Scuffles and Questions

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Quiet week at This is Horse Racing. Gearing up for Saratoga, less than a month away. Tom, Joe and I shake the trees, sending emails and packages instead of writing columns and features. Our ledes aren’t nearly as captivating, our finales not nearly as memorable. Sales pitches – send, wait, get shot down, rise up and go again. Actually, sales are booming.

In the world of horse racing…

Royal Ascot is over. Great week…from the couch. I made a pact, “I’m going there next year.” Then another, “With a runner.” Oh, and one more, “With a winner.” Dreaming Plotting. American-bred, American-trained and American-once trained performed admirably for the most part. This is one way for U.S. racing to defend its honor – travel and perform. Wesley Ward won another, Verrazano and Due Diligence finished second – it can be done.

– Watch Kingman become the King.

Juan Vazquez allegedly attacked Trevor McCarthy after a race at Delaware Park. Vazquez was called passionate in an interview. I could think of other words. Guess this is why NYRA has a security guard walk with each jockey at Saratoga. Pathetic.

Dale Romans and Indian Charlie involved in an altercation. Somebody buy Dale Romans a belt.

Of course in the world of soccer, Luis Suarez bites an opponent – again – and gets suspended for nine games and four months. Sounds pretty minor. Good thing he can’t “transfer” his shoes and uniform to his assistant’s name and stay in the game. Good thing he wasn’t in that scuffle with Romans and Indian Charlie.

– Watch the good, bad and ugly of Suarez.

Yes, an owner with a condition book is dangerous. Equibase makes it all possible. While looking for a conditioned claimer on the grass going a mile and a half, I noticed…Timonium’s book is out already and there’s some good opportunities at Crooked River Roundup, from 250 yards to 9 furlongs. The Jack Rhoden Memorial Bonus Challenge highlights the meet, offering $14,000 on July 12.

Thoroughbred Horse Show at Pimlico. July 13. HRTV produced a special about it. Great show. Smart approach. Who’s going?

Steeplechasing every Wednesday and Thursday at Saratoga. Post time, 12:25. And we used to think it was hard to make it to the races by 1:00. The sport continues to be marginalized.

Toast of New York is in the air, on his way to Belmont Park for the Belmont Derby July 5. Saratoga winning steeplechase jockey Jamie Osborne trains the UAE Derby winner.

– Watch Toast of New York win in Dubai.

Game On Dude runs in the “Gold Cup at Santa Anita” Saturday. Can’t we just call it the Hollywood Gold Cup?

The San Juan Capistrano runs Sunday. Eagle Poise, beaten a nose in the mile and three quarters classic in 2012, is back at Dad’s farm in Pennsylvania after his second surgery at New Bolton Center. The first worked, he came back to finish second in the Laurel Turf Cup, Sycamore and Valedictory. Hopefully, the second one will work too, and he can come back to try something new. Maybe, that Thoroughbred show at Pimlico next summer. I need to start practicing.

 – Watch Bourbon Bay nab Eagle Poise on the line in the San Juan Capistrano. I can’t.