Tag Archive | "Dave Rodman"

Jockey Reflects On “WILD” Ride aboard Spicer Cub in Pimlico’s Saturday Finale

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Jockey Reflects On “WILD” Ride aboard Spicer Cub in Pimlico’s Saturday Finale

Posted on 14 April 2013 by Gary Quill

BALTIMORE, 04-14-13–-It did not make SportsCenter’s Top 10 plays, but #12 - Spicer Cub’s eventful trip in Saturday’s 11th at Pimlico Race Course has gone viral and is generating interest outside of horse racing circles.

The Mary Eppler trainee took the early lead but bolted midway on the far turn before jockey Xavier Perez was able to straighten the son of Louis Quatorze at the head of the stretch. The 4-year old gelding regained the lead at the top of the stretch but bolted again, causing Perez to lose his irons inside the three-sixteenths pole. The duo then raced between the parked starting gate and the outside rail in midstretch and closed determinedly under strong urging to just miss breaking his maiden, losing by a nose to #1 - Turbin.


PHOTO CREDIT-Jim McCue, Maryland Jockey Club

“It was wild. He didn’t give me any warning, especially the second time and went straight for the gate,” Perez said. “My life went before my eyes for a few seconds. I was thinking about bailing but saw there was enough space between the gate and the rail to get through, so I grabbed his mane and hoped for the best. Once we cleared the gate he re-broke again and almost won the race. It was really close. In fact, Forest Boyce (who was aboard Turbin) congratulated me after the wire.”

The replay of the race on YouTube has been viewed more than 13,000 times from 6:30 p.m. Saturday to 3:30 p.m. Sunday and it has been well received on both Twitter and Facebook.

“I have watched the replay many times with my fiancé and I still cannot believe what happened. I am grateful to be here,” added Perez, who has been a regular rider in Maryland since September 2011. “The guys in the room were impressed. When I came back to the jocks room it was funny because nothing bad happened but Mary Eppler was apologizing to me, but this is part of the business. I had ridden him three times before and he never did anything like that before. He is a nice, kind horse.” 

Eppler reported Sunday afternoon that Spicer Cub “is fine” with no nicks or cuts from his adventure.

Perez’s remarkable ride and track announcer Dave Rodman’s outstanding call of the race have received plenty of positive attention.

“It was probably the wildest race I have ever called,” said Rodman, who has called races at the major Maryland tracks since March 1991. “It beats the Afleet Alex incident in the 2005 Preakness and tops the guy running on the track (1999 Preakness day). All I could do was keep my eyes on the X-Man (Perez’s nickname) and Spicer Cub. I can’t believe he went through that hole between the outer rail and the gate. It was really something else. I really thought he was going to win the race. Xavier did an amazing job. It was certainly a gutsy ride.”

The 25-year-old Perez has 480 winners in a career that began in 2007, including a victory aboard Haitian Nation in Sunday’s second race. He finished seventh in the recently completed Laurel Park winter meet standings.

On a personal note, I loved Rodman’s mention that “…Spicer Cub has bolted out to Northern Parkway” (the road which borders Pimlico Race Course) as the gelding bolted on the far turn. The photo above captures the fact that Perez never got his boots back in the irons, yet like a barrel racer at a rodeo, emerged from between the starting gate and outer rail like, to borrow a title from Meatloaf’s biggest selling album/CD, a “Bat Out of Hell“. I would think that X-Man’s agent got a few more calls than usual today.

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Dave Rodman Shines at Pimlico while Frank Mirahmadi’s Arkansas Derby is sub-par

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Dave Rodman Shines at Pimlico while Frank Mirahmadi’s Arkansas Derby is sub-par

Posted on 13 April 2013 by Gary Quill

This past weekend there were two Kentucky Derby prep races. The Blue Grass Stakes at Keeneland race course and the Arkansas Derby at Oaklawn Park. Each of these races is the premier event for the respective tracks. As the Kentucky Derby is to Churchill Downs, as the Preakness is to Pimlico and the Belmont Stakes is to Belmont Park. To a race caller it is their Super Bowl.

Track race callers are a rare breed. It takes a unique individual having a unique mindset and word association skill to be able to recognize the jockey sliks and associate them with the horses’ name. They have roughly 15-20 minutes between races to study, take the test (i.e. call the race) which lasts between 54 seconds (4½ furlong race) to 2 minutes (1¼ mile race).

Two years ago I gave longtime Oaklawn Park track announcer Terry Wallace’s call of the Arkansas Derby, a public tongue lashing, calling it “Worst Race Call Ever”. A year later he retired and was replaced by Frank Mirahmadi, a talented caller in his own right, but his call of Saturday’s Arkansas Derby is one he’ll soon want to forget.

As the field approached the quarter pole (aka far turn), Mirahmadi mentioned the favorite, War Academy was “trying to get involved” when in fact he was dropping back out of contention, being pulled up out of the race. Something that Frank did recognize a few calls later. Obviously flustered by his blunder, he then picked up the call as the field turned for home calling the 5-2 second choice Oxbow ,”trying to get involved” while Oxbow raced wide well behind 5-6 rivals. Not his best call when it was his time to shine.

On the other hand, approximately 15 minutes prior to the running of the Arkansas Derby, at Pimlico race caller Dave Rodman was finishing up his day by calling final (11th) race. It was a 1 1/16 miles maiden claiming event with a field of seven. Ironically, just past the quarter pole, the same spot where Miramadi unraveled, Rodman shined brightly, as he does day in and day out. What unfolded from the quarter pole to the finish was almost as remarkable as Rodman’s description of it.

Here’s how the Equibase chart described #12 – Spicer Cub’s race, “… assumed the early lead, set the pace slightly off the rail, bolted midway on the far turn, was in third position entering the stretch, was straightened at the head of the stretch to the six path, regained a clear lead in upper stretch, bolted inside the three sixteenths pole causing the rider to lose his irons, raced between the parked starting gate and the outside rail in midstretch, closed determinedly under game urging and just missed.”

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #104… “Field

Recapping Pimlico’s Saturday 11-race card posted had 8 winners (6Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $9.80 (1st race), $2.60 (2nd), $8.40 (3rd), $7.60 (4th), $4.80 (5th), $3.60 (9th), $2.20 (10th) and $6.00 (11th).

The BEST BET of the Day (6 4-0-1) Tale of the Dragon (R1 #6 7-2 PT; 4-1 M/L) was in no hurry in the early stages as she trailed into the backstretch, passed all rivals just before entering the stretch and went on to a convincing 7½ length victory to pay $9.80 to WIN, $5.00 to PLACE and $3.20 to SHOW.

The LONGSHOT PICK (6 2-0-1) Seeyouinthetown (R5 #7 7-5 PT; 12-1 M/L) was bet down significantly when this race was taken off the turf and the field was cut to seven starters. She didn’t disappoint her backers in winning by 2¼ lengths returning $4.80 to WIN, $3.20 to PLACE and $2.40 to SHOW.

SHOW Parlay Play of the Day, $33 on Moon Legacy (R7 #13; 6-5 PT, 3-1 M/L) sent off as the post time favorite ran to form, barely getting beat in the final jumps to finish second for the fifth time in as many career starts, returning $3.00 to PLACE and $2.20 to SHOW. That adds $3.30 to the $33.60 parlay amount for Day 8.

Selections for the Day 8 Pimlico Sunday, April 14th card are Page 2.

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Gabby-Gaudet-head-shot-20

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Gabby Gaudet Will Take The Racing Analyst Reins at MJC

Posted on 03 April 2013 by Gary Quill

BALTIMORE, 04-03-13—The Maryland Jockey Club today announced that Gabby Gaudet will replace Frank Carulli as the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park racing analyst after he leaves the company at the end of the Pimlico spring meeting, which begins tomorrow. Gaudet, who will start full-time after Labor Day, will be co-hosting with Carulli on Saturday and Sunday afternoon’s during the meet. The 22-year-old was chosen after a successful on-air audition at Laurel Park on March 23.

“I was very happy the contest was the week it was because I was on spring break and I had time to prepare,” Gaudet said. “Talking to people my age in the industry, I feel like it is pulling to the younger demographic. A couple of my high school and college friends are starting to follow racing on Twitter and are planning on coming to the Preakness and not just for the concerts in the Infield.”

Gaudet’s role will include handicapping between races, with the selections available on Twitter, writing a blog on the Pimlico, Laurel and Preakness websites and producing news of the day/week package for the simulcast signal.

“Gabby was the most well-rounded candidate with a tremendous upside,” said Maryland Jockey Club president Tom Chuckas. “With the role changing from a pure handicapper to someone who can also assist in the social media world and with the website, her ability to write a blog was significant. She will not have to handle Frank’s morning line duties.”

Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, who has co-hosted the “Today At The Races” pre-race show on the Maryland simulcast signal with track announcer Dave Rodman since the fall 2011, will take over Carulli’s morning line duties beginning with the Laurel fall meet in September. Feustle has been the oddsmaker at Colonial Downs since 2003.

Gaudet, the daughter of longtime conditioners Eddie and Linda Gaudet, is finishing her final semester at Towson University. She will graduate next month with a double major in mass communication and graphic design.

“My mom was very excited and my dad actually got teary-eyed,” added Gaudet. “My mom home schooled me in trailer at Bowie Training Center for a couple of years before I decided to go back to school in 8th grade, so literally I grew up on the racetrack.”

The St. Mary’s High School graduate wrote for The Saratoga Special newspaper last summer and has been a frequent contributor on Maryland Horse Radio, which airs on CBS Sports Radio (AM 1300) in Baltimore each Tuesday at 6 p.m.

“I am really excited about the opportunity,” Gaudet said. “Frank is a really good handicapper. One of the things I need to focus on is studying the charts and (Daily Racing Form) Formulator. I am going to enjoy the blogging aspect of the job. Not only from a handicapping aspect but also if we have a rider who has a big week. It will be interesting to get to know them better and not from a stat-stand point because that is something that will likely be handled in a press release.”

The 51-year-old Carulli, who has been with the Maryland Jockey Club since January 2002, will be relocating to Las Vegas in July.

“Frank Carulli is one of the top handicappers and morning line makers in the business and he will be missed,” added Chuckas. “He was also extremely helpful during this process with all the candidates and will tutor Gabby during the Pimlico meet. We want to give her as much preparation as possible before she takes over in the fall.”

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Meet Jackie Savoye, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Friday at Laurel Park

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Meet Jackie Savoye, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Friday at Laurel Park

Posted on 21 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is Part 3 in my 4 part series to provide thoroughbred horse racing fans a glimpse at the four (4) candidates the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) has selected to be Frank Carulli’s replacement as the on-air television host during Laurel Park and Pimlico Meets. If you have already read “Part 1”, feel free to skip down to “Now let’s meet…”. If not, read on. The candidates are Ryan Fogelsonger, Dylan Smith, Jacqueline “Jackie” Savoye and Gabrielle “Gabby” Gaudet. Kudos to MJC for seeking to allure the “Gen Y” crowd as the average age of these four finalists for the job is 25½.

Since 2002, Carulli has been the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park handicapper and racing analyst, but will leave MJC at the conclusion of the Pimlico spring meet (June 8th), relocating to Las Vegas. Considered one of the best in the business in making the Morning Line (Odds), those duties will be handed over to Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, when live racing resumes in September at Laurel Park. Feustle can be seen on the “Today At The Races” pre-race show on the Maryland simulcast signal with his co-host, track announcer Dave Rodman.

The brain-trust at MJC decided to give each candidate the opportunity to showcase their talent on-air as part of the interview process. So this week (March 20-23) at Laurel Park, each has one day to prove themselves worthy of filling Carulli’s shoes. On Friday (Mar. 22nd), Jackie Savoye will put her personal handicapping touch on display as will Gabby Gaudet on Saturday (Mar. 23rd). Ryan Fogelsonger and Dylan Smith completed their on-air “audition” on Wednesday (Mar. 20th) and Thursday (Mar. 21st), respectively.

This past Saturday at Laurel Park, I spent a few moments with each of the contenders, to get to know a bit more about them, so I could introduce them to you. All were very impressive and enthusiastic to face the on-air challenge ahead of them. One shared, “It’s kind of weird, this live on-air audition and knowing the other applicants that you’re up against for the job. It feels like American Idol”.

Not quite American Idol because the decision on who will be hired as the new on-air racing analyst is solely an internal (MJC) one. There will be no fan voting, but your feedback is welcomed and should be directed to Mike Gathagan, MJC’s V.P. of Communications at mike.gathagan@marylandracing.com.

I don’t envy the MJC decision-makers. It will certainly be a tough call. I wonder if they would entertain a co-host format? It seems to work at other tracks having two people banter about versus one speaking directly into the camera. Just food for thought.

Now let’s meet…  jACKIE sAVOYE

Jackie Savoye, currently an assistant trainer for Dale Capuano. The 25-year-old South River High School graduate did on-air work a couple years ago at Gulfstream Park with Alyssa Ali and Caton Bredar. She followed that by teaming up with TVG’s Paul Lo Duca and Christina Oliveras (now with HRTV with last name of Blacker via marriage) at Monmouth Park during their Million Dollar Meet, conducting off-camera interviews.

Horses have been a big part of Jackie’s life for as long as she can remember, “I started riding at a young age at pony camps then got involved in the Annapolis pony club and took up foxhunting almost full time. That’s such a fun event. At 18, I went to work for Jason Cole in southern Maryland breaking babies. That provided such a great foundation of learning the racehorses and bringing them up. Jason sent me to Bowie (race track training center) to learn to gallop and from there I worked for Gary Capuano and the Gaudet’s (Eddie and Linda). I was hired by Dale in the spring of 2008 and he sent me all over the east coast with strings for him”. 

The handicapping aspect of the job does not intimidate her in the least, “I can apply my knowledge of horse racing and what I have learned in the claiming game to handicapping. I work for a top claiming trainer and one of the best horseman and businessman I know in this business. I see a lot of different horses come in and out of the barn, so I’ve learned how to train and understand why and where Dale enters them”.

Savoye isn’t shy when it comes to expressing her thoughts on how to attract her peers to the Sport of Kings, pointing out, ”Being young and involved in thoroughbred racing is such a great opportunity for anybody. It’s a fun sport and the young crowd doesn’t realize it, which is where one of us comes in. I can relate to college kids who want to come out and enjoy a day at the races. Show them maybe a small bet and why they would pick that horse. We need fun things at the track to attract a younger group. Things like live bands, contests, and let’s face it… beer drinking!”.

The horse racing community is filled with hard working individuals and families whose work day begins long before the sun comes up and ends long after it sets. For ”Gen Y” individuals like these four (4) applicants, that means not much of a social life outside of their horse racing family. There also seems to be a special bond among them, as they are all “in the same boat’, but enjoying every minute of it.

“It’s a very exciting job opportunity and I do hope I get it”, Jackie said with guarded optimism, then revealed, “Gabby (Gaudet) is actually my roommate. She’s a great person and very smart. So if she got the job I would be very happy for her”. Talk about being in a tough situation, well that’s only half of it, as she continued, “My other roommate is my best friend, Lacey, who happens to be Gabby’s big sister”.

Jackie Savoye

To describe Jackie Savoye in one word, it would be Poise. Seeing her ability to handle her equine “children” in the paddock and immediately refocus her attention to the anxious owner, indicates to me that the lights and camera will not test her nerves, but rather make her shine.

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Meet Dylan Smith, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Thursday at Laurel Park

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Meet Dylan Smith, On-Air Guest Handicapper on Thursday at Laurel Park

Posted on 20 March 2013 by Gary Quill

This is Part 2 of my 4 part series to provide thoroughbred horse racing fans a glimpse at the four (4) candidates the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) has selected to be Frank Carulli’s replacement as the on-air television host during Laurel Park and Pimlico Meets. If you’ve already read “Part 1”, feel free to skip down to “Now let’s meet…”. If not, on read. The candidates are Ryan Fogelsonger, Dylan Smith, Jacqueline “Jackie” Savoye and Gabrielle “Gabby” Gaudet. Kudos to MJC for seeking to allure the “Gen Y” crowd as the average age of these four finalists for the job is 25½.

Since 2002, Carulli has been the Pimlico Race Course and Laurel Park handicapper and racing analyst, but will leave MJC at the conclusion of the Pimlico spring meet (June 8th), relocating to Las Vegas. Considered one of the best in the business in making the Morning Line (Odds), those duties will be handed over to Equibase chart caller Keith Feustle, when live racing resumes in September at Laurel Park. Feustle can be seen on the “Today At The Races” pre-race show on the Maryland simulcast signal with his co-host, track announcer Dave Rodman.

The brain-trust at MJC decided to give each candidate the opportunity to showcase their talent on-air as part of the interview process. So this week (March 20-23) at Laurel Park, each have one day to prove themselves worthy of filling Carulli’s shoes. On Thursday, Dylan Smith gets her chance to wooo Maryland horseplayers with her handicapping prowess. Then on Friday (Mar. 22nd) it’s Jackie Savoye’s turn and Gabby Gaudet completes the on-air superfecta on Saturday (Mar. 23rd). Ryan Fogelsonger completed his “audition” on Wednesday (Mar. 20th).

This past Saturday at Laurel Park, I spent a few moments with each of the contenders, to get to know a bit more about them, so I could introduce them to you. All were very impressive and enthusiastic to face the on-air challenge ahead of them. One shared, “It’s kind of weird, this live on-air audition and knowing the other applicants that you’re up against for the job. It feels like American Idol”.

Not quite American Idol because the decision on who will be hired as the new Racing Analyst is solely an internal (MJC) one. There will be no fan voting, but your feedback is welcomed and should be directed to Mike Gathagan, MJC’s V.P. of Communications at mike.gathagan@marylandracing.com.

I don’t envy the MJC decision-makers. It will certainly be a tough call. I wonder if they would entertain a co-host format? It seems to work at other tracks having two people banter about versus one speaking directly into the camera. Just some food for thought.    

Dylan SmithNow let’s meet…

Dylan Smith, 24, has been working as an assistant for trainer Dickie Small since graduating from Kennedy High School in the Washington D.C. suburbs in 2006.

“(I’m) definitely a track-oholic and horse-oholic”, Smith proudly declared. “I am at the races all day, every race day. I gallop in the morning, then shower in the girl’s jocks room where I then get scratches, study, and make my final picks for the day. Next I listen to Talking Horses in NYRA then watch Dave (Rodman) & Keith (Feustle) at Laurel and jot down their opinions. I’m at the races for the full card. Afterwards I go home where I watch more races from across the country until I fall asleep”.

When asked at what age did she catch the horse racing bug, Dylan reflected, “I learned when I was very young, couldn’t have been older than 6 or 7, how to read a program and (Daily Racing) Form from my Dad. He started bringing me to the track when I was little…and I was obsessed even then. My Dad really gets the credit for bringing me to the track and getting me hooked. He always answered questions and just watching what he looked at on paper and how he bet taught me so much”.

Not only does Smith understand horses physically and the art of handicapping, but she also has strong opinions on what horseplayers want from a track handicapper. With The Form tucked under her arm, the slender blonde explained, “I hang around and learn from the people that bet a lot of money. I see firsthand where they like to put their dollars and what they look for when making their selections. I think it is a huge advantage to know how to bet because the ultimate goal for the track handicapper is to get money into the bettor’s pockets (giving them the ability to play more races, which increases the tracks handle). I can dig up useful information that I know a lot of people would be interested in hearing when putting together a ticket. People don’t want a repeat of what you can see in The Form. They want you to go the extra mile to find what they can’t see”.

Though she’s short on media experience, Dylan has certainly done her homework in preparation for Thursday’s on-air debut. “I watch Frank (Carulli) very closely and have been working with him for months trying to pick up on everything he does. He’s very good at morning line odds, and he really takes a lot of time and does lots of research when making his picks”. Smith sought assistance outside of Maryland, adding, “I also got to spend a day with NYRA’s Andy Serling who was great. He is just fantastic and does all his homework. He’s prepared every day and gave me some good pointers”.

Dylan Smith breezing

To describe Dylan Smith in one word, it would be Horse-oholic. By her own admission, “It’s a little obsessive, but I literally watch all tracks and all types of horses (Harness and Quarter, too). I don’t like to miss any action at any track in the country. I have a non-existent social life outside of the track because I am so wrapped up in the racing world. It may sound pitiful, but I love it and wouldn’t have it any other way”. Not so pitiful from my point of view because she seems to be a terrific asset to the Maryland horse racing community.

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