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Keeping Score

Keeping Score: Behold the Pharoah

Friday, August 28, 2015

Good morning! The gates opened early today at Saratoga Race Course, where 50,000 people are pushing and tugging for a look at Triple Crown winner American Pharoah. Not since hippies danced in the mud at Yasgur’s farm has upstate New York been inundated by such a celebratory crowd of thrill seekers. The 3-year-old brown colt has reeled off eight straight wins and is the 1-5 favorite to win again today … 0

Keeping Score: No breaks

Friday, August 14, 2015

(Second of two parts) Good morning! Monica Driver was “catatonic with nerves” before the seventh race at Saratoga Race Course on August 3. Turf races favor horses that have drawn the inside posts, and her 5-year-old gelding named Analysis would be stationed on the outside in post 10 (which is 1-for-22 at this … 0

Keeping Score: Group Analysis

Friday, August 7, 2015

Good morning! Before the seventh race at Saratoga on Monday, Bill Gutfarb and several of his syndicate partners were keeping a keen eye on Analysis, their gelded racehorse sired by Freud. “He gets rattled in the paddock,” said Robert Driver, whose wife Monica operates the Mosaic Racing Stable. “We put cotton in his … 0

Keeping Score: Louisville Upstart

Friday, May 1, 2015

Good morning! Railbirds who are betting their vacation money that either American Pharoah or Dortmund will be wearing the blanket of roses at Churchill Downs today might be staying home this summer. “My first look if somebody told me you gotta pick now or you’re going to the … 0

Keeping Score: Sports sampler

Monday, April 27, 2015

Good morning! Either get the yard work done early or pray for rain next Saturday. Nice weather or not it’ll be the one spring day to be inside watching the Red Sox versus the Yankees, the Kentucky Derby, the NHL and NBA playoffs, and the “Fight of the … 0

Keeping Score: Staying Power

Friday, April 17, 2015

Good morning! Dave Whalen is an intrinsically upbeat sort who works for Bay State Reference Labs in Turners Falls drawing blood for Connecticut River Internists. Seeing him in his white smock with his full head of brown hair … 0

Keeping Score: Slow start

Friday, April 10, 2015

Good morning! The yellow flag’s out at Monadnock Speedway in Winchester, N.H., where winter’s lingering effects has owner Larry Cirillo spinning his wheels. “We’re going to wait until May 2,” said Cirillo. “One of the bathrooms had so much ice we couldn’t get the door open, so we … 0

Keeping Score: Spring picking

Friday, April 3, 2015

Good morning! Neither wind nor rain nor an endless winter will stop the start of the baseball season, which for the Red Sox is Monday afternoon in Philadelphia. The Carmines’ April schedule is a hump buster that’ll have skipper John Farrell hollering Mayday unless his team’s primed from … 0

Keeping score: Cagey stories

Friday, March 27, 2015

Good morning! The information booth inside Roger Dean Stadium was stacked with free copies of Baseball America programs for the day’s game between the St. Louis Cardinals and Houston Astros cost $6 and St. Louis Cardinals T-shirts were selling for between $25 and $53. Baseball was back in … 0

Keeping Score: Biding time

Friday, March 20, 2015

Good Morning! Two summers ago I was dropping off a Daily Racing Form for handicapper John Dobrydnio when the scent of his wife Paula’s marinara sauce drew me into the kitchen. She was ladling tomatoes that were simmering in a five gallon pot, careful not to overheat, while … 0

Keeping Score: Letting go

Friday, March 13, 2015

Good morning! I wrote today’s column plucking away with my left index finger and my right arm in a sling. The good arm, the strong and useful limb, was broken while chasing a foul ball at a spring training game in Jupiter, Fla., last week. It could’ve been … 0

Keeping Score: Stormy weather

Friday, March 6, 2015

Good morning! Spectators at last Saturday’s third round of the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens got a lesson in what a “chance of showers” can mean in South Florida. The afternoon “mini-hurricane” delivered 60 mph winds and dumped four-and-a-half inches of rain in three hours. Putting a … 0

Keeping Score: Play Ball

Friday, February 27, 2015

Good morning! Spring training in Florida began in 1888 when the Washington Statesmen worked out in Jacksonville. It would be 15 years before another team returned, but the early visit portended a hardball migration that saw 1.4 million fans go through the turnstiles to watch 212 games last … 0

Keeping Score: Playing tag

Friday, February 20, 2015

Good morning! The lifeguard station at Hobe Sound Public Beach reminded me of an air traffic control tower with enough height for lifeguards to spot flailing swimmers or dorsal fins sluicing toward surfboards. The yellow flag was flapping in the wind one January morning, meaning conditions were good … 0

Keeping Score: Knight moves

Friday, February 13, 2015

Good morning! Reader Doug Stotz forwarded a photo of his friend and cycling companion Mike Caouette on the job in Los Angeles. Caouette was accompanying Marion Hugh “Suge” Knight Jr. after the Death Row Records founder was arrested for murder and other charges last month. According to news … 0