The target has been identified, and the command has been given. Well, maybe not that dramatic. Three guys started off a mild mannered place parlay, and it stands at $1750. – We are using the Winning Ponies E-Z Forms, and we’re ready to fire. Finally, we all come into agreement and the Saratoga card will be targeted on Thursday with any and all winnings to be directed at Arlington Park for the Arlington Million card.
When you have three differing opinions with solid cappers. It can be tougher than a nickel steak to get everybody on the same page. When I suggested the Winning Ponies E-Z Win Forms, and showed them how well they score. This ended the argument of who was going to have final say. Wish us luck, and be sure to follow up with our progress.
Race #4 – The $100,000 Saratoga Dew – 1 1/8 – 2:04 P.M.
#2 – Little Rocket (10-1) = David Michael Lopez up for Michael Ferraro. This New York-bred affair may offer better value than appears. With a water logged sloppy oval at Saratoga on Wednesday, I would say there will be plenty of moisture in the surface. This 4-yr-old daughter of Yes It’s True is 4/6 ITM on the off going, and sports the “Should Improve and Moving Up in Class” handicapping icons. She ships in from Finger Lakes and the barn wins (31%) and is ITM (54%) with their road game. She owns a 52+ Last Race Rating and a 48 Composite Rating. She is going more ground which leads me to believe we can expect a much closer trip going from 1 1/16 to 1 1/8. – $550 to place #2.
I was reading the past performances for Saturday’s morning line, and up jumped a story. By now it is old news, but news just the same. Larry Collmus is set to become the successor to Tom Durkin. Durkin retires on August 31, and the ultra-talented Collmus is ready to take the booth. I am happy about their choice, and they have one fine race caller who will bring the action to life. If you were a baseball player, would want to take Babe Ruth’s spot in the lineup? How about bumping the Beatles to be your opening band ?
I know, I know, a little over the top. Tom Durkin had a voice that told stories. His vocabulary is never ending, and his colorful description is one-of-a-kind. Durkin has been NYRA’s voice since 1990. Mr. Collmus will no doubt put on the best show in the land, and in my opinion is one of the best in the world. I started listening when he was at Suffolk and he made cheap claimers sound live, and brought to life the marquee events. He brought energy to the Jersey Shore at Monmouth, and his voice at Gulfstream Park was a signal that big things were happening. It looked as if it couldn’t get any better until Churchill Downs must have been listening to NBC and how he was becoming the sound of racing. His call in the Derby still gives me chills, as I can still hear “Oorrrrrrbbb!” Larry Collmus was (1-9) in my heart when I heard Tom Durkin was hanging up his binoculars. I know plenty of great race callers, and I’ll bet dollars to donuts that you’ll be hearing some new voices step up to the plate. Keep your ears tuned to Florida, and you’ll hear one of the next big-time callers on deck. Back to Mr. Durkin. There are some that can accurately catch the field, and some that entertain us with clever quips. Tom Durkin could make the menu at White Castle’s sound like a four-star meal. His voice brought full color to the races, and if you only heard the race, you had the best seat in the house. I am happy for Mr. Collmus, and I always felt if you were “big time” you were in New York. I think they made the right choice, and if you disagree I’m sure there is a fair circuit mic with your name on it.
I will miss Durkin’s calls. For the rest of my life as a racing fan I will be waiting to hear there is a “torrid pace, moving powerfully, and someone is lumbering along.” Yep, it’s fair to say I’ll miss Tom Durkin. The race calls that still brings chills can be brought back to life by just a few words; “Hear comes Personal Ensign unleashing a furious run on the outside, and Arazi runs right by them… And he is pouring it on, and Jerry Bailey calls on Cigar for everything he’s got, and here is the incomparable, the invincible, unbeatable, Cigar.” I have chills running down my arm, and tears gathering in the corners of my eyes. But as Tom Durkin would be first to say, “the show must go on.” It will go on, and new memories will fill our hearts as talented callers bring to life the sport we love. I have been listening to Saratoga on this sloppy Wednesday, and the voice of Tom Durkin is like I fine cigar I want to savor. Thank you for the many memories you have given the racing world, and the torch you are passing on is in the right hands.