From the Couch

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Quiet weekend, with just a day trip to Belmont to look at the next champion (he’ll be in Maryland Thursday). Evidently, the last quiet weekend for a long time after I took a Sharpie and crossed out the travel days for March. Uh oh. Traveling for 17 out of 31 days and that doesn’t include St. Patrick’s Day. Spring has sprung. Time to hit the road.

As always and like everybody, I have thoughts, questions, concerns and ideas after watching racing over the weekend. And mind you, I watched most of it from my couch or on my iPhone while driving (don’t tell Mom) so you’ll get opinion rather than reporting.

Good to see Beholder back at her best. There is no weapon like speed.

Vyjack impressed me. I didn’t believe in him, at all, until he came running past the eighth pole. As for owner, David Wilkenfeld, kudos for keeping your gambling winnings in the game and silencing the age-old debate of who’s more important, the gambler or the owner. Hey, be both!

Drafting Bob Baffert in My Fantasy Stable makes you root for Bob Baffert.

Evidently, the only chance I have in My Fantasy Stable is if Norumbega wins the Belmont.

There is no better giveaway in Thoroughbred racing than the Aqueduct winter knit cap. My wife was wearing one in the barn today and it seemed like every person in the Aqueduct paddock was wearing one over the weekend. You just don’t see the Saratoga fleece put to such good use.

Mike Smith still rides like butter over a hot potato.

Sometimes you have to stop analyzing and critiquing and simply marvel at the natural-born instincts of a guy like Gary Stevens. Amazing. Not surprising.

British announcers tell stories. American announcers give outlines.

Comma To The Top is game; finished third in the San Carlos, flew across the country fights back to win a photo in the Tom Fool. In seven days. Peter Miller, you get this week’s Old School Award (a bronze replica of Max Hirsch’s training chart).

Edgar Prado, welcome back.

Rajiv Maragh, welcome back.

Bridge-jumper who backed Went The Day Well, welcome to the Hudson.

I still can’t believe gamblers don’t have the opportunity to bet any horse at any price, ante-post, for big races like the Kentucky Derby and Kentucky Oaks. Want to fix the game? Give the gambler more options. I know, I know, laws and bureaucracy.

I still search for Ramon Dominguez’s hunched back and delicate touch in every race I watch at Aqueduct.

Twenty-three years ago, the Breeders’ Cup was marred by a Lasix controversy when  Unbridled won the Classic and Summer Squall stayed home. Twenty-three years later, it’s still being marred by a Lasix controversy. It’s a complicated issue, getting more and more complicated. Sad

I appreciate the sentiment from steeplechasing that they’ll miss Steeplechase Times. So will we.

Not many horses float. Rydilluc floats.

Joe Rocco Jr. has arrived.

I hate to see two of my favorite horses, Fifty Proof and Lucky Chappy, fail to make any impact in allowance races.

When is Mike Trombetta going to send Change Of Command to me to win the Virginia Gold Cup?

I bet $5 to win on Razzleberry, because I was reading Jamberry to Miles, 4, at the time. He paid $16.20. Miles got more books.

Elizabeth Valando’s Let Me Entertain U is beautiful. Talk about a homebred, she’s by Nobiz Like Shobiz out of the Fly So Free mare, Take The Cake.

Talk about proactive. Al Stall scratched Departing from an outside draw in the Risen Star and took the 3-year-old colt to Sam Houston to win the Texas Heritage Stakes. Bet it’s the first time the Texas Heritage has shown up on a Claiborne pedigree page.

The Claiborne team must be brilliant in Words With Friends. I used Pulpit, Trend, Preach, Swale, Blame, Narrate and Lure over the weekend.

Walkwithapurpose runswithapurpose.

Tampa Bay Downs was made for Tom Proctor.

There are trainers who communicate more with random strangers on Twitter than they do with their owners.

You know you’re watching too much racing when you find your phone and the remote hidden in your son’s dinosaur collection.

Cheltenham begins in seven days.