Feb 212019


The nickname “Tricky Dick” for Richard Nixon, the 37th President of the United States, was a response to smear campaign he ran against Helen Douglas when both were competing for a Senate seat in 1950.  He was first referred to as “Tricky Dick” in a 1950 newspaper campaign funded by a Democratic committee urging citizens to “Look at Tricky Dick Nixon’s Republican Record.”  It is a common misconception that the nickname “Tricky Dick” hails from the Watergate period. The name stayed with him throughout his political career and endures in post-presidential references to the controversial public figure.

A full field of Fifteen Older New York Breds will enter the Big Apple Starting Gate for the $100,000 ESR Tricky Dick Stakes.  The race will be run at One Mile over the Dirt Course.

TEST NEX TEX – the aladar trained 4 Year Old Brown Colt by Effinex is stepping away from his comfort zone after feasting on HOT RACE level competition over his last six starts; while he could be considered an unknown factor coming into this ESR feature, his last start, a fourth place finish at six furlongs in restricted HOT RACE, casts some doubt as to whether he will compete at this level…look elsewhere

PUNKIN CIASTECZKA –the ace trained 4 Year Old Brown Colt by Hold Me Back has been holding his own against Open Bred Stakes level horses including a second place finish in the Minstrel Bay Turf Dash two races back while recording three wins at the Local level, his first coming in his debut in the ESR Night Terrors Stakes; although impressive throughout his racing career, his best racing has come over the Turf Course and his 0-4 record over the Dirt Course compromises his chances here on Saturday…surface restricted

ALPHA UNO – the first of the glennc entry is the versatile 4 Year Old Roan Gelding by Alpha who enters this field fresh off a victory in the 5-furlong Turf Fourstars Allstar Stakes; equally effective over both turf and dirt, the talented NY-bred has registered a victory in the 7-furlong Dirt ESR Perfect Arc Stakes last July, and is a perfect 2-2 when switching from the Turf to Dirt surface…one to beat

NYW SLEW CADET – the first of two from the cadet racing stables is the 6 Year Old Bay Gelding by Desert Party, winner of five ESR feature races including the Open Bred ESR Brookdale and ESR Ponce De Leon Stakes as a 3yo; the 5th place finisher of the Mind Your Biscuits Stakes LTO was well within striking distance of the leaders entering the stretch but flattened out when it counted settling for a minor share; turning back in distance could improve his chances but will it be enough to turn the tables on AWESOME TROUBLE, who finished  ahead of him in the ESR Central Park Stakes last August…chance on best

I’M FROM JAPAN – the 4 Year Old Brown Colt by Japan was an auction purchase by the irisharse racing stables back in November that quickly paid dividends for his new connections with an Allowance victory at the Local level; stepping out against Open Bred rivals in an Open Company Allowance in his first start against older rivals in his last start may have proved more beneficial than his actual 6th place finish looks; turning back in distance, a winning trademark of his new handler, against Local competition puts a whole other perspective on this emerging Local Bred…might surprise

BEEN ON A BINGE – the casino trained 5 Year Old Brown Horse by Here Comes Ben has had an impressive career finishing off the board in only 6 of his 18 career starts, unfortunately five of those off the board finishes have come at the Stakes level, three in ESR Stakes features; connections are hoping that the turnback to 6-furlongs, the shortest distance he has raced in his career, will induce him to be more involved in the early going while still being able to rely a closing punch that has long been his trademark throughout his career…must stay closer

AWESOME TROUBLE – it’s not often that you see a horse reaching his best stride at the age of five, but that just might be the case when it comes to the kingab trained 5 Year Old Bay Gelding by Alpha who has recorded two wins in his last three starts at the Open Bred Allowance level, the last posting a career best 115 speed figure; although he has never registered a victory at 6-furlongs, recent form and a second place finish in the ESR Central Park Stakes dismiss any notion of vulnerability in this week’s feature…never better

SUMMER INVASION – based on his last four starts it’s safe to say that the trotter1 trained 4 Year Old Light Grey Colt by Normandy Invasion is not the same horse that traveled the Derby Trail during the 2018 season; the Local speedster has lost a step or two in the last year and will have to find a way keep something in reserve to compete in the final stages of the race…must not falter

MIND YOUR CADETS – the cadet trained 5 Year Old Brown Horse by Posse has certainly earned the distinction of morning line co-favorite based on his impressive on-track performance, however the winner of the ESR Journey to the Centre of the TARDIS owes much of his success to racing around two turns but does display a powerful stretch drive in his two career starts at a sprint…stretch threat

ROCKIN BEAT – the jetman trained 9 Year Old Dark Grey Horse by Harlem Rocker is making his first start in over a year and is looking for his first victory since 2014; connections entered one last week under similar circumstances that ran well fresh turning in a solid 4th place finish…your call

DORCHAK’S INVASION – spending most of the 2018 season at the claiming level, the kody racing stables claimed this 5 Year Old Roan Gelding by Normandy Invasion for $15k back in October and enters him in his first stakes appearance after recording a victory in three starts over the Turf Course at the Starter Allowance level; returning to the Dirt should be a welcome reunion for this Local product, but speed figures suggest he is overmatched here on Saturday…not with these

WAR BANTER – making his first start against older horses is the lbailey trained 4 Year Old Bay Gelding by Laoban; you might want to give some consideration to a lightly raced horse that has finished second in his last three starts, ran a career best 104 speed figure last out, returns to his preferred distance over a surface where he is 9-1-6-1 and will go off at odds of 40-1…where are my Show bettors

GIN HOUSE – the second half of the trotter1 entry is a 5 Year Old Bay Horse by Catienus; the local bred is another that appears to be improving with age, not to the extent of AWESOME TROUBLE, but enough to earn my consideration for this race; like BEEN ON A BINGE, he is turning back into the shortest race of his career, however he displays enough early involvement to be a stretch factor…happy with part

BEN FOLDS FIVE – the second of the glennc entries is the 4 Year Old Roan Gelding by Here Comes Ben; the winner of eight of his last eleven starts certainly has the credentials to take down this week’s feature and may have only his stablemate standing in his way; pitted against his stablemate ALPHA UNO in the ESR Perfect Arc Stakes resulted in a one-two finish for the pair and a likely scenario for this week’s feature…dangerous

CEE KING AN EM – making his 37th career start is the spinround trained 7 Year Old Light Grey Gelding by Emcee; primarily a dirt router, the veteran of the field faces a tough task trying to win his first race in almost a year in a half while racing around 6-furlongs; the 3rd place finisher in the ESR Wedding of River Song in 2017 has seen a decrease in speeds over his last four starts under his new connections and would be hard pressed to factor into the outcome of the ESR feature…overmatched

Handicapping the Field

Big fields are always full of surprises, a horse breaks bad, traffic in the lane, and wide trips all factor into the outcome of the race.  The main contenders, BEN FOLDS FIVE, ALPHA UNO, NYW SLEW CADET, and AWESOME TROUBLE all possess enough tactical speed to keep them out of much of the trouble they may encounter from a large field.  Stablemates BEN FOLDS FIVE and ALPHA UNO ran one/two in the ESR Perfect Arc Stakes, and although that race was 7-furlongs I don’t expect the shorter distance to diminish either of their chance for victory.  Connections are dangerous with NY-breds and a repeat performance would not surprise.

NYW SLEW CADET might be at a disadvantage traveling six panels, and finishing behind AWESOME TROUBLE in the ESR Central Park Stakes doesn’t help his cause.

AWESOME TROUBLE is the likeliest to split up the top pair, and his recent form can certainly put him over the top.

GIN HOUSE, SUMMER INVASION, PUNKIN CIASTECZKA, MIND YOUR CADETS, and BEEN ON A BINGE all have outside shots but might need career bests to overtake the top flight.  SUMMER INVASION and MIND YOUR CADETS might have their best races behind them.  PUNKIN CIASTECZKA prefers Turf.  GIN HOUSE and BEEN ON A BINGE are the likeliest of the five but may be a notch below.


I’M FROM JAPAN and WAR BANTER are both huge odds and merit consideration in all exotic plays.  irish is like the E.F. Hutton of the Sim, when he talks everyone listens.  When he turns back a horse in distance it’s worth paying attention.  I’M FROM JAPAN’s last start was much better than it appears on paper and his previous start he recorded a career best speed figure.  This horse is going forward with his best races in front of him.  WAR BANTER is a huge overlay at 40-1. Second in his last three starts, coming off a career best speed figure, returns to his preferred distance and surface are all good reasons to consider a longshot here.

The Picks

ALPHA UNO – gets the nod

AWESOME TROUBLE – best chance to upset

MIND YOUR CADETS – huge stretch threat



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  4 Responses to “Field of Fifteen New York Breds Tap In for the $100,000 ESR Tricky Dick Stakes”

  1. i’m a firm believer that horses have short memories, but they do remember how tough the competion was lto…

    that being said.. long to short works good but turf to dirt and long to short works even better..

    thanks pete.. good luck everyone..


  2. Pete, it’s gotten to the point that my NY horses don’t deserve your tremendous writing skills. Thank you so much. Good luck e’one.

  3. Great job Pete.

  4. It simply doesn’t get any better than this. Outstanding preview Mr. Trotter! Good luck to all!