Monmouth Park is only 60 miles south of the city on the Jersey shore, but since I never, ever go to Jersey, Breeder's Cup on Saturday was my first trip to this park. It's a small, gorgeous old track whose staff was absolutely idiotic about how they handled the overpriced seating for a smallish crowd of 41,000 on a miserable day of weather. The track was a sloppy mess, and had to effect the outcome of more than one race. While it was easy to get in and out via car, Monmouth's biggest day on the national stage was marred by a complete lack of regard for the most hardcore group of racing fans there is. 'Nuff said about that.
I always lose cash on Breeder's Cup day, for separating any equine stars out of the field of the best horses in the world is next to impossible. There is always money to be made, with most every entry going off at 4 or 5-1. Not too bad: I was only down $65 for the day, with Tania taking a biggest loss after dropping her newly replenished voucher worth over $100. Ouch. Lamest way to lose money at the races.
The worst note of the day occurred during the Classic, with European star George Washington needing to be euthanized on the stretch after sustaining a visibly gruesome injury that caused an audible gasp from the crowd after Curlin's winning run. Curlin tore through the final two furlongs like the champ he is, unfortunately, most of us were watching George Washington pull up lame in horror.
Still, it was absurd to get the Horse of the Year at a price of 4-1 (!!), and some money was made.