I love that Curlin won Horse of the Year honors (again) without having won the Breeders' Cup Classic and that his defining moments in 2008 came in the Woodward and the Jockey Club Gold Cup in New York.
I love that Indian Blessing, who won three races in New York including the Test, the Gallant Bloom and the Prioress, was voted top female sprinter without having won the Breeders' Cup Filly & Mare Sprint.
And that Proud Spell earned top 3-year-old filly honors by virtue of her victory over Music Note in the Alabama at Saratoga, and that male sprint champion Benny the Bull counted Belmont Park's True North among his four 2008 victories.
I don't like that IEAH Stables, which had two Eclipse winners in Big Brown and Benny the Bull and won 11 Grade 1 races, was outvoted for outstanding owner by Frank Stronach, who had no champions.
I hate that the MTA wants to discontinue the Belmont Special. I know that people can take the LIRR to Bellerose Station, walk three blocks to Belmont Park's Mayfair Avenue gate and hop a NYRA shuttle to the grandstand, but it's hard enough getting people to come out to the racetrack without making things more difficult.
I really like having new faces at Aqueduct during the winter months. Maylan Studart and Jackie Davis aren't exactly new, but the addition of Sheldon Russell, Rosie Napravnik and Eddie Castro adds a new dimension to the jockey colony. And what's not to like about (think John Imbriale here) "C .......C.......Lopez"?
I usually love the names given to NYRA overnight stakes, but confess to being totally stumped by Friday's event, "The Jones Times Machine," unless it's a reference to a recent episode of "Fringe" wherein Mr. Jones' thugs were running around stealing safe deposit boxes put there by Walter 23 years ago. Come to think of it, what else could it possibly be?
And one more thing -- my favorite 11-year-old racehorse, Tour of the Cat, returns to action Wednesday in a $10,000 claimer. Anyone interested?