Here & There – March 13

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Two days from the Ides of March and we’re playing a little catch-up here at This Is Horse Racing.

So what’s happened in the last week or so? Let’s see, monster snowstorms blanketed the Southeast and parts of the Mid-Atlantic and Northeast, only to melt away when a major “heat wave” passed through.

Lost racing days are turning into live racing days, thankfully, and a sense of normalcy is starting to return to the East Coast.

Breeders’ Cup tickets flew off the shelves – if an online store can be classified that way – and not without some grumbling from those shutout or others left hanging in cyberspace with a not-so-perfect ticketing system.

The always exciting Cheltenham Festival came and went and we’ll have plenty more on that once Sean empties his voice recorders and finds his notes. Spring is certainly on the way and we’ve got a real Hodge-podge of material for this week’s Here & There.

Worth Repeating

“We’re breaking 60 today, getting ready for the beach.” – Maryland Jockey Club’s Sal Sinatra as temperatures finally rose in the Mid-Atlantic this week

“And after waiting three years to run, I can’t make the race!!!” – Email from Dave Hudson explaining to TIHR’s Tom Law that he couldn’t make 5-year-old first-time starter Aprettysmoothguy’s debut Thursday at Aqueduct

“Is that Happy Alter under that hat there?” – Fasig-Tipton Terence Collier last wek after Alter purchased Hip 26, Giant’s Causeway colt for $75,000 at Florida 2-year-olds in training sale at Gulfstream Park. He bought Hip 159, an Awesome Again filly, later for $120,000

“That’s bad luck to be the same year as Ben’s Cat. They’re both such good horses.” – Graham Motion talking about Eighttofasttocatch getting shut out of Maryland-bred season-ending honors

“You guys get 15, 16, 17 inches of snow in Saratoga quite often, but not here.” – Breeders’ Cup Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Bob Elliston after the huge snowfall last week in Lexington

“I’m hoping to get in there again.” – Eclipse Award-winning videographer Greg Charkoudian, who debuted in Worth Repeating last month

“I love an auction.” – Auctioneer Tom Biederman when bidding stalled, then started again, then stalled on Hip 34, Pioneerof the Nile colt who brought $685,000 at Fasig-Tipton Florida sale

“Can you jump over that bush Tom?” – Auctioneer Joe Mast to bid spotter when bidder walked away thinking he was not the high bidder

Prayers for a quick recovery to one of the finest men in racing … God bless you Mr. Jerkens.” – Patrich Jeleniewski to our Facebook page earlier this week

“I haven’t seen it like this since 1978. I was a freshman in high school. We went to school the day after New Year’s and didn’t go again the entire month of January. So as a freshman I loved that.” – Bob Elliston

“Whirlwind.” – Sal Sinatra describing his first few weeks on the job


Take a Number

5: Tracks that cancelled because of winter weather last March 5 – Aqueduct, Charles Town, Laurel, Oaklawn and Penn National

17.1: Inches of snow in Lexington by early Thursday afternoon. Serious, check it out.

50: Days until the Kentucky Derby.

60,000: Approximate number of Breeders’ Cup tickets sold on the first day, out of 77,000 allotted

$1.4 million: Price paid by Coolmore for Hip 130, colt by Scat Daddy that topped Fasig-Tipton Florida sale

$20,095,500:Total receipts for the 89 2-year-olds sold at Florida sale

$237 million: Annual economic impact of Saratoga Race Course on greater Capital Region, according to a recent study


Tweets of the Week (Milestone and Breeders’ Cup Tickets Editions)

Sheldon Russell (@SheldonRussell1): In honor of my 1,000th win, my agent, valet and I will be donating $1,000 to the groom of the winning horse. #teameffort #1000for1000

Jeremy Brann (@CloudGuyKy): @Breeders’ Cup it’s called “the cloud.” It scales when demand peaks, like when tix for your event go on sale. Try it.”

Elizabeth Ovelman (@Wahoowa95): “Who I wouldn’t want to be today: #BC15 ticket folks. Got mine without problems…just walked on treadmill till go through queue. LOL. #goodluck”