"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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Dunkirk looked ...

Barney here liked how Dunkirk looked in the Florida Derby, but if I could put words in his mouth — and I will — he's upset that he won't see him in the Kentucky Derby.

I should elaborate, but I'll wait until my Thursday column.


Wood bound

The Saratogian is forking over big bucks to send me to one race this year and it is the Wood Memorial this Saturday. Here, here!

My goal is to go Kentucky on my own dime but since I won't be on the clock I'll be more liberal with my internalization of mint juleps. I may have to take unpaid days off to do it. I always vowed never to miss another Kentucky Derby since I started going in 2004 (I missed '05 since I started a new job.). So I'll go even if I need to bite the bullet. That's what gambling is for.

No Preakness. No Belmont.

As far as I know they're sending me to the Saratoga meet, but that could change.

Monday, March 30, 2009

Happy Monday

Got a hangover from all the blogging this weekend.  I need a Gatorade and a crepe.  

I think I had a little too much fun this past weekend over on the Paulick Report for the Dubai World Cup and Florida Derby.  Before I knew it was four in the morning and I needed to hail a cab.  I left my keys with the maitre d at the Paulick Report.  

I think I also dropped my wallet.

Saturday, March 28, 2009

House sitting Part 2

I'm heading over the Paulick Report yet again to live blog for the Florida Derby.  Come on over!  www.paulickreport.com.  The water's fine.

House sitting

I'm at www.paulickreport.com today.  Come visit.  The beer's on ice.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Wood withdrawal

Mr. Fantasy, third behind I Want Revenge in the Grade 3 Gotham Stakes, will miss the Grade 1 $750,000 Wood Memorial on April 4 at Aqueduct. Miss may be the wrong word. It's more like skip.

Instead he will run in the Grade 3 Withers on April 25.

"(Trainer) Kiaran (McLaughlin) made a comment that he had lightened up a little bit," said West Point Thoroughbred president Terry Finley. "He's a May 27 foal, he doesn't have a whole oft of seasoning and we'd like to have a horse for the rest of the year."

The Carryover and the Paulick Report

I've been invited by Ray Paulick of the Paulick Report to be a guest blogger for the four Group 1 races of the Dubai World Cup card and the Florida Derby.

I am honored to do so since the site has on it the best of the best in turf writing from Bill Nack, John Pricci, and Randy Moss to Paul Moran, Mary Jean Wall and Paulick himself.

It should be a lot of fun. I've got some ideas that should make it entertaining.

Here's the link I'll be located at: www.paulickreport.com.

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Sin City memories up

So, I usually don't comment back on columns I write.  I just don't.  I've said what I've had to say by writing my 750 words or so.  But Ken commented on this one and I just had to reply.  

He was under the impression that I had only gone to Vegas to bet on horses.  Not so.  I needed to clarify that I merely wrote about the horses but I bet on many things and did much more with high school and college buddies.  

I'm not a strip club guy or a club guy, so we didn't go to those places.  My Vegas trip is a reunion of sorts since all my best friends live in either California (L.A. and Death Valley), Massachusetts or North Carolina.  I might see them once a year.  

So we hit up blackjack, bar upon bar upon bar, and even got free Cirque du Soleil tickets in a luxury box.

Yes, I did more than just bet on the ponies.  I can only take their errant ways and unpredictability for so long before I need to do sports parlays.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Tick tock

I'm not sure how I feel about the design of it, but I've included a little countdown ticker for the Derby.

It clashes with my background. Anal retentive? Just a little, but in trying to bring you the viewer (reader?) the best in horse racing commentary and entertainment, these are the things I worry about.

That, and the big Pick 6 carryover at Aqueduct. Yes!

I'm back, baby

Vegas was superb.

Probably broke even horse racing-wise. Won about $100. Lost about $100.

My new favorite track is Tampa Bay Downs. I won a few races there.

Aqueduct, on the other hand, can go to hell. I kid, I kid.

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Later gators

All right. I'm off to Las Vegas, the happiest place on Earth.

There will be zero posts until I return a better man on Mar. 25.

Hope you enjoy being a Carryover Insider. Excelsior!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Be a Carryover Insider!

I was advised to change my lede to Thursday's column because my editor said that there was a large chance that he and I would be pulled into our publisher's office and fired. But ... he and others who were more than amused by it said, "Put it on the blog."

So here is the original lede to my Thursday column. Now you are a Carryover Insider! for no extra charge. What other person would do such a thing? The answer, clearly, is no one.

"Just this past Tuesday, I found in my mailbox the Journal Register Company’s Severance Benefits Policy. This ranks up there with being served. To call this policy benefits would be like calling the eruption of Mount St. Helen’s a geologic hiccup.

It’s Orwellian doublethink."

So long, Mr. Hill

Channing Hill, a NYRA jock since his apprenticeship in 2005 is moving his tack to California.

The reasoning to those who feast on competition is weak.

"The opportunity presented itself and I thought it was a good one," Hill said in an Aqueduct news release. "This summer will be tough here in New York and it seemed like a good time to try Santa Anita."

This coming from a jock who rode First Defence to an impressive win in the Grade 1 Forego.

Hey, Santa Anita ain't no easy trip either with Garrett Gomez and Rafael Bejarano and Aaron Gryder and Mike Smith and Tyler Baze.

It's too bad. I would've liked to have seen him stick it to the likes of Alan Garcia and John Velazquez.

This, on the surface, makes it seem like he's fleeing the best.

Then again, have you been to Aqueduct in the winter?

Vegas right around the corner

I won't be posting as of 5 p.m. tomorrow because I will be en route to lovely Las Vegas.

It would be good fodder for a Pick 6 Diary: You Think You Know, but You Have No Idea. It's been a long, long time since I've done that. I imagine I'll do one soon, but it will have to wait until I return from the happiest place on earth.

Monday, March 16, 2009

Funny comment

A post back, the won about Friesan Fire burning it up, check out the second comment.   Real funny ...

For weeks now, my favorite Derby horse has been Friesan Fire.  Nothing fancy here.  I just like his daddy, A.P. Indy, and I like his trainer, Larry Jones, and I like that he runs on real dirt.   I also like how Gabriel Saez lets him track the leaders in a stalking position, saves ground without getting too much dirt in his face and then lets him rip.  See 2006 Kentucky Derby and Barbaro (trip-wise, not jockey).

I liked Friesan's LeComte.  I really liked his Risen Star and I loved his Louisiana Derby.  

Oddly enough there's a fire corollary to the past two runnings of the LD — Pyro last year and Friesan now.

Let's hope this one ends up better than Pyro.  

For the anonymous comment that said that in so endorsing Friesan Fire that I am damning him to oblivion, I'll say this to hopefully comfort you:  About this time in 2006, I liked Barbaro.   However, in 2007, at this time, I liked Circular Quay.  

Uh, oh.  

Circular Quay won the Louisiana Derby too.

I'm in a tight spot.  Dunkirk, anyone?  Anyone?

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Friesan burns it up!


Gabriel Saez can ride my horse any day! Ew ... that's deeeee-sgusting ... but who's with me?

Friesan Fire tore apart the field in the Grade II $600,000 Louisiana Derby to win daylight.

Check out Placido's public comment, ripping me liking this horse.

Zenyatta has run on dirt

I've received a few comments on my last column about Zenyatta and Proud Spell going against each other.  Some people have suggested it would be nice to see them run, but Zenyatta won't leave California to run on dirt elsewhere.

She has run on dirt, defeating Ginger Punch in the Apple Blossom at Oaklawn a year ago.  That was the race that launched her unbeaten year.  

So, bottom line, she can run on dirt, but has had most of her success out West.  It is my feeling that they will run her on dirt this year and are not afraid to do so.

Just clearing a few things up ... I was a janitor for three years at UMass.

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Proud Spell no match

Proud Spell's comeback race came up empty as the 1-5 favorite at Oaklawn Park.

According the race chart, she was no match for the winner, Superior Storm.

The track was muddy, but Proud Spell has proven time and again that she can handle sloppy goings. She ran second to Indian Blessing in the BC Juvenile in the mud then won the Kentucky Oaks in the soup.

What does this mean? In the end, nothing.

Proud Spell-Zenyatta column up!

This new rivalry column is up and ready.

If you want to read any columns from the previous two months, they are down the right side rail a few inches.

Don't fret! Get reading!

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Proud Spell

Guess who's back? Not Elaine Benes, no. It's Proud Spell, the brilliant little-filly-that-could. She adds the proverbial red pepper flake to the mix as she makes her 4-year-old debut.
Who is waiting for her somewhere this year? Zenyatta. This sounds like a column idea.
See how the brain works.

Friday, March 6, 2009

Yeah, double carryover!

That's $100,000 for Gotham Day.

It is your duty to play the Pick 6.


I'm down BIG on the gamble of life. I haven't had a winner in 28 years. One may say I was born in the red ... and he or she would be right. That sounds like a great memoir title, "Born in the Red."

Thanks, Ma. Thanks, Pa.

Thursday, March 5, 2009

Don't fret

Big Cap column ready to go.

But where, you ask, are the other eight columns from January and February? To make room in the upper right hand corner, I merely dragged the former box down a few elements by the Get informed! section.

They are still there. No need to worry.

By the way ... Pick 6 carryover at the Big A. Get to it!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Big Cap Column preview

"Look! A column in Thursday's Saratogian about the Big Cap. Better catch it before it flies away," McBain said.

Tuesday, March 3, 2009


Listen to Homer, "Watch the Big Cap this weekend!"
Granted this race is on HRTV, but if you have access to the best place to watch a race — an OTB — then watch this race. We cannot forget about the older horses.
Sounds like a column subject ... I guess you'll have to wait until Thursday to find out.