And yesterday, in racing and basing…err, baseball…
- Little plug for our hometown Nationals — we’re original season ticket holders, which means that we’ve watched an enormous amount of bad baseball in the last eight years — who whipped the Phillies yesterday and reduced their magic number for winning the division to three. Gio Gonzalez, the Nats’ Cy Young candidate, won his 21st after a rough first inning, and blog favorite Michael Morse hit two home runs, including a colossal shot into the back bullpen. And, oh by the way, there really are few things more enjoyable than kicking dirt on the Phillies’ grave.
- Speaking of Gio, or Geo, it was a pretty good day for Geovany Garcia, who’s really trying hard and getting some nice results. He won Thursday’s opener at Laurel aboard 9.70-1 shot Hi Ho Bambino and later was second on 14.50-1 Followmyfootsteps. Those were something of an appetizer, though, because in the nightcap, he piloted 97-1 bomber All for Peace to a second place finish, beaten less than a length for the money.
- All for Peace ran second in our Race o’, and you can be sure he wasn’t on our ticket. As we’d feared, Great Harbour (“I’d … look to beat him at short odds,” we opined) zipped to the early lead, controlled throughout, and won by 3/4 of a length at odds of 7-5. Safety Valve (“rates higher in my estimation than does Great Harbour”) ran third, beaten a half for second and 1 1/4 for all of it. Our other choices, Seattle Prospect (“he’ll need to step it up, but that doesn’t feel entirely out of range”) and Arctic Cry (“if the horse returns to any kind of form at all, he’ll be a handful in here”) ran sixth and eighth, respectively.
In today’s Race o’, well, we’re going to bail on today’s Race o’. Races are off the turf today, the dirt fields were short to begin with, and as a result, there’s just not much out there that’s all that compelling. For the record, we’d have handicapped the sixth ($14,000 claimers going three-quarters), but three of the eight scratched, leaving a pretty big yawn. For tomorrow, we’ll be handicapping an out of town race (which is on Sunday!) – maidens at Monmouth, where That’s Amore runner Johannesboom will be making her second start.