• Cigar Mile 2008

    I’d been looking forward to this race for a few months, as my wife and I were going to be in Philadelphia for Thanks giving, and I knew it wouldn’t be too much trouble to go to New York City from there, rather than driving the 6 hours from Western NY. I was really surprised to see Harlem Rocker as the morning line 15-1 long shot. But I felt good because I knew there was money to be made. I met some friends in NY for the day and saw a couple other HR fans there too.

    Took a lot of photos in the paddock area, and generally had a good time. The race was incredible. We were able to get right on the rail and watch Harlem Rocker go by. We were ecstatic and screaming like crazy. Did he win? Who won? And then when he was posted winner we were all yelling and high-fiving and running around like idiots. It was awesome. Then they took it all away. And we were sore losers. We called bullshit and called out Prado a bit.

    From the replays at the track it really looked like Harlem Rocker had a half length lead when he cut over. Now that I watch the replay again, I can see Prado pull up a little. But still, like Pletcher said, he had every opportunity to run, and HR went past him. It begs the question, how much room do you need to give before taking the lane? I thought he had a half length at least. If these were two cars, and the white car had passed the brown car and pulled in front of him, then the brown car decided to speed up and go past the white car, would we have said someone got cut off here? Unlikely. Harlem Rocker had the speed, took the position, and then if Tale of Ekati wanted it back, he needed to move and take it.

    My friend Mark’s brother John summed it up best, he said: “I’ve seen horses lose after doing less, I’ve seen them win after doing a lot worse, but not in a graded stakes race.”.

    The most disappointing thing to me, is that at Aqueduct they have a wall where they post the winning silks for the last 5 years, and all the photos of last winners, and HR will not be up there, and probably nobody will remember how close it was, except us.

    Harlem Rocker is quite a fine animal, and he has a lot more white than earlier this year. He’s a fine horse.

    It was disappointing to see both Springside injured and Wanderin Boy breakdown.

    We all made some money, with Harlem Rocker as such a long shot, and Tale of Ekati too. My friend Mark and I would have each been at least $200 richer had he won, and if I had boxed my trifecta instead of wheeling it, I would have hit that one too. Enjoy these photos of my day at The Big A. The photos are a bit “noisey” but with the time of the year and the time of the race, it was basically twilight and my digital elph doesn’t really do that well in low light situations. I am extremely happy with the photos I got, but you can see my Harlem Rocker photos from the summer time are much crisper.

    Springside

    Springside

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker Paddock

    Harlem Rocker Paddock

    Harlem Rocker Warmup

    Harlem Rocker Warmup

    Tale of Ekati Warmup

    Tale of Ekati Warmup

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Visionaire

    Visionaire

    Tale of Ekati

    Tale of Ekati

    Bribon

    Bribon

    Arson Squad

    Arson Squad

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Paddock

    Paddock

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker

    Pletcher, Coa and Harlem Rocker

    Pletcher, Coa and Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker and Eibar Coa

    Harlem Rocker and Eibar Coa

    Gomez and Coa

    Gomez and Coa

    Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Harlem Rocker and Arson Squad

    Harlem Rocker and Arson Squad

    Cornellio Velazquez on Storm Play

    Cornellio Velazquez on Storm Play

    Ramon Dominguez on Kodiak Kowboy

    Ramon Dominguez on Kodiak Kowboy

    Eibar Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Eibar Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Eibar Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Eibar Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Eibar Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Eibar Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Eibar Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Eibar Coa on Harlem Rocker

    Edgar Prado on Tale of Ekati

    Edgar Prado on Tale of Ekati

    Cornelio Velazquez on Storm Play

    Cornelio Velazquez on Storm Play

    John Velazquez on Wanderin Boy

    John Velazquez on Wanderin Boy

    Ramon Dominguez on Kodiak Kowboy

    Ramon Dominguez on Kodiak Kowboy

    Twilight at the Big A

    Twilight at the Big A

    Harlem Rocker leads the pack to the Finish

    Harlem Rocker leads the pack to the Finish

    Tale of Ekati battling Harlem Rocker

    Tale of Ekati battling Harlem Rocker

    Closing in on the finish

    Closing in on the finish

    Closing in on the finish

    Closing in on the finish

    Some wide angle shots.

    Stretch Run

    Stretch Run

    Stretch Run

    Stretch Run

    Photos shot with a Canon SD850IS.