Don’t stop if you’ve heard this one before. One Australian walks into a bar – er, winner’s circle – and says to another Australian, “So, do you think we’ve got time to get these two to Melbourne on the first Tuesday?”
Maybe three-quarters joking and one-quarter serious, that’s exactly what Aussie Brian Lynch said to fellow expat Ian Wilkes after they sent out the 1-2 finishers in Wednesday’s $100,000 John’s Call Stakes at Saratoga Race Course. Lynch saddled the winner, Amerman Racing’s Infinite Wisdom, who couldn’t have looked happier on the lead throughout most of the 13 furlongs of the John’s Call and found enough late to hold off a late run of the Wilkes-trained Nessy.
As any Aussie will tell you, the first Tuesday is the first Tuesday in November and the date of the Melbourne Cup. Whether Infinite Wisdom, who won the John’s Call by a length in 2:40.52 over the firm turf, or Nessy wind up in the 2-mile fixture that arguably means more to the people of Australia than any other race does to anyone from any other country remains to be seen.
But that didn’t stop another Australian from offering his services, along a quick quip.
“I told them Melbourne Cup with these two,” said Rodney Paine, an exercise rider for Rick Violette and Javier Castellano’s valet. “I even offered to be the exercise rider if they need me.”
Wilkes, seeming almost as pleased with Nessy’s performance as Lynch was with Infinite Wisdom’s, might already be covered.
“Tracey already mentioned that, she said, ‘Melbourne Cup for this one,’ ” Wilkes said of his wife, who rides many of the stable’s runners in the mornings. “And Rodney will have to fight Tracey for that job.”
To read the rest of the John's Call recap, download Thursday's digital edition of The Saratoga Special.