As opening day at Saratoga dawned last Friday, a discussion erupted on Twitter regarding racing fans favorite season of racing.
I was staunchly in the Kentucky Derby prep season camp while others argued for late July-Labor Day stretch that not only includes Saratoga but also great racing from Del Mar, Arlington, and Europe.
The best racing in the Kentucky Derby prep season occurs almost exclusively on Saturdays, but those arguing for summer racing received some tremendous ammunition on Wednesday, July 27, when Frankel won the Sussex Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, and Winter Memories won the Lake George Stakes at Saratoga. These were a combo of superlative performances that I just would not expect to see on a weekday except at the height of the summer racing season.
Sure, Royal Ascot, Newbury, and a host of other European facilities stage Group 1 races throughout week-long festivals, but those often occur during times that U.S. racing's best races are only on weekends. The top weekday performances outside of the summer season occur mostly in maiden, allowance, or overnight stakes races. This Wednesday, however, we not only saw the best three-year-old filly on the turf in America but also the best horse in the world.
The action in the summer isn't limited to top racing, of course, and I'll be shifting gears from Saratoga to Canterbury Park tonight to chase a $1,849 carryover in the early pick four. Check back in this space tonight for my thoughts on the sequence.
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The Director of Marketing for Bloodstock Research Information Services (BRIS) and a lifelong Thoroughbred racing enthusiast and astute handicapper, Ed joined Churchill Downs Inc. following nine years as a writer and editor with Thoroughbred Times.
A writer and editor who has been following horse racing for fifteen years. Peter has written books for the Daily Racing Form Press; Crown; and Simon and Schuster; among other publishers, and regular features in The Horseplayer Magazine.
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