Thursday, October 20, 2011

My Sunday at J.D. Cooper's

In a quiet corner of Northeast Connecticut is JD Cooper’s of Putnam. It is a pub/restaurant/sports bar where you can bet the ponies.

You will find an interesting menu with surprisingly good food, a nice bar, a number of booths but more importantly, plenty of TV’s to watch simulcasting from any number of tracks across the country.

 And while it’s always nice to be on track, it’s not so convenient if there’s not a track close by. The Winner’s Arena at Cooper’s is a great way to enjoy the races with fellow fans.

OK, besides the waitresses and the tellers, I was the only female there on Sunday. And apparently the only one rooting for Sarah Lynx in the Canadian International. You know how that is when you are the only one in the joint rooting for a longshot and you suddenly become the center of attention?

Well I don’t ever mind being in that position. We’ve all been there.

Truth be told, she wasn’t in my top four until I saw her in the post parade. I had noticed that she finished up well against Goldikova’s little sister. And I knew the distance suited her. But she was a three year old AND a filly and at first, thought it would be a tough task. Then I saw her in the post parade. She did a little prop and wheel when distracted by something.  Soumillon seemed amused by her antics and when he dropped his irons for the rest of the warmup, she relaxed nicely. She looked like a horse on a mission.

As I watched the race unfold, I said to myself, ”sure hope she likes being covered up”  and when the rail opened up at the top of the stretch she made her move and proved much the best.

Figs and stats and numbers and sheets are all useful tools in the handicapping process. But paying close attention to the horse’s energy level, mental sharpness and way of going can only be analyzed in the paddock and the post parade. Learn to read the body language of a racehorse. Don’t ever ignore the signals that a horse gives when she’s ready to run a big one. Time and again, you will be rewarded.

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