It was an Opening Day at Saratoga, that much is for sure. The vibes were a little bittersweet, but among people I talked to the overwhelming, underlying sentiment was the same: at least we got to have a Saratoga Opening Day in 2020.
I spent the morning in a gorgeous setting: in the backyard of one of those wonderful houses on Fifth whose backyard is essentially the Oklahoma Training Track. A small, socially distanced group of us slid our masks aside to sip some coffee and eat bagels from Five Points as we watched horses work and learned about an amazing new therapeutic riding device that’s been proven to help people with autism and ADHD. It’s called REST and I want to thank devoted horseplayer Paul Kalac for the demonstration (it’s not often I get hat envy). Click here if you’d like to learn more about that.
Then I was off to grind away on this weekend’s races and wager in the auxiliary office of the TRF. A few spies reported back about some of the viewing parties around town: Walt and Whitman’s outdoor patio has tremendous potential, the Adelphi patio sounded like the new home for some of the Siro’s crowd, and Racing City Brewery, where I eventually ended up to watch the stakes, has a pleasing setup.
Speaking of viewing parties and Walt and Whitman, don’t forget that a $100 donation gets you into our Quick Call Day party, which is happening next Friday, July 24. Donate to secure your spot through our TRF page.
On to our Newsletter…
Welcome to the inaugural edition of the In the Money Players’ Newsletter. We hope this email can serve as a hub for horse racing content from the ITM Network and around the industry.
The biggest news on the network this week was the debut of Nick Luck’s new podcast, and also the re-branding of our late week show into the RacingPicks Players’ Podcast – yes folks, it took a while, but we finally have a title sponsor. And we’re very excited to be partnering with a site offering tons of free racing content, including regular columns from our own Matt Bernier.
Also new this week, there are now individual iTunes feeds for JK + 1 and Naomi Tukker’s Talk Racing to Me. We encourage you to subscribe to, rate, and review both of those. And if you really want to be a hero, keep listening along both there and on the master ITM feed – heck, listen twice ☺
Stick with us and as ever, we are eager for your buy-in. There’s a reason I always thank the listeners at the end of every show. Your buy-in is invaluable to us and your support, through your nice messages and patronizing our partners, is the air we breathe. Please let us know if you have suggestions on how we can improve the newsletter going forward.
OK, reading and clicking through and I’ll leave you with the usual horseplayer’s blessing.
May You Win All Your Photos,
ITM Weekend Content:
Stronach 5 Podcast - July 17th 2020
On the new show, PTF is joined by Jason Blewitt and John Pinder to cover this week’s sequence of races from Laurel Park and Gulfstream. It starts in race 6 from Laurel Park.
RacingPicks Players’ Podcast - July 17th 2020
The re-branded late week show features analysis of the late pick 5 at Saratoga (PTF and JK), Stakes action from Monmouth Park (PTF and Dallas Baker from Betmakers) and Drew stopped by to review the late Pick 4 at Woodbine.
And with the new sponsor comes a brand new video edition of the Friday Podcast.
It might be useful to consider the odds from international bookmakers for the Haskell:
Over on the ITM blog, Drew will provide insights on some of the action from Woodbine this weekend. A couple of other handy tools when playing Woodbine - Ernie Perri’s Clocker Report - Doug McPherson’s Woodbine Journal
*Also, on Sunday, look out for two new shows, the return of Live at the Brentwood where PTF and Matt Vagvolgyi will go over Saratoga’s Sunday card and a special edition of the Lone Star Podcast with guest Nick Tammaro to celebrate the return of live racing.
ICYMI ITM Content:
In the Money Media is now the U.S. distributor to Nick Luck’s daily podcast. PTF offered his personal thoughts on the addition and there was additional coverage in TDN. Make sure to check out all of Nick’s past episodes, including the exclusive conversation with trainer Chad Brown ahead of the Saratoga meet.
On this weeks’ episode, JK welcomed fellow Fox Sports/NYRA colleague, Maggie Wolfendale. The wide ranging discussion includes Maggie’s paddock process, turf hoof, Saratoga and much more.
Naomi sits down with the voice of the Triple Crown and Breeders’ Cup Broadcasts on NBC Sports: Larry Collmus. The two cover a lot of ground including American Pharoah, calling the Kentucky Derby and his gig at NBC.
Spencer discussed the results from the Indiana Derby Day with Rachel McLaughlin from Indiana Grand. They also discussed some important handicapping angles for Indiana Grand shippers.
There was a double dose of Redboard Rewind. Be sure to check out Spencer’s conversation with HOF Handicapper, Chris Larmey. They reviewed some of the races from Keeneland and discussed the strategy Chris used to finish a game second in the Keeneland Summer Challenge.
Matt reviewed the results from major stakes races last weekend. Specifically, he shared his thoughts on the Bluegrass Stakes, War of Will and one of his personal favorites - Shedaresthedevil.
What We’re Reading This Week:
Week two has a Haskell focus and the props come from PTF
Pete Fornatale’s Saratoga Preview - At the Races
2020 Haskell Stakes Cheat Sheet - America’s Best Racing
Jay’s annual update on the 2 Year Old scene on the west coast
Fasig Tipton Stable Tour: Michael McCarthy - The Saratoga Special
Remembering Royal Delta, a Tenacious Champion - America’s Best Racing
Saratoga opened this week and while some folks are still hoping that fans will be allowed, one fan took matters into his own hands. Well done, Mark!
Speaking of fans…Tom Law pointed out some of the local ingenuity ahead of opening day
Thank you for your continued support of our ITM Partners.
That’s it for this weeks’ edition. Make sure to subscribe to the ITM Network Podcasts and ‘may you win all your photos’