The Monday Special – Jan. 17

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How’s your back from all that shoveling? If you’re in the Northeast you know the feeling, after the insert-name-here snowstorm dumped the white stuff over much of the East Coast Sunday into Monday.

The weather scuttled some of the planned racing from the weekend, but thankfully other cards went off for Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Most of our crew took in the scene at the annual Phunt 25K/50K/50M Trail Race at Fair Hill. Good battle for the top spot among our team, with the usual suspects filling out the superfecta.

Hopefully you took some of our handicappers’ advice on Tampa Bay Downs’ card. The team will be back this week with picks from the Road to the Derby Day card at Fair Grounds. See you then.


By the Numbers

4: Winners on the Tampa Bay Downs card Saturday for Jessica Paquette to take a slim lead over Charles Bedard (3)

235: Voters that participated in the 2021 Eclipse Awards process

2:04.21: Nolan Clancy’s time for the Phunt 25k – that’s 7:58 per mile up and down the hills of Fair Hill. He finished second overall, one spot ahead of brother Ryan Clancy, who clocked a 2:08.20. Joe Clancy finished 28th in 2:37.51 and Tom Law completed the super in 92nd and 3:08.16.

8.60: Dollar payoff for a $2 win bet on Mira’s Mission, one of two Thoroughbred Racing Calendar Plays of the Day Saturday. He won the eighth race Saturday at Gulfstream Park.

10.60: Dollar payoff for a $2 show bet on Fits The Jill, the second of two Thoroughbred Racing Calendar Plays of the Day. She finished third in the fifth race Saturday at Turfway Park.


Worth Repeating

“He’s one of those hard-knocking horses that just knows his job. I just told Bret Calhoun, who was sitting at my table and who had just won the last, I said ‘whatever this horse gives me is a bonus because he doesn’t owe me anything.’ ”
Owner Danny Caldwell of 9-year-old veteran Rated R Superstar, winner of Saturday’s $150,000 Fifth Season Stakes

“We always hope.”
Jockey Joel Rosario on being an Eclipse Award finalist for 2021

“He’s a racetrack favorite. Everybody congratulates me when he wins, he’s the hometown hero. For good people, it makes for a really good story.”
Retired jockey Matt McCarron on galloping 12-time winner Cordmaker

“Rainbow Dreamer is definitely up there with my favourite horses.  I have been riding him since I was a 5lb claimer. I remember riding him to win around Southwell and he has come on leaps and bounds since then.” Jockey Hollie Doyle after winning the Betway Conditions Stakes at Wolverhampton 

“Ah, welcome to the homeandautobundlextravafestasaveathon.”
Blogger Joe Posnanski about the expanded NFL playoff schedule 


Eclipse Award finalists

The votes are in and so are the finalists for the 2021 Eclipse Awards. Who will win during the 51st Eclipse Awards Dinner Thursday, Feb. 10 at Santa Anita Park? We can’t tell you that, with 100 percent certainty. But we can tell you the finalists, listed below.

Two-Year-Old Male: Corniche, Jack Christopher, Modern Games.
Two-Year-Old Filly: Echo Zulu, Juju’s Map, Pizza Bianca.
Three-Year-Old Male: Essential Quality, Life Is Good, Medina Spirit.
Three-Year-Old Filly: Clairiere, Malathaat, Santa Barbara.
Older Dirt Male: Knicks Go, Maxfield, Mystic Guide.
Older Dirt Female: Letruska, Marche Lorraine, Shedaresthedevil.
Male Sprinter: Aloha West, Flightline, Jackie’s Warrior
Female Sprinter:  Bella Sofia, Ce Ce, Gamine
Male Turf Horse: Domestic Spending, Space Blues, Yibir. 
Female Turf Horse: Loves Only You, Santa Barbara, War Like Goddess.
Steeplechase Horse: Baltimore Bucko, Snap Decision, The Mean Queen.
Owner: Godolphin LLC, Juddmonte Farms Inc., Klaravich Stables Inc. 
Breeder: Calumet Farm, Godolphin LLC, Stonestreet Thoroughbred Holdings LLC
Trainer: Steve Asmussen, Chad Brown, Brad Cox.
Jockey: Irad Ortiz, Jr., Flavien Prat, Joel Rosario
Apprentice Jockey: John Hiraldo, Charlie Marquez, Jessica Pyfer