109-1 odds on Hay Field
Assaf Ronen, the Israeli trainer, was faced with a horse who Linda said was uncooperative and was a “bad actor.” She often refused to train and clearly wasn’t happy about racing.
Hay Field had lost her first race by 7 lengths at Finger Lakes, a “B” track, and whose second race performance at Aqueduct was accompanied by the chartist’s note: “Didn’t do a tap.” Now, at Belmont, she was entered in a $40,000 claiming race on the turf with the hope she might like the grass because of her pedigree. Of course, the bettors didn’t care about her pedigree,and as each minute passed, her odds got longer and longer on the tote board. By post time, the tote board, limited to two digits, showed odds of 99-1. The actual odds were 109.25-1.
We weren’t thrilled with the jockey, Luis Reyes, who seemed like a nice enough fellow but had only won 5% of his races. We asked him to get the horse out of the gate quickly but she was 8th at the start. Then he got her to move up to 4th, only 3 1/2 from the lead. He settled her down, but this resulted in her getting further away from the leaders. By the 1/8th pole, she was 8 lengths behind… but then she started coming. We thought she might get 3rd place but she missed 3rd by a mere neck and finished 4th. She didn’t win but maybe we did. She’ll race in Saratoga, hopefully!
So, we’ve got two-time winner, Another Genius and now Hay Field as probable starters for Saratoga, with an outside chance of seeing the 2-yr. old filly, Beyondelle, race there too.
Hope we see you there too!