"Six Weeks in Saratoga" available! Go get it!

"Six Weeks in Saratoga: How Three-Year-Old Rachel Alexandra Beat the Boys and Became Horse of the Year" published July 1, 2011. Keep it locked here, at The Carryover or go to SUNY Press to order your copy ... right now! Or head on down to your favorite bookseller.

Praise for "Six Weeks in Saratoga"

“Going behind the scenes of three-year-old filly Rachel Alexandra’s 2009 triumph … O’Meara makes her story gallop and gleam.” — Chronogram

“The [book] is one of enjoyable promise, and as the author recounts little moments and inside conversations, he provides an intimate glimpse into the lives of the figures he covers. The narrative keeps game pace with outside literary standards and features bursts of brilliance, and I found it a refreshing change from the selection of racing-themed volumes available today. As O’Meara brings his subjects to life, you find yourself thinking this is the kind of guy whose work I want to follow.” — Claire Novak, ESPN.com

“O’Meara … provide[s] a tremendous amount of detail from behind the scenes that the reader would not have otherwise enjoyed … Six Weeks is essentially a Rachel book, but it’s told without neglecting the always rich backdrop of a Saratoga meet. That means there’s history, surprises, characters (human and equine), great racing, foggy mornings and sun-splashed afternoons—plenty of material through which O’Meara could exercise his descriptive abilities.” — Schenectady Daily Gazette

“O’Meara fell for a magical place and magnificent horse, which is a lovely malady that often befalls horse people, and with a great deal of heart he tells us how and why. You’ll never forget his Six Weeks in Saratoga, either.” — Joe Drape, author of Our Boys: A Perfect Season on the Plains with the Smith Center Redmen

“Brendan O’Meara tells the story of this proud horse with verve and great historical insight. Six Weeks in Saratoga marks the debut of an exciting new talent.” — Wil Haygood, author of Sweet Thunder: The Life and Times of Sugar Ray Robinson

“Brendan O’Meara’s Six Weeks in Saratoga is a victory to be savored by those who treasure good writing in general and tales of the track in particular. Horses may win races, but they also win hearts as this impressive book proves beyond doubt. A memorable, sure-footed debut.” — Madeleine Blais, author of In These Girls, Hope Is a Muscle

Saturday, April 4, 2009


3:26 ... Here we go.  This is it.  Don't get scared.

3:27 ... Good Ol' Pete just hit the Pick 4 for $500.  That's a lot of pennies.  When I was a crackly voiced adolescent, whenever I saw a small sum of money, say, 23 cents, I'd always say, 'Well, that's 23 Swedish fish.'  You know?  That delicious red, gummy candy.  Of course there are other penny candies worth mentioning like Sour Patch Kids, just to name one of my favorites.  

I'd always get this candy at Mac's Movies, the local video store where I would rent movies, yes, but mainly video games.  Usually it would only be for a day or so, but my mother once renewed the rental on this one game, Nemo's Dreamland, that I was infatuated with to the extent that I am infatuated with Jeannine Edwards now.  I must have been 8 years old.  I always felt it was a telling anecdote, that my mom would do that.  It could not have been too expensive, at least I hope not.  Well, Mac's Movies sold penny candy too.  Didn't Holden Caufield's English teacher tell him not to digress?

What does this have to do with horse racing?  Nothing.  Absolutely nothing.

3:34 ... So, who ya got?  If we're merely talking about the Wood, I like Imperial Council.  That is not to say that I am dismissing I Want Revenge.

I spoke to Joe Talamo, jockey for I Want Revenge, and he is HIGH on this horse.  I mean HIGH.  Like if you gave Talamo a drug test, he would test positive for I Want Revenge.  

3:37 ... This just in, Talamo is taken off I Want Revenge for testing positive for a little-known banned substance called I Want Revenge.

3:40 ... The wonderful $250,000 Late Pick 4 here starts soon with Race 7, the Grade 3 Bay Shore.  Then it's the Excelsior, Wood and Carter Handicap.

My ticket will look like this because I have only a few dollars on me and on $16 in my checking account:  

Bay Shore:  Lyin' Heart and Capt. Candyman Can
Excelsior:  True Resurgence
Wood:  I Want Revenge
Carter: Kodiak Kowboy

Tactical speed and closers have been doing pretty well today.  That bodes well for Capt. Candyman, True Resurgence, I Want Revenge and Kodiak.  In the Wood, if Imperial Council is closer to the pace, watch for him to win convincingly.

Good Ol' Pete has a handicapping angle that consists of this:  If I like him, he bets against him.  

3:43 ... Good Ol' Pete is an a-hole.

3:45 ... Good Ol' Pete has a ticket worth $500 in his possession, which makes him a wealthy a-hole.  Kurt Vonnegut would say an a-hole looks like this: * 

So, from here on out, I will refer to all of those a-holes in the world merely by this symbol: *

3:47 ... As I'm sure you can guess, this does not exclude horses.  If Tale of Ekati wins the Carter, he will be designated as thus: *

3:53 ... So now we have a "Pick 4 Diary:  You think you know, but you have no idea."

Lyin' Heart and the Capt. here.

3:58 ... Capt. Candyman is at even money.  I believe this is the horse that radio host Steve Byk had to start a Pick 4 at Saratoga this summer.  He would hit it for over $20,000.  Now THAT's a lot of Swedish fish.

4:03 ... So how about The Grapefruit???  Apparently this guy's got some soundness issues.  When you're own track vet won't authorize the running of the horse you know it's gotta be bad.  I imagine that when trainers ship in to different tracks where they are not as chummy with the vets, they can get their way.  The Pamplemousse trains and races there and he failed a test!  

If Julio Canani got a DUI after he won his last race with The Pamplemousse, imagine what he'll do now.  I'd stay home tonight if I were you.

4:10 ... Was that last comment mean?  Yes.  You know what that makes me?  An *

4:14 ... And look at the Captain!  Tactical win, tactical ride, and a tactical Pick 4 ticket.

4:16 ... Taquarub got second and Yano took third.  But this one was allllll Captain.

4:20 ... So now we're onto the Excelsior.  This is a major do-or-die race for my ticket as I have the 10-1 True Resurgence.  Right now Barrier Reef is the favorite with Cool Coal Man the second choice at 5-2.  

If you ask me — and you did — Cool Coal Man is just not a good horse and he is taking a ton of money.  There's over $100,000 on him to win.  Fool's play!

4:24 ... So seldom am I alive in my tickets that it actually feels good to know that the next 19 minutes won't be filled with ire and self-doubt.  

That is now put on ice for the next race.

4:27 ... I have zero, and I mean zero faith in this True Resurgence.  Dave Liftin picked him, so that's something, but I have a bad feeling.   See, not even winning the first race has immunized myself from self doubt.  I am inoculated with pessimism. 

4:46 ... That was disgusting.  Nice fractions guys.  25.44?  50.69?  *

The possible speed pressure fell on his face out of the gate (Kurbat).  So the NY-bred stepped up in a major way and won.  I'm talking about 13-1 Giant Moon.  Good for him.

4:51 ... Quality Road's Florida Derby was three seconds faster than this one.  That's 15 lengths.  That, as we say at the Carryover, is a spicy meatball.

4:54 ... 85th running of the Wood coming up.  I Want Revenge is the 4-5 favorite.  If this guy can rate just off the buffet of speed in this race, he's going to show us the meaning of daylight.  

Cool Coal Man had ZERO excuse for losing the Excelsior.  He practically galloped to the front and he couldn't hold off a state bred.  He still held on for second, so what does that say about the rest of the field?  


5:08 ... Good Ol' Pete and his brother Good Ol' Tom (?) are alive in the Pick 4 with Imperial Council.  I've got a $5 exacta box with Revenge and Council.  That was my gas money to get home. 

Uh, oh.

5:11 ... So Stardom Bound threw in a clunker.  That was bound to happen. Hooh Why and Gozzip Girl spring a major upset, paying out a near $400 exacta.  Stardom Bound never threatened, going all out to get third.  

5:35 ... Wow.  Wow.  That was impressive.  I Want Revenge showed a ton of heart and ability with that win.  I'm am speechless.  I am without speech.

5:48 ... All right everyone.  Daddy's gotta go to work.  This has been fun.

And remember, gambling is the greatest thing you can do IF you're good at it.   Mind you, this is from someone who just hit 3-of-freakin'-4 in the Pick 4.

Damn you, Moooooon!


Anonymous said...

And the crowd goes wild.

Anonymous said...

Through 6 races at Keeneland, your boy, Kent Desormeaux has 4 wins! I'm high on Kent Desourmeaux! I would test positive for Kent! Although my bloodstream would mostly be made up of swedish fish - I'm a third of the way through the 50,000 I won on that p4

Anonymous said...

Hey easy on Canani! Poor guy is having a rough day. If I was a trooper and pulled him over tonight, not only would I let him go, I'd let him shotgun a beer before he pulls back out on the road. And for the record, those DUI charges were dropped recently...

Brendan O'Meara said...


I know they were dropped but the "Peruvian Kramer" needs to be ready for this. That's what he's called on the backside because of his antics. He responds to Kramer.

How about that!

Anonymous said...

Things are looking good for Dunkirk to get into the Derby!!