is the 60th running of the Gotham Stakes,
a race that has been held in New York since 1953. The race gets its name from
the nickname for New York City. The dictionary app on my laptop defines Gotham
as, “a nickname
for New York City, used originally by Washington Irving and now associated with
the Batman stories.”
Irving was an American author in the early 1800’s most known for the Legend of Sleepy Hollow. He is credited
with giving New York City the Gotham nickname in an article from 1807, in which
he made fun of the city. Gotham comes from a village in England, which
according to folklore was “inhabited by fools”.
became popularized when in 1940 the Batman
comic book #4 identified the home of the caped crusader as Gotham City.
Batman’s popularity has been maintained beyond the comics, in the movies and on
television. On TV there was an animated cartoon series and, of course, the
campy show that starred Adam West and Burt Ward as Batman and Robin.
television series ran for three years from 1966 to 1968, and included an
episode, “A Horse of Another Color” (season 3 number 5), that first aired on
Oct. 12, 1967. That episode titled had a goofy plot line that was set at the
racetrack. Regrettably I could not
find any clips from that episode, but here is a plot summary from imdb.com.
The Penguin steals a priceless folio of famous parasols from the Gotham
City Library. He plans to wager the $10,000 earned from its ransom on a rigged
horse race. Aided by his partner-in-crime Lola Lasagne, he disguises the
favored entry Parasol as the unknown "Bumbershoot," then enters a nag
known as "Parasol". With everyone betting their money on the fake
horse, it looks like the Penguin will make a fortune when the real Parasol wins
the race. But he wasn't counting on a last-minute entry of Bruce Wayne's horse,
Waynebow, ridden by none other than Batgirl.
The $400,000 Gotham Stakes (G3) is the third
race on the New York Derby Trail.
As part of the Road to the Kentucky Derby Championship series, a total of 85 points is up for grabs
for the first four finishers 50-20-10-5.
Fun Facts About the Gotham Stakes
•Secretariat 1973 is the only horse to win the Gotham and the Kentucky Derby.
field includes two graded stakes winners: Overanalyze (Futurity – G2 and Remsen
– G2) and Vyjack (Jerome – G2).
horses in the Gotham field have earned Road to the Derby points: Overanalyze (10 points – rank 9),
Escapefromreality (4 points – rank 31), Siete do Oros (2 points – rank 38), and
Amerigo Vespucci (1 point – rank 46).
field of 12 includes two NY-breds and one each from PA, CA, and FL. The other
seven are KY-breds.
•Kiaran McLaughlin has three runners that have only won a maiden race with two from
Darley Stable and one from Shadwell. They were all purchased at auction in 2011
as yearlings for $725,000, $375,000, and $500,000 for a total of $1.6 million.
To date the three horses have earned $149,450.
broke his maiden at the highest odds of 17.8-1 and Transparent at the lowest
line favorite Overanalyze (5-2)
draws the far outside post in the full field of 12. Overanalyze is the leading
money winner with two grade two victories and the Dixie Union colt also has 10
Derby points. I love the courage and versatility that this horse has shown in
his victories. He won coming off the pace in the Futurity and up close in the
Remsen. The combination of the outside post on the Aqueduct inner track and the
long layoff since November has me concerned that this will be a tough spot for
the Repole/Pletcher runner’s return.
Vyjack is undefeated in three starts
which have all come at Aqueduct, where he is stabled. I was very impressed with
this geldings win on the inner track in the Jerome in January. Trainer Rudy
Rodriguez stated after that race that he would give Vyjack a brief rest and
then go in the Gotham. The home track advantage and his tactical speed will
make the morning line second choice (3-1) my pick.
McLaughlin trio of Transparent, Now and Then, and Elnaawi are a serious threat. Elnaawi is a regally bred
half-brother of To Honor and Serve.
I will be watching to see if any of the McLaughlin runners can make a
big improvement and influence the outcome of the race.