As mandatory-race meetings go, today’s meeting to discuss Saturday’s compulsory contests was pretty uneventful.
Here’s the lineup of Saturday “all-plays”:
Gulfstream Race 4 – 10:34 a.m.
Gulfstream Race 5 – 11:04 a.m.
Aqueduct Race 6 – 12:25 p.m.
Oaklawn Race 5 – 1:08 p.m.
Tampa Bay Race 9 – 1:29 p.m.
Tampa Bay Race 10 – 1:59 p.m.
Santa Anita Race 7 – 3:30 p.m.
Golden Gate Race 8 – 4:15 p.m.
Unlike Friday, we were able to get some earlier races into the mix that all felt were more-than-worthy. Two of them (GP 4 and GP 5) will take place before noon at 10:34 am and 11:04 am, respectively.
We got Tampa into the mix for Saturday (with what we thought were two very nice, very competitive stakes races–race 9 on dirt and race 10 on turf.
If the committee had a post-meeting regret, it was that–for the second straight day–we didn’t get any Fair Grounds races into the final list of eight. The committee remained just skittish enough about the weekend weather situation there that we did not include Race 2 (a grass race). We also considered Race 9. In the end, however, the $5,000 claimer for La. breds was just deemed too cheap an event to include on an NHC Saturday given the other choices available to us.
Obviously players have the freedom to play any races they wish via their optional “bullets”…so there’s always that. We’ll certainly miss John Dooley’s pre-race and even in-race shoutouts. There’s always Sunday and the Final Table, though. So stay loose, John!
The committee will meet at 10:00 am PT to discuss the 7 Final Table races for Sunday.