The Herald Bulletin

Evening Update

Sports Columns

June 9, 2013

What horse racing is really about

I love horse racing. Sometimes I watch it on HRTV or TVG when I don’t know the horses competing.

So, of course, I watch the Triple Crown races, including Saturday’s Belmont Stakes. Congrats go to Palace Malice, who won that race and capped a really entertaining series that produced three different winners.

But what horse racing really embodies, for me, happened the day before at Belmont Park on a sloppy track during the running of the $200,000 Brooklyn Handicap.

That race revolved around a 10-year-old horse named Calidoscopio, who previously won the Breeders’ Cup Marathon and was bred in Argentina.

When this eight-horse field hit the half-mile pole, a third of the way through the race, Calidoscopio, ridden by Aaron Gryder, was 22 lengths off the lead and about a dozen in back of the seventh place horse. He was so far behind that the cameraman lost track of him during much of the race.

But as the field turned for home, Calidoscopio began to make his move.

“He wasn’t even in the race and before you know it, he started gobbling up ground,” the horse’s trainer Mike Puype told Claire Novak of the Bloodhorse magazine. “He absolutely just exploded when it was time to do his thing. I couldn’t be happier. Belmont is such a long track. You have so much running to do here. Aaron hit him left-handed and got him in the sweet part of the track. He got them at the right time.”

This was no collection of nags that Calidoscopio had to catch. One of those horses in front of him was 2011 Belmont Stakes winner Ruler On Ice. But by the far turn, Calidoscopio had completed most of his trip back into contention. Not far past the top of the stretch it was only a matter of whether he had enough time to catch leader Purcussion, who was trying to wire the field.

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