The metaphors can't be any starker and more poignant for me: A track I love, Fort Erie, fighting to survive, honoring a man who loved that track and wrote beautifully of it for many years.
It's hard for me to believe that it's been almost two years since this world said goodbye to the Happy Handicapper, Mr. Robert Summers. Bob was a very good handicapper with a keen eye. His writing was professional and his personality as a horse player always shined through. HH was able to translate his observations into the written word in a disarming way. I exchanged emails with Bob from time to time and he was always very pleasant and willing to talk about the races. Bob was one of the great influences in my life as a writer and a handicapper and I miss his byline.
Which brings me back to Fort Erie. The Turk would have loved going to Fort Erie today to watch the races but life (read: work) and duty calls and I must travel. The Turk believes in God and while I don't believe I have any influence with God, I keep looking heavenly for some reprieve for the death sentence that the track has been given due to the short sightedness of Ontario's politicians. Horse players need to understand that Saratoga, Del Mar, Gulfstream and Churchill Downs cannot exist as they exist today without the second tier tracks and the horsepeople that work them. If we stand by and watch tracks close, where and when do we stop shrugging our shoulders? Would you be OK without Arlington? Golden Gate Fields and Hollywood? Aqueduct and Suffolk Downs? Pimlico? It's a slippery slope that doesn't end until the horse racing game that we know now doesn't exist anymore. i seldom link to myself but please follow this link to get the information you'll need to write the decision maker in Ontario and express your support for Fort Erie.
Let's get after this!
Race 11 FE: The Bob Summers Memorial Cup $30K; 6f on Dirt for 3 YOs and Up who....
Claimed from Steve Asmussen and Zayat Stables, 4 YO gelding Jeffery Armin seems to have settled into a consistent grove. 3 straight wins , all at Fort Erie, and stretching back out 1/2 panel, he's been training very sharply. I expect he'll be the post time chalk.
6 YO mare Mountain Echo runs for a strong trainer and has 6 wins in 8 starts over the Fort Erie dirt.
Mia's Miracle is a reach to add some value to the triactor. This paceless field is offset by the 4 Yo gelded son of Orientate's ability to come off pace late. There should be lots of speed to aim at.
Molinaro Warrior is 5 for 5 in the money at Fort Erie, 10 of 17 in the money at the distance, and 8 of 8 in the money over fast dirt. Trainer Armata clips along at FE at 38% and is a 28% winner here coupled with Dacosta, up.
Big Brother Joe will need to shuffle out of the gate but he's another strong local runner, 15 of 17 in the money at Fort Erie and 12 of 17 in the money over fast dirt.
I think the top two are a few lengths better than the others on paper. That said, its run over dirt and there is alot of comparable speed in this race and it could come down to trip. The track was very muddy on Sunday but it will dry quickly Monday in the heat and breeze.
I'm building exactors and triactors- $0.20 Superfectas are also in fashion at this wonderful jewel of a track.
Enjoy friends, Turk Out!