell .

Penn National

Though East Coaster was claimed from George Handy last time out, she is a big favorite of mine and I was rooting for her. She certainly didnt disappoint and was much the best, winning by over ten lengths.

Calder

Southrnhospitality finished sixth for Charles Fontana in the third race.

In the fifth race, Marcus Vitali made a trip to the winners circle with Richie London . Ski Sky , his other horse in the race, finished fourth.

Sam Houston

Offlee Wedded Wife finished fifth for Wendy Uhacz . ENTRIES 12/19

Laurel

In the first race, John Rigattieri has Soto High .

In the second race, Southern Renegade is in for Rafael Ramos and Jersey Moon is in for Rigattieri .

In the fourth race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Bandslammer up against the Ramos -trained Nagajuskita .

In the fifth race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Snuck in the Back .

In the sixth race, Killarney Bay tries winners after breaking his maiden last time out. Also in that race, Rigattieri has Evil Buddha .

Tampa

In the third race, Alejandro Gomez has Pensiveness and No Passing Zone back in. Also in that race, Brenda McCarthy has Fries . Earlier in the week, Brenda had a winner that returned over $100.

In the sixth race, John Botty has the game Rome is Burning . Also in that race, Bernard Bramante has Mom Extraordinary and Alejandro Gomez has Sir Classic Chris . The speedy Unlimited Funds is also in that race.

In the tenth race, Tommys Memory will make his first start for Bobby Raymond . This guy broke his maiden impressively at first asking at Finger Lakes and looked like the real deal.

Sam Houston

Wendy Uhacz has My Birds Wired in the fourth race. Affectionately known around the barn as Big Bird , he really is a cool horse. I was very skeptical about him coming back off of a very long layoff but he ran great in all of his local starts.

Calder

Charles Fontana has Miss Gold Indy in the twelfth race.

Turfway

New England champion juvenile filly Oceans of Honey will make her second start against stakes company in the Gowell Stakes. Undefeated for Odin Londono, Jr. , this filly could not have been more impressive in her maiden win locally.

Have a great day everyone!

December 18, 2009

December 18, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 12/17

Tampa

Stag Film finished eleventh in the fifth race for Bernard Bramante .

Penn National

In the sixth race, Sweet Candy Ride scratched for Lori Lockhart .

Calder

In the sixth race, Light Event was fifth for Marcus Vitali .

Laurel

In the third race, Carlos Quinones piloted Dude Again to victory for John Rigattieri . His other part of the entry, Weekend Games finished seventh. Legends Way was second in that race for Nelson S. Espaillat and Jackie Lad finished fifth.

In the fifth race, Frankly Frank finished sixth.

In the seventh race, Brother Joey put in an uncharacteristic performance and finished ninth and last.

In the eighth race, Bid Til Included benefited from a DQ and moved up from third to second.

In the ninth race, Under Mandate finished sixth for Nelson S. Espaillat .

ENTRIES 12/18

Tampa

In the third race, Bernard Bramante has Sylvia's Cat . He also has Shadow's Pet in the tenth.

In the seventh race, Bobby Raymond has Robbie's Express.

In the eighth race, Lynne Scace has the 2007 Collegian Stakes winner On the Vineyard . This talented guy is also a half brother to the brilliant Vineyard Haven .

In the ninth race, Ernest Poxon, Jr. has Deerborough .

Calder

In the third race, Charles Fontana has Southrnhospitality .

Marcus Vitali has both Richie London and Ski Sky in the fifth race.

Sam Houston

Wendy Uhacz has Offlee Wedded Wife in the fourth.

Laurel

In the first race, John Rigattieri has Disguise .

In the second race, Rafael Ramos will send out the highly regarded Last Vindication , last seen running fourth at Suffolk after an impressive maiden win.

In the fifth race, Charles Assimakopoulos will debut Libby's Indian , a filly I have been very interested to see pop up in the entries. She was originally entered a little while ago and the weather came up treacherous that day. Now I don't know the reason they scratched her, but I always prefer to see a young horse debut on a day with milder weather. The first racing experience can be scary enough for them, why add crazy weather in the mix?

In the seventh race, three very talented local fillies will square off. Charles Assimakopoulos has the lovely daughter of Graeme Hall and New England champ Formatic, Gramatic . John Rigattieri has the very game Little Miss Kisses with Dyn Panell . Rafael Ramos will send out fan-favorite Hot Chile Soup and Winston Thompson , coming in off of a dynamite Laurel debut last time out.

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Tootetheflute .

Have a great day everyone!

December 17, 2009

December 17, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! The Suffolk Downs group had a fantastic day at Tampa yesterday. One of my favorite parts about playing Tampa, especially early in the meet, is that the horses shipping in from Boston tend to get extremely overlooked.

RESULTS 12/16

Tampa

In the third race, Bea Precise and Jill Jellison finished fifth. Also in that race, Rubato was eighth.

In the fourth race, Barrington Hills finished sixth. Also in that race, Jimmy's Palace was seventh while Shadow de Maya was eleventh.

In the fifth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. sent out Sin Bin to a ninth place finish.

In the sixth race, Chillin Dylan finished fifth for Bobby Raymond .

In the seventh race, Exchange the Limit and David Amiss went gate to wire for Brenda McCarthy and paid a whopping $102.60! Brenda had a terrific meet last year at Tampa and is definitely a trainer to watch.

In the ninth race, Juan Camilo sent out Real Place ($34.40!) to a game victory of Alejandro Gomez's New Day Rising . Also in the ninth race, Beautiful Insight finished seventh.

In the tenth race, Wha Youdoin finished eighth.

Laurel

In the second race, John Rigattieri sent out Destinedtobemine to a runner-up finish.

In the fourth race, Macho's Gold was fifth.

In the fifth race, Blondie's Halos was second.

In the seventh race, David Lezell sent out Goodness Greatness to a fifth place finish.

In the eighth race, Swing Music put in a solid effort to finish third.

In the ninth race, Meadow Skipper was eighth for Nelson S. Espaillat .

Charles Town

In the sixth race, Coach Doug was third for Jay Bernardini .

In the seventh, Rigattieri sent out Go Luv to a sixth place finish.

Hawthorne

S.M.W. Kaitlyn scratched out of the ninth race for Odin Londono, Jr.

ENTRIES 12/17

Tampa

In the fifth race, Bernard Bramante has Stag Film .

Laurel

In the third race, John Rigattieri has a tough entry of Dude Again and Weekend Games . Also in that race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Jackie Lad and Legends Way .

In the fifth race, Rigattieri has Frankly Frank with Carlos Quinones .

In the seventh, he has the very talented Brother Joey . Dyn Panell will be aboard.

In the eighth, Bid Til Included is in for Rigattieri . In his only local start, this two-year-old left a very positive impression with me. He is really good-looking and looks to be the type to improve with age.

In the ninth race, Nelson S. Espaillat Under Mandate .

Penn National

Lori Lockhart has Sweet Candy Ride in the sixth race.

Calder

Marcus Vitali has Light Event in the sixth race.

Have a great day everyone! There are some really exciting horses in the entries over the next couple of days so stay tuned!

December 16, 2009

December 16, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Is it too early to start counting down the days until May? I am completely over the cold weather and really, really miss being able to look out the press box window in the morning and see horses on the track.

ENTRIES 12/16

Tampa

In the first race, Invisible Cove is in for Marty Provost . The gelding broke his maiden at Suffolk in October.

In the third race, Bobby Raymond and Jill Jellison will team up with Bea Precise . This filly seems to do well fresh and could be a live longshot here. Also in that race, John Botty has the speedy Rubato .

In the fourth race, Brenda McCarthy will send out Jimmy's Palace with Yamil Rosario aboard. Also in that race, Bernard Bramante has Shadow de Maya and Tom McCooey, Jr. will send out Barrington Hills , an impressive maiden winner in her last start.

In the fifth race, McCooey will send out the experienced juvenile Sin Bin . In the sixth race, Bobby Raymond will send out Chillin Dylan . I like this gelding a lot and though he needs to make a step forward, I'm rooting for him.

Local runner Capulet is in the seventh race against Exchange the Limit and David Amiss .

In the ninth race, Juan Camilo will send out his first starter of the Tampa meet with Real Place . Regular rider Pedro Gonzalez is aboard. Also in that race, Alejandro Gomez has New Day Rising and Beautiful Insight is in for Ernest Poxon, Jr. .

In the tenth, Bernard Bramante has first-time starter Wha Youdoin .

Charles Town

Jay Bernardini has Coach Doug in the sixth race.

In the seventh, John Rigattieri has Go Luv .

Hawthorne

Odin Londono, Jr. has S.M.W. Kaitlyn in the ninth race.

Laurel

In the second race, John Rigattieri has Destinedtobemine with Dyn Panell aboard.

In the fourth race, Rigattieri has Macho's Gold .

In the fifth race, Panell and Rigattieri team up again with Blondie's Halos .

In the seventh race, David Lezell has Goodness Greatness with Carlos Quinones aboard.

In the eighth race, Rigattieri will send out the extremely consistent and talented Swing Music .

In the ninth, Nelson S. Espaillat has Meadow Skipper .

Have a great day everyone!

December 15, 2009

December 15, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Just a reminder that Suffolk Downs is closed for simulcasting today.

RESULTS 12/15

Mountaineer

In the fourth race, Bold Ballado was ninth for Jay Bernardini .

In the sixth, Lucky Laguna was fourth.

Calder

In the third race, Onwingsandaprayer was fourth for Charles Fontana . His other entrant on the card, Southrnhospitality scratched out of the eighth race.

In the sixth race, Jazz Nation scratched for Marcus Vitali and Nana's Appeal was fourth.

There are no noteworthy entries today so have a great day everyone!

December 14, 2009

December 14, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a great weekend. I took my dog to the Bull Terrier Club of New England's annual holiday party yesterday and had a great time. Combine that with an afternoon full of football and I have nothing to complain about.

RESULTS 12/13

Mountaineer

In the fifth race, Way of an Eagle finished fifth for Jay Bernardini . In the sixth race, Copper Ridge was seventh. Belladonnaofcourse scratched out of the third.

Calder

In the fifth race, Gimmeawinkpoppy moved up to third via disqualification for Charles Fontana . In the seventh race, Zapper finished fourth for Marcus Vitali .

Sam Houston

In the first race, Little Eva M finished sixth and last for Wendy Uhacz . In the seventh race, Expect No Equal was also sixth.

ENTRIES 12/14

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini has Bold Ballado in the fourth and Lucky Laguna in the sixth.

Calder

Charles Fontana has Onwingsandaprayer in the third and Southrnhospitality in the eighth. Marcus Vitali has both Jazz Nation and Nana's Appeal in the sixth.

Have a great day everyone!

December 13, 2009

December 13, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Even though the Suffolk crowd didnt fare quite as well as I had hoped yesterday at Tampa, it was still a great card and a really enjoyable day of racing to watch.

RESULTS 12/12

Tampa

In the first race, Pensiveness put in a dynamite effort to finish second for Alejandro Gomez . His other entry, No Passing Zone was ninth.

In the second, the pair of Gomez horses, Metal Jacket and Regent Star finished next to last and last.

In the third race, Answer My Question was seventh for John Botty and Little Vinnie Boy and Yamil Rosario finished eleventh.

In the fifth race, Rinaldos Gold and Jill Jellison were tenth and last. I thought he would put in a better effort than he did but he didnt look even a little bit comfortable on the turf.

In the seventh race, Hit Another Gear was ninth.

In the eighth race, Serengeti Storm and Unshatterable finished eighth and ninth.

In the eleventh race, Kathys N Angel put in a good effort to finish second for Bobby Raymond . Mrs. Lovett also put in a good run and was fourth.

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, Coney Island rebounded in a huge way and was a good third for George Saccardo despite a rough trip.

Laurel

In the second race, Borsa finished fourth and Puttingonthemist was sixth.

In the third, Snuck in the Back finished third at huge odds.

In the fourth race, the usually consistent Bills Jewell was never able to recover from an awkward break and finished fifth. The filly that won, Divine Plan had a handful of races at Suffolk back in 2008 and is absolutely gorgeous.

In the fifth, Indys Ahyoka and Winston Thompson were fourth for Rafael Ramos .

In the seventh, Jersey Moon and Dyn Panell were fourth, five lengths clear of Fifty Seven G in fifth.

In the ninth race, On the QB was sixth.

Charles Town

Get Ready Go was fourth in the second race for Jay Bernardini .

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini sent out Watralsoutherncure to a tenth place finish in the second and Vy Vy Vy was third in the third. Yes Imatiger was first and got the maiden win in the fifth race.

In the sixth race, Jordanna Banana was fourth for Mark Tasso and Fujimo ran a good race to finish second.

Calder

In the fourth race, I Love to Say Yes was fifth for Charles Fontana . Miss Gold Indy was eighth in the seventh and Tigerglider was eighth in race eight. The entry of Mean Kisser and Strong N Silent finished fourth and fifth in the twelfth race.

ENTRIES 12/13

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini has Belladonnaofcourse in the third, Way of an Eagle in the fifth and Copper Ridge in the sixth.

Calder

Charles Fontana has Gimmeawinkpoppy in the fifth and Marcus Vitali has Zapper in the seventh.

Sam Houston

Little Eva M looks to continue her winning ways in the first race for Wendy Uhacz . This filly really seems to have hit her best stride.

Expect No Equal is in the seventh race.

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the third, fifth, sixth, seventh and ninth races.

Have a great day everyone!

December 12, 2009

December 12, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I am very excited about opening day at Tampa Bay Downs today and am very jealous of everyone that is there enjoying the warm weather and sunshine.

RESULTS 12/11

Laurel

In the first race, Jane's Song was third for John Rigattieri and Miss Nimble was sixth for Rafael Ramos .

In the second race, Disguise was fourth.

In the fifth, Rigattieri sent out Soto High to a fifth place finish.

In the sixth race, Mount Wilton was fourth and Nelson S. Espaillat sent out Brogue to a seventh place finish.

In the seventh race, Pushed Over was third and Bentbutnotbroken finished eighth.

Charles Town

Rafael Ramos sent out La Monda to a runner-up finish in the seconr race.

Calder

In the third race, Rocky Miswaki was fifth for Charles Fontana . In the fourth race, he sent out Devilish Mecke to a game runner-up finish. Parky was fifth in that race for Marcus Vitali .

ENTRIES 12/12

Laurel

In the second race, David Lezell has Borsa and John Rigattieri has Puttingonthemist .

In the third race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Snuck in the Back .

In the fourth race, New England champion older mare Bill's Jewell looks to be a big contender.

In the fifth race, Rafael Ramos will send out Indy's Ayhoka . This mare is all sorts of honest and spent the majority of her Suffolk career in the shadow of local superstar Nijinsky Bullet .

In the seventh race, Rigattieri has Jersey Moon and Lezell has Fifty Seven G .

In the ninth race, On The Q B will try to break her maiden.

Aqueduct

In the ninth race, George Saccardo has Coney Island . Although his New York debut was a bit uninspiring, I'm not giving up on this one yet. He is still inexperienced and seemed quite anxious before the race, so I'm giving him the benefit of the doubt and saying he simply had an off day. There is some genuine ability there.

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the fifth and ninth races.

Mountaineer

In the second race, Jay Bernardini has Watralsoutherncure . He also has Vy Vy Vy in the third and Yes Imatiger (the name of this horse makes me laugh every time) in the fifth.

Also at Mountaineer , Mark Tasso has Jordanna Banana in the sixth and Fujimo in the ninth.

Charles Town

Jay Bernardini has Get Ready Go in the second.

Calder

In the fourth race, Charles Fontana has I Love to Say Yes .

In the seventh race, he has Miss Gold Indy . Also in that race, Marcus Vitali has Zapper .

In the eighth race, Tigerglider is in.

In the twelfth race, Fontana has both Mean Kisser and Strong N Silent .

Tampa

In the first race, Alejandro Gomez has Pensiveness and No Passing Zone . Bernard Bramante and Lucie Herkova will team up with Gonna Blow .

In the second race, Gomez has Regent Star with Jean Claude Medina aboard. Good to see Medina back in action after getting injured over the summer.

Gomez also has a favorite of mine, Metal Jacket in that race.

Bramante has Mom Extraordinary in the second race. Another local horse, Capulet is also in.

In the third race, the respected John Botty barn makes their Tampa debut with Answer My Question . Though not the model of consistency, this gelding did have a big upset win on closing day.

Also in that race, John Pimental has Little Vinnie Boy .

In the fifth race, Bobby Raymond and Jill Jellison will team up with second-time starter Rinaldo's Gold . I think this colt has a lot going for him in this spot and is one of the reasons I stopped at an ATM on my way in to work today. First time lasix, first time turf and his career debut was not a bad one.

In the seventh race, Raymond will send out Hit Another Gear , a horse with a history of success on the lawn at both Tampa and Suffolk . Very, very tough field though.

In the eighth race, Tom McCooey, Jr. will send out the very talented juvenile Unshatterable . His local maiden win was a very impressive one over a quality field.

Also in that race, Serengeti Storm will come out for Ernie Poxon, Jr. .He had several very game, encouraging local efforts.

In the eleventh race, Bernard Bramante has a first time starter in Tequila's Desire .

In that race, Bobby Raymond has second-time starter Kathy's N Angel who put in a very encouraging debut as the favorite in the fall locally.

Mrs. Lovett will make her second career start for Tom McCooey, Jr. . This filly is absolutely lovely but very green.

Have a great day everyone!

December 11, 2009

December 11, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Tomorrow is opening day at Tampa and I am super excited to see so many familiar names, both human and equine, in the entries.

RESULTS 12/10

Laurel

The Suffolk Downs gang did a really good job yesterday. I was really happy to see good showings by so many horses and people.

In the first race, Gold Jolie and Zavata's Trick were fourth and fifth for Rafael Ramos .

In the third race, the John Rigattieri pair of Brew for the Band and D'lightful Appeal were second and third with Carlos Quinones and Dyn Panell aboard.

In the fourth race, Winston Thompson and Uvada were fourth.

In the fifth race, CG's Striker and Dyn Panell put in a strong effort and prevailed by a length after pressing the pace early.

In the seventh race, Charles Assimakopoulos sent out Southern Twister to a 1 length victory over stablemate Go Angel Go . I really, really like Southern Twister . Legends Way was fourth for Nelson S. Espaillat .

In the eighth race, Massecuite finished third for Rafael Ramos after setting the pace.

In the ninth race, Killarney Bay broke his maiden by three lengths with Winston Thompson aboard. Amazing Racer was eighth for Rigattieri .

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica was third in the fourth and fifth races.

Calder

In the first race, Charles Fontana sent out Milwaukee Wolf to a third place finish. I Love to Say Yes scratched out of the sixth race and Special Jak was sixth in that race.

Marcus Vitali sent out Light Event to a runner-up finish in the fourth race.

ENTRIES 12/11

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos will send out Miss Nimble for another maiden attempt. Also in that race, John Rigattieri has Jane's Song .

In the second race, Rigattieri has Disguise .

In the fifth, Soto High and Dyn Panell are the 8/5 morning line favorites.

In the sixth race, Mount Wilton , a wonderful son of Graeme Hall will try to improve off of a third-place finish last time out. He didn't have the best of trips that day and he looks to be in a good spot here. Also in the race is Brogue who has been on the shelf since a third-place finish at Suffolk in July.

In the seventh race, David Lezell will send out Bentbutnotbroken and John Rigattieri has Pushed Over .

Charles Town

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has La Monda .

Calder

Marcus Vitali has Parky in the fourth and Zapper in the seventh.

Charles Fontana has Rocky Miswaki in the third and Devilish Mecke in the fourth.

Have a great day everyone!

December 10, 2009

December 10, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! The wacky weather yesterday caused quite a few cancellations and it appears that Hawthorne will be cancelled again today according to Equibase.

RESULTS 12/09

Laurel

Though the first race wound up being a three-horse field due to scratches, I was amused to see that it was an all-Suffolk field. The old warhorse, Let Me Be Frank was an easy winner over Hi Poppy and Adopted Arrival .

Libbys Indian scratched out of the second race.

In the fourth race, Handsome Bruno got the win and Brother Joey scratched for John Rigattieri .

In the sixth, Rigattieri sent out No Peace at All to a third place finish. Bandslammer was fourth for the Assimakopoulos bar.

In the seventh, Phil C was fifth for Rafael Ramos .

Storm Door was third in the eighth race.

In the ninth race, Bentbutnotbroken and Brew for the Band both scratched. Snow Hill was third for Rigattieri .

ENTRIES 12/10

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos has Gold Jolie and Winston Thompson and Zavatas Trick with Carlos Quinones .

In the third race, John Rigattieri has another stacked entry of Dlightful Appeal and Brew for the Band .

In the fourth race, the highly regarded Uvada will try to recapture the brilliance she showed in her maiden win.

In the fifth race, Rigattieri has CGs Striker .

In the sixth, Massecuite will go for the maiden win for Rafael Ramos .

In the seventh, Charles Assimakopoulos has a powerhouse entry of Southern Twister and Go Angel Go . Nelson S. Espaillat has Legends Way in that race.

In the ninth race, Rafael Ramos will send out Killarney Bay and John Rigattieri has Amazing Racer .

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in races two, four, five and nine. In the second race, he has the mount on St. Augustine for Nick Zito .

Calder

Charles Fontana has Milwaukee Wolf in the first and both I Love to Say Yes and Special Jak in the sixth.

Marcus Vitali has Light Event in the fourth.

Have a great day everyone!

December 9, 2009

December 9, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! It is a very snowy New England day today so a safe drive to anyone that is traveling anywhere today. I have yet to brave the roads but I did take on the elements first thing this morning to take a long hike in the woods with my dog.

RESULTS 12/08

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini sent out Im a Prize to a maiden victory in the first race.

ENTRIES 12/09

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos will send out Hi Poppy and David Lezell has Adopted Arrival .

The second race is the most interesting to me. Charles Assimakopoulos has first-time starter Libbys Indian . This filly is a daughter of freshman sire Indian Ocean and I have been impressed by what I have seen so far. He is also the sire of New England champion juvenile filly Oceans of Honey . Anyhow, during one of my trips wandering around the backside, I saw this filly getting a bath and got to talking about her and her sire with John Assimakopoulos and he told me they had high hopes for this one.

In the fourth race, John Rigattieri has the formidable pair of Handsome Bruno and Brother Joey . Dyn Panell is named to ride both.

In the sixth race, Rigattieri and Panell are teaming up with No Peace at All . Charles Assimakopoulos has Bandslammer in that race.

In the seventh race, Rafael Ramos has Phil C .

In the eighth race, Storm Door will try to move forward off of his dull Laurel debut for Rafael Ramos . I do think this is a track that horses can show significant improvement second time over it, so he gets another shot today.

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Bentbutnotbroken and John Rigattieri has Snow Hill and Brew for the Band .

Hawthorne

Odin Londono, Jr. has Texas Mike in the first.

Have a great day everyone!

December 8, 2009

December 8, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Yesterday, I finally was able to send out the press release announcing the New England Turf Writers 2009 champions and award winners. I think it is a deserving group of horses and people and cannot wait to get to work putting together the awards dinner in the summer.

Riversrunrylee, Sassy City and Dadsfourwheeldrive are some of my favorites and I am thrilled to be able to reward them for spectacular seasons.

For a full list of award winners, check out the New and Notes page.

RESULTS 12/07

Calder

In the third race, Our Sun scratched for Marcus Vitali . In the fifth race, he sent out Nana's Appeal to a third place finish. Charles Fontana's entry, Southenhospitality scratched out of that race.

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini sent out Funky Country to a fourth place finish.

ENTRIES 12/08

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini has I'm a Prize in the first race.

Have a great day everyone! Just a reminder, Suffolk Downs is closed for simulcasting today.

December 7, 2009

December 7, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I was bundled up like the little kid from A Christmas Story on my hike with the dog this morning. It is definitely winter here in New England. The racetrack looks gorgeous with snow in the infield, but I can't imagine braving the elements and racing in this like we did years ago.

RESULTS 12/06

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica finished sixth aboard Thunder Reigns for Karl Grusmark in the fourth race. He was eighth in the fifth race and his mount scratched out of the ninth.

Calder

Marcus Vitali sent out Targe to a fourth place finish in the eighth race.

ENTRIES 12/07

Calder

In the third race, Our Sun will try to rebound off of his last race for Marcus Vitali . Nana's Appeal is in the fifth for Vitali and Charles Fontana has Southrnhospitality in that race.

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini has Funky Country in the second race.

There isn't much going on today but later in the week there are some really exciting races from Laurel !

Have a great day!

December 6, 2009

December 6, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I had a blast taking my dog on a hike through the snow today. Ill admit, I absolutely despise winter but the first couple of snowfalls are nice.

RESULTS 12/05

Laurel

In the second race, Revere Beach Babe was seventh for John Rigattieri .

In the fifth race, Stellar Ambition pulled off a big victory and gave Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson a trip to the winners circle.

In the eighth race, the Squan Song Stakes, Lucky You put in a very good effort to finish fourth, beaten just a length for the win. Lions Maddy was two lengths behind in fifth.

Aqueduct

In the first race, Weefc and Orlando Bocachica were sixth for Karl Grusmark.

Finger Lakes

Mr. Jolson earned another victory in the fourth race for Karl Grusmark .

Hawthorne

Point S.O.S. was eighth in the second race for Odin Londono, Jr. .

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini sent out Saucy Lass to an eighth place finish in the fourth race. In the sixth, Real Impact finished first but was disqualified and placed fourth.

In the fifth race, North Bend finished sixth for Mark Tasso .

Meadowlands

Al Lloyd finished sixth for Lloyd Lockhart .

Calder

Gimmeawinkpoppy was sixth for Charles Fontana .

ENTRIES 12/06

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has three mounts today. He will ride Thunder Reigns in the fourth for Karl Grusmark and has mounts in the fifth and ninth races.

Calder

Marcus Vitali has Targe in the eighth race.

Have a great day everyone! Im planning on a relaxing Sunday of going to the gym, watching football and baking homemade Christmas cookies for my dog. Yes, my dog.

December 5, 2009

December 5, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! As I was walking into the building today, I took the long way up to the press box and wandered through the empty grandstand. I am always amazed by the history here. The banners that hang throughout the grandstand with the silks and names of former Mass Cap winners are one of those things I see every day so I rarely stop and really look at them. It is like looking at a who's who of some of the all-time greatest horses in history.

RESULTS 12/04

Laurel

In the first race, Fifty Seven G finished fourth after setting the pace for David Lezell . Babalo was sixth for Rafael Ramos .

In the second race, Weekend Games and John Rigattieri won. Nelson S. Espaillat's Jackie Lad was third and Glenwood Ace was fifth for Charles Assimakopoulos .

In the sixth race, Legends Way was fifth.

In the seventh race, John Rigattieri sent out Indy's Honey Gem to a runner-up finish. Live Tiger was fifth for Rafael Ramos . Under Mandate was tenth.

In the eighth race, the John Rigattieri pair of Bobcat Brody and Macho's Gold were fourth and fifth.

In the ninth, Snuck in the Back was tenth,

Aqueduct

2009 leading rider Orlando Bocachica had an excellent day at the Big A.

In the second race, he guided longshot Love of Life to victory and returned $21.60.

In the sixth race, Glenridge Stable's Chief Operator put in a very strong effort to finish third. It was a big effort from him for trainer Joe Signore, Jr. .

Bocachica picked up a longshot mount in the ninth race and was third.

Calder

Charles Fontana had two horses entered and both Milwaukee Wolf and Miss Gold Indy scratched.

Marcus Vitali sent out Richie London to a fourth place finish in the seventh race and Light Event was sixth in the tenth.

Penn National

In the ninth race, Rearrange put in another commendable performance to finish second for Craig Stable . Lori Lockhart's Nu Wonder was sixth.

Hawthorne

Majestic Bill pulled off a maiden win for Odin Londono, Jr. . The barn also sent out Speaking Out to a ninth place finish in the sixth.

Sam Houston

Expect No Equal was seventh for Wendy Uhacz .

ENTRIES 12/05

Laurel

In the second race, Revere Beach Babe is in for John Rigattieri . Carlos Quinones will be aboard.

In the fifth race, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson are teaming up with Stellar Ambition .

In the eighth race, a very competitive field of thirteen will square off in the Squan Song Stakes .

Lucky You comes out for Charles Assimakopoulos and will try to move forward off of a mediocre effort last time out. This six-year-old mare has been strategically campaigned throughout her career and when she puts in her best effort, she can be incredible. Back in 2008, she prevailed by a neck over Nijinsky Bullet and three-year-old champion Shorty Puffs in one of the most memorable races of the year.

John Rigattieri will send out Lion's Maddy from the outside post. This filly comes into this race off of three consecutive Suffolk Downs victories, winning two on dirt and one on the grass. I'll admit I wasn't sold on this filly at first, but her upset win over Courting Elaine and Technically Wicked was very impressive.

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the first, third and ninth races. In the third, he teams up with Karl Grusmark with Weefc .

Finger Lakes

Karl Grusmark has former New England champion juvenile Mr. Jolson in the fourth race.

Calder

Marcus Vitali has Targe back in in the eighth race and Charles Fontana has Gimmeawinkpoppy in the tenth race.

Hawthorne

Point S.O.S. is in the second race for Odin Londono, Jr. .

Meadowlands

Al Lloyd is in the fifth race for Lloyd Lockhart .

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini has Saucy Lass in the fourth and Real Impact in the sixth.

Also at Mountaineer , Mark Tasso has the wonderful gelding North Bend in the fifth race. This gelding is as game as they come and I thought it was very cool that they claimed him back after they lost him in the middle of the meet. I know horse-racing is a business and claiming is part of the game but it makes me happy to see people do get attached to their horses and want them back.

Have a great day everyone!

December 4, 2009

December 4, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 12/03

Laurel

In the third race, Veer was third for John Rigattieri . Lion By My Side scratched out of that race and won the seventh race at Charles Town instead.

In the eighth race, Halo's Rumble was fourth for Charles Assimakopoulos .

In the ninth race, David Lezell's Tootletheflute was fourth.

Hawthorne

Informal Dress was sixth in the second race for Odin Londono, Jr. .

Meadowlands

Al Lloyd scratched out of the second race for Lloyd Lockhart and is reentered for Saturday.

Penn National

Sweet Candy Ride was fifth for Lori Lockhart .

Calder

Onwingsandaprayer scratched out of the fourth race for Charles Fontana .

Sam Houston

Offlee Wedded Wife was seventh in the second race for Wendy Uhacz .

ENTRIES 12/04

Aqueduct

Joe Signore, Jr. has the insanely well-bred Chief Operator in the sixth with Orlando Bocachica aboard for Glendridge Stable . This gelding actually has very solid inner-track form and looks like a very live longshot.

Bocachica also has a mount in the second race.

Laurel

In the first race, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson will team up with Babalo . Also in that race, David Lezell will send out Fifty Seven G with Dyn Panell .

In the second race, Charles Assimakopoulos has Glenwood Ace and Nelson S. Espaillat has Jackie Lad . Also in that race, John Rigattieri has Weekend Games .

In the sixth race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Legends Way .

In the seventh race, Ramos will send out Live Tiger and Rigattieri has Indy's Honey Gem . Both fillies have had a month off since strong performances at Suffolk . Also in that race, Espaillat has Under Mandate .

In the eighth race, John Rigattieri has two formidable entrants in Bobcat Brody and Macho's Gold . Dyn Panell will ride Bobcat Brody and this gelding has been on the board in all four starts since joining this barn.

In the ninth race, Snuck in the Back is in for Nelson S. Espaillat .

Penn National

In the ninth race, Nu Wonder is in for Lori Lockhart against the consistent Rearrange .

Calder

Charles Fontana has Milwaukee Wolf in the third and Miss Gold Indy in the fifth.

Marcus Vitali has Richie London in the seventh and Light Event in the tenth.

Hawthorne

Odin Londono, Jr. has Majestic Bill in the first and Speaking Out in the sixth.

Sam Houston

Wendy Uhacz has Expect No Equal in the fourth.

Have a great day everyone!

December 3, 2009

December 3, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Today is actually looking like it has some potential to be a gorgeous day.

I was glancing over the workouts from Tampa yesterday and saw that local star and fan favorite Sassy City had a workout for John Botty . I cannot wait to see what this filly does as she matures.

RESULTS 12/02

Laurel

In the first race, Katie's Raven was fifth for David Lezell .

In the second race, Marivett was fifth for Rafael Ramos . She looked like she was going to run a huge race, then just came up flat.

In the fifth race, Gramatic put in a good effort to be third for Charles Assimakopoulos .

In the sixth race, John Rigattieri sent out Destinedtobemine to a third place finish and in the seventh race, Evil Buddha was sixth.

In the ninth race, Helens Says was sixth and Under Mandate scratched.

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, Papa Charlie was eighth for George Saccardo .

Hawthorne

S.M.W. Kaitlyn was seventh in the ninth race for Odin Londono, Jr. .

ENTRIES 12/03

Laurel

In the third race, John Rigattieri has both Veer and Lion By My Side entered. Lion By My Side is also entered at Charles Town today.

Halo's Rumble is in the eighth race for Charles Assimakopoulos . Her last effort at Laurel was very sharp and this powerhouse of a filly looks to be in a good spot here.

In the ninth race, David Lezell will send out maiden Tootletheflute .

Aqueduct

Orlando Bocachica has mounts in the fourth and fifth races.

Calder

Charles Fontana has Onwingsandaprayer in the fourth race. Though her two Florida starts have been dull, she did have very competitive local form throughout the meet.

Meadowlands

Lloyd Lockhart has Al Lloyd in the second race.

Penn National

Lori Lockhart has Sweet Candy Ride in the sixth race.

Hawthorne

Odin Londono, Jr. has Informal Dress in the second race.

Sam Houston

Wendy Uhacz has Offlee Wedded Wife in the second race.

Have a great day everyone!

December 2, 2009

December 2, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I am pleased that I used my day off in a productive manner and have managed to accomplish nearly all of my Christmas shopping. I love getting it all out of the way before the stores become too chaotic.

RESULTS 12/01

Mountaineer

Hope for Joy was third in the sixth race for Jay Bernardini .

ENTRIES 12/02

Laurel

In the first race, Carlos Quinones will be aboard Katie's Raven for David Lezell .

In the second race, Marivett will make her Laurel debut for Rafael Ramos . Regular rider Carlos Quinones remains aboard and he does seem to be an excellent fit for this filly. I really, really like her. There is absolutely nothing extraordinary about this filly - she is a complete Plain Jane. However, she is really an honest, game little filly and over the past couple of years she has really grown on me.

In the fifth race, Gramatic comes out for Charles Assimakopoulos . This filly is a daughter of my buddy Graeme Hall out of New England champion Formatic . She broke her maiden at Laurel in February and won two of her three Suffolk Downs starts very impressively.

In the sixth race, John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell will team up with Destinedtobemine . Also in the sixth race, Carlos Quinones will be aboard Should Be Dancin' for Michael Gorham . A belated congratulations to Michael Gorham on earning his 1,000th career victory back on November 27.

In the seventh race, Rigattieri also has Evil Buddha .

In the ninth race, David Lezell has Helen Says and Nelson S. Espaillat has Under Mandate .

Hawthorne

In the ninth race, the consistent S.M.W. Kaitlyn will make her first start for trainer Odin Londono, Jr. .

Aqueduct

In the fifth race, the highly regarded Papa Charlie will try to return to form for trainer George Saccardo . Orlando Bocachica will be aboard (and also has mounts in fourth and ninth races). Papa Charlie was introduced to me back in 2008 before his first start as George's "secret weapon" and he lived up to the hype, breaking his maiden at first asking impressively. Though his form tailed off a bit at the end of the meet this year, he had several monster efforts early in the meet and may have benefited from having a bit of time off since the meet ended.

Have a great day everyone!

December 1, 2009

December 1, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! What a frustrating football game last night.

Just a reminder to everyone that Suffolk Downs is closed for simulcasting today and will be closed for the remaining Tuesdays this month. This gives me a day off to finish up my holiday shopping!

RESULTS 11/30

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini sent out Honor the Sword to a runner-up finish in the fifth and Regal Fling to a ninth place finish in the ninth.

Finger Lakes

Everblazing was eighth in the fourth race for Hector Sarmiento .

Meadowlands

Lloyd Lockhart had two starters yesterday. Bucks Wink was seventh in the opener and Secret Jazz was fifth in the third race.

ENTRIES 12/01

Mountaineer

In the sixth race, Jay Bernardini has Hope for Joy .

Have a great day everyone. There are a ton of interesting entries over the next couple of days.

November 30, 2009

November 30, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Yesterday, I spent some time going through the recent workouts from Tampa Bay Downs and there were so many familiar names! I can't wait for their meet to begin so I can see some of our local stars back in action again.

RESULTS 11/29

Aqueduct

Coney Island was sixth in the first race for George Saccardo . This colt seemed a bit agitated going into the gate and considering that he only has two starts, he is still a bit green and may have had an off day. I haven't given up on this one yet and intend to back him again in his next start.

Casa Pippo scratched out of the ninth race.

Mountaineer

In the first race Yes Imatiger was third for Jay Bernardini . In the fourth race, Lir Jet was fourth.

Hawthorne

Odin Londono, Jr. sent out Goli's Lady Doll to a seventh place finish.

ENTRIES 11/30

Meadowlands

Lloyd Lockhart has Bucks Wink in the first race and Secret Jazz in the third.

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini has Honor the Sword in the fifth and Regal Fling in the ninth.

Have a great day everyone! I can't wait to get home tonight and watch the Patriots take on the Saints.

November 29, 2009

November 29, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I'm looking forward to a fantastic day of hanging out in the press box, working on some projects with racing and football on in the background. It seriously cannot get any better.

RESULTS 11/28

Laurel

In the second race, Hi Poppy was fifth for Rafael Ramos .

In the fourth race, Little Miss Kisses put in another competitive effort for the John Rigattieri barn.

In the fifth, Hot Chile Soup ran a dynamite race to be second, beaten only a neck. This was her first effort where she really seemed to fight back and show she had the heart to match her natural ability, so I'm really pleased with this one.

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini sent out Copper Ridge to an eighth place finish in the first race and Way of an Eagle to a sixth place finish in the third.

Hawthorne

Unfortunately, Midship Mambo did not finish and was vanned off for Odin Londono, Jr. so let's hope for the best there.

Calder

Ski Sky was sixth in the third race for Marcus Vitali .

I Love to Say Yes was seventh in the tenth race for Charles Fontana .

Finger Lakes

Judge Margaret was much the best in the eighth race for Karl Grusmark .

One other result I missed from Friday was a huge effort from Little Eva M at Sam Houston for Wendy Uhacz . It was the second win in a row for this filly and she was one that did show a lot of promise at Suffolk .

ENTRIES 11/29

Aqueduct

In the first race, George Saccardo has Coney Island , a very impressive maiden winner in his second career start. George does a very nice job bringing along young horses and though this colt gets a class test today, I think he is a live longshot.

In the ninth race, Saccardo has Casa Pippo on the also-eligible list. Orlando Bocachica is named to ride and he also has the mount on another filly in that race.

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini has Yes Imatiger in the first and Lir Jet in the fourth.

Hawthorne

Odin Londono, Jr has Goli's Lady Doll in the fourth race.

Have a great day everyone!

November 28, 2009

November 28, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 11/27

Laurel

In the second race, Gold Jolie was fifth for Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson . Those two also teamed up for a seventh place finish with Ragabash in the eighth race.

In the seventh, Brother Joey scratched, leaving Handsome Bruno and Dyn Panell in for John Rigattieri . He finished fourth.

In the ninth race, Dyn Panell and John Rigattieri were fifth with Softly Spoken . Meadow Skipper was eighth in that race.

Hawthorne

Not the best day for the Odin Londono, Jr. barn . In the first race, Loose Lips was ninth. True Jazz was ninth in the sixth race. Secretly Taken and Dakota Max were both tenth in the eighth and ninth races.

Finger Lakes

Karl Grusmark sent out two winners from two starters with Tapits Main Man and Indian Rush .

Calder

Alejandro Gomez had three starters entered - Metal Jacket, Sir Classic Chris and More to It . All three scratched.

In the eighth race, Marcus Vitali sent out Jazz Nation to a fifth place finish.

Aqueduct

In the third race, Rocketing Returns and Orlando Bocachica were fifth for Seth Benzel .

Weathered was eighth in the Top Flight Handicap.

ENTRIES 11/28

Laurel

In the second race, Rafael Ramos has Hi Poppy . Hi Poppy was made semi-famous when Butch Stearns came to Suffolk Downs to try his hand at race-calling. Hi Poppys duel with Whoopi Again wound up being one of the most memorable races of the meet.

In the fourth race, the talented and game Little Miss Kisses is in for John Rigattieri .

In the fifth race, Hot Chile Soup is making her Laurel debut. The barn does seem to be off to a slightly shaky start in Maryland could be in a good spot to give them a breakthrough local victory. She is a naturally athletic, talented individual and still seems to be figuring it all out.

Finger Lakes

Karl Grusmark has Judge Margaret in the eighth race. She had a pair of dull efforts at Suffolk over the summer but this well-bred filly really seems to have hit her stride in New York- shes been first or second in all six recent starts.

Calder

In the third race, Marcus Vitali has Ski Sky .

Charles Fontana has I Love to Say Yes in the tenth.

Mountaineer

Jay Bernardini has a pair of entries today. Copper Ridge in the first and Way of an Eagle in the third.

Hawthorne

Odin Londono, Jr. has Midship Mambo in the ninth race.

Have a great day everyone! There are some really exciting races in the next couple of days, so stay tuned.

November 27, 2009

November 27, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope you all had a wonderful holiday.

RESULTS 11/26

Laurel

In the first race, Jane's Song and Dyn Panell were fifth for John Rigattieri .

Bill's Jewell was again the model of consistency in the second race with a game runner-up finish despite a slow start. Carlos Quinones was aboard for David Lezell .

In the third race, Soto High was second for John Rigattieri .

In the fifth race, Southern Twister was a game third after having an absolutely awful trip. He clipped hills, checked sharply and still showed a lot of class to rally for third.

Also in that race, Nelson S. Espaillat's Jackie Lad was fifth.

In the seventh race, John Rigattieri had another runner-up finish with Jersey Moon .

In the eighth race, Little Miss Kisses scratched and is back in for Saturday. That left Swing Music and Courting Elaine , two very talented fillies for John Rigattieri and Rafael Ramos . Swing Music put in another big effort and was second, giving Rigattieri three seconds from four starters on the card. Courting Elaine didn't fare quite so well and was sixth.

In the ninth race, Borsa was sixth and Snuck in the Back was eighth.

Aqueduct

Risky Gamble was sixth for Joe Signore, Jr. and Orlando Bocachica . This filly is much more effective on turf, so this performance can't really be held against her.

Calder

In the fourth race, Zapper was fourth for Marcus Vitali .

In the fifth race, Miss Unbridled's was ninth for Charles Fontana .

In the sixth race, Mean Kisser ran a huge race to finish second at monstrous odds. Also in that race, Fire Striker was a good fourth.

In the eighth race, Southrnhospitality was seventh and Our Sun was tenth and last.

ENTRIES 11/27

Laurel

In the second race, Rafael Ramos is sending out one of my favorite blue-collar fillies in Gold Jolie . There is absolutely nothing flashy about this filly but she is really honest and her form seems to be back.

In the seventh race, John Rigattieri has a loaded pair in Handsome Bruno and Brother Joey . Dyn Panell is named to ride both so it will be interesting to see who he stays aboard if both remain in.

In the eighth race, the highly regarded Ragabash will try to make it two in a row after breaking her maiden impressively at first asking in November for Rafael Ramos . Winston Thompson will be in the irons.

In the ninth race, John Rigattieri has Softly Spoken and Nelson S. Espaillat has Meadow Skipper .

Finger Lakes

Indian Rush , a very impressive juvenile winner at Suffolk Downs in 2008, is in the eighth race for Karl Grusmark . He also has Tapits Main Man in the fifth.

Hawthorne

Odin Londono, Jr. looks to have a busy day with four starters on the card.

In the first race, he has Loose Lips .

In the sixth, True Jazz will try to return to form. Though her present form is lackluster, she has popped up and surprised me enough times to never completely overlook her.

In the eighth, he has Secretly Taken and in the ninth, Dakota Max .

Aqueduct

In the third race, Orlando Bocachica will ride the beautifully-bred Rocketing Returns for Seth Benzel . His local start this fall was very impressive and could have been a big confidence boost for this naturally talented individual. 12-1 morning line? Love it.

Also at Aqueduct, Karl Grusmark has Weathered in the Top Flight Handicap.

Calder

In the sixth race, Metal Jacket is in for Alejandro Gomez . As I've mentioned in previous blogs, I am a big fan of this gelding.

In the eighth race, Gomez has Sir Classic Chris and More to It . Marcus Vitali has Jazz Nation in that race.

In the tenth race, Charles Fontana has Special Jak .

Have a great day everyone!

November 26, 2009

November 26, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I have a lot to be thankful for in my life and as a racing fan, this year gave me a lot to be thankful for as well. Nationally, there were superstars that turned in one breathtaking performance after another. And locally, we had our stars as well. Small tracks have star power, too, and we had horses like Riversrunrylee, Nijinsky Bullet, Delosvientos and rising starlet Sassy City .

RESULTS 11/25

Laurel

In the first race, no excuses for Miss Nimble . She ran the same type of race that she ran in her previous two local starts and finished a well-beaten seventh.

In race two, Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson teamed up for a fifth place finish with La Monda .

Not much better in the third race with Babalo . He was seventh.

In the fourth race, the Charles Assimakopoulos trained Gold Bid was third.

In the fifth race, Machos Gold scratched for John Rigattieri . His other entry, Pushed Over was fifth.

In the sixth race, Massecuite put in the strongest performance of the day for the Ramos barn with a very game runner up finish.

In the seventh race, The Last Bird was fifth.

Charles Town

Legends Way was seventh for Nelson S. Espaillat .

ENTRIES 11/26

Aqueduct

Risky Gamble is in the fifth race for Joe Signore, Jr. . Orlando Bocachica will be aboard and though this filly figures to be a big price, she has pulled off several major victories and I wouldnt throw her out.

Laurel

In the first race, John Rigattieri will send out two-year-old filly Janes Song . This filly does have some natural ability and appears to be maturing.

In the second race, of the stars of the Suffolk Downs meet returns to the races. Bills Jewell was on the board in all of her local starts and this big mare has performed well at Laurel in the past. Carlos Quinones will be aboard her today.

In the third race, Dyn Panell and John Rigattieri have Soto High .

In the fifth race, one of my favorite local horses is in. Southern Twister is in for Charles Assimakopoulos . This gelding didnt have the most consistent 2009 season, but he is a very talented individual. He is also one of those horses that always seems to have, for lack of better words, swagger. Jackie Lad is also in that race for Nelson S. Espaillat .

In the seventh race, Dyn Panell and John Rigattieri have Jersey Moon .

The eighth race is insanely competitive. Courting Elaine is in for Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson . This big, athletic filly has performed well on both turf and dirt and during the Suffolk meet looked like a star on the rise.

Also in that race, John Rigattieir has a loaded pair in rival stablemates Little Miss Kisses and Swing Music . Both fillies swapped off victories early in the meet before Swing Music really took control, putting in several strong efforts at Laurel as well.

In the ninth race, Nelson S. Espaillat has Snuck in the Back and David Lezell has Borsa .

Calder

In the fourth race, Marcus Vitali has Zapper .

In the fifth, Charles Fontana has Miss Unbridleds and in the sixth, he has Mean Kisser .

Also in the sixth race, Alejandro Gomez has More to It .

In the eighth race, Our Sun comes out for Marcus Vitali and Fontana sends out Southrnhospitality .

Have a great day everyone and enjoy your holiday!

November 25, 2009

November 25, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! My mood is heavily influenced by the weather but even on a gloomy, rainy, cold day I couldn't help but be in a good spirits this morning. There are some really interesting races today and I still can't quite wrap my head around the fact that I get to come to the racetrack every single day for "work". There are some days that are less fun than others, but never has this job felt like work.

RESULTS 11/24

Email was a well-beaten seventh in the seventh race for Jay Bernardini .

ENTRIES 11/25

Laurel

Starting out in the first race, Rafael Ramos has Miss Nimble . I find this filly interesting. She was well-regarded by her connections before her first start, but from two races at Suffolk she really showed little. She gets lasix for the first time today, which may help, but my main observation with this filly is that she is just TINY. She moved nicely in the mornings but just looked very immature physically. She should be a huge price and this barn does do a top-notch job with the babies.

In race two, La Monda is making her first start for Rafael Ramos after breaking her maiden last time out at Calder . Winston Thompson will be aboard.

In race three, Ramos and Thompson are teaming up again with Babalo . His form is inconsistent but he has had plenty of time off since that last, dull effort.

In the fourth race, Charles Assimakopoulos will send out Gold Bid with blinkers off today to try to break his maiden. This gelding actually has finished first twice before and was DQ'd from both victories.

In the fifth race, John Rigattieri has a loaded pair with Pushed Over and Macho's Gold . Carlos Quinones will ride Pushed Over and this colt did have a pair of strong efforts at Suffolk against allowance company.

In the sixth race, Ramos will send out Massecuite to his first start off a layoff. He had two efforts in the spring, including a good runner-up finish at Aqueduct, and does seem to have some ability. He worked well at Suffolk in the fall.

In the seventh race, The Last Bird will try to make it two in a row after a commanding maiden-breaking performance in October. Physically, this colt was an absolute standout in the paddock that day and Closing Argument really seems to be generating some buzz as a freshman sire.

Charles Town

Legends Way is in the eighth race for Nelson S. Espaillat . He had several very game efforts at Suffolk this past season and looks more appealing stretching back to two turns after being a bit off his game sprinting last time.

Aqueduct

In the seventh race, Orlando Bocachica will be aboard Pavlov's Dog .

Have a great day everyone!

November 24, 2009

November 24, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone!

RESULTS 11/23

Finger Lakes

Karl Grusmark had a good day yesterday, saddling two winners from two starters. New England champion juvenile Mr. Jolson went gate to wire and won by five lengths, returning $11.60. In the sixth race, Rosalie's Dance broke her maiden in front-running fashion for owner and breeder Joseph Dirico .

Mountaineer

In the ninth race, Lucky Laguna won as the favorite for Jay Bernardini .

ENTRIES 11/24

Mountaineer

In the seventh race, Email is in for Jay Bernardini .

A quiet day for entries, but tomorrow should make up for it as there are quite a few interesting, exciting horses entered at Laurel , Aqueduct and Charles Town .

Have a great day everyone!

November 23, 2009

November 23, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I hope everyone had a great weekend. There is nothing I enjoy more on a Sunday then camping out on the couch for the day, switching between TVG and NFL Redzone (best channel ever).

RESULTS 11/22

Calder

In the fourth race Charles Fontana's Saratoga Blitz was a well-beaten ninth.

In the fifth race, both Sir Classic Chris and Pensiveness scratched for Alejandro Gomez . So far, from four starters, all four have scratched though it appears Metal Jacket and Sir Classic Chris are entered again for Friday.

Marcus Vitali had two starters yesterday. Parky was seventh in the fifth race and Targe was fifth in the seventh race.

ENTRIES 11/23

Finger Lakes

Former New England champion juvenile Mr. Jolson is in the second race for Karl Grusmark .

Mountaineer

Lucky Laguna is in the ninth race for Jay Bernardini .

There may not be a whole lot going on entry-wise today but the rest of the week looks very exciting. Southern Twister, Bill's Jewell, Little Miss Kisses, Swing Music, The Last Bird, Courting Elaine and Risky Gamble are just a handful of the fantastic entries later in the week.

Have a great day!

November 22, 2009

November 22, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I'm ready for another great Sunday full of football and racing.

RESULTS 11/21

Laurel

In the second race, Hot Brew and Winston Thompson put in a game effort to finish second.

In the third race, Killarney Bay was fifth for Rafael Ramos . The John Rigattieri trained entry of Tornado Boots and Rob the Sandman were fourth and eighth.

Southern Renegade was sixth in the fifth race. Fifty Seven G was eighth.

Storm Door my pick of the day, was sixth and last. He didn't appear to have any real excuses.

In race seven, D'lightful Appeal was second, beaten only a neck. Bentbutnotbroken was tenth in that race.

In the eighth race, C G's Striker put in a solid effort to finish third.

Calder

Rocky Miswaki was seventh for Charles Fontana . In the eleventh race, his Unbridled Heat was second.

In the eighth race, both Metal Jacket and Lizard were scratched for Alejandro Gomez .

Finger Lakes

Shirley Law was eighth for trainer Karl Grusmark .

Meadowlands

In the fourth race, Sweet Candy Ride was fourth for Lori Lockhart .

In the fifth race, Lloyd Lockhart's Busy Roma was seventh and in the seventh race, Al Lloyd was also seventh.

Hawthorne

Goli's Lady Doll was ninth for Odin Londono, Jr and Point SOS was scratched.

ENTRIES

Calder 11/22

Charles Fontana has Saratoga Blitz in the fourth and Alejandro Gomez has Sir Classic Chris and Pensiveness in the fifth race. Also in the fifth, Marcus Vitali has Parky and in the seventh race, Targe is in.

Not a busy day for the local gang on the entries front today, but the upcoming week looks very exciting.

Have a great day!

November 21, 2009

November 21, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I am really excited about today's races all throughout the country. I can't think of a better way to spend my Saturday than hanging out in the press box, working on some projects with several televisions in the background tuned in to assorted tracks.

RESULTS

Laurel 11/20

In the third race, Dad's Image ran a dynamite race to finish second, beaten only half a length at generous odds. This guy was frequently overlooked at Suffolk this season and had several big efforts, so it wouldn't surprise me if he does the same thing this winter. Adopted Arrival and Dyn Panell were seventh in that race.

In the fifth race, John Rigattieri saddled his first of two winners on the card with Snow Hill . In the eighth race, Bobcat Brody was third and in the ninth race, Dude Again and Carlos Quinones were victorious. The other part of the entry in that race, Dixielandbandito and Dyn Panell were fourth.

Calder 11/20

Tigerglider and Robert Serrano were tenth and last for Charles Fontana .

Mountaineer 11/20

Gliding Princess was sixth.

ENTRIES

Laurel 11/21

Both Rafael Ramos and John Rigattieri look to have very busy days today.

In the second race, Ramos and Winston Thompson will team up with Hot Brew . She drops back down after a fifth place finish behind horses like Sassy City and Bill's Jewell so really, no shame in finishing behind those ladies. She isn't super consistent but she does have some back class and is interesting in this spot.

In the third race, Rigattieri has a pair of first-time starters for owner Frank Bertolino . Rob the Sandman will have Carlos Quinones aboard and Tornado Boots gets Dyn Panell . Rafael Ramos is sending out Killarney Bay with Winston Thompson aboard. This well-bred gelding will carry the familiar silks of Stronach Stables in his first start for a tag.

In race five, Southern Renegade comes out for Ramos and Thompson after a pair of third-place finishes at Suffolk . David Lezell is sending out Fifty Seven G .

In the sixth race, the very interesting Storm Door will make his second start off of a six-month layoff. This gelding was highly regarded at the beginning of the meet and lived up to the hype with a very impressive victory on opening day. Unfortunately, he was sidelined for the remainder of the meet and in his first start back on closing day, he put in a commendable effort but came up short. He looked like a horse that simply needed a race and I think he could be sitting on a big effort.

In the seventh race, John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell will team up with D'lightful Appeal . At Suffolk , he was very competitive against substantially tougher company. He does appear to have lost a step but seems well spotted here. I really like this gelding - he is huge and still looked like he could develop a bit more. Also in this race, Bentbutnotbroken will be aboard for David Lezell .

In the ninth race, Panell will be aboard C G's Striker for Rigattieri . This guy is a three-time winner at Laurel and difficult to overlook wherever he is.

Calder 11/21

In the fifth race, Charles Fontana has Rocky Miswaki with Robert Serrano aboard. Her last race at Suffolk was very dull, but she does have a sharp late kick when she fires.

In race eight, Alejandro Gomez will send out a competitive pair in Metal Jacket and Lizard . Metal Jacket will be making his first start since being claimed from trainer Wayne Marcoux and this is a horse that really grew on me throughout the meet. He is absolutely gorgeous and has a "look at me" type of attitude. He would often put on a show in the paddock, bucking and playing around like a horse that just felt very good. Looks aside, he is also a very honest, very fast racehorse. Lizard has the advantage of having experience over the Calder surface. He has been on the board in half of his starts there and jockey Kerry Bryan will be aboard.

Finger Lakes 11/21

Shirley Law will make her second start at Finger Lakes and second for trainer Karl Grusmark after spending the Suffolk meet with Billy Sienkewicz .

Meadowlands 11/21

Lori Lockhart will send out Sweet Candy Ride in the fourth race and her father, Lloyd Lockhart has Busy Roma in the fifth and Al Lloyd in the seventh.

Hawthorne 11/21

Odin Londono, Jr. has Goli's Lady Doll in the fifth and Point S.O.S. in the ninth.

Aqueduct 11/21

Orlando Bocachica will ride French Transition in the fifth.

Have a great day everyone! And as always, feel free to drop me a line at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com

November 20, 2009

November 20, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! There are a lot of exciting races coming up in the next couple of days.

RESULTS

Aqueduct 11/19 Yet Again and Orlando Bocachica were fourth in the Love is Eternal Stakes, beaten five lengths for trainer Karl Grusmark .

Meadowlands 11/19

In the third race, Osterville put in a good effort to finish third for Larry Mason . He is an honest little horse.

In the seventh race, the Lloyd Lockhart trained Royal Malibu was seventh.

Hawthorne 11/19

True Jazz was sixth and last for Odin Londono, Jr. . Bummer. I really like this filly.

Laurel 11/19

Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson teamed up for a runner-up finish with Uvada . The John Rigattieri pair of Revere Beach Babe and Runinthefastlane finished sixth and eighth in that race.

In the eighth race, Mount Wilton and Carlos Quinones were third. Lion By My Side and Dyn Panell , the other half of the entry, finished seventh. Preacher Buck was last and eased.

Finger Lakes 11/19 Anthony Ryan sent out the good-looking Hunting Money to a third place finish. It was a good effort considering he had a very awkward break.

Calder 11/19

Our Sun was third, beaten only half a length for trainer Marcus Vitali in the fifth race. In the eighth race, the Vitali trained Nana's Appeal was fifth.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct 11/20

Orlando Bocachica has a mount in the second race aboard longshot Love of Life .

Laurel 11/20

In the third race, two local horses will square off. Dad's Image comes out for Nelson S. Espaillat and Adopted Arrival and Dyn Panell go to post for David Lezell .

John Rigattieri has quite a few starters today. In the fifth race, he has Snow Hill in. In the eighth race, Dyn Panell will be aboard Bobcat Brody as he tries to shake the bridesmaid role after a trio of runner-up finishes. In the ninth race, Dude Again and Dixielandbandito come out as a formidable entry with Carlos Quinones and Panell in the irons.

Calder 11/20

In the third race, Marcus Vitali is sending out Richie London . In the fifth, Charles Fontana has Tigerglider .

Mountaineer 11/20

Gliding Princess , a daughter of New England champion mare, Sword Princess, is in the second race for Jay Bernardini .

Saturday's entries are very exciting as well. I am most looking forward to Storm Door making his second start off of a substantial layoff at Laurel . He is 8-1 (!!!) morning line and I think could be a huge value.

Have a great day everyone!

November 19, 2009

November 19, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! I just got in from taking my dog for a hike in the woods and mornings like this are when I really love fall in New England. It is a gorgeous day.

RESULTS

Laurel 11/18

In the first race, the John Rigattier trained Weekend Games won by a neck. Irish Blast with Winston Thompson aboard for Rafael Ramos was third. Glenwood Ace didnt fare quite so well and was fifth and last.

Also at Laurel, Veer and Dyn Panell were fourth in the seventh race.

Hawthorne 11/18

Majestic Bill put in a good showing for Odin Londono, Jr. and was second, beaten only a length. Lusty King scratched out of his race.

ENTRIES

Laurel 11/19

In the third race, a trio of talented fillies will compete for Rafael Ramos and John Rigattieri . Both barns have a reputation for success with young horses. Ramos will send out the highly regarded Uvada and Rigattieri has a tough pair in Runinthefastlane and Revere Beach Babe .

In the eighth race, John Rigattieri will send out a formidable entry of Mount Wilton and Lion By My Side . Carlos Quinones and Dyn Panell will be aboard. I really, really like Mount Wilton and always root for the Graeme Hall babies. I also find it amusing how little he resembles his full sister, East Coaster . She looks like a typical Graeme Hall kid while this guy looks like he fell off the family tree he is much bigger and stockier. But, both are runners.

Also in that race is Preacher Buck for Jennifer Shannon . This gray gelding was very impressive throughout the Suffolk meet despite a demanding campaign and seems to be the type that really puts in 110% every time.

Meadowlands 11/19

Osterville is in the third race for Larry Mason . Though his last race of the Suffolk meet was a bit flat, he was very well campaigned and this gelding is a dangerous combination of both game and fast.

In the seventh race, the six-figure Royal Malibu is in for Lloyd Lockhart .

Finger Lakes 11/19

Hunting Money is in the sixth race for Anthony Ryan . His starters seem to be coming out very ready to run at Finger Lakes and this guy was all sorts of impressive breaking his maiden against a slightly softer field.

Aqueduct 11/19

2009 leading rider Orlando Bocachica is in the Love is Eternal Stakes for Karl Grusmark . This filly is a half sister to New England champion Carlow and very talented.

Calder 11/19 Our Sun and Nanas Appeal are both back in for Marcus Vitali after scratching out of recent starts.

Tomorrow and Saturday there are a bunch of really exciting entries, especially at Laurel. Ill go into details on them tomorrow! Have a great day!

November 18, 2009

November 18, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! On my way to work this morning, I received a fantastic text message informing me that Sing Me Back Home , the fan-favorite old warhorse, is was dropped off at his new home at the TRF Second Chances at Plymouth County Sheriffs Farm. He is an amazing horse with a ton of personality and class and I am so happy he gets to have a "happily ever after".

RESULTS

Finger Lakes 11/17

What a Trippi ran a great race. He was fourth, but it was a close finish and he missed the win by under a length despite having virtually no pace to run at. I was also really pleased with how good he looked physically. There is a great quote from Jenine Sahadi from (I think) the press conference prior to the 2000 Santa Anita Derby that really has stuck with me. "Win or lose, I love my horse."

ENTRIES

Laurel 11/18

In the first race, the Charles Assimakopoulos trained Glenwood Ace will try to earn his fourth consecutive victory but the classy Irish Blast for the dynamic duo of Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson looks very tough. Also in that race, Weekend Games comes out for John Rigattieri . There is your trifecta - just box the Suffolk guys!

In the seventh race, Rigattieri is also sending out an entry of Lion By My Side and Veer . Dyn Panell is named on both, but Lion By My Side is entered for Thursday as well so it seems possible she will scratch.

Also today at Laurel , Carlos Quinones will ride Should Be Dancin' for Mike Gorham in the sixth and Winston Thompson will ride the aptly-named New Englander in the third.

Hawthorne 11/18

Majestic Bill and Lusty King are in the second and seventh races for Odin Londono, Jr. .

Tomorrow, there are a bunch of very interesting entries at Laurel, Finger Lakes, Hawthorne, Aqueduct, Meadowlands and Calder so stay tuned.

Have a great day everyone!

November 17, 2009

November 17, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Good morning everyone! Last night, the New England Turf Writers Association held their fall meeting and selected our champions for 2009. I will have a press release in the coming days announcing our award winners. Very, very exciting. Also, I have been elected president of the organization! I am honored to be a part of a group with such history and, looking at past presidents, I have some big shoes to fill.

RESULTS

Finger Lakes 11/16

Anthony Ryan sent out first-time starter Tommy's Memory to a very impressive debut win. He broke slowly and showed a good deal of professionalism and natural ability to quickly gain the lead and never look back. He won by over nine lengths and returned $11.40. Also, Justice T put in a good showing later on the card to be fourth.

ENTRIES

Finger Lakes 11/17

What a Trippi is in the second race today. I can't wait to see him. He is such a funny (and I mean funny both as amusing and as odd) little horse.

Yesterday, I covered a bunch of really exciting entries for 11/18 and 11/19 at Laurel, Aqueduct, Hawthorne and Calder . I'll recap tomorrow and Thursday but now I'll get into some other interesting entries later in the week.

Meadowlands 11/19 Larry Mason will send out Osterville in the third race. This gelding is as honest as they come and has a lot of natural speed. His local form was very solid and though his last race of the season was a bit uncharacteristic, his connections have done a great job spotting him and he should be coming into this race ready for a big effort.

Also at the Meadowlands on Thursday, Lloyd Lockhart will send out Royal Malibu in the seventh race. This lightly-raced gelding was a six-figure purchase and had a strong allowance win in his most recent start.

Finger Lakes 11/19

Hunting Money is in the sixth race for Anthony Ryan . This big, gorgeous gelding got some time off and got a class drop for his very impressive maiden win back in October. He has the looks and there is some ability there.

Mountaineer 11/20

Jay Bernardini will send out the beautifully-bred Gliding Princess in the second race. She is a daughter of New England champion mare Sword Princess and though she doesn't seem to have quite inherited her mother's ability, she is capable of a big effort and she does get a substantial class break here.

Calder 11/20 Tigerglider is in the fifth for Charles Fontana .

Calder 11/21

Rocky Miswaki is in the fifth race for Charles Fontana . This filly has shown she can be very game on several occasions.

Also on Saturday at Calder , Alejandro Gomez will send out two starters in the eighth race that I very much liked when they were based locally. Metal Jacket was a favorite of mine and will be making his first start since being claimed This gelding is just a physically an outstanding looking horse. He is also really enjoyable to watch in the paddock as he seems to be quite a handful and very full of himself. Several times this year when he was with trainer Wayne Marcoux , he would come into the paddock bouncing and playing around, obviously just a horse that felt very good. His stablemate in the race is Lizard with jockey Kerry Bryan . This gelding was successful at Suffolk and has also proven himself at Calder in the past.

Enjoy your day! I'll be glued to the television up here in the press box rooting on my little buddy Trippi today!

November 16, 2009

November 16, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

This blog is slightly later than normal because I stayed up far too late watching football last night. And boy, was that game worth the missed sleep (please note the sarcasm there). Anyhow, this week is shaping up to be very exciting from an entry-standpoint and though we have no noteworthy results today, let's dive into boatload of entries for so far for the week!

ENTRIES

Finger Lakes 11/16

David Amiss and Anthony Ryan are teaming up with two entries today. In the first race, Tommy's Memory a first time starter that trained at Suffolk for much of the meet will make his career debut. In race five, they send out the ultra-consistent Justice T .

Laurel 11/18

On Wednesday, Charles Assimakopoulos will send out the extremely consistent Glenwood Ace . This gelding has three consecutive victories going into this race and certainly proved me wrong as the meet came to a close. I had originally thought he was the type that was always the bridesmaid but he seems to have decided he likes winning. His biggest competition may come from Rafael Ramos and Winston Thompson with the speedy and classy Irish Blast . I think the Ramos horses will offer a big value at Laurel at first because they may get overlooked by more familiar names.

Also on Wednesday at Laurel , Jon Rigattieri is sending out three starters with Dyn Panell named to ride both Veer and Lion By My Side in the seventh. It will be interested to see which one he chooses if both run. Lion By My Side is also entered for Thursday so that may answer that question.

Laurel 11/19

There are a ton of exciting things happening on Thursday. In the third race, a trio of talented two-year-old fillies face off for two of the leading Suffolk Downs trainers. Rafael Ramos will send out the highly-regarded Uvada and though her two starts since breaking her maiden were dull, they did come against males and she may benefit from being back against her own gender. John Rigattieri sends out a tough entry of Revere Beach Babe and Runinthefastlane , both impressive maiden winners. Carlos Quinones , a young jockey who did exceptionally well in his first season at Suffolk , will be aboard Runinthefastlane while Dyn Panell is with Revere Beach Babe. Both jockeys do very, very well for this barn.

Also on Thursday, Mount Wilton will try to make it four in a row. This gelding is by Graeme Hall out of a mare named Eastlynne and, in one of my favorite days of the meet, both he and his full sister East Coaster both won races at Suffolk . Graeme Hall is one of my all-time favorites and I am so pleased he has turned out to be such a successful, versatile stallion.

Aqueduct 11/19

Yet Again is back in the entries and she looks to be very competitive in the Love Is Eternal Stakes for Karl Grusmark and 2009 leading rider Orlando Bocachica . She is a half sister to New England champion Carlow .

Hawthorne 11/19

True Jazz is back in the entries on Thursday in an attempt to make amends after a disastrous start blew her chances last time for Odin Londono, Jr. . Her form is pretty inconsistent but she is one that I really like and root for.

Also on Wednesday at Hawthorne , Londono is sending out Majestic Bill and Lusty King .

Calder 11/19

Our Sun and Nana's Appeal are both back in for Marcus Vitali after being scratched out of their most recent starts.

Of course, of all of these entries, the one that matters most to be is What a Trippi in the second at Finger Lakes on Tuesday. Maybe this Christmas he will be under the tree?

Have a great day everyone! Feel free to send me feedback at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com

November 15, 2009

November 15, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

There are a lot of exciting entries at Laurel later in the week. I mentioned some yesterday and to not be redundant, I will recap them closer to the actual race dates.

RESULTS

Laurel 11/14

The Suffolk Downs crew was well represented on Saturday. In the second race, Halos Rumble was second, beaten only a length despite a slow start. It was a strong effort from her for Charles Assimakopoulos and she went off at generous odds, too. In the sixth race, John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell teamed up for a good runner-up finish with Brother Joey . At one point, he had a three-length lead and though he wasnt able to hold on, it was a game effort from him.

Aqueduct 11/14

Mr. Jolson was seventh for trainer Karl Grusmark .

Meadowlands 11/14

E Z Trail was sixth for Lloyd Lockhart .

Calder 11/14

The Marcus Vitali trained pair of Light Event and Zapper finished tenth and fourth respectively. Elegance Noted was third for Charles Fontana .

Finger Lakes 11/14

Rob the Banker was eighth for Anthony Ryan .

ENTRIES

A lot of very fun horses have popped up in the entries for Wednesday and Thursday at Laurel Park including Uvada and Mount Wilton . Those will get detailed closer to the actual race date.

Finger Lakes 11/16

Anthony Ryan and David Amiss have two interesting entries. In the first race, they have Tommys Memory , a three-year-old first time starter that trained steadily at Suffolk all season. Then, in the fifth race, the veteran Justice T will compete.

Have a great Sunday everyone! Ill be spending the day switching between TVG and football!

November 14, 2009

November 14, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

No better way to spend a rainy, fall afternoon than at a racetrack. I would prefer to have live racing to amuse me today, but simulcasting will do.

The most interesting entry to appear in my inbox yesterday was for a horse that technically is no longer a local. What a Trippi , former New England champion and equine love of my life, is entered for Tuesday at Finger Lakes . My standard response for the past couple of years when asked what I want for Christmas/birthday/etc has been "What a Trippi". He is currently with trainer Mike Lecesse and I really like the way he has campaigned my little buddy.

RESULTS

Laurel 11/13

Sledge Hammer had an awkward break and finished sixth and last for Charlie Assimakopoulos . Better luck next time. Finger Lakes 11/13

An excellent ride by Jill Jellison aboard Real Gentleman for trainer Jacqueline Faulk resulted in an upset maiden win with a nice payout - $17.20! They were not quite as successful in the fourth race with the favored Dumpster Diver .

Aqueduct 11/13 Unfortunately, Risky Gamble scratched. Looking forward to her making it back into the entries.

Calder 11/13 More scratches. Both Our Sun and Nana's Appeal scratched for trainer Marcus Vitali .

Philadelphia Park 11/13 Tomorrow's Gal , two for two since returning off of a long layoff for owner Craig Stable , was a game second.

ENTRIES

Laurel 11/14

Halo's Rumble , a very exciting, very fast filly, will be in the second race for Charlie Assimakopoulos . Like I mentioned yesterday, I really like this filly but feel she is the type to either key on top or throw out entirely. Also today at Laurel , Rigattieri and Panell team up with Brother Joey in the sixth race. If the weather there is close to what we have here, I imagine there will be an off track and this guy performed very well over an off track here recently. He is making his first start at Laurel but has a ton of back class.

Laurel 11/18

Glenwood Ace , one of the most consistent local competitors, comes into this race off of three consecutive victories for Charlie Assimakopoulos . His Maryland form early in his career was excellent and this guy seems to be really improving as he gets older. He will face another very consistent local horse in that race in the Rafael Ramos trained Irish Blast . This gelding had very solid local form and is one with a ton of back class. I think it is interesting that Ramos has moved his stable to Maryland for the winter and wish him a lot of success down there. Winston Thompson , the go-to rider for the stable, seems to have moved his tack there as well.

Also at Laurel on Wednesday, Rigattieri is sending out three. Weekend Games in the first and Veer and Lion By My Side in the seventh. Dyn Panell is named on both in the seventh.

Finger Lakes 11/14

Mr. Jolson , New England's champion juvenile of 2008, is in the fourth for trainer Karl Grusmark .

Meadowlands 11/14

E Z Trail is in the fourth for Lloyd Lockhart .

Calder 11/14

Marcus Vitali is sending out Light Event in the first against the Charlie Fontana trained Elegance Noted and Zapper in the twelfth.

Have a great day everyone!

November 13, 2009

November 13, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

It really feels like winter outside today! I am very jealous of all of the members of our Suffolk Downs family that are either in Florida or heading that way. I'm really looking forward to Tampa Bay Downs opening because then a lot of familiar faces will start popping back up in the entries ( Riversrunrylee I miss you!).

RESULTS

Laurel 11/12

Not a whole lot of exciting things went on yesterday. Both Little Miss Kisses and Lion By My Side both scratched for Rigattieri and Dyn Panell .

Meadowlands 11/12

Golden Gator was fifth and claimed from Florence Gemma Siravo . He now joins the barn of Juan Serey .

Calder 11/12

Targe caught a super tough field for Marcus Vitali and finished ninth.

ENTRIES

Aqueduct 11/13

Today, providing she gets in off of the also-eligible list, Risky Gamble has a major shot for trainer Joe Signore, Jr. . She has been on the board in her last three starts on the grass at Belmont and even had an upset win that returned $93.50. Her connections do a great job finding the right spot for her and again, if she gets in she is a live longshot here.

Laurel 11/13

Today, Sledge Hammer will try to make it two in a row after an upset maiden win. Blinkers coming off seemed to make all the difference in the world last time for the Charles Assimakopoulos trained son of Drewman.

Laurel 11/14

Tomorrow at Laurel , the very exciting filly Halo's Rumble will be in the second race. This filly is such a little powerhouse and a lot of fun to watch, though a word of advice to those wagering on her- she really does seem to be an all-or-nothing type.

Also tomorrow at Laurel , Rigattieri and Panell team up with Brother Joey in the sixth race. Though winless since October of 2008 and making his Laurel debut, this gelding has routinely kept company with the best local horses.

Finger Lakes 11/13

Fan-favorite local jockey Jill Jellison has two mounts for trainer Jacqueline Faulk . In race two, there is the speedy Dumpster Diver , recently second against local allowance company. In the fourth, Real Gentleman will try to break his maiden.

Calder 11/13

Two strong contenders come out today for Marcus Vitali . In the seventh race, there is Our Sun , a drop-dead gorgeous son of Stormin Fever. I really like this guy and he is extremely consistent, though he does have a tendency to hang a bit which could explain why he is still eligible for NW2L. In the eighth race, Nana's Appeal comes in fresh after having over a month off since a strong allowance win locally back in September. Also at Calder , apprentice Robert Serrano has been picking up some live mounts. This young rider won his first career race at Suffolk this fall. Charlie Fontana , a regular both locally at and Calder, has Miss Unbridled's in the first and Special Jak in the fifth today.

Have a great day everyone!

November 12, 2009

November 12, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Southern Rainbow could not have been more impressive with a nine-length victory at Laurel Park for Charlie Assimakopoulos . He paid $11, too!

Love Me Back and British Event both scratched, so I would imagine they would be popping back into the entries soon.

Today at Laurel , John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell will send out Little Miss Kisses in the fourth. These two, from two starters yesterday, were first and second, and do as well in Maryland as they do here. Little Miss Kisses is a super-game, honest filly that performed well throughout the season.

Tomorrow at Laurel , Sledge Hammer will try for a repeat performance of his maiden win.

And on Saturday, Halos Rumble , one of the most highly regarded three-year-old fillies at Suffolk this year, will go to post in the second race. This filly is such a physically outstanding looking individual and is brilliantly fast. She was one of my favorites to watch train in the mornings because she is such a natural athlete. Also on Saturday, Brother Joey will take on a tough field in the sixth race.

Yesterday, I mentioned True Jazz was running at Hawthorne for Odin Londono, Jr. . Unfortunately, that didnt go very well. She stumbled badly at the start, losing her rider in the process. Hopefully she came out of it okay and we will see her in the entries again soon.

At Aqueduct , though at this point does not look likely they will draw in, certainly keep an eye out for 2009 leading rider Orlando Bocachica and Yet Again in the Sabin Stakes. Though that talented filly has never raced at Suffolk, she has local connections.

Tomorrow at Aqueduct I am certainly hoping Risky Gamble draws in for Joe Signore, Jr. . This filly has been well-spotted and has proven several times this year she is capable of gigantic efforts.

Today at the Meadowlands , the hard-knocking, blue-collar Golden Gator will compete in the first race for Florence Gemma Siravo .

And finally, at Calder , Marcus Vitali has a handful of local horses in the next couple of days. Today, the very impressive Targe is in the eighth race. Tomorrow, Our Sun , one of the most dependable local turf horses, will be in the seventh and the talented Nanas Appeal in the eighth.

Enjoy , everyone! And keep me posted if I have missed anyone at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com

November 11, 2009

November 11, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

With the 2009 racing season in the books, it has been only four days and I am already in some serious live racing withdrawal.

I'm going to guess I am not the only one and with that will launch my off-season project. As often as possible, I plan on blogging about the whereabouts and goings-on of our local stars, both equine and human.

Starting off at Laurel Park

Today, Charlie Assimakopoulos is sending out a loaded group, including two former New England champions. In the third race, British Event is on the also-eligible list. In the eighth and featured race, reigning champion older male Southern Rainbow looks very live and has been very successful in Maryland in the past. In the ninth race, Love Me Back looks to be a bit more of a longshot.

Tomorrow, Little Miss Kisses , one of the most consistently impressive fillies locally this year will come out for the dynamic combination of John Rigattieri and Dyn Panell . These two are as impossible to overlook in Maryland as they are at Suffolk.

On Friday, impressive local maiden winner Sledge Hammer is in the second race for the Assimakopoulos barn.

Today at Hawthorne , True Jazz tackles $6,000 claiming company in the first race. Though her form is inconsistent, she is a lovely filly and very capable if she fires. Her form showed big improvement as the meet progressed here this season and in her third start over the surface out there she could move forward.

This is just the beginning. As more trainers and jockeys start popping up in various places, I expect this to project to grow! If you have any word on what certain jockeys and trainers are up to, please send me an email at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com

September 4, 2009

September 4, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Nijinsky Bullet, reigning New England Horse of the Year, has been retired from racing.

She came to Suffolk the same year as I did, 2006, and I have had the pleasure of watching her develop into a tremendous racehorse. Over the years, she became a favorite of mine because of both her accomplishments on the racetrack and her personality in the stall.

The national horseracing scene has Zenyatta and Rachel Alexandra, two unbelievable, brilliant fillies. Smaller tracks have their stars, too.

As a three-year-old, she broke her maiden in her second local start and went on that summer hold her own against some of the better allowance mares on the grounds. Though she was competitive and obviously talented, she wasn't anything special. Yet.

When she returned to Suffolk as a four-year-old after an inconsistent season at Tampa, it was like looking at a different horse. Physically, she had blossomed over the winter and it was clear immediately she was going to be a force to be reckoned with. In her first start of the meet that year, she finished second by a head to champion Bedazzler after a terrible trip and in that race showed a level of class and tenacity she hadn't shown before. She went on to win three of her seven local starts that year and finished on the board in all of them, enough to earn her championship older mare honors for the year.

She returned in 2008 somehow even better than the year before. She kicked off her season with an authoritative win over the best mares on the grounds. After that, she had a handful of competitive efforts against the boys and on the grass, a surface she never altogether cared for. In the My Fair Lady Stakes on Independence Day, she dueled with stakes winner Salty Response and somehow pulled off the victory by a bare nose. The duo were over fifteen lengths clear of the rest of the field. I have two photos from that race hanging in my apartment - one is the win photo, a gift from her jockey at the time Deudis Pena-Mora. The other is a candid shot from when she was stepping into the winner's circle - her blinkers off, mud covering every inch of her face except where the blinkers were. I love the contrast between the two photos -one is every bit champion racehorse, the other just a cute photo of one of my favorite horses.

After that race, she had an easy eight-length victory over a quality group of mares. Then, in the race that would ultimately decide Horse of the Year, she tackled one of the most competitive fields of males assembled that year. She handed champion Hold on Smokey a rare defeat and cemented her status as the best horse on the grounds.

Now, here we are in 2009. She began the meet with a resounding win over the boys on opening day and looked poised for another big season. It wasn't meant to be this year. Her next three starts were dull at best and I wondered if the champ had hung up her horseshoes for good. In what would be her final start, she showed she still had the heart of a champion and ran on gamely for second despite an eventful trip.

I have spoken to her owner, Jose Acero of Aurora Springs Stable, on many occasions about how special his mare is. He has always had her best interests in mind and he and his trainer Rafael Ramos, have always done what is right by their horses. I know he is as excited as I am about her new career as a broodmare.

I can't wait to find out who she will be bred to and hope someday I get to talk about her babies on the track here.

June 12, 2009

June 13, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

I can't believe how quickly the first month of the meet went. It seems like just yesterday that it was Opening Day and now the Triple Crown is in the history books and we are approaching mid-June (though it certainly doesn't seem it with all of this rain).

There have been quite a few horses, some new to Suffolk Downs and some not, who have really stood out and impressed me this year. Here is my "Horses to Watch" list.

Bridled Quest has a million dollar pedigree, being a half brother to multiple G1 winner Heritage of Gold and by Unbridled's Song, one of the more popular stallions. On paper, I was very interested in seeing this guy but it was in person that he really blew me away. I am not normally a fan of offspring of Unbridled's Song (I find many of them too tall and delicate looking for my taste) but this horse is a handsome, sturdy-looking fellow. He easily dispatched of a talented field of older males and I am anxiously awaiting his next trip to the races. This horse endeared himself further when I popped into the barn to take some photos of him for our Facebook - he has personality for days.

Dadsfourwheeldrive finally proved me right last week. He debuted here last year as a three-year-old and was extremely impressive physically. He looked good breaking his maiden and then always seemed like he was on the verge of that big, breakthrough victory. It didn't happen last year but he returned to Suffolk looking even bigger and better than before. And this time, there was a new plan - grass! He ran well in his turf debut and followed that up with a smashing allowance win. I had faith in this guy and I really like being right.

Ruflirtingwithme is an unraced three-year-old filly trained by Joe Signore, Jr. that is preparing for her racing debut. This filly fascinates me. She was schooling in the paddock one racing afternoon and she was such a physical standout, all eyes were on her instead of the horses in the paddock actually racing that day. I was so curious, I found out her name and looked up her pedigree. A little interesting, nothing extraordinary. Her sire has been successful from an extremely limited crop of runners (4 to race, 3 to win). So, my next step was to watch her on the track. I found out when they were planning to send her out and went to see how she moved. This filly is just a natural athlete. She covers a lot of ground and does so effortlessly. Of course, with first time starters, you never know until they actually race, but she is a horse I am very excited about.

In My Chamber is a promising Mass-bred colt trained by Billy Lagorio. This guy is still a maiden but I think should show big improvements this year. He tried grass in his most recent start and while the experiment should hardly be called a failure, it didn't seem to be his surface of preference either. He is really an outstanding looking individual and certainly showed hints of serious talent last year.

Fondant lived up to the high praise she had been given by John Assimakopoulos prior to her local debut. This lightly raced filly could not have been any more impressive in her first race in Boston and her next race is eagerly anticipated. I think the group of fillies and mares we have right now is just unbelievably competitive. Fondant, Boken Lady, Halo's Rumble, Snow Down, Technically Wicked, Extra Fuse and of course, the champion mare Nijinsky Bullet.

Nijinsky Bullet is certainly not a new horse to watch but no list about exciting horses at Suffolk Downs would be complete without her. She is such a powerhouse of a mare and though that brilliance does not seem to translate to other tracks, I am more than happy to have her here all summer for all of us locals to enjoy. I have had the opportunity to be around some truly special horses - the kind of horses that just seem to know how good they really are - and she has that air to her.

This is just a short list. As the meet goes on, I'm sure many more horses will catch my eye. That is the best thing about my job - there's always something to be excited about.

Support Suffolk Downs - May 7

May 7, 2009 | Chip Tuttle, Chief Operating Officer

What a fantastic start to the 2009 season! Thousands of people came out for Opening Day of the live racing season last Saturday and we're looking forward to a fun, exciting summer.

For 75 years, Suffolk Downs has been a vital part of our community. Unfortunately, the economy is in poor shape, and we're not immune to its effects. One reason is that we face a lot of competition from resort-style casinos in Connecticut and Rhode Island. Now, we're not afraid of competition, it's just that we'd love to be able to have a world-class resort here as well, with all the amenities people love, including first-class restaurants and concert seating.

Expanded gaming in Massachusetts will help preserve our racetrack. Sign up now to bring our dollars home and support the future of Suffolk Downs.

In 2008, Massachusetts residents visiting resort-style casinos in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Maine:

-Spent nearly $1 billion on gaming
-Generated over $200 million in revenue for their state treasuries
-Helped fuel an industry that supports 19,000 casino jobs in Connecticut

We can't afford to lose that revenue, or those jobs. It's time for Massachusetts to benefit from the gaming our residents are already doing.

Will you sign up now to show your support for expanded gaming in Massachusetts?

With your help, we can bring our dollars home.

Sincerely,

Chip Tuttle
Chief Operating Officer
Suffolk Downs

Opening Day - May 2

May 2, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

We had a dead heat, a battle of the sexes and an all over beautiful day of racing.

Opening Day was perfect.

The race for leading rider is already off to an exciting start with Winston Thompson and Orlando Bocachica each winning three to kick off the meet. New faces in town, Laurent Beaucamp and Jordano Tunon, each won a race on the card so these new jockeys could be names to watch further on in the meet.

The highlight of my day was the amazing, incomparable Nijinsky Bullet. She is an absolute superstar and a horse that New England racing fans can really get behind. I was by the rail watching the race and everyone down there was blown away by her performance. Turning for home I was getting a little worried, to be honest, then I remembered that this is a mare that simply will not lose. Southern Rainbow was game in defeat and I can't wait to see this potential rivalry continue this summer.

As for the Kentucky Derby? What a shocker. But it's the fun kind of shocker and the connections seemed to having a great time just enjoying the ride to the big day. I bet they're having even more fun now.

April 30, 2009

April 30, 2009 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

As the 2009 racing season is set to begin, I am back to blogging and back home at Suffolk Downs. I was born and raised in Massachusetts, but there is nowhere in this state that feels more "home" to me than Suffolk.

Every chance I've had in the past weeks, I've been wandering around the backside catching up with some old friends (human and equine!) and making some new ones. There are quite a few new faces this year and I look forward to getting to know them all.

The next few days are filled with deep, exciting races from Churchill Downs (Oaks! Derby! Zenyatta! Oh my!) but on Saturday, my attention will be focused here. A rivalry is being renewed in our opening day feature and I could not be more excited. Two-time champion older mare Nijinsky Bullet is back on her favorite surface and tackling the boys, most notably champion older male Southern Rainbow. These two horses met twice last year, each with one victory. It is a rivalry I hope we get to see several more times this year because when both of them are their best, they are really a joy to watch.

I have had the pleasure of visiting both horses recently and both look absolutely phenomenal. Nijinsky has a that certain attitude and swagger that the good horses always have. They have both been training very well leading up to this and it will be an exciting way to kick off the live racing season.

I was watching workouts by the rail this morning and got to chatting with John Assimakopoulos, trainer of Southern Rainbow, and he had nothing but praise for his competition but also glowed with when talking about his own star. His horse had three big wins at Laurel over the winter and seems to be getting better and better with age.

John also let me know that another champ, British Event, is nearing her return to the races as well. She is an amazing, classy mare and another I can't wait to see pop up in the entries later in the summer. Her record from last year really doesn't reflect how special she is - she caught monster out-of-towners in the stakes races and really held her own.

Below is my Kentucky Derby analysis. Enjoy and as always, questions and comments are welcome at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com and be sure to follow me on Twitter at http://twitter.com/jmpaquette.

With several high profile defections, the 135th Kentucky Derby got even more complicated. I still believe that Quality Road is the star of the bunch and hopefully will get his chance to shine later on in the year.

MR. HOT STUFF does only have a maiden win to his credit, but this colt made a huge leap forward in the Santa Anita Derby. Experience could be a major issue here, but trainer Eoin Harty is not the type of trainer to enter a horse for the sake of having a Kentucky Derby starter. Though it did take this colt several races to break his maiden, he is a very talented individual that does appear to be improving with each start. This will be his first start over a conventional dirt track, but his full brother Colonel John did make the synthetic to dirt switch smoothly last year, finishing a credible sixth in the 2008 Kentucky Derby and going on to take the Grade 1 Travers. Godolphin's DESERT PARTY is one of two horses making the trip from Dubai and both he and his stablemate, Regal Ransom, look primed for big efforts. Those two have been knocking heads overseas all spring and both seem to have acclimated very well to Churchill Downs. Desert Party has been one of the big buzz horses in the past week in Kentucky, largely because of his very impressive workout on Saturday which was second in time only to his stablemate's bullet of :59 1/5. This may be the strongest pair Godolphin has sent over to date. I WANT REVENGE is the very logical favorite. This colt has done everything the right way and his April 28 bullet workout was visually impressive. However, I think his combined efforts in his past two races were so big that he has to bounce eventually and he could prove to be a vulnerable favorite. PIONEEROF THE NILE is coming out for a trainer that is certainly no stranger to the Kentucky Derby winners' circle. Bob Baffert seems confident that this son of Empire Maker will make a smooth synthetic to dirt transition and this colt's workouts have indicated that, as well. He seems to be getting over the track very well and

2008

November 8, 2008

November 8, 2008 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Today is the final day of our 2008 live racing season and, as always, I wish it could go on forever. I am terrible with goodbyes, even temporary ones, and saying goodbye to the people and the ponies never gets any easier.

I went to the barns this morning, armed with carrots, to say goodbye to my friend What a Trippi for the winter. I am convinced he knows how much I like him because, though he isn't know around the barn for exactly being a sweetheart, he is nothing but a gentlemen with me. He tolerates the kisses in exchange for carrots. He is a little, quirky oddball and funny enough, those words have been used to describe me on occasion. We "get" each other.

This meet has been an amazing one and I am sad to see it end. In addition to all of the highlights on the track such as Commentator's brilliant Mass Cap triumph, I am also so proud of what Suffolk has done off the track.

Over the course of the past several days, Suffolk Downs has been forced to act on its anti-slaughter policy. Those in charge have stepped up to the plate and made it known to the industry that our policy enacted earlier in the meet was not just lip service or a gimmick for good press - we mean business.

While it is unfortunate that ignorance and irresponsibility have led some to put our policy to the test, there are many individuals who have accepted responsibility for both themselves and others. With no motive except the good of the horses, people like Lorita Lindemann are a beacon of light on the backside of a racetrack.

Walk through Lorita's barn at Suffolk and you will see it full of horses, most of which are not her own. They are there until they are adopted or placed in a foster home and she works tirelessly to ensure that they are cared for and comfortable. It doesn't matter whether they are a stakes winner or a lifetime maiden; they all deserve to be treated with respect and care. The world would be a better place with more people like Lorita in it.

As always, any comments or questions are welcome at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com. Thank you to everyone for a fantastic meet and I will be counting the days until the first Saturday in May!

October 26, 2008

October 26, 2008 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Yesterday, all eyes were on the worlds greatest racehorses in the Breeders Cup. Today, the focus shifted in a different direction. Canter New Englands third annual Suffolk Showcase was held today and though the skies were gray at first, the weather quickly turned beautiful.

These horses may not be world beaters and, due to age or wear and tear, they may not be as productive on the racetrack as they once were but their connections are dedicated to ensuring a happy ending for them. Though they may not have been destined for greatness on the racetrack, they could be wonderful as eventers, lesson ponies or just a best friend to a little girl.

The turnout was fantastic and there were many enthusiastic people looking for their next eventing champion or simply a pleasure horse. One by one, many familiar faces were brought out and paraded to potential new owners. Christmas Away, a fan favorite, looked wonderful and more than ready for a new career.

One of the best parts of today was seeing just how attached many of the trainers are to their horses and how proud they are to bring them out and show them off. Phebe Young tacked up her sweet, little mare Laced Up and rode her down, much to the appreciation of the crowd. This mare has had quite a career at Suffolk Downs, breaking her maiden in 2002 (!!) and going on to win fourteen races. At nine years old, shes done being a racehorse and ready to make a little girl very happy. Phebe has had this horse for seven years and obviously wants the best for her friend.

One of the misconceptions about ex-racehorses is that they can be temperamental and hard to handle. Bobby Raymond proudly showed off a picture of The Mount, a handsome son of Capote, with a delighted six-year-old girl on his back. I can personally say that of all the horses I showed as a little girl, the one I had the most fun with and learned the most from was an ex-racer nicknamed Jag. He was so patient, kind and willing and I owe a lot of my ability in the saddle to him.

No trip to the backside is safe without a visit with What a Trippi. I took a picture of him with my cell phone and sent a text-message to my mother with a note For Christmas, I want a pony. Some things dont change.

I was so pleased with the turnout today, not only of potential buyers but with Canter volunteers. They dont care whether a horse is a stakes winner or a twenty plus start maiden. They just want whats best for each horse.

Quite a few horses found homes today. Fan-favorite Ennscho is on his way to be a trail horse and live happily ever after.

I love happy endings.

As always, questions or comments are welcome at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com. Also, be sure to check out http://www.canterusa.org/newengland/ for more information.

Breeders' Cup Friday

October 24, 2008 | Pat Lamberty

FM Sprint

Magnificence (20/1) won both of her races as a three-year-old in 2007 very impressively. She looks to be rounding back into form for this race, although she could be better on conventional dirt compared with synthetic surfaces. Nonetheless, she should get a nice pace setup as this race is loaded with speed and she does her best running from a tactical position. Zaftig (8/1) looks to be in an ambitious spot now making her first start since winning the Acorn over Indian Blessing on Belmont Stakes Day in June. She has never run over a synthetic surface, but worked well at Santa Anita last week and Jimmy Jerkens would not bring her all the way to California unless he thought she was coming up to the race in tremendous form. Indian Blessing (2/1) has been kept on the East Coast for the majority of her 2008 campaign, so one must question if Baffert thinks she is more suited for conventional dirt. She will get pressured on the lead in the early stages of this race and is the horse to beat, but a tough one to support in the win spot at what is expected to be a short price.

FM Juvenile Turf

Heart Shape (15/1) will have to overcome a very difficult outside post, but she is trained by Europes most successful trainer Aidan O Brien, a master at getting young horses to develop early. This Storm Cat filly is making her first start beyond six-furlongs, but she has looked like a horse that will benefit from a longer trip. Live at a big price. Consequence (8/1) carries the famed Phipps colors for trainer Shug McGaughey. This filly was beaten as the favorite in her last race, but she had a wide trip and might have been the best horse in the race. Dont think we have seen her best and the barn is known for getting horses to improve with each start. Saucy Evening (9/2) broke her maiden on the turf and she has shown the ability to quicken nicely in her races. The distance does not look to be an issue and she now adds blinkers for Graham Motion, a respected turf conditioner.

Juvenile Fillies

Stardom Bound (2/1) has been a true professional in all four of her career races, displaying the ability to rate off the pace before coming with a solid run through the stretch. Her running style and affinity for the racing surface at Santa Anita makes her the horse to beat in a field where the other leading contenders still look questionable. Sky Diva (7/2) has won both of her career races in untested fashion and her victory in the Frizette was done with little urging. Being by Sky Mesa from an Unbridled mare, she could very well have more depth and looks a solid contender for the win. Persistently (15/1) was forced to alter course multiple times in her prep race and that certainly compromised her chances. She seems like a horse that will appreciate the added distance and trainer Shug McGaughey is the most successful trainer of fillies in the history of the Breeders Cup.

FM Turf

Halfway to Heaven (4/1) has won three Group I races in Europe this season, including a victory in the Nassau Stakes at Goodwood in England going this distance of 1 miles. This three-year-old filly is a classic winner overseas and she gave a scare to Zarkava in May when finishing just 3 lengths behind one of the best horses seen ever in Europe. Folk Opera (10/1) could get an uncontested lead in this race and she was an impressive winner of the prestigious EP Taylor three weeks ago at Woodbine. This filly has also faced the best in the world and she is confirmed at this distance. Wait A While (3/1) is undefeated from three races over the Santa Anita turf course, but she has not faced company this tough in those races.

Distaff

Zenyatta (3/5) is undefeated from nine races in her career and she gets the advantage of racing in her base of Southern California. She continues to train well and is proven over the ProRide surface at Santa Anita. She looks to be more talented than the challengers and will be tough to beat as the shortest horse on the Friday Breeders Cup program. Music Note (4/1) is one of the leading three-year-old fillies in what is a very deep division this season. Her only loss from five starts this year came going 1 miles in Alabama, which may be a touch beyond her ideal distance. Cocoa Beach (8/1) has been impressive winning both of her races since coming to North America from Dubai. She defeated Ginger Punch in her most recent start looks to be coming into this race in improving form.

October 24, 2008

October 24, 2008 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

When I was younger and long before anyone was remotely interested in my opinion, I would always smuggle past performances in to class with me, sit in the back row and write lengthy analysis about the big races under the guise of note taking. This is why I can tell who won the 1997 Calder Derby (Blazing Sword, for the record) and struggle through pesky things like Algebra.

Anyhow, here are race-by-race ramblings. Enjoy.

FILLY & MARE SPRINT

Indian Blessing is the obvious one to beat here. She has been beautifully campaigned and watching her mature this year has been a treat. She has had a full campaign this year and with a win here could be a serious contender for her second Eclipse Award. Zaftig has the distinction of being one of only two fillies to hand Indian Blessing a defeat and though this filly has been sidelined since June, there is no denying her obvious talent. This is an ambitious comeback spot for this filly but that bullet work at Santa Anita last week is an encouraging sign. Ventura comes out of a game effort against the boys on the grass at Woodbine. Bobby Frankel has all the tools to have a big two days and one of his biggest guns may be this honest, and possibly overlooked, filly. She has won at this distance over a synthetic track before and her two workouts at Santa Anita both look promising. Besides, the Breeders' Cup just isn't complete for me without seeing those Juddmonte silks in the winner's circle at least once.

JUVENILE FILLY TURF

Now I make no attempt at hiding my absolute obsession with Graeme Hall, but when he retired to stud I was not entirely sure how well he was going to do. He wound up being a pleasant surprise, siring horses that have turned out to be incredibly versatile including Guadalcanal, a winner at a mile and a half on the grass. That brings me to Emmy Darling . She is going to be a big price, and rightfully so as she has regressed off the promise she showed over the summer. No excuses in the Del Mar Debutante. I do think the switch to grass is an interesting one and what better day that Breeders' Cup to look for a total bomb? Freedom Rings is another filly in this race that interests me. Though she is still a maiden, she showed a good deal of professionalism in the G3 at Belmont and I just have a world of respect for trainer David Donk, especially with turfers. Heart Shaped is a half sister to G1 winning juvenile, A P Valentine and is part of the strong group representing trainer Aidan O'Brien. This filly has all the tools and the pedigree to be a big success.

JUVENILE FILLIES

Persistently has left a positive impression in all four of her starts and she was compromised by a colorful trip behind the sensational Sky Diva in the Frizette. She should get the desired pace scenario here but traffic is always a concern with her running style in a field this size. Stardom Bound has home-track advantage here and the buzz around this filly has been about as big as she is. She is another deep closer so the same apprehension with the Phipps filly applies but she has been nothing but dominating on the West Coast. Pursuit of Glory has the pedigree for Breeders' Cup success. Her granddam is the incomparable Serena's Song, who's duel with Flanders in the 1994 Juvenile Fillies was one for the record books.

FILLY AND MARE TURF

Wait a While is just so hard not to like. This mare has been well-campaigned throughout her career and with her tactical speed, she should get the ideal trip. It also doesn't hurt that she is a perfect three for three on the Santa Anita turf. Halfway to Heaven seems to be the strongest of a very tough group of European invaders in this spot. She is a three-time Group 1 winner this season and two of her three losses this year (the third being to superstar Zarkava) did come over yielding courses. Folk Opera is three-for-three at this distance and while I have some questions about several fillies wanting to go this far (including possible favorite Forever Together ) there are no questions that this filly will run all day. Her win at Woodbine was sharp and figures to set her up well for a big effort.

LADIES' CLASSIC

Zenyatta has been nothing short of sensational in all eight starts and this is her race to lose. She is the star of the show and she knows it, shown by her notorious attitude both in the paddock and on track. Regardless of her antics, she turns it on effortlessly in a race and she proved in the spring she can win out of California. I know that doesn't have much bearing on this race but it adds to her storied resume. Ginger Punch is the reigning champion and has shown this year not only a champion's talent, but a champion's heart. She hates to lose and though Zenyatta is all sorts of brilliant, this mare will give everything she has to deny her the championship. Music Note is the only three-year-old filly in the race. She defeated a hopelessly overmatched field in the Gazelle last out but this filly is obviously special and will represent the sophomores well. It is worth nothing that her stablemate Cocoa Beach has been generating a ton of buzz after that October 18 bullet and her record (10 starts, 8-1-1) is hardly one to overlook.

MARATHON

Sixties Icon looms very tough in this spot as he is a true distance horse. 1 1/2 miles is his ideal distance and though this is his first start on a surface other than turf, he has given no indication he shouldn't adapt. He is apparently done most of his training over Polytrack and handled it well. Muhannak is another European invader, this one with back to back wins over the Polytrack overseas. His current form is strong and he is a proven commodity at this distance as well. Cedar Mountain has been on the board in all four US tries on the turf, though he did win over the polytrack in Great Britain. He has been on the shelf since July but has run well off a layoff in the past.

Of course, there is a giant void in this race without Evening Attire, even though the odds of him going west were slim. What a cool horse.

TURF SPRINT

Remember Diabolical ? He's been a stakes horse in the US since he was a juvenile and since being purchased by Godolphin has gone on to reestablish himself as a formidable opponent on the turf as well. I think he's an interesting horse in this spot and his last race in Europe was his best yet. Fleeting Spirit is one of two fillies taking on the boys in this spot but she, though lightly raced, has flashed outright brilliance in several of her victories. She held her own against some very tough European competition and may fly under the radar here. Mr. Nightlinger is going to have some company out front but it is hard to discount his five-race win streak and just how good he has been since switching to the grass.

MILE

Goldikova is the leading lady of this race, with a pair of Group 1 wins under her belt against some of the best of Europe. She also ran into superstar Zarkava earlier in the year with a respectable second and third. The other mare in this race may pose a big threat as well. Precious Kitten is the accomplished half sister to the remarkable Kitten's Joy. Her front-running effort at Keeneland was decent but she did come up slightly short. It was her first start back off a layoff so she gets the benefit of the doubt that she will come in sharper today. Whatsthescript has flourished since switching barns and his last three efforts make him a real contender. He is proven over this particular turf course and that alone could work in his favor today and he does seem to be training forwardly and getting good at the right time.

DIRT MILE

The Dirt Mile, won by Corinthian in its inaugural running last year, has attracted a deep group of horses. This field of twelve, headlined by synthetic specialist Well Armed , looks to be no means be the walkover it was last year. While Well Armed has been an absolute win machine this year and appears to be as consistent and game as you could ask for (loved how hard he fought in the Pacific Classic), there are several options in this spot that may offer a better price. Lewis Michael has been the underachieving older brother of champion and Breeders' Cup juvenile winner Dreaming of Anna and is campaigned by the same connections. (Those connections, as a side note, also campaigned one of my all-time favorite fillies, Silver Maiden, and her halter plate has been proudly attached to my key-ring since I got my license). This horse has struggled to really find his niche and a mile on a synthetic track seems perfect for him. His win at Del Mar may have been a breakthrough race for him and he could be sitting on a career best race. Though I am admittedly not much of a numbers girl, his Beyer numbers are more than competitive with this field. Another interesting horse in this field is Albertus Maximus. This colt has shown notable improvement in each start since joining the Vladimir Cerin stable and could capitalize on a possible pace collapse.

JUVENILE

Square Eddie looked very strong at Keeneland in his US debut and figures to continue to improve off of that effort as he apparently was no where near cranked to 100% for it. In the 2004 Juvenile, one of the two tickets I cashed that day was with Wilko, also owned by J. Paul Reddam. Midshipman has been highly regarded since his maiden win and ran a credible race in the Norfolk. He showed last out this distance is within his grasp and the distance is a big question mark for several horses in this race. It is also worth keeping in mind that this is his home track and he has been training very well leading up to this race. Bushranger is one of the more intriguing horses in this race and has back to back Group 1 wins to his credit. He is obviously very talented and the questions with him will be the distance and the surface.

JUVENILE TURF

Bittel Road has a fantastic turn of foot and has shown great acceleration in his past two races. A son of the versatile sire Stormy Atlantic, he could be one of Pletcher's biggest shots to take home a trophy. Westphalia is a logical threat after his Group 2 win last out. The O'Brien barn is loaded as usual this year and this colt looks very promising. Skipadate has played the bridesmaid in his last two, just narrowly losing to Bittel Road and the interesting Grand Adventure . I actually really like the Skip Away babies on the grass and though I am not wild about his October 19 workout, he has shown enough ability and heart to make him an upset candidate.

SPRINT

I have been touting First Defence enthusiastically since I opened my e-mail to see that eye-popping workout appear in my stablemail. I've thought really highly of this colt throughout his career and was also a big fan of his dam, Honest Lady, second in this race in 2000. His last race was simply too atrocious to be true and though he will need his best effort for this one, he may be primed for it. In Summation is a proven force over synthetic surfaces and his last three efforts have all been solid. His biggest strength in this spot is his ability to come from off the pace as it looks like Black Seventeen, Fabulous Strike, Fatal Bullet and possibly others may slug it out on the front end. There is no arguing that Midnight Lute is brilliantly fast. His win in the Sprint last year was one of the more visually impressive of the day. He has had only two starts since then, neither of them showing quite the imposing presence he possessed in 2007. However, his workouts have been sensational leading up to this race and he is the reigning champion.

TURF

I'll come out and say it, I just adore Better Talk Now . What a fabulous old warhorse. I just think it is incredible that here it is, 2008, and I'm writing about the same horse that won in 2004.He and Red Rocks bailed me out on Breeders' Cup day in 2006 and he made my day in 2004. He may not be quite the horse he was, but he is capable of tapping into that magic one more time. Red Rocks looked very strong defeating Better Talk Now and the great Curlin in July. He's been on the shelf since but has been working steadily and has fired very well off a layoff before. Fitness isn't the question and he is an big contender in his third Breeders' Cup appearance. Soldier of Fortune has been keeping company with Europe's best and should be a major player in this race. The big question mark with the European shippers is how they handle the trip and the West Coast temperature.

CLASSIC

The defection of Big Brown may have dampened the Classic for some, but in my mind the big star was always Curlin. He has had his share of critics, but to quote the Patriot's star, Randy Moss, "...all you haters, keep hatin'!" This magnificent horse has been an absolute treat to watch for the past two seasons. He has matured, both physically and professionally, into one of the greatest stars of this generation. I remember working as a teller at Rockingham Park and looking up just as he was turning for home in his maiden win and being blown away. He has danced every dance and as a racing fan, it has been a pleasure to sit back and enjoy the ride. Casino Drive is the biggest question mark of the day. Is he a freak? Or, is he another nice horse in way over his head? One thing is clear and that is his prep race on October 12 was visually impressive. He was never asked and never even came close to extending himself. He'll have to extend himself against this group and we'll see what he's really made of. Now if there was ever a horse bred for Breeders' Cup success, that would be Champs Elysees. His dam, Hasili, has produced Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf champions Banks Hill and Intercontinental, along with G1 winners Dansili, Heat Haze and Cacique. He is an accomplished grass horse but also has had one of his best efforts in this country over the synthetic track at Santa Anita in March. Nice workout on October 20, as well.

To anyone that read this far, thank you! As always, questions and comments are more than welcome at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com Make sure to check out Pat Lamberty's analysis below.

October 18, 2008

October 18, 2008 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Today was the second of our two DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship qualifying tournaments. These contests are always a lot of fun, not only for the participants but for me as well. I really look forward to them because they give me a chance to essentially hang out and talk horses with a group of knowledgeable handicappers. There are usually quite a few familiar faces as the same people come back time after time, all vying for the top spots and a trip to Vegas.

The tournament started off with a bang when Stormy's Smile pulled a huge upset in New York at 75-1. Only four people were smiling after that race and after that, the contest was really for 5th-10th place and of course, bragging rights. Mark Lambley was one of the top four and he remained on top, winning the qualifying spot with a bankroll of $254.40.

The big longshot may have deflated a few participants but for the most part, the mood remained upbeat throughout the day. Eric Torres, a regular that always seems to have a good time, enjoyed his best placing today and wound up fifth. He seemed genuinely excited about that placing and his enthusiasm was contagious.

These tournaments are a lot of fun for everyone, both experienced handicappers and those just starting out. As the 75-1 bomb proved, both the best and worst part about horse racing is the sheer unpredictability of it.

The local racing today certainly wasn't lacking, either. You want to see a memorable racehorse? Watch a replay of any of Little Tara's many wins. She took on the boys today and this little mare is just such a joy to watch. She is pocket-sized for one thing and when she runs, she carries her tail so high she is impossible to miss. Though she is small in stature, her heart is as big as they come.

Jockey Cliff Dooley had quite a day as well. Not only did he ride a Little Tara to a big victory, his friend Bankin Cash gave everything he had to hold off the fabulous old gelding Sing Me Back Home. Those two horses, joined in the trifecta by a back-in-form That's the Fact Jack, are a wonderful group of honest, blue-collar runners. Racing needs more of them.

As always, comments or questions are more than welcome at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com

October 9, 2008

October 9, 2008 | Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

"What a cool horse. He always comes through for me."

That was Cliff Dooley after he rode Bankin Cash to victory in Tuesday's sixth race. Bankin Cash may not be a champion or a world-beater, but he is an honest, blue-collar type of racehorse and made my day to see a jockey so fond (and appreciative) of his mount.

We have an interesting jockey colony at Suffolk Downs. Before I came here, I viewed jockeys from a statistical standpoint only. I admired their athletic achievements, praised or criticized certain rides and respected the demanding nature of their sport. But, that was it.

In the past three years, I've really gotten to know our local jockeys as people and that has added a whole new dimension to the sport for me. As the meet is starting to wind to a close, the question most frequently asked throughout the day is "Where do you go next?" I stay locally, but the majority of the horsemen and jockeys scatter throughout the country. I used to only keep tabs on where my favorite horses wound up when the meet ended, but now I scan entries and results to keep an eye on the trainers and jockeys as well.

The Suffolk jockey colony also has a fascinating mix of both younger jockeys and seasoned veterans. We've gotten to see some very promising young riders get their feet wet here at Suffolk in the past few years and I think they really benefit from being able to learn from the likes of Winston Thompson, David Amiss and Tammi Piermarini.

Tammi was forced to miss some time this year due to an injury, but she was back in the saddle as quickly as possible. I remember speaking to her several days after the injury over the summer and she was already raring to get back on the track. She is one of the fiercest competitors around and always impossible to count out, as evidenced by the 40-1 score aboard Act Won on Monday.

One young rider at Suffolk I am continually impressed with is Deudis Pena-Mora. He rides one of my favorite local stars, Nijinsky Bullet, and when he speaks about her, his entire face lights up. Speaking of the lovely Mrs. Bullet, she's back in action this Saturday and I am very excited.

I have gotten some questions about whether or not we will be adding a "comments" feature to this blog. Some fun changes are in the works, but for now feel free to e-mail me at jpaquette@suffolkdowns.com with any questions or comments.

October 2, 2008

October 2, 2008 |

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Yesterday, I got to spend the day with Angel Cordero, Jr., Pat Day and Laffit Pincay, Jr. They were in town to kick off the Breeders' Cup Legends Tour and my job was to essentially hang out with three of racing's biggest stars all day. My job is rough, isn't it?

It was truly an honor to spend the day with these men and listen to them reminisce about the times they spend riding some of the best horses in history. All three have such different personalities but it is obvious there is a deep mutual respect and camaraderie amongst them.

I brought them down to the jock's room and they were greeted with a warm reception. There is a bond among jockeys, regardless of the level at which they compete. No one understands the daily routines and struggles of a jockey better than these three men.

I never imagined that I would be sitting in the Turf Club having lunch with three of the greatest jockeys of all time. As I sat there, talking with Laffit about weight-lifting, nutrition and our mutual habit of putting Splenda on everything, I was reminded yet again how fortunate I am to be a part of the greatest sport in the world.

October 2, 2008

October 2, 2008 |

Visiting British track announcer MARK JOHNSON takes a look at Sunday's Prix de l'Arc De Triomphe (Gr1) at Longchamp

This year's Prix de l'Arc (due off at 10.40 am Eastern and shown live here at Suffolk Downs when simulcast wagering will be available) is an outstanding clash of both the generations and the sexes.

Favorite will be the only filly in the 17 strong line-up, the Aga Khan's brilliant 3-y-o ZARKAVA. Last month she extended her unbeaten career record to six races (including four Grade 1 events) when taking the Prix Vermeille (Gr1) over this exact course and distance.

She is, without doubt, one of the very best fillies we have seen in Europe for many years but that doesn't make her the predicted short priced "good thing" many will have you believe. She has never raced against the boys before, the field she beat in the Vermeille was not a stellar one and, most worryingly, she was very slow to jump from the gates last time.

Like so many top class horses she knows she is good and, by all accounts from France, ZARKAVA is now being something of a madam at home on the gallops - either refusing to jump off in her work or working in a lackluster fashion.

In the Vermeille she got away with blowing the beginning, sweeping wide into the straight and deep closing in the final quarter mile. Against this Arc opposite she cannot afford that luxury. If she wins racing worldwide will be heralding one of the greats but she is not a workingman's price at the betting windows.

I was lucky enough to call home DUKE OF MARMALADE in the International Stakes (Gr1) at Newmarket in August - his fifth straight Grade 1 win this year - and as officially the top rated turf horse currently racing worldwide he must have every chance. However it has already been a tremendous training effort by Aidan O'Brien to keep this horse winning in the top grade all season and this may be a race too far. He certainly was not as devastating when winning at Newmarket as he had been earlier in his campaign.

Many European observers believe that Aidan O'Brien's best chance (he has four runners in all) comes in the shape of last year's fifth SOLDIER OF FORTUNE who appears to have been specifically trained for this race. Winner of the Coronation Cup (Gr1) at Epsom on his comeback in June, his only subsequent start came when runner-up behind his old adversary YOUMZAIN (last year's Arc runner-up and runner-up in the Coronation Cup) in the Grand Prix de Saint-Cloud (Gr1). He certainly must be on everyone's short list.

Other older horses to consider include Prix Foy (Gr2) winner ZAMBEZI SUN and the horse he narrowly beat in that Longchamp race SCHIAPARELLI. The latter is the only Godolphin runner in the race and is therefore the mount of Frankie Dettori.

Only four of the 17 runners are 3 year-olds but I am still looking to the classic generation to lift this year's prize. I have been very taken by the Prix du Jockey-Club (Gr1 - the French Derby) and Prix Neil (Gr2) winner VISION D'ETAT all year and although he never wins his races by big margins (it was just a nose last time) he is a real street fighter.

Like ZARKAVA he is likely to come from off the pace but, unlike his female rival, he has the physical presence to get himself out of trouble. The fact he is trained by a little know conditioner (even in Europe) Eric Libaud means he is a remarkably big price for an unbeaten, Derby winning, six from six career horse.

Quite simply this year's Arc is a high class and intriguing European Fall Championship. The winner, who ever he is she may be, will quite rightly be heralded as a star.

Picks: 1st VISION D'ETAT 2nd SOLDIER OF FORTUNE 3rd ZARKAVA

September 20, 2008

September 20, 2008 |

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

What a day.

Commentator was a true star.

Standing by the rail as they were loading into the gate before the big race, I was blown away by the sea of people and the excitement in the air.

Everyone was there to see a star, and they certainly saw one when Commentator rolled home looking like the two-time Grade 1 winner that he is.

One of the highlights of the day for me came when Palmer's Approach, bred by Nick Zito's wife Kim, broke his maiden in a big way. Kim's enthusiasm was infectious. It made my day to see a woman that is around the best horses in the world on a daily basis as excited by a maiden winner as she would be by a Classic winner. Her love of the horse and the sport is obvious from miles away.

The big race was everything a big race should be. He romped and, back in the winner's circle, he looked like he could do it again.

Walking back to the press box, I stopped to chat with one of my favorite regulars.

He summed it up better than I can.

"See? There's life here at Suffolk Downs. This track has so much going for it."

September 19, 2008

September 19, 2008 |

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

There is no better cure for the common cold than visiting some high quality horses first thing in the morning.

As my luck would have it, I have an ill-timed cold and have felt less than 100% the past couple of days. The mix of the crisp almost-autumn air and the increasing excitement wound up being the best possible medicine this morning.

Two of the big horses for the Mass Cap, Dr. Pleasure and Cuba, are already on the grounds and I went to pay them a visit.

Dr. Pleasure, accompanied by the always-friendly Donna Ward, was as sharp as could be this morning. He stuck his head out and once he realized no one had anything he wanted, he was content to go back into his stall and relax. I was a big fan of his mother, Beautiful Pleasure, so it's a treat for me to see him here for the second year in a row.

Michelle was also at the barn to get some photos of the big horses and eventually we managed to coax Dr. Pleasure out with peppermints. He's a very clever horse and has personality for days.

Cuba, several stalls down the shed row, perked up immediately when he noticed Michelle's camera. He was ready for his big close up and hammed it up for us.

Commentator will be arriving later today. I'm sure I'll have more to report then.

September 18, 2008

September 18, 2008 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

The field is set for this weekend's Mass Cap and though it may not be a massive field, there is no lack of star quality.

Commentator is a brilliant racehorse and, unlike so many of high profile horses of the past few years, he has been a star for years. At seven years old, he is as good, if not better, than he has ever been.

His triumph over Saint Liam in the 2005 Whitney was one of the most stirring performances of the year. He showed that day that there was more to him than just blistering speed - he had heart, too. There was no heart-pounding stretch battle in this year's installment of the Whitney. Commentator was never tested and put on a dazzling front-running show for the fans at the Spa that day.

Hats off to Tracy Farmer and Nick Zito for the patience and sportsmanship they have shown with this horse. As a racing fan, it is a rare pleasure to get to see the same horses competing at the highest level year after year.

I don't believe it is simply because he is a gelding that he has remained in training. Tracy Farmer and Nick Zito campaigned another high-profile horse that did have value at stud, Albert the Great, past his three-year-old season.

One of my fondest memories in racing goes back to the Breeders' Cup Classic in 2001. I was at Belmont Park with a group of my girlfriends and we thought that it would be fun to make signs for our favorite horses.

My sign? "Albert (is still) the Great".

And so is Commentator.

September 17, 2008

September 17, 2008 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

One of the most amazing parts about Mass Cap week is all of the hard work that goes on behind the scenes in preparation for our biggest day.

For the past week, everyone at the racetrack has been working around the clock to get everything just right for the big day. Walking across the catwalk to the press box several mornings ago, I was blown away by the flurry of activity going on below me. It was extremely early in the morning and all the track maintenance guys looked as if they had already been busy for hours. Flowers were being planted, fresh coats of paint applied and all of the odds and ends were being perfected.

The racing office also have been working hard to get the best possible fields assembled for the day. Commentator is the obvious star of the show, with his illustrious record and dazzling speed but the entire card looks to be a remarkable one. I got to bring out my inner Vanna White for the post position luncheon and was pleased to see that though Commentator looks tough, there may be a David in the field ready to take on Goliath.

The highlight of the undercard for me is Nijinsky Bullet in the Drumtop Stakes. She is our local heroine and I believe she will represent the local horses well against some very tough stock coming in. This is her racetrack and I think she knows it.

Horses start arriving tomorrow. I will be making a trek to visit and will report back.

August 31, 2008

August 31, 2008 |

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

It is an exciting time to be a racing fan in New England.

This year, New England racing fans have gotten to see horses ship into Suffolk Downs from some of the premier racing outfits in the country. High profile trainers like Nick Zito and Christophe Clement have been sending horses to race not only in our big events but in our maiden races and claiming races as well.

On Saturday, racing fans were treated to a horse with an impressive pedigree and an even more impressive $9.7 million dollar price tag. Jalil, an impeccably bred son of Storm Cat, made his United States debut in Saturday's $50,000 for Godolphin Stables.

When he walked into the paddock, all eyes were on him. I was standing in the middle of the paddock and looked around for a moment and was blown away but how many people were pressed against the glass looking into the paddock from inside. Everyone wanted to see what a nearly ten-million dollar horse looked like and on looks, he did not disappoint.

Though Jalil did not deliver in the race, his United States debut was hardly a flop. He boasts an impressive grass pedigree and we may see him down the line in some major races on both the lawn or synthetic track.

With all the buzz surrounding Jalil, three-time Canadian champion Judith's Wild Rush flew under the radar. I have followed this fantastic horse since he was a juvenile so I was very excited to see him come race at my home track. After the race, jockey Orlando Bocachica described him as "a pro" and he certainly is.

This seven-year-old has made fifty three starts and with his determined win in the Waquoit Stakes yesterday is now racing's newest millionaire. Hats off to a game, blue-collar competitor that to me is the epitome of what a racehorse should be.

Another horse that deserves some recognition is Riversrunrylee. This gelding was the very definition of heart yesterday and is one horse that never seems to get the credit he deserves. After setting the pace yesterday, he dug in and battled back against the big gray and though he couldn't pull the upset, he really impressed me with how hard he tries.

The highlight of the day for me, however, came in the sixth race. Nijinsky Bullet, New England's reigning champion mare, took on the boys and established herself as the best horse on the grounds.

She is the perfect example of what amazing things time and patience can do for a horse. I remember her as a three-year-old here in 2006 and though she was a nice, talented filly she was just that - nice. Nice is not a word to describe her anymore. Spectacular, brilliant, amazing seem better fitting now.

I went to the barn this morning with carrots in tow to congratulate her on a job well done. Her efforts yesterday seem to have taken little out of her- she was bright eyed, energetic and determined to get every last carrot I had. When I was younger and would have certain favorite racehorses, for the most part they were a world away. I feel so blessed that now when I have favorites, they are just a five-minute walk away and I can go give them kisses and carrots whenever I please.

The Mass Cap is now just a few weeks away. We got a preview as to just how amazing that day is going to be yesterday.

August 11, 2008

August 11, 2008 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

There is a certain fairy-tale element to the racetrack. Even after being around racing for years now, I still view it at times with the eyes of a child. I fall hopelessly in love with these big creatures and the whole racing world still holds magic to me. There are heroes and villains and each day at the track a whole new story unfolds.

This Sunday was one of our "Family Fun Days" at the track and I was thrilled to see so many children around. There was one little girl in particular who was standing by the paddock fence and I recognized the look in her eyes - she was totally in awe of the horses and the whole sport. It was her first day at the track and I'm guessing it will not be her last.

I always joke that I got hooked on racing when I was a kid because one day my mom took me to the track and after that I refused to leave. I remember being probably no more than five years old at Rockingham Park and falling in love with horses and this sport. That led to riding lessons and horse shows, but I was always led back to the racetrack.

I remember sitting in front of my television watching Silver Charm win the Kentucky Derby in 1997 and wanting so badly to be a part of that magical, exciting world. Every morning as I pull into the Suffolk parking lot I am reminded that this all became possible because of the vision of Kids to the Cup founder, Trudy McCaffery, a woman who believed that youth is the future of this sport. I learned a lot from Trudy over the years, and would love to continue her mission to encourage young people in this sport.

May 23, 2008

May 23, 2008 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

When I was younger, my best friend and I would find our way onto the backside of Belmont Park and visit our favorite horses. It was then that I fell in love with the backside- it is a world within itself and, especially in the mornings, abuzz with activity.

I went to the Suffolk barns this morning with a mission. Several days ago, while sitting in the press box watching morning workouts, I saw a little chestnut zoom on by and I recognized her immediately as Awesome Chic. It isn't every day that you look out the window and see a graded stakes filly galloping past. Needless to say, I was very excited to pay her a visit. I must admit that my shoe choice was a poor one today. Five-inch red stilettos have no place in a barn and got several laughs as I teetered by.

She looks fantastic. When I got to her stall, she was comfortably lying down and just could not be bothered to stand up and say hello. She knows just how special she is. I also was curious about what is next for her. She will be spending most of the summer here at Suffolk and will be prepping for the big filly stakes at Saratoga.

Though she didn't fare as well as we all had hoped in the Kentucky Oaks, I was told that she simply did not handle the track that day. Churchill Downs is notorious for being a love it or hate it sort of racetrack and apparently she fell in the latter category. What really matters is that she came home sound and will be ready to tackle the big girls again at the Spa.

A trip to the backside isn't complete without a visit with my buddy What a Trippi. I am shamelessly in love with this gelding and was thrilled to get to hang out with him for a little while. Though he isn't what one would call a "people person", he was on his best behavior today and I have decided that he likes me as much as I like him. He is making his seasonal debut on Monday in the ultra-competitive $50,000 Rudy Baez Stakes and there will be no one cheering louder.

May 17, 2008

May 17, 2008 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Let's start by making something clear - I am not a morning person. That being said, it takes something big to get me out of bed at the crack of dawn. It takes something even bigger to get me happily out of bed that early.

I find no better way to start my day than getting to the track around 7am and sitting up in the press box, coffee in hand, watching morning workouts. To me, that is my favorite part of the racetrack. I've had the pleasure of watching morning workouts at Santa Anita, Gulfstream, Calder, Belmont and Saratoga but my favorite track to watch them at is Suffolk Downs.

There is a quiet serenity to the morning workouts. And while they do not have the race day excitement, there is a different sort of intensity to them. You see the young horses, bouncing all around the track, feeling good and just taking in all of the new sights and sounds. You also see the old pros, going about their morning business. Watching a seasoned horse breeze in the morning is amazing. There is no race day scenario pushing them, no horse on their outside fueling that competitive fire. The competition is with themselves and you can really see it- their ears are pinned and they are putting forth 100% effort because they simply enjoy running.

As an athlete myself, I find another sort of appreciation for morning workouts. The day of the race is of course when all the hard work pays off. A race, to me, isn't always won on that day. Sometimes it is won through the early mornings and the rigorous training leading up to that point.

May 10, 2008

May 10, 2008 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

There are small things about the racetrack that make me really happy. Little things that go unnoticed to the casual observer but give me those "I can't believe I get paid to be here" moments.

I was sitting by the paddock, watching the horses come in for an early race on the card when I looked over to see a groom having a full-blown conversation with his horse. He was clearly giving his charge a pep talk and I overheard things along the lines of "You can do it today!" I smiled to myself at the small gesture that spoke volumes. After the race, the horse didn't run very well but on the walk back, I saw that same groom affectionately patting his neck. It isn't always about winning.

The horses are the stars of the show here. Flirt for Fame, a Massachusetts-bred, rolled home impressively today against a tough field of fillies and mares. She looked amazing in the post parade and seems to have really grown into herself. Speaking of Mass-breds, I saw New England superstar Ask Queenie work out the other morning and can't wait to see these two ladies meet up again soon.

May 4, 2008

May 4, 2008 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

After a long winter, Opening Day is finally here! It is so exciting to see so many familiar faces and quite a few new ones, as well.

Despite the less than ideal weather, the entire racetrack was abuzz with excitement by the time the first post drew near. Finally, the 2008 racing season was about to begin!

There were several horses on the Suffolk card I was excited to see, some I had followed for a while and some were new faces in town.

The first horse to catch my eye on the day was a first-time starter named Boken Lady. This filly stumbled at the start and took a few moments to really get her legs under her again. Then, showing class and professionalism one would not always expect from a first-time starter, she made a big run to finish second. This is a filly that I intend to keep an eye on throughout the meet and am interested in how she develops.

The next horse on the day was Watchtower. This horse has arguably the best pedigree on the grounds, being by the brilliant Dubai Millennium out of a Group I winning mare. I am, admittedly, a pedigree junkie and have logged an alarming amount of hours researching lineage. Anyhow, Watchtower showed his class yet again and rolled home much the best.

The best thing about racing at Suffolk Downs is that it allows someone like me, a racing fan, to get attached to these horses and follow them. The big Grade I kind of horses are great but all too often are retired much too soon. How many times have we seen a talented three-year old retired that would have been even better at four?

Electric Mountain, in the ninth race, showed exactly why sometimes, good things happen when a horse gets some time to mature. Electric Mountain, a handsome son of Mt. Livermore bred by Mr. & Mrs. Roy Jackson of Barbaro fame, showed flashes of potential throughout the meet last year. Something, however, just wasn't "clicking" with the colt. His four-year old season at Suffolk Downs started with a bang on Saturday. Looking physically even better than the year before, Electric Mountain ran like a complete professional and has stamped himself as a force to be reckoned with this summer.

There are plenty of things to be excited about this year at Suffolk Downs. With purse increases and an expanded stakes program, the racing looks to get even better as the meet goes on.

We have it pretty good here in Boston right now. We have the Celtics to be excited about, the Red Sox to be excited about and, most importantly, we have Suffolk Downs to be excited about.

2007

November 8, 2007

November 8, 2007 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

As the meet winds to a close, I have found myself getting a bit nostalgic and reminiscing about some of the highlights of the meet. Of course, when I sat down to write about them, I wound up overwhelmed as 2007 was quite a year.

Here they are, in no particular order:

1. OPENING DAY

Opening day, and the Kentucky Derby, fell a day before one of the biggest days of the year for me - the 2007 NPC New Englands Bodybuilding competition. I was touched by how supportive everyone from the gang in the press box to the horsemen and jockeys were about my upcoming competition. The blur of excitement of both opening day and the Derby helped keep the nerves about the following day at bay. The mood at Suffolk Downs on Opening Day was incredible, as well. Big changes and big things were going to happen this year and everyone could feel it.

2. TURF WRITERS AWARDS DINNER

In July, the New England Turf Writers Association holds a dinner and awards ceremony for the previous year's award winners. This year's ceremony was a special one for me because it was the first year I had had a say in the voting. My job of the evening was to essentially be the New England racing equivalent of Vanna White and hand out the awards and it was great to be able to honor some New England racing legends, including trainer Bill Perry, who received the Sam McCracken Award for lifetime achievement.

3. HANDICAPPING TOURNAMENTS

I love these days. We held our annual DRF/NTRA Handicapping Tournaments this year on August 4th and October 20th and both days were a great time for all involved. I like to think I'm a reasonably astute handicapper and am absolutely blown away by how well a handful of regulars do at these contests. I think these tournaments are a really fun day because they give me a chance to chat horses and spend some time with a knowledgeable group of horseplayers. October 20th's tournament was particularly special for me because one of my best friends and another former Kids to the Cup member, Jackie, was visiting me for the weekend from Pennsylvania.

4. THE HORSES

I am a sentimental fool and will be the first to admit it. I got into this sport because I love horses and that hasn't changed one bit. When handicapping, I try to remain as objective as possible, but there are certain horses that I have absolutely fallen in love with over the past couple of years. This year in particular, there have been a few loves both old and new that have made this season so memorable. I'll just list the top four to spare the readers because I could go on and on and on and on for pages.

1. Storm of the Year - my "big hoss" here in East Boston. I followed this little guy since he was foaled as I was a huge Event of the Year fan and followed his entire first crop. I've gotten to watch Storm run for quite a few years here at Suffolk and am thrilled to report his racing career has ended and he is now living happily on a farm in New Hampshire thanks to the Thoroughbred Retirement Foundation. It makes me very happy to see a horse like this get a happy ending.

2. Let Me Be Frank - How could he not grow on you? This game gelding is a throwback to racehorses of a different era. He ran 22 times throughout the meet and though he did not win every start, he showed up and ran his race almost every time. He really earned my respect and admiration throughout the meet. I get frustrated when the top horses retire after a handful of starts and horses like 'Frank' really let me enjoy being a racing fan.

3. What a Trippi - I remember watching his career debut on a rainy, nondescript afternoon and being extremely impressed by his presence in the paddock. Sometimes horses just have that intangible something extra and he has it. It was quite a ride watching him throughout the meet as he rose through the ranks and established himself as one of the meet's top three-year olds.

4. Christmas Away - I have been widely teased in the press box for being a sucker for the old class horses and this was the guy that started that teasing. Christmas Away is a horse I've followed since he was a stakes horse in New York as a two-year-old and throughout the years, I've become quite a fan.

5. FRED FOLEY

Fred Foley is hands down one of the greatest people I have ever met. He works as the clerk of scales and also works with trainer Paul Thornton. One of the best things about Fred is how obvious it is how much he loves the horses - his eyes light up when he talks about this filly that he's worked with or that colt that he rode. Last year, he was injured pretty badly while exercise riding. This year, against the odds and with unfailing good spirits, he worked his way back to riding horses again. He is an absolute inspiration.

6. THE MASSCAP

No list could be complete without the big day on it. The day itself and the entire week leading up to it was like nothing I've ever experienced. I felt like I was a part of something BIG. Suffolk Downs and all involved stepped up to the plate and really made the revival of the MassCap one for the ages. The excitement in the air as I made my way around the track was electric - you could visibly see how happy everyone was to have the big race back.

The 2007 live racing season was a memorable one for everyone here in East Boston. I hope you all enjoyed the meet as much as I did. See you next year!

September 25, 2007

September 29, 2007 | Christina Olivares

Christina Olivares, TVG Host/Reporter

Well, I just got back from Boston. What a city! We had a great time covering the Mass Cap. I've always heard that Boston is a true sports town but to see it first hand made me a believer. They are passionate about the racing at Suffolk and it was wonderful to be in an environment where the crowd cheered as the horses came on to the track, and there was a genuine roar from the crowd when the gates sprung open for the big race.

Brass Hat was a very deserving winner of the Mass Cap. And after meeting the Bradley family, I couldn't be happier for them. Owner Fred Bradley is a true southern gentleman...a horseman from Alabama who's passion for this sport began years ago. Son William "Buff" Bradley proved that he knows his horse and can train with the best of them. Brass Hat was entering the Mass Capp off two terrible efforts in the Woodward and the Whitney. Buff Bradley was widely quoted as saying that the horse didn't like the Saratoga track. A possibility. BUT, could he also have been feeling the effects of the trip overseas to Dubai AND the monster race he ran at Churchill when breaking a track record??? More likely. There were many questions as he went into the gate. But Brass Hat redeemed himself with his winning performance, and vindicated the words of his trainer. It was an emotional winners circle because the Bradley's knew that their horse was back. This was the real Brass Hat. The Brass Hat that they bred, foaled, and who had taken them all over the world.

An interesting story: I asked Fred Bradley how William got the nickname "Buff." He said that young William was galloping racehorses in Alabama by the age of 9. William was naturally shortened to Bill and when he began riding the tougher horses it evolved to "Buffalo Bill." The next step was just "Buff" and it stuck. Buff Bradley...he just sounds like a horse trainer.

Congratulations Bradley Family!

September 25, 2007

September 25, 2007 | Buff Bradley

Buff Bradley, Trainer of Brass Hat

Coming to Suffolk Downs was a great experience for both my father and myself. We arrived on Thursday early afternoon and went to the track to see how Brass Hat had shipped in, then back to our room to check in. That evening, Sam Elliott (a steward) and his wife Judy, along with stakes coordinator Tom Creel picked us up and toured us through Boston. We ended up at a nice Italian restaurant called Lucia, where we met up with COO of Suffolk Downs Chip Tuttle, Racing Secretary Jimmy Pambianchi, Track Announcer Larry Collmus, and VP of Marketing and Communications Christian Teja. We had a great meal and the stuffed lobster was outstanding. We had a fun time that night swapping stories as we got to know these fine people.

The next morning, we went to the track to watch Brass Hat train and met quite a few of local trainers and press. That evening we were picked up at the hotel by a trolley and taken down to State Street where we went to a high rise overlooking the city for the BIG MassCap Party and it was grand. All the lobster, crab claws and shrimp you could eat were on the table when we got there, so when dinner came around later, I was full and realized I had only eaten appetizers! The party was amazing! We caught a ride home by another fine person in Paul Halloran, a local writer.

On Saturday, MassCap Day, we went to the track early to see Brass Hat and help give him a bath and a walk. That morning we met Susan Walsh, another steward of Suffolk Downs, who loved Brass Hat and offered a home after his racing career. At that point, I informed her that he was never leaving the farm he was born on. However, it is nice to have those kind of people in the business that want to see retired racehorses (and not just speaking of Brass Hat) get a good home after they retire from their racing careers. That afternoon speaks for itself, as the crowd was magnificent in support of such a great event. Brass Hat went on to win the MassCap and showed that he is still a top handicap horse. The crowd cheered loudly as he was brought back to the winner's circle and then again while being led back to the barn area. That night, we went back to Lucia for a celebration meal with Chip, Sam, Christian, Larry, Pat Lamberty and Rowland Hoyt. Another story-swapping event with a few drinks.

Instead of flying back home the next morning to Kentucky where I live, my father and I got to go the Patriots game, as Suffolk Downs was able to come up with some tickets. I am a Patriots fan and have Brady, Moss and Welker on my fantasy team. Needless to say, I am doing well in fantasy football this year. It was a nice day and we enjoyed the company of Tom and Michelle Creel and a few others from the racing office. One thing is for sure, we sure met some wonderful people and I hope that we are able to come back next year. My father and I (along with Brass Hat, groom Willie Woods, and driver Jim Doss) are very sincere in saying that we enjoyed the trip and all the people we met along the way.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

September 22, 2007 | Richard Fields

Richard Fields, Largest shareholder of Suffolk Downs

Today's historic return of the MassCap marks a new chapter for thoroughbred racing at Suffolk Downs. In addition to hosting over 19,000 guests to view the Sport of Kings, today included a landmark performance by Brass Hat, and a significant victory for jockey Willie Martinez, trainer Buff Bradley, and owner Fred Bradley.

At Suffolk Downs, we are fortunate to be in one of the greatest sports markets in the world, and the return of the MassCap signals our intention to continue bringing both existing and new fans to enjoy a world-class entertainment experience in thoroughbred racing.

As I have said before, this race is just the beginning of our team's commitment to thoroughbred racing in Massachusetts. I'd like to thank the employees, trainers, jockeys, owners, and guests who made this day such a success, and look forward to seeing everyone again soon here at Suffolk Downs.

Friday, September 21, 2007

September 21, 2007 | Christian Teja

Christian Teja, V.P. of Marketing and Communications

The excitement continues to build as the MassCap horses have begun to arrive.

Brass Hat arrived from Kentucky on Wednesday, while Dr. Pleasure and Palladio got to Boston on Thursday.

They are all being stabled in our newly renovated barn, which has drawn many compliments from our out-of-town guests.

I went to the backstretch this morning to see Brass Hat gallop. He went on the track at around 8:40, right after the renovation break. Local trainer Brenda McCarthy had the opportunity to ride him. Needless to say, she was very excited about it.

Brass Hat's owner Fred Bradley and his son William "Buff" Bradley, Brass Hat's trainer, seem to be enjoying themselves in Boston, having visited the North End for dinner on Thursday night with friend Jim Doss, who drove the trailer from Kentucky to Boston.

Morning-line favorite Fairbanks and veteran Evening Attire are both due in this afternoon.

September 20, 2007

September 20, 2007 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

After all of the planning and anticipation, MassCap week is finally here. This is the first time I have been involved with a race of this magnitude in this capacity and it has been an amazing experience.

The horses have started arriving, as Grade I winner Brass Hat is already on the grounds, resting comfortably in our newly renovated stakes barn. I understand Dr. Pleasure is on his way.

Yesterday was the post position draw and I was happy with the quality field we attracted. The big race is shaping up to be extremely competitive and the entire card is just extraordinary. I sat up last night going through the card race by race and was impressed by the depth of all the races. As both a racing fan and handicapper, I'm very excited for Saturday.

The All-Stakes Pick 4 starts in the seventh race with the $45,000 Collegian Stakes and one of my favorite local horses, What a Trippi, looks poised for a big effort. This son of Trippi has yet to be worse than second from six starts and this is a horse that has gotten better and matured with each start. This bay gelding also has a tendency to get a little hot and worked up after a race, so I hope the ocean breeze keeps the temperature comfortable.

The big race, the $500,000 Mass Cap, is the tenth race of the card and features a competitive field of eight. As a press box staffer, I know you're supposed to remain neutral, but it's tough not to root for the gallant gelding, nine-year-old Evening Attire.

Seven years ago, I remember standing by the rail at Saratoga in the rain and watching a two-year old break his maiden by a bare nose after an eventful start. I was fifteen years old and that horse was Evening Attire. I vividly remember watching him walk back after the race and he was so obviously pleased with himself for figuring out what that whole racing thing was about. And figure it out he certainly did - his career has covered eight years and includes numerous triumphs. Though he may not have an actual Eclipse Award to his credit, he is a champion in every sense of the word.

September 14, 2007

September 14, 2007 | Larry Collmus

Larry Collmus, Track Announcer

Now that the Monmouth racing season is over, it's nice to be back in Boston and calling at Suffolk Downs again. Of course, with that said, I'm writing this from my place in Monmouth Beach, NJ.

The next couple of months will be kind of crazy for me, but also a lot of fun. For the most part, my schedule is calling the races at Suffolk on Mondays, Tuesdays and Wednesdays. Then hopping in the car and driving down to New Jersey to call the races at the Meadowlands on Thursday night. It's about a 3 1/2 hour ride. I'll then stay at my place near Monmouth (about 50 minutes from the Meadowlands) and drive back to the Meadowlands for Friday night's action.

On Saturday afternoon, after my workout at the gym, I'll head back to Boston to my place in the North End. Sunday will be the day to relax and watch the Pats and the Red Sox.

I guess I could try to take a plane or train, but I'm used to doing the drive and it's the most convenient option.

This week will be different because it's MassCap time and I'll be in Boston all week long.

Unfortunately I have jury duty in Boston on Monday, so I'll miss Monday's card. Luckily, my man T.D. Thornton has things covered. He's the only "backup" announcer who calls more than the "regular" announcer does. Hopefully I'll only miss the one day.

Wednesday I'm hosting the Press Conference for the MassCap Post Position Draw. We do it up in the Topsider Room and after we assign the post positions, I'll interview the trainers that have horses in the MassCap.

I think we're going to get a deep competitive field this year. I'm excited about it. Suffolk has been playing a commercial showing some of the previous MassCaps and it brings back great memories. After a couple of years without the race, it's a thrill to have it back.

I'm also looking forward to the Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park on Oct 26 and 27. People ask me this all the time, so here's how it works: Trevor Denman will call the three Breeders' Cup races on Friday and the seven BC races on Saturday and I'll do the undercard. It will be the first time I've worked with Trevor since I was the announcer at Golden Gate Fields in the late 80's.

Even though I won't be calling the Breeders' Cup, I'll still be involved and will have a great view of the races.

That's all for now. It's time to get back in the car and head up to the Meadowlands for tonight's card. See you at the MassCap!

August 30, 2007

August 30, 2007 | Pat Lamberty

Pat Lamberty, Racing Analyst

I am a lucky guy. My summers are spent between Boston and Saratoga.

While in Saratoga, the local racing scene is still very much on my mind.

Here are a few observations from the season and how they relate to the local racing scene.

August 3 - Trainer Ambrose Pascucci ships Suffolk-based Kick Up Your Heels to Saratoga for a victory over maiden special weight competition, returning $27.40 for the victory. This horse raced in the colors of prominent owner Flying Zee Stables. It is nice to see such a respected owner support New England racing.

August 26 - One of the sharpest turf trainers in New England lit up the toteboard at Saratoga when Dr. Rico paid $65 to win on the grass for Tom McCooey and owner Joe DiRico.

New England grass horses are starting to get recognized as live longshots in Saratoga. Watching the handicapping shows on the OTB channel, the analysts are mentioning how the days of live New England shippers are back.

August 27 - My first stop on the computer in the morning: Daily Racing Form. The recap story on Street Sense's victory in the Travers had positive information on the possibility of him running in the MassCap.

The following was taken directly from DRF...

Nafzger mentioned five possible races for Street Sense's next start, though during his explanation of what kind of race he was looking for, he seemed to narrow it down to two. Nafzger mentioned the Super Derby and Massachusetts Handicap, both Sept. 22; the Kentucky Cup Classic and Hawthorne Gold Cup, both on Sept. 29; and the Jockey Club Gold Cup. He also said there is a small chance Street Sense could simply train up to the BC Classic.

Nafzger said he would prefer to run Street Sense next against older horses and at 1 1/8 miles, meaning the Massachusetts Handicap or the Kentucky Cup Classic are the logical choices. The Massachusetts Handicap is appealing because under the conditions of the race Street Sense is eligible for a $200,000 bonus in addition to the $300,000 first-place prize.

Great news that we're in the mix! Could the best horse in America win the MassCap again? Suffolk Downs was blessed to have Cigar and Skip Away do just that not too long ago. For now, we'll have to wait and see.

Stay tuned for more updates. I will be reporting on any developments over the next week.

Wednesday, August 22

August 23, 2007 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Racing Analyst

Preparing for a day of paddock previews begins the night before, usually at my gym. Tuesday night I brought the past performance sheets for Wednesday with me to the gym, scattering them about on the treadmill. I'm an avid fitness enthusiast so any opportunity to mix my two loves is welcome. Once the cardio is done, I feel like I have a pretty good idea about the day's card.

Wednesday morning begins bright and early. I'm up around the same time as the sun and back at the gym, past performances in tow. I leave the gym with definitive picks for the day.

After I make the commute to East Boston, it's back to studying and preparing for our pre-race show, Suffolk Downs Today, with our fellow handicapper, Tim. Tim and I have a very similar sense of humor (though we rarely agree on horses) and get along well off camera, so I always enjoy doing the show with him.

Once the pre-race show is wrapped, it's time for me to make my way downstairs to do the paddock previews all day. It never ceases to amaze me how fortunate I am to be paid to do something I love. There is nothing like standing by the rail and watching a field of horses gallop by- it doesn't matter if they are bottom level claimers or grade one caliber animals. I think they're all magnificent.

Proving that there is never a dull day at the racetrack, even on a nondescript Wednesday afternoon, Angel Vasquez Jr. pilots home Diablo Reigns in the second race, returning $95.40. Angel is one of my favorite jockeys here and I was thrilled to interview him after the race, though my interviewing skills are a work in progress.

As hard as I try not to, I will admit I do get pretty attached to a lot of these horses. When you see the same horses run on a regular basis, I really think it's impossible not to develop a little fondness for them. I feel like if I ever stop falling in love with these animals, it's time for me to look for a different line of work. In the sixth race, I was really happy to see Wynn's Whim run a big race. Her last outing was really troublesome. Physically she looked great but she behaved uncharacteristically poor in the paddock and at the gate. She wanted nothing to do with racing that day and it worried me to see a horse I liked act that way. Well, the real Wynn's Whim showed up today and she showed up in a big way, drawing off by six and a half lengths to prove that even horses have inexplicable bad days.

Between races, I like to sit in the scale house and chat with the various cast of characters that come in and out throughout the day. It is a little family down there and that is one of the things I value most about working at a smaller racetrack. Everyone knows everyone and there is a great sense of camaraderie and a great deal of horsing around, as well. I came back into the room after the seventh race to find my cell phone missing in action. I scoured the room, finding nothing but smirks from my coworkers. Eventually, the red face and snickering gave the culprit away and I found my phone after much laughter.

That reminds me of another amusing scale house story, actually. Last summer during my first few weeks doing the paddock show, I decided to step on the jockey's scale between races and see what I was weighing in at. If you look up gullible in the dictionary, you may find my picture. As I stepped on it, unbeknownst to me, resident prankster Chris stepped on it behind me and my weight shot up a solid 40 lbs. They still laugh about the horrified expression on my face to this day.

In our feature, Thatsthe Fact Jack ran a huge race, notching his fourth win at Suffolk for the season. This is a horse that has really blossomed since coming to Suffolk and obviously loved this track. I know the feeling.

August 7, 2007 | Mark Johnson

Tuesday, August 7
Mark Johnson, regular visiting British Announcer, is on the last leg of a whistle-stop racing tour.

"Have binoculars, will travel"...that's always been my creed, but these past two weeks have been hectic even by British track announcer standards.

Over the pond it's not unusual for track announcers (we're called "racecourse commentators" in Britain) to travel upwards of a 1,000 miles a week as our turf-only tracks tend to race, on average, just a single day or two at a time. The longest continual meets we have are only five days - Royal Ascot being one of those rarities. So we drive, or sometimes fly, hundreds of miles a day often just to call 6 or 7 races.

The last two weeks have not been typical - but wow - what a blast!

Saturday 28th July - In the morning, leave my home in South West London, and drive to the ancient English city of Salisbury to call a six race evening card. Salisbury is a beautiful city (tiny even by British standards) with one of the most historic cathedrals in the country. However it isn't too pretty today as there is rain in air and low cloud swirling - its even difficult to pick out the spire of the cathedral through the gloom.

The track at Salisbury is "different" to say the least. Five of the six races are sprints over a virtually straight track, however one race - the fifth - is a long distance race run over 1m6f. They can't use a starting gate for this race as the horses start right on the winning line and there is no way to get any starting gates on or off the track - so the race starts by an elastic tape being released across the track. The runners then proceed the wrong way up the home stretch before turning left off the home stretch at the 3/8th pole and then race around a loop before rejoining the long home stretch with about 6 furlongs to run.

After the last race, at about 9:00pm in the evening, it's an hour drive to Southampton on the South coast of England to stay in a hotel.

Sunday 29th July - An early start to catch the 8:00am plane from Southampton to the island of Jersey. Jersey is the biggest of the British Channel Islands. The Channel Islands are about 100 miles South of England where the Atlantic Ocean becomes the English Channel and, although they are part of the United Kingdom, they are actually much nearer to France.

Jersey is only about 20 miles long by 10 miles wide but does have a racetrack - called Les Landes (pronounced "Lay Lond") in the Northwestern most corner of the island. It is a mile round and hosts 9 racing days each year. All single day meets which comprise of five races. Each day of racing starts with a hurdle race and then is followed by 4 flat races.

Amazingly there are about ten trainers based on the island each year, training from just one horse up to about 16 horses for the leading barn and the racing is competitive, if low grade.

Once again there are no starting gates - all the races are started by tape - which can lead to some interesting starts for the 5 1/2 furlongs sprints - the shortest trip run at Les Landes.

There is no announcer's booth as such at present as a new grandstand is currently being built. So it was a case of standing on the earth mound, with a wooded lectern in front, and (at least of the first two races) in full golfing waterproofs, calling them home.

This was Jersey Derby Day and the big race - the most important race of the Jersey season - drew a field of six. It is a Derby run at 1 1/2m for 3yrs and upward (not just 3 year-olds) and the field featured two dual winners of the event. It was a great race with 5 of the field in line at the 3/16ths but eventually a 7/1 shot (Carr Hall was his name) beat the favourites.

Monday 30th July - "R & R" on Jersey followed by dinner with some good racing friends.

Tuesday 31st July - Fly back to Southampton and then drive back to London. Return home to find my cable TV box has "expired".

Wednesday 1st August - Domestic jobs and plenty of American racing "homework".

Thursday 2nd August - Another early start as I'm on an early flight from London Heathrow to Miami International. It's a 9 hour flight (watch "300" and "A Night in the Museum" as well as doing some racing home work). Land at about 2:30pm (Eastern). Once checked into my hotel (right on the 3/8th pole of Calder Racecourse) it's time to walk round to the Grandstand, even though it's a dark day at the track, and say hi to everyone in the Press box.

As resident Calder announcer Bobby Neuman is having a week's vacation, I've been invited to call the live Calder racing weekend - Friday, Saturday & Sunday. After two Sam Adams back at the hotel, I'm asleep!

Friday 3rd August - As American "Eastern Time" is 5 hours behind the time currently in Britain I awake at 4am (9am therefore for my body clock). It's time to start coloring in my jockey silks colors on my race sheets - I have a little rubber stamp in the outline of a jockey which I put next to the name/number of each horse to help me learn the names/colors of each horse in each race.

I'm at the track by 9:45am and getting the announcer's booth set up and making sure I have all the information I need before the live action starts. Once the National Anthem has been played and you've announced the scratches and changes for the day, there is little time to do much else but learn the colors and call the races.

I feel nervous and a little extra pressure than usual as post time for the first race approaches...although I've called about hundred races in America before (as well as five Epsom Derbys and the Grand National in England) this will be my first full card announcing in America - indeed it's the first time a British announcer will have ever called a full card in America. Hey, I'm carrying the standard for my country!

By the way Trvor Denman is South African and Mike Wrona is Australian if you were wondering! They are not British.

Saturday 4th August - 10 races down on Friday and now a 13 race card on Saturday - the most races I have ever called live in one day. Because of the extreme heat over the weekend (about 95 degrees) the post parades are shortened which makes the announcer's job harder as you only get a few minutes to look at the horses live and learn the colors.

Sunday 5th August - 11 more races today and I get a real lump in my throat as Calder's All Star Bugler Wally McMurray plays "Rule Brittania" as part of the final call to post of the day. 34 race calls in 3 days - luckily I think they went ok without a major hitch and after another couple of beers I'm asleep by 8:30pm!

Monday 6th August - Another early start as this time I'm flying from Fort Lauderdale to Boston. I couldn't make a stateside trip without coming up to see all my friends here in Boston and in particular at Suffolk Downs. Once landed and checked into my hotel I quite literally jog around Orients Heights and down to Suffolk Downs so I can be here for the last 3 races. Luckily it stopped raining for my mad sprint!

Tuesday 7th August - A trip to visit announcer T D Thornton "off duty."

Wednesday 8th August - Back to the track to guest with Jessica on the pre-racing show and some of the paddock previews and then up to the announcer's booth to call a couple of races. The flight back to London leaves tonight...I will sleep on the plane.

Friday night I'm back presenting the evening racing show on Racing UK...don't ask me where I am after that...I'll take one week at a time.

Wednesday, August 1

July 31, 2007 | Paul Weizer

Suffolk Downs Handicapping Tournament
By Paul Weizer, former Suffolk Downs qualifier and 3-time qualifier overall for DRF/NTRA National Handicapping Championship

Handicapping tournaments are the best bet in racing. These contests provide an answer to the biggest obstacle to making money at the races: overcoming the takeout. In fact, many tournaments, including the one at Suffolk Downs this Saturday, return 100% of all entry fees to the contest players. Factor in the free gifts and lunch and you have a game with a positive payback for players.

Further, many contests offer very large prizes. Realistically, most horseplayers can't go to the track and expect to leave with a four, five, or even six figure profit for the day. However, in handicapping contests, someone always does. The Suffolk Downs contest is limited to 300 players (although will not likely reach that number). Based on 300 entries, prize money is paid to the top 10 people with the winner's share being $9,000. Not a bad day at the races. Even more importantly, the top two players will join me (I qualified in an online contest in April) at the National Handicapping Championship at the Red Rock Casino and Spa in Las Vegas this January for a chance at the estimated $500,000 top prize.

While not the most challenging format out there, the Suffolk Downs contest is always on my calendar based on its simplicity and value. For people new to handicapping contests, this is a perfect format to give things a try. In the Suffolk Downs contest, players are required to make mythical $2 Win/Place wagers on one horse in each of fifteen pre-selected races from around the country. The winner is the player who amasses the largest mythical bankroll based on their 15 wagers. All selections must be turned in prior to the first race of the tournament. This means that players cannot know the odds of the horses they will play and will not know much about how the tracks are playing that day. Accordingly, the strategy for this format is much different from that of other tournaments. This tournament doesnt require any money management or tournament savvy. Just handicap fifteen races and make as much money as possible.

The key to doing well in this type of contest is to understand your ultimate goal. This is not a contest to see who has the most winners at the end of the day. It is a contest to see who has the highest bankroll. Just like a real day betting the races, the idea is to make money. The added challenge to this format is that players need to make more money than approximately 200 others without knowing the true odds of any horse in any race. Basic strategy in this type of contest format is to go for long shots in any race where a case can be made for one. In recent years, it has taken a final bankroll ranging from a low of $103 to a high score of $115 to win this contest. To get to that number, it is much easier to hit one or two long price horses than it is to hit eight or ten short price ones. Keep in mind that one 20-1 winner returns the same amount of money as ten 2-1 shots. Ask yourself, which is easier to do? Further, it is key to find horses that will separate your entry from the pack. It is far more important to find the long shot that few players will have than to hit the low priced obvious contender that most will play. Sometimes this type of horse will come in. More often they will not (they call them long shots for a reason). However, if they do come in for you on Saturday, you will be handsomely rewarded.

Having qualified for the National Handicapping Championship three times, I can tell you that there is no more exciting event in the world. Having qualified at three different venues, I can tell you that no one treats their players better than the people at Suffolk Downs. What other form of entertainment allows you to put up $60 for a chance to win up to $9000 and an all expense paid trip to Las Vegas for the chance at half a million dollars? After this contest, we know for sure that for two lucky players, Saturday night this dream will be a reality.

Wednesday, July 25 - A Day Calling the Races

July 26, 2007 | Pat Lamberty

Pat Lamberty, Suffolk Downs Racing Anaylyst

Yesterday I changed duties for the day from being the racing analyst to track announcer while T.D. Thornton was off signing copies of his book in Saratoga.

I approached the day with both excitement and a slight sense of nervousness. I have called a few races at Suffolk, but certainly don't feel 100% comfortable being up on the roof.

As post time approached for the first race, I was having trouble remembering some of the names. I found that the short-term memory needed for the job does improve as the day progresses. Larry Collmus has an amazing ability to memorize names in a short period of time, but if you ask him later that night who won the say the fifth race it doesnt come out as quickly as one would think. I found this to be the case as well when my friend Rob called later in the night asking about a race and I could not remember who won for about two minutes.

The first and second races were the most difficult. In the booth, there are two buttons: one for the national anthem, the other for the bugle when the horses come onto the racetrack.

When leading the horses onto the track for the first race, I hit the wrong button and had to wait for the national anthem to play through the song's entirety. It was quite funny, but also embarrassing. The three minutes I had to wait for the music to stop seemed like an eternity. What to say? I went with...

America salutes the horses on the track for the first race...now five minutes to post.

There was some malfunction before the first race and the race was hand-timed. As I was looking for the fractions on the tote board and they were not there it does mess with the subconscious and you find yourself calling the race, but wondering if you should address there are no fractions. After the race, there was a stewards' inquiry as well, thankfully the numbers didn't changes because I was washed out at this point.

The second race was for two-year-olds going four-furlongs. This was somewhat tricky because there are probably no more than five races all year run at that distance, so knowing where the fractions would be recorded was a little tricky.

I got through the double and relaxed on the microphone a little bit. Jockey Clifford Dooley came up to have a laugh for a couple of races later in the day and it made me feel more at ease to have someone else there to pass the idle time.

I can see why he is a jockey and I am not. He had a chicken caesar salad for lunch and I had a steak and cheese and fries.

Interestingly, it was a mixed day for Dooley. He is just about to finish a five-day suspension for a riding infringement and was in the booth when Arrested Gatorgirl came rolling late for an upset win. Dooley would have been aboard, and while I am sure he was happy for the horse it must be tough to be at the track and see a horse you have a relationship win.

The remainder of the races went quickly and I found my short-term memory getting better as the day went on.

I was especially pleased with my call of Theatrical Talent's victory in the eighth race. He was passed by a 2-5 shot Elninodemisijos and looked beaten in the final 30 yards, but I could tell Elninodemisijos was idling on the lead and that Pedro Gonzalez and Theatrical Talent were going to come back and make it real close.

I was happy that I had been descriptive with the action as it unfolded and got a very close finish correct.

All said though, the best part of the day for me came just after the last race. I went down to the jockey's room to catch up with the boys and all the riders and valets serenaded me with the national anthem. Luis Garcia seemed especially delighted with my mixup. He has a great laugh and sense of humor. It would not be nearly as fun without Garcia in the room.

For those that have not been to the jockey's room, it is lots of laughs and enjoyment, but not a place for those with thin skin. Think about it, in no other sport do the competing teams return to the same locker room, but in racing, it happens throughout the country with riders.

At that point, my day came full circle. I did not have to be on camera for the day so I passed on the shirt and tie in favor or shorts and an Arsenal soccer jersey. It all came full circle after the boys sang for me. I got to applaud them as well, just like a footballer would in Europe at the end of the match.

July 22, 2007

July 22, 2007 | Jessica Paquette

Jessica Paquette, Suffolk Downs racing analyst

Every now and then a horse will pop onto the scene and really surprise me, not only by his talent but by his tenacity as well. What a Trippi, George Saccardo's promising three year old, has done just that.

I remember his East Boston debut vividly. When I had been handicapping the night before, I was impressed by his worktab and his sire, Trippi, had always been a horse I had liked in his racing days so I made a note to check him out the following day. The day did not turn out nearly as nice as I had hoped weatherwise - it was rainy, windy and overall a pretty miserable day. He was very overlooked at the betting windows and I remember being perplexed by that watching him in the paddock. He looked like a racehorse, through and through. He also strongly resembled his sire.

Trippi was a horse I had the pleasure of spending some time with during his racing career. During his three-year-old campaign I was a frequent haunt in Todd Pletcher's barn. As often as I could, I'd drive down to Belmont and pay the barn a visit, mostly to see the equine love of my life, Graeme Hall. When visiting Graeme Hall, Todd also would let me meander around the shedrow and visit his other stars, including, at the time, Trippi. Trippi was a little horse with a ton of personality. I remember him being extremely playful and would stick out his tongue for whomever was around to play with.

Anyhow, enough wandering down memory lane - back to What a Trippi. The sloppy going did little to deter him and he made a very sharp rally to finish second behind another talented colt, Electric Mountain. I was impressed and looked forward to his next trip to the races. He did not disappoint and won easily, solidifying my opinion about him. He turned the tables on Electric Mountain in their next race, showing a professionalism and maturity beyond his three lifetime starts. His first attempt around two turns did not wind up a winning one, but sometimes a young horse learns as much from defeat as from victory.

When I saw him entered for Saturday, I was excited. He had done nothing to disappoint in his previous four starts and I expected a big effort from him. One of the things I like most about Suffolk Downs is our group of "regulars" that have been racing here for years. That being said, it is also refreshing to see a young horse burst onto the local scene with a world of potential like What a Trippi has. On Saturday, he came flying through on the rail to just make it in time at the wire. He is a just such a fun horse to watch run - he obviously enjoys being a racehorse and, even more, enjoys winning.