Monthly Archives: August 2012

Will the mighty Questing take on the boys? Kiaran McLaughlin: “No, no…” Well, wait a minute

The mighty filly Questing – a dirt devil with her own drifting dance she performs in the stretch – could be one of the best 3-year-olds in the country, male or female.

After toiling on turf, she’s won three straight races on dirt, including an impressive win at 1 1/4-miles in the Alabama at Saratoga.

Trainer Kiaran McLaughlin is pointing the daughter of Hard Spun to the $1 million Cotillion at Parx on Sept. 22. The bigger question is, what about the Breeders’ Cup Classic at Santa Anita? If she can dispatch the fillies with such ease, why not give it a go against Game on Dude and Ron the Greek?

When asked that question by J.J. Graci on the It’s Post Time radio show Thursday, McLaughlin quickly responded, “No, no…”

There was a pause.

“Obviously, Sheikh Mohammed would make those decisions, so I shouldn’t say no so quick. As long as there’s filly races on the same day, in the same area, it makes more sense to run against fillies.”

There was another pause.

“But he’s a great sportsman, so we’ll talk about it going forward.”

The Breeders’ Cup Classic has a storied history of fillies and mares taking on their male counterparts. Sounds like there’s a slight chance that could continue this year.

An archive of It’s Post Time is here:


What’s the dude who wrote and produced Joanie Loves Chachi doing now? He’s Santa Anita Park’s new Chief Creative Officer

Can you say “Official Theme Song for the Breeders’ Cup?”

From Santa Anita Park press release:

ARCADIA, Calif. (Aug. 16, 2012)—Jimmy Dunne, President and founder of Inspire, a leading music and branding firm, has been tabbed as Santa Anita Park’s Chief Creative Officer.

“Jimmy brings an astounding breadth of credentials and experience to Santa Anita and we are very confident he’s going to energize and put his stamp on the Park in ways none of us have ever envisioned,” said Santa Anita C.E.O. Mark Verge.

Dunne has spearheaded extensive branding, new media and entertainment initiatives with retailers and corporations including Whole Food Market, CBRE, Office Depot, JC Penney, Amgen, InterCall, UPS, Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf, Coldwater Creek, Claire’s Accessories, The Grove, St. Joseph’s Aspirin, and many more.

“At Santa Anita Park, we are in the racing and entertainment business, and we realize that we need to make changes and to reach out and appeal to a new generation of customers,” said Verge.  “Jimmy is bringing a fresh outlook and philosophy that our employees are embracing—reinforcing that Santa Anita Park is one of the most beautiful sports and entertainment venues in the country.”

Dunne is also a nationally acclaimed songwriter, with songs on 28,000,000 records worldwide and songs and scores on over 1,400 television episodes and films; with songs honored by CMA, Grammy, Emmy, June, and BMI Awards.  Hits include country standard “Nobody Loves Me Like You Do,” (a #1 for Anne Murray and Dave Loggins)—also on Whitney Houston’s “Whitney,” earning “Record of the Year,” by NARM and Billboard.

Dunne is also Global Brand Strategist for InterCall (the world’s largest conferencing company), along with creative projects including recording a new instrumental CD, a poetry project, a film screenplay, and writing a book, “The Joy of Life.”

Dunne’s multi-faceted creative resume features television and film screenwriting credentials, as well as writing and producing hit Paramount Series and ABC Series—including “Happy Days.”

The two-day Breeders’ Cup World Championships figure to highlight Santa Anita’s 28-day 2012 Autumn Meet which gets underway on Friday, Sept. 28.  The Breeders’ Cup will be run on Nov. 2 & 3.

For more information or to make dining and seating reservations, visit www.santaanita.comor call (626) 574-RACE.

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Shane Sellers – the Saddlebred

You can’t bet on this Shane Sellers

You can’t bet on this Shane Sellers, but he stands a good chance of winning.

A weanling Saddlebred gelding named after the accomplished Thoroughbred jockey makes his debut Sunday night at the Wolrd’s Championship Horse Show at Freedom Hall. He is slated to show in class No. 2. The son of My Royale Charm, out of Charming Madonna, is owned by Bridget Mills Parker and will be shown by Bret Day.

Weanling Saddlebreds are judged on conformation and natural action.

Sellers – the jockey – said he plans to be there to root on his namesake. Although there’s no toteboard or wagering in this game, we’d bet the equine Shane Sellers would be the favorite.

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Bill Parcells owns a good thoroughbred – and he’s a little nutty

Legendary football coach Bill Parcells thinks quite highly of his New York-bred Saratoga Snacks, and rightfully so. The 3-year-old, trained by – and named for – Gary Sciacca, is now 3 of 4 with one second in his young career.

Parcells was on hand Friday at Saratoga when Saratoga Snacks won his allowance race – although there was almost a critical fumble. In control and on the lead over the sloppy track, Saratoga Snacks suddenly started swerving out toward the grandstand just before the finish. There was a legitimate excuse for his behavior, as jockey Ramon Dominguez temporarily lost the left rein and lost his balance.

Some of the horse’s other antics, however, signal he might be a wee bit quirky.

In a New York Racing Association press release, Sciacca told of how Saratoga Snacks got loose four days before the race, jumped on a pony and knocked the pony down in a melee.

Prior to Friday’s race, Saratoga Snacks reared up and threw a shoe, causing him to be late to the paddock.

Is it shades of Eightyfiveinafifty, the talented but offbeat Gary Contessa-trained colt known for his erratic tendencies? Or is Saratoga Snacks like a prima donna pro quarterback who just needs attention? Time will tell.

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Shackleford not “finicky” – well, except about racing surfaces

Famous fan favorite Shackleford is a pretty adaptable horse. He ships around to several different tracks, has won at various distances, and usually puts in strong morning works. Physically, he always looks outstanding, his chestnut coat gleaming. He’s never lacking in energy, especially prior to races (see Shackleford: saddling in the paddock).

Shackleford doesn’t miss a beat. Unless, that is, you take away his fast track.


Slop, mud, goo, even synthetic – they’re all Kryptonite to super Shack. He’s now 0 for 3 on off tracks after a dismal last-place performance in Sunday’s Vanderbilt Handicap, won by a longshot, Maryland-bred Poseidon’s Warrior.

“He is kind of finicky about what he runs on, and it’s been the only thing he’s been finicky about,” trainer Dale Romans said.

Was his mother a mudder? It’s hard to tell. Oatsee ran on an off track, rated “good,” just once – ironically also at Saratoga – and came in second. She also didn’t do well on turf, but Oatsee was 2 for 21 overall, so there you go.

Romans said Shackleford will forge on to the Forego at the Spa – unless, of course, the track is Spa-like.

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Caixa Eletronica: The Jan Brady of Horse Racing

Of all the Brady Bunch kids, no doubt Marcia Brady was the star.

Marcia was invited to all the dances. Marcia wore the grooviest clothes. Marcia was everyone’s favorite.

Meanwhile, Marcia’s younger sister Jan – the middle child – was left to toil in her shadow. She could only watch as her sister was lauded in the limelight.


Stay Thirsty – Marcia Brady?

“Marcia, Marcia, Marcia,” Jan would say.

Caixa Eletronica, in essence, is the Jan Brady of horse racing.

The 7-year-old horse is older than his flashy stablemate, 4-year-old Stay Thirsty, but he’s been the understudy to the studly star since joining the Mike Repole lineup in 2011. Caixa Eletronica spent much of his younger days in claiming races at Calder before a breakout win in the 2011 Westchester Stakes, a Grade 3 at Belmont, put him on the radar. This year, he’s really come into his own with victories in the Charles Town Classic and the True North. Yet, he remains a second thought to the headline-grabbing Stay Thirsty.

Stay Thirsty boasts the classy pedigree. Stay Thirsty ran in the Kentucky Derby and the Breeders’ Cup. Stay Thirsty is Mr. Repole’s favorite.

Stay Thirsty even has the electrifying name, conjuring up the image of the debonair “Dos Equis” man.

Caixa Eletronica means “cash machine” in Portuguese.

Stay Thirsty, Stay Thirsty, Stay Thirsty.

With the young poster colt staying in the barn awaiting another race, the Whitney offers Caixa Eletronica a chance to swipe the laurels from his spotlight-sponging stablemate. Will he succeed?

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Not overheard in The Mansion

“My hat? Why thank you. I got it on sale.”

“Domestic, please.”

“Two dollars to show on Ready’s Rocket.”

“Dude, I forgot where I parked my car.”


“Call me, maybe?”


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