Friday, October 2, 2009

Hawthorne Gold Cup

Hope you all enjoy my homage to PPatty

As fall lays across the city, it's time to move down to Stickney. Hawthorne is a necklace of jaudniced chandeleirs, hotlamped prime rib and satin jackets. I love the smell of chlorine in the cellar paddock. They put fake trees in there last year. Even the horses seem to kink their heads askance at the fake trees.

To kick things off I've asked a track indigent to send me an alaysis for the race. He wants to go by the name Shady Nickelplay. I'm honored to bring you his sagacious analysis:

By the end of yesterday afternoon’s card at Hawthorne, the track was sloppy and sealed. Overnight rain in the forecast and a fifty percent chance of showers on Saturday: it’s a good bet the oval for Saturday’s grade II Hawthorne Gold Cup will come up less than fast. The question is “How much?” This eleven-horse field is a bit of a smorgasbord of early speed, stalkers, and closers. And more than half the entrants have proven themselves capable of finishing in the money on an off track.

No superstars will be in the gate, but battle-tested Jonesboro and late-closing Awesome Gem are classy favorites—although modestly so at 5/2 and 7/2 respectively in the morning line. Local speedball Shadowbdancing (who has never finished out of the money at Hawthorne in seven starts) breaks from the seven slot just outside the fleet-footed Nite Light: thus the pace should be honest, at the very least. Being partial to trifectas, I might gravitate toward a couple of part-wheels keyed by Awesome Gem, then Jonesboro—feeling good about leaving Brothers Nicholas, Stonehouse, and Going Ballistic out of the mix entirely.

But this is the Railbird, and we like our exotics stone-cold! So I see the deep-closing Awesome Gem nosing out classic-distance-lover Alcomo, with Eldaafer or Nite Light coming late to keep Jonesboro out of the money. Let’s give third place to the revenge-seeking Nite Light, to whom Eldaafer denied the Brooklyn Handicap last June by a nose in the slop. So, for the record:

Awesome Gem
Nite Light

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