How about them Saints! Coach Sean Payton made several gutsy calls including a failed bid for the endzone on fourth down; a recovered onside kick; and a successful challenge on a two-point conversion to lead his Saints to victory.
Funny how things work out. If the Saints fail to recover the onside kick, the Colts are in scoring position and the game changes dramatically and Coach Payton would go down in history as the goat. Instead, he's a hero. Well done.
While it was certainly an excellent Super Bowl, it was also a great weekend for horse racing. On Saturday, Quality Road loaded into the gate without issue and then burned up the track to better his own track record. Zoom!
Quality Road betters his own track record to win the Donn Handicap
If you prefer cheering on close finishes then the headbobbing stretch finale between Bim Bam and Interactif should set your heart racing.
Interactif gets Bim Bam'd in the Hallandale
Still not good enough? Well, if track records don't impress and close finishes remind you of wagers you lost in a heartbreaking photo then surely you can appreciate the Bo-Rail ride by Garret Gomez in the San Antonio Handicap.
Richard's Kid was off the screen early racing in last position in the eleven horse field. Up front, Mast Track was setting a slow pace with fractions of :24.26, :48.94, and 1:13.02. Turning into the stretch, the field quickly closed on the lonely leader. Pick Six overtook Mast Track at the eighth pole but a cavalry charge including Dakota Phone, Philatelist, and Furthest Land, were also threatening.
As the horses approached the wire it seemed certain longshot Dakota Phone would call in an upset but in a flurry of hooves and left-handed urging Richard's Kid zipped along the rail to take the spoils. Dakota Phone settled for second with Philatelist just behind him.
Up next for Richard's Kid is the $10M Dubai World Cup at the new Meydan Racecourse in Dubai on March 27th.
What A Ride! Garret Gomez zooms along the rail aboard Richard's Kid to win the San Antonio Handicap
Over the weekend it was announced that early Triple Crown nominations total some 366 horses. (Hello to Canadian breds Hollinger, Hotep, Giant's Tomb and Dixie Trouper.)
Readers trying to sort out their Kentucky Derby contenders had their eyes on prodigy Eightyfiveinafifty as he stepped up to Stakes company in the Whirlaway at Aqueduct. Unfortunately, the horse bolted entering the first turn. A NYRA press relase stated:
Eightyfiveinafifty should be able to return to training in a week after receiving 14 stitches to repair a cut suffered during his premature departure from the racetrack during the running of Saturday’s $100,000 Whirlaway at Aqueduct Racetrack, trainer Gary Contessa said Sunday morning.
“We have absolutely dodged a bullet here,” said Contessa, who trains the speedy colt for Harold Lerner. “This could have been the end of his career and instead this horse is out a week … He has always been a very level-headed horse so there is no reason to think he will not forget this incident and return to being the fastest three-year-old in the country.”
Jorge Chavez, who was unseated during the incident, also escaped injury and is expected to return to riding on Wednesday, according to his agent.
Peppi Knows went on to win the Whirlaway.
Peppi Knows wins the Whirlaway as Eightyfiveinafifty bolts
A bit of sad news as former Triple Crown contender Square Eddie has been retired to stud duty due to a suspensory injury. The Smart Strike colt who was bred in Ontario by Kinghaven Farms Limited made headlines by winning the G1 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity before going on to a sharp second place finish to Midshipman in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile.
Square Eddie will stand at Vessels Station Farm near Bonsall, Calif.
Square Eddie wins the G1 Lane’s End Breeders’ Futurity
Potential Queen's Plate contender Forever Awesome zipped a bullet work of four furlongs in 47.40 on the turf at Palm Meadows Training Centre today. The Adena colt broke his maiden at Delaware and has raced exclusively on the turf thus far.
As February turns to March no doubt there will be more workouts to report.
Happy Monday readers!