02 November 2008

Spooky sight from Halloween night

Winds of change blew in from the prairie last week, knocking over the card catalog and tossing the Quinella Castle into such a tizzy that blogging was impossible. Hopefully, those few folks anxiously awaiting the card catalog's BC Classic selection found their way to the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance, where some phenomenal handicappers posted their picks.

The disarray here was so complete that I missed my Google Alerts for The Grey Ghost Handicap. When I finally had a chance to go through my e-mail, I discovered -- two days late and two dollars short -- that yes, on Halloween, the Meadowlands once again carded the 1-1/16 mile turf race "FOR GREY OR ROAN HORSES THREE YEAR OLD AND UPWARD ..."

This year's running was won by a Tactical Cat gelding whose name is familiar to many a TBA reader:

In a dappled dash to the wire, Highland Cat held on to win the $35,000 Grey Ghost Handicap by three-quarters of a length on Friday night at the Meadowlands. (Meadowlands website)
Highland Cat's debut race is documented over at Left at the Gate along with much of his early career, as Alan shared the hopes and hardships of belonging to the partnership that owned Highland Cat. (Alan's post from May 2007 features my favorite picture of the good-looking grey, along with rare racetrack footage filmed by the Head Chef.)

The Grey Ghost Handicap is just the sort of quirky thing that I enjoy watching live. Imagine it: greys by moonlight, on the turf! Somehow, I don't think the video does justice to "the spooky sight" but judge for yourself:

(courtesy of partymanners)


dana said...

Yeah, I missed it too! On DRF.com entries it looked like they were only running the Witches Brew.

QQ said...

Yes, I too was surprised to see that there really are some differences between the various online sources for entries, past performances, and results. For example, compare the DRF results which proclaim this a "New course record" with results from Equibase or Brisnet.

It looks like this former handicap has been downgraded to a "starter handicap" -- and of course, the purse was much less than the Witches Brew, so I suppose it's to be expected that pre-game coverage includes more about the fillies than this one. But really, how cool is it to see conditions that mention color?

Winston...not really said...

Some creative marketing wunderkind could take it a step further and card a race for certain silk colors or horses sired by stallions that made more than 10 starts or raced until they were 5.

The last two would probably not fill...

Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

I think Winston is onto something with the marketing idea. How much of a purse would be required though to keep the ungelded on the track until age five?

Great post. I can't help but think that a nation of gimmick bettors would surely find the beauty behind a series of gimmick races.

QQ said...

Hmm, maybe we're on to something here that small tracks like Mountaineer and Presque Isle could use to their benefit. Age and starts are just the beginning! Personally, I'd love to see a race for HORSES THREE YEAR OLD AND UP WHOSE NAME BEGINS WITH THE LETTER Z -- though I'm guessing it'd draw more Z HUMORs than ZENYATTAs.

Teresa said...

Calder has done something like this in the past...maybe on the Saturday after Thanksgiving? The Methuselah, for horses five and up; a grey horse race; races run on turf and dirt simultaneously with double wagering; no idea how successful it was, but it was fun to watch!