Monday, June 8, 2009

He's No Mudder/The Sidewalks of New York

He tried hard. He really did. Fizzy Pop gave his all but as track announcer Paul Allen said, he was just "spinning his wheels". Fizzy finished fourth and I can't complain. Jockey Jose Ferrer did what he could, but Fiz just did not run well in the muck that passed for a racing strip at Canterbury Sunday.

He broke well and was in good position pretty much the entire trip around. He steadied a bit in the far turn, but not enough to account for losing by 9.5 lengths. A look deep into his past performances give us the answer. He's run on a "wet fast" track twice, winning an allowance and a fifth in a $12,500 claiming race. In the claimer he had a wide trip and only went 7 panels. Too short for our boy. So far not so bad,but this was hardly a "wet fast" track.

If we look at the two races he ran on a "sloppy" track, a Hawthorne optional claiming race and $12,500 starter allowance at Calder, he lost by 34+ lengths and 18.5 lengths respectively. After both starts he bounced back to be competitive. In fact, he actually posted a win in the second race removed from each debacle.

Today's race wasn't nearly as bad as his last two attempts over a truly "off" track, but it really wasn't in his wheelhouse. The one thing I was truly afraid of - how Fizzy would handle the muck - turned out to be the one thing I should have been afraid of. We'll see how he comes back and chart the next race and chalk this one up to the elements.

Brooks Fields Stakes

The Brooks Fields was contested at Canterbury over a soft turf course Saturday and the Emerald Bay Stables entry of Spider Power and Pursue the Dream swept the top two spots. Congratulations to friend Jack Holstrom and all the partners at Emerald Bay. What a way to start the season at Canterbury!

Sidewalks of New York

Whatever happened to Sidewalks of New York? I had wondered about the loss of playing the Sidewalks of New York at the Belmont Stakes for years but never bothered to look it up. A Facebook post from friend Russ Fujimoto (a veritable font of dubiously useful information!) gave a partial answer:

" was in 1997 when New York, New York was used during the post parade. I believe 'Sidewalks Of New York"'is 'bugled' before the Manhattan, the race prior to the Belmont."

I know there are plenty of New Yorkers who read this blog that have to know the inside scoup regarding the "why" of the change. Hardly life or death, but I've really been wondering for years!


G. Rarick said...

Fizzy will come good under better track conditions next time. Glad he came home in one piece!

Jack said...

Ted, Thanks for the acknowledgement, the 1-2 finish in the Brooks Fields was quite exciting for the group to say the least. I think July 4th is next for both horses.

Hope to see Fizzy back in form on firm course soon.

Sandra Warren said...

Ted, I'm not from New York, but I remember exactly what happened when "The Sidewalks of New York" was replaced by "New York, New York." In horse racing, history is what links us to the future. How can we measure how great Curlin was without comparison to Man O' War and Secretariat? So in that vein, I hated the change -- which was done to "appeal to a larger audience." Has there ever been a change in media that was NOT done for that reason?

Anyway, now that it has been used for a few years, I actually like it better. "Sidewalks of New York" was harder to sing, and "New York, New York" has a blue-collar scrambling-up feel to it. So I'm all for the change -- but they'd better not mess with "My Old Kentucky Home!"

Ted Grevelis said...

Thanks, all. Sandra, you;re right, My Old Kentucky Home is Sacred!