Monday Morning Message with Jason Beem June 3, 2024

June 3rd, 2024

A good Monday morning to you all! Hope everyone’s weekend was good. Mine was a mixture of watching racing on TwinSpires and college baseball on the television. This is kind of that last week or so of sports other than racing and baseball for me, as the hockey and basketball playoffs near their end.

Obviously, everyone is looking forward to Belmont weekend coming up. I haven’t seen whether or not the races will just be labeled as Saratoga or if they’ll follow suit like they’ve done at Aqueduct with Belmont at Saratoga or something like that. I’d assume they’ll just refer to it as Saratoga, as I’ve always thought the Belmont at Aqueduct thing was to capitalize on Belmont’s brand name. Saratoga has no problem with name branding. But the cards look amazing so far for Thursday and Friday, and I'm sure Saturday will be no exception. Just got to say some prayers for the weather gods.

My favorite part of this past weekend was oddly enough from Penn National. They were hosting their big annual Penn Mile night, and going into the day a lot was being made about Frankie Dettori riding there. He’d never ridden at Penn National and, wouldn’t you know it, he took home the two big races, including winning the Mile in a photo. It was very cool to see the local fans excited about seeing one of the most prominent riders of the last 20 years get to ride and win at their track.

I’m someone who doesn’t really follow racing outside of North America hardly at all. I mean, I’ll watch the Dubai World Cup and might see a clip of the Melbourne Cup, but that’s really about it. I know everyone loves Hong Kong, but I have to sleep. So when Frankie Dettori announced he was coming to the states to ride, I’ll admit I didn’t really think much of it. I know people always get excited for his flying dismount in the Breeders’ Cup but outside of that, I really didn’t know much about him other than he was a very famous jockey from overseas.

But I have to admit it’s been very cool how he’s kind of taken his tour around the states and hit up many of the tracks. I half jokingly tweeted about how cool it would be to see him show up at Charles Town later this summer for the Charles Town Classic (G2). The idea of one of the world’s most accomplished riders rolling into West Virginia and riding the bullring sounds amazing. I had the good fortune to go to Charles Town Classic Night a couple of years ago, and it was a total blast. Just a huge party really. And imagine the fans going bonkers if he won that race.

Shortly after that tweet about Charles Town, someone replied and said, “Maybe we’ll see him at Colonial.” Of course anything can happen but the mounts he’s been getting and Colonial now having three of the biggest turf races of the summer, I almost expect we’ll get to see Frankie later this summer in Virginia. His presence really has been a breath of fresh air, and the fact that he’s winning at 19% on the calendar year and already surpassed $5 million in stateside purse earnings shows that this retirement tour could surely go on for a while.

Everyone have a great week, and we’ll be back Thursday with my picks for the Belmont. Last year, I had Arcangelo, so obviously I’ll hit again (please note intense sarcasm).