"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, February 28, 2009

Very, very funny

When you want something to pass through "legislature," don't egg people to vote "no."

After the last post, the nay vote on the Carryover PTI program doubled from its previous total. Doubled! There are only 24 minutes left to vote, but if there is exponential growth of voters from two, to four, to sixteen, then the Carryover is in trouble.

Friday, February 27, 2009

90% of voters can't be wrong

With only a couple of days left to vote, Carryover viewers have spoken that they do want a Carryover PTI-type horse racing program. Sure, this image is from one of my favorite episodes of Seinfeld when Kramer finds the set of the Merv Griffin Show. This may be a more accurate portrayal of what Carryover viewers will likely see.

If you have any harbored resentment towards your friend at the Carryover I suggest you get everyone and their mother to vote against it. Otherwise, you're going to get my pretty, pretty face as well as Good Ol' Pete's homely, homely mug coming at you with handicapping banter and overall good cheer.

There will, no doubt, be some buffoonery and tomfoolery that will undermine any credibility that I have so vigilantly worked for as a writer and artisan.

But where has that gotten me, really?

A double major, a masters degree, an unpublished book, flat feet, patellar tendonitis, and a whooooolllle lotta nothin'.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

The Amazing Dave

Get ready. Get set. Thursday's column is about Dave. What do Dave and Spiderman have in common? They're amazing.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Dunkirk hot to trot

With no true Derby prep this past weekend, one had to look to a hotly contested allowance race on Thursday for THE horse of the week. Todd Pletcher's Dunkirk won the 1 1/8 mile race while being pushed super wide in the clubhouse turn. He probably ran 1 3/16 miles and made it look easy.

He's lightly raced, but even if he waits until the Florida Derby, I imagine that this allowance took a lot out of him, and he won't run too well. He's going to take a ton of money and will be the favorite ... at least one would imagine.

The allowance was nine furlongs. The Florida Derby is nine furlongs. That's a lot of race mileage should he get his graded earnings and arrive at Churchill.

I'm not saying, I'm just saying.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Thanks to the Paulick Report

It's always pretty cool when a piece you've written ends up in the big fishing net that is the Paulick Report. Check out The Case for Richard Dutrow, Jr. from the Paulick Report. It happens to be the first one they've snagged from me.

Great photo of RDJ.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Hangin' 'em up

Saratoga-based, Parting Glass Racing stud, simply-named Dave has been retired. (This sentence could have been worded better.)

No reason for his retirement has been given.

A turf runner, Dave won the Grade II Red Smith Handicap and was named New York Thoroughbred Breeders' Male Turf Horse of the Year.

Dave will be retired to Blue Stone Farm.

More on this to follow, I'm sure.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Thursday Column Alert

"You must bring me the Jade Monkey before the next full moon."
How about a column about why Rick Dutrow, Jr. should be honored?

Happy Hump Day!

Now, now, let's not get all perverted.

The Saratogian took eight New York Newspaper Publishers Association, Inc. awards. Of relevance to The Carryover, our "139th Travers" section won Distinguished Sports Coverage with me, Brien Bouyea, Jeff Scott, Ian Pickus, Chris Fitz Gerald and Michael Veitch holding down the fort.

Were Robby Albarado on our team, we would have lost by a nose.


Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Paulick Derby Index

Something I'm proud of ... I have been invited to join Ray Paulick's PDI or Paulick Derby Index. This is a polling of a few turf writers Top 10 Derby picks every week, the idea being to get the best, most comprehensive Derby Top 10.

I'll add this link to my Get informed! section too.

How about that Old Fashioned ...

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Big Day coming up for Old Fashioned

Can he do it again this Monday? Old Fashioned made the Remsen look like a walk in the park. He got to the lead and was unchallenged, so Ramon Dominguez just galloped him to the quarter pole before unleashing Old Fashioned to win by daylight.

I don't know what the pace scenario will be like in the Southwest, but we'll certainly see how this colt will respond if there is a bunny rabbit running along side.

Happy Valentines Day from your friend at The Carryover!

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Desert Party crashes Haven

Desert Party, yet another Godolphin monster, defeated the Hopeful and Champagne winner, Vineyard Haven in the $250,000 UAE 2,000 Guiness at Nad Al Sheba in Dubai.

Vineyard Haven was always my favorite horse coming out of 2008 since he won classic 2-year-old dirt races. This was a disappointment for this horse.

Under Frankie Dettori, Desert Party drew away to win by 4 1/2 lengths. The one-mile time of 1:37 3/5 was the slowest time in four years.

Dettori was slotted to ride Vineyard Haven, but jumped ship to ride Desert Party.


Desert Party is sired by Street Cry, daddy to Street Sense, so the Sanford Stakes winner certainly has the blood to stretch it out.


Fasig-Tipton Company, Inc. and the New York Racing Association, Inc. today announced a partnership to develop the inaugural Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing at Saratoga Race Course for the second weekend of the season, Saturday, August 8 and Sunday, August 9, 2009.
Saratoga ’s 36-day meet opens on Wednesday, July 29 and the Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing will launch the second weekend and usher in the Fasig-Tipton Select Yearling Sales at Saratoga to be held on Monday, August 10 and Tuesday, August 11, 2009. The Fasig-Tipton Festival of Racing will celebrate the rich history of Fasig-Tipton in Saratoga and the company’s many ties to New York racing.

“Fasig-Tipton is delighted to partner with NYRA to present a weekend of world-class racing preceding our premier yearling sale in Saratoga ,” said Boyd Browning, president and chief executive officer of Fasig-Tipton. “We look forward to having the opportunity to showcase the ‘ Saratoga experience’ for many of our international visitors.”

Fasig-Tipton, North America’s oldest Thoroughbred auction firm has been closely associated with racing in New York for more than 100 years and some of the sport’s greatest champions have been sold by the company in New York . The current paddock mutuel building at Saratoga served as the main sales barn for the prestigious Fasig-Tipton Yearling Sales in the first half of the 20th century and Man o’ War was sold as a yearling at Saratoga in 1918.

“ Saratoga is the most exciting race meet in the country and it is great to work with Fasig-Tipton to launch our first Festival of Racing,” said Charles Hayward, president and chief executive officer of NYRA. “The combination of world-class racing and world-class yearlings has always drawn fans from around the world. Now, this will be supported by many activities, both on and off the track, providing a thrilling, unforgettable experience for all of our customers.”

Featured stakes races the weekend of the Festival include the 82 nd running of the Grade 1 $750,000 Whitney Handicap and the 84 th running of the Grade 1, $300,000 Test on Saturday, August 8. Champions including Kelso, War Admiral, Dr. Fager, Personal Ensign and, more recently, 2006 Horse of the Year, Invasor have won the prestigious Whitney Handicap, named in honor of the Whitney family and their great contributions to American racing The Test has been won by the likes of Vagrancy, Ta Wee, Safely Kept and 2008 champion filly sprinter, Indian Blessing.

Featured races on Sunday, August 9, include the 24 th running of the Grade 2, $250,000 Alfred G. Vanderbilt Handicap and the 18 th running of the Grade 2, $150,000 Honorable Miss Handicap.

In addition to the featured races, a variety of events are planned for the weekend including a Jockey Challenge, Best Turned Out horse contests, a speaker series featuring Legends of Racing, and a handicapping contest for fans. As the festival draws closer, further details of these events will be released.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Did you see Go-Go?

How bad ass did Garrett Gomez look on "Jockeys" this past Friday? They made him look like an absolute pimp.

By virtue of that, they made him the villain in this series. Best line — and I'm paraphrasing — was when Gomez said, "The only difference between me and the other guys is that I'm No. 1 and they are not."

I just about lost it. Yes, the only difference between me and you is that I'm the best and you're not the best.


Somebody get Mike Smith some happy pills too. He looks so sad, so inquisitive. He looks like the star high school football player who wants to show everybody that he's more than a star high school football player.

Pardon the absence

Please pardon the absence. I just hate to see that googly-eyed horse fall from the top post.

How about that Friesan Fire? I like that colt a lot. I like him better than Stardom Bound and Pioneerof the Nile.

A curious thought ... what if all these west coast synthetic horses truly are duds come the Triple Crown. As of right now the sample size is too small to tell. But what if over the long haul they do prove to be as bad as they have been the past two years on dirt. How would that effect a trainer like Bob Baffert, who always has horses running in the Triple Crown? Would he move to the east so that his horses can at least run on dirt? or will he keep trying his luck with these synthetic horses and see if they buck the trend.

He has stated that he won't debut Pioneerof the Nile on dirt until the Kentucky Derby — should he make it that far.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Sharp dressed man

ZZ Top will be on the infield at this year's Preakness — the biggest, gnarliest, dirtiest, most chaotic party on Earth.
The 134th Preakness will be run on Saturday, May 16.

Column alert

Wrote a little ditty (diddy?) on some things to spice up the marketing of the sport, really bringing it to a younger audience.

That's no slight to the older fans. Little fans make big fans. Actually, big fans MAKE little fans who grow up to be big fans.

Ahhh, you get the point.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Davis and Davis

DRF's Dave Grening wrote a nice story about Robbie Davis now being Jackie Davis' jock agent.

Be sure to vote

So far there is a 3-1 vote in favor of the horse racing PTI show on The Carryover should I buck up and buy a video camera.

I should note that it will not be a total and complete farce. Some may argue my presence as a turf writer is, in some way, a farce to the industry. New blood is good. There is a certain pretension and stagnation in tufdom that does nothing to propagate the sport and bring it to the masses.

The PTI show we intend to run will likely be a five minute show and maybe I can even get a horse personality on the phone for an interview. Pete and I would hit on a number of important topics, gambling and anything else we see fit.

We need laughter, dammit! And we will bring it.