The Coast News Group
An incident at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, brought new meaning to "chomping at the bit." Courtesy photo
An incident at Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs, New York, brought new meaning to "chomping at the bit." Courtesy photo
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Inside Information: At Saratoga, if you can’t beat them, eat them

Saturdays are always electric. Since March, we have aired our radio show over the 50,000-watt mega booster The Mightier 1090 and it has not disappointed.

The pleasure of broadcasting from the iconic Del Mar Racetrack has always been something exciting as well as something so serene and peaceful that you can feel and smell the inner feeling.

Last Saturday, our broadcast aired with a total lookahead at all racing action from coast to coast as well as at Del Mar. The Del Mar of the East, Saratoga, was featuring its signature summer day classic with five Grade I races in a row.

It would all be capped with the $1.25 million Travers Stakes, the 152nd running of the race for 3-year-olds known as the Summer Derby.

With a stellar and brilliant racing card of 13 races beginning at 10 a.m. back in New York, we were going off the air and ending our broadcast as the day of racing there unfolded.

Race by race was moving quickly from New York as Del Mar was set to open at 12.30 p.m. Other than the grounds crew, landscapers and track maintenance, very few were there.

I usually visit with Craig Dado, senior vice president of marketing, to discuss the day’s card and events at the seaside track after most broadcasts.

Saratoga was off and Del Mar was about to unleash its 11-race card for that day. I moved my car from the valet parking lot and drove to my original location to reset. I got my program form and other handicapping information and headed back to the track. Del Mar was not yet open to the public.

In the middle of the paddock was the big-screen TV and it was showing the races live from Saratoga.

What happens next was out-of-body experience material. I was standing there outside the paddock with a teller reporting for work. His name is Doug. For the previous hour, Doug and I were watching the races unfold.

It was a few minutes before he had to clock in and get ready for a big betting day at Del Mar. It was two minutes before one of those Grade I races I shared with you earlier, the Forego Stakes. Nobody else was around by then.

As the horses broke and began their seven-furlong distance, two horses separated themselves from the pack, No. 7 Yaupon and No. 8 Firenze Fire. As they approached the 16th pole with a short distance to go, Firenze Fire took the lead briefly and had all the momentum heading for the finish line.

Firenze Fire then leaned over and bit Yaupon.

Usually, for a horse, they get back to racing after a situation like that. But not Firenze Fire. He went back for more and would not release his bite and grip and almost removed Yaupon’s bridle for another 20 yards.

His behavior cost him a big Grade I win, costing $360,000 in purse money.

Funny enough, the same situation happened to Firenze Fire as a horse bit him in 2018 at Parx Casino and Racing venue near Philadelphia.

Learned behavior?


At this writing, five days left of racing in the Del Mar Summer Season (Thursday through Labor Day).

Next week: The good, bad and memorable from the summer of ’21.


#dickallenforhalloffame. Don’t worry, Dick (“the Wampum Walloper”) Allen, we will get you into the Hall of Fame or die!

One vote short in 2014 has broken our hearts and I will never forget you “Sleepy.”


Our radio show every Saturday over the monster boomer The Mightier 1090 has been so well received by some great and new listeners. Our team of Tommy D, Larry Zap, Toby Turrell and Nick Hines has been rock-solid.

2020 was an in and out year and since March we have been on the second-largest radio signal in the free world.

This station transmits throughout seven Southern California counties (Ventura, San Bernardino, Riverside, Los Angeles, Orange, San Diego and Imperial) and down into Baja, Mexico.

We have had listeners picking us up in Montana and Utah. Big station. Big Cast of heavyweights.


Week 1 college football picks:

• WEST VIRGINIA -3 1/2 at Maryland

• NAVY +2 1/2 vs. Marshall

• TEXAS TECH -2 1/2 vs. Houston

Season Record 2-0 

Next week: NFL picks