Had a number of winners and a triple from the Doghouse, so I made some money today. But that wasn't the entire story.
I told Mrs. X that I was not betting the second race as it was a mile and a sixteenth maiden special turf race that had now been moved to the main track at seven furlongs. We decided to eat lunch so while I was having my sandwich, I started to look at which horse would be the speed in the race now that it was a shorter race. The track was muddy but really not that bad.
As I perused the past performances, I came upon the 8 horse, a first time starter named Grand Rapport from Gary Contessa. He had two fast works and met my number of furlong works per day criteria. A horse from the main track only list was now running, and Alan Garcia was named to ride. He looked like a promising horse, but he didn't have enough works to tell me that he was ready to win first time out.
When I looked at my official track program, Richard Migliore who is hungry for mounts was named as first call to the main track only horse and second call to Grand Rapport. Yet Migliore was riding Grand Rapport instead of the main track only horse. Very interesting. Why would that be? Was he pushed aside in favor of Garcia or did he know that his second call, Grand Rapport, was live?
I decided to bet the race, so I bet $20 to win on Grand Rapport who was 14-1. When the gates opened, Grand Rapport seemed to break well, but retreated to the back. At the first quarter, he was 16 lengths behind the leader. I pictured my twenty dollar bill with wings flying away.
Grand Rapport started to make up some ground and was about 7 lengths back after the half, and circled six wide down the stretch moving past horses on the outside. He came in on a horse slightly, caught up to the leader at the sixteenth pole and continued on to win! He paid $31 so my take was $310!
I can't remember when a horse was that far back at the Spa ever winning at 7 furlongs, but it was a great thrill. It's what keeps you coming back!