29 September 2008

Just another Saturday ... at Mountaineer

I'll leave it to others to regale readers with tales of the weekend's graded stakes races, though I'll note it was a good day for the "pretty gray horse," with wins by Stardom Bound, Wait a While, and Delightful Kiss all brightening the mood here at the Quinella Castle. As noted on That's Amore Stables, everyone loves a gray, and none more so than the Quinella Queen, who once heard tell of a grays-only stakes race in New Jersey and wonders if they still run the Grey Ghost Starter Handicap at the Meadowlands.

But no more talk about the "big" races here. Nope, for the Quinella Crew, returning to Mountaineer to support the Toast to Exceller promotion, the grays of the day were of a totally different caliber: Count on Doc won the opening $5000 open claimer, and Stormy Groom won the "feature," a $21K Maiden Special Weight. And though rain threatened all day, our spirits were sunny. We were at the track!

It wasn't our best day at the races, but who minded? We were at the track! Oh, how we've missed all of this: Mark and Nancy on the simulcast -- and yes, Mark is funnier, but Nancy's picks are still better. Peter Berry calling the races with a perfect balance of information and excitement, the best I've heard, even if (perhaps because) he doesn't sing. There's DeShawn Parker, looking so tall for a jockey, and yes, look, Oswald Pereira still has "The Wizard" emblazoned on one leg of his pants and "of Oz" on the other. Yes, you can still look down on the paddock from the last stall in the ladies restroom, and oh, yes ... longshots still come in! It's as if we've never been gone.

We had a chance to notice a new jockey, Arizona Miller, who seemed to get the most unlikely mounts: Fast Service in the first went off at 99-1, Royal Dumanni in the 2nd at 91-1. In the fourth, he rode 30-1 All's Well to place -- and I made a little notation in my little notebook, and perhaps others did, too, because in the fifth, odds on Miller's mount, Kuch, were a mere 7-1. Kuch became win number four for the apprentice, who, it turns out, is only sixteen! Not even old enough to enter the casino by himself! He's named, according to an article in the East Liverpool Review, for a horse that made his grandfather, trainer Herman Miller, "a lot of money." I'm thinking Arizona, the kid, might make a few horseplayers some cash, too.

It's unlikely that the horses we saw on Saturday will ever earn $10 million dollars, but just like all those folks who turned out to see Curlin --- we were at the track. Is there anything better?

5 comments:

kevin morris said...

Nice job digging up the info on Arizona Miller, and on your last 3 posts generally. Wonder why only these 5 tracks participated in the Exceller fundraiser? Maybe others are afraid mention of equine retirement will remind people of the "S" word.

QQ said...

Thanks for the compliments, Kevin. I really don't know why so few tracks participated; I'd been hoping someone who knew would drop by to comment.

Anonymous said...

don't be hating on arizona miller, he is freaking sweet. who cares he's only 16, he's the nicest kid i know. Miranda Crago

QQ said...

Miranda, not sure I know what you mean by "hating on" since I'm loving betting on the sweet kid on the longshots.

Anonymous said...

not you the other peron said... Nice job digging up the info on Arizona Miller. i know arizona and he was a good jockey... but he had to quit cuz of school...