It was a conclusion, or an observation. But it also came across like a warning, perhaps.
A scenario was proposed on Wednesday morning to trainer Todd Pletcher in which a horse might attempt to put pressure on Life Is Good around the first turn in Saturday’s 95th running of the Whitney at Saratoga Race Course.
Pletcher’s dry response amounted to, “Yeah, I would say that anybody who wants to go with Life Is Good early on is probably going to be compromised in the end.”
Fortunately for him and jockey Irad Ortiz, they were able to avoid a minor one in the Grade III Troy at Saratoga Race Course, helped in part by a recent shift in training approach.
And the fact that Golden Pal is just really fast.
Leaving behind a last-place finish on the international stage in June, when Golden Pal missed the break and was essentially eased by Ortiz in the Group 1 King’s Stand, Golden Pal shook off an awkward start in the Troy and edged ahead of True Valour late, while also holding off a charge from long shot Thin White Duke, to win.
David Aragona is what one might call a numbers and rhythm guy.
As a dual major in computer science and music at New York University, Aragona found a way to work in both music – Carnegie Hall, specifically – and horse racing before settling on horse racing.
“I use very little of either one these days,” Aragona said, chuckling, about his two majors.
He currently works for the Daily Racing Form as a TimeformUS analyst, in which he basically analyzes races to suggest horses and things to watch to the public. He’s also the linemaker for the New York Racing Association tracks.
Michelle Borisenok may have raised a few eyebrows with her comments at a conference for new and existing racehorse owners last week.
“It’s not so much about winning,” she said of Brown Road Racing, a partnership that she founded in 2018. “For us, it’s about education and it’s about the experience.”
A week later, talking at her farm overlooking Saratoga Lake, she elaborated on that mission.
She created Brown Road Racing to attract and educate women about the experience of thoroughbred ownership, a natural progression from the women’s leadership work she’s been doing for decades. A graduate of the College of Saint Rose in Albany, she is an honorary member of the college’s Women’s Leadership Institute, to which she and her husband Walt donated $1.2 million to renovate the Institute’s Albany headquarters, which is now named the Michelle Cuozzo Borisenok ’80 House. Among the building’s uses is as housing for BOLD Women’s Leadership Network Scholars. Through centers at six Northeast institutes of higher education, BOLD “cultivates courageous leadership” for students and graduates of the member institutions.
A promising long career as a trainer is in the making for Joseph Patrick O’Brien, the apple-cheeked 29-year-old from Ireland whose last name invokes the decades of success enjoyed by his father, Aidan.
Joseph O’Brien was an interesting presence at Saratoga Race Course on the second Friday of the meet, as he flew across the Atlantic Ocean to saddle two maidens.
We’re not expecting to see his father, the long-time head trainer for one of the most powerful racing operations in the world, this weekend, but he does have a horse in Saturday’s $1 million Saratoga Derby Invitational, Stone Age, who arrived on Sunday.
“Look at that dig,” Tyler Frame gushed last Sunday morning, admiring how a Thoroughbred vigorously reached out and pulled its forelegs through the dirt surface during training hours on the main track at Saratoga Race Course.
The subject of the “powerhouse” hindquarters, the engine of muscle pushing the horse’s forward momentum, came up more than a few times, too.
And if a gray walked by, forget it. Frame all but swooned.
In December of 2013, Frame, then known as Tyler William Murray, pleaded guilty to 13 counts of second-degree arson in Washington County (Maryland) Circuit Court. He was sentenced a month later to 15 years at the Central Maryland Correctional Facility in Sykesville for his role in a three-week arson spree that caused almost a half-million dollars in damage.
Little did he know, but somewhere out there was an old retired Thoroughbred, also with 13 “counts” against him, who Frame, now 30, says turned his turbulent life around.