Here & There – April 5

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Who’s ready for April? Well, like it or not it’s here and we’re getting settled in. Time to get that yard cleaned up, do some planting, file those taxes and soak up some sunshine in between showers and snow. If the latter got to you this week fear not, it won’t last long, and you’ll be back outside in no time.

Spring officially got underway in March but April really means the season is here.

The main track opened at Aqueduct last Thursday, Keeneland opens this Friday, the big Kentucky Derby preps are underway and continue the next two weekends and it won’t be long before the Oklahoma Training Track opens for the season.

People are already starting to think Saratoga, as you’ll see below in our latest installment of Here & There. Enjoy.


Worth Repeating

“I’m not giving up the mic tonight, to keep this thing going. That goes for you, too, Russell Cohen, where are you?” – Retired jockey Richard Migliore, during his opening remarks as emcee of the New York Thoroughbred Breeders’ annual awards dinner Monday night

“I told you we needed four speakers for this room; probably should have gotten six.” – NYTB Executive Director Jeffrey Cannizzo after dinner guests got a little loud during his opening remarks

“When I came into the business there were four Italians in the business – him, me, Johnny Campo and Federico Tesio.” – NYTB President Tom Gallo introducing the him, emcee Richard Migliore

“We actually have a beaver dam on the edge of the property. The property goes all the way to that firehouse on the corner, so there’s a little beaver dam down there. It’s kind of exciting for us but we’ve been told we should probably do something about him. Like, ‘don’t let him set up shop.’ ” – Artie Magnuson, dealing with life in rural upstate New York at his Across the Board Stables

“It’s making my day to aggravate you.” – Owner/breeder Bob Manfuso, who really wasn’t, opening a phone conversation with TIHR’s Joe Clancy

“I think she’s on one that’s broke to the phone.” – Foggy Bottom Farm’s Gary Least, handing the phone to his wife Laurel (who was on a horse)

“For two weeks, we couldn’t get beat.” – Trainer Christophe Clement, on the lifting of the quarantine at Payson Park

“Sometimes it’s easier to dip into open company.” – Trainer David Donk, on the depth of the New York-bred male turf division headed by King Kreesa, Kharafa and Lubash

“He doesn’t have a clue that he’s 9 years old.” – Clement, about Lubash

“I think they’re beavers more than horses.” – Eric Berghammer, surveying the chewed edges of some of the stall doors at Artie Magnuson’s Across the Board Stables

“She basically knows English. They found her on the Internet, she was a giveaway. She’s a pot bellied pig, not supposed to get any bigger.” – Magnuson on the operation’s unofficial mascot Lulu the pig

“Between Linda and La Verdad, they put me here.” – Owner Sheila Rosenblum, accepting one of three championship trophies during Monday’s NYTB awards dinner

“We’re going to get done before the game the way we’re going tonight.” – Migliore about keeping the NYTB awards dinner tight so attendees could get to the bar or in front of a television for the NCAA men’s basketball title game

“We had a chicken, too. He got hit by a car. We were so upset, here we are ‘we’re opening a farm, getting a pig, chickens, maybe we’ll get a goat, too,’ and the chicken runs out in the road. It was sad. – Magnuson

“Thank you for considering me for this, although I thought I would be reading about some other consignors too. It’s kind of lonely out there on that limb!” – Alfred Nuckols Jr. after reading the first installment of the Saratoga Yearling Diary last month


By the Numbers

28.3: Win percentage of Rudy Rodriguez at Aqueduct winter meeting, where he won 45 races from 159 starters.  

172: Combined winners for brothers Jose and Irad Ortiz Jr. during Aqueduct winter meeting that ended Saturday. Irad Ortiz was the leading rider with 90 wins.

$89,456.54: Payoff of Gulfstream Park’s Rainbow 6 to 147 correct tickets March 26.

$15,285,707: Total pool for the March 26 Rainbow 6 pool at Gulfstream Park, a North American record.


Save the Date Update

We mentioned last month about season tickets, season passes, hospitality and dining going on sale for the 2016 Saratoga Race Course last Monday and NYRA sent along an update later in the week. Dining reservations were sold out for the following four dates – Opening Day (July 22), Whitney Day (Aug. 6), Alabama Day (Aug. 20) and Travers Day (Aug. 27) and was down to limited availability for July 23 and 30 and Aug. 13.