“Sailing heart-ships through broken harbors out on the waves of the night, still the searcher must ride the dark horse racing alone in his fright.”
Thoroughbred racing was on the receiving end of several collective blows this past week and change, with the passing of three very different people—Walter Swinburn, Steve Sexton, and Garrett Gomez—each of whom shared a common, binding thread of love for Thoroughbred racehorses. Each of their special talents and unique contributions to the game will be sorely missed and never replicated . . .
I’ll focus my attention this week on a pair of stakes races on the East Coast—the $100,000 South Beach for fillies and mares three-years-old and up going seven and a half furlongs on the turf at Gulfstream Park and the $50,000 Prairie Bayou going a mile and a sixteenth on the Polytrack for three-year-olds and upward at Turfway Park.
Al Shaqab Racing’s Sandiva (Ire), a five-year-old mare with an affinity for the Gulfstream Park turf course, is the 2-1 morning line favorite in the South Beach, which drew a field of nine and one main track only entrant.
Sarinana Racing LLC’s Dac, a synthetic surface specialist, is the 3-1 morning line favorite to defend his title in the Prairie Bayou; the five-year-old will break from post one in the 12-horse field.
Next week, I’ll have analysis and selections for a quartet of graded stakes on Santa Anita’s typically strong day after Christmas card. The December 26th program is highlighted by four graded stakes races—the $300,000 La Brea (G1), the $300,000 Malibu (G1), the $200,000 Mathis Brothers Mile (G2) and the $100,000 San Simeon (G3).
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