- Impressive win by John Servis’ 3 yo filly Round Pond (Awesome Again) in the G2 Fantasy, and she will certainly move on to the Kentucky Oaks. Nice ride by Stewart Elliot, who hugged the rail until going into the second turn, when he pulled and got the jump on Sharp Lisa and R Lady Joy, forcing them wide. She came home the last 2 1/2 furlongs in a sharp :31 1/5. This fily has come out of nowhere - this was only her 4th race - and it looks like Servis will at least make it to Kentucky for the day before the Derby. R Lady Joy ran a nice race; she was wide both turns and she easily outfinished even money favorite Sharp Lisa for third. It’s another boost for her sire Vicar (Wild Again), who is second on the 2005 second year sire earnings list.
I wrote a bit about Round Pond’s pedigree and family in this post. She’s inbred to Northern Dancer 4x5x5, and two of those instances are through the full brothers Vice Regent and Viceregal, to whom she’s inbred 3x4. Some pedigree expert types love stuff like that. Viceregal won 8 out of 9 starts and was Canada’s horse of the year at 2, and Vice Regent is the sire of Deputy Minister.
- Over 22,000 for the final Friday of the Oaklawn meeting. The Fantasy was the only one of the ten races over 6 furlongs.
- Artie Schiller made his first race since the Breeders Cup a winning one in the G2 Makers Mark.
- Reacting to complaints by the CHRB regarding unpaid insurance claims, the Jockey Guild said they will investigate. A lawyer for the Guild criticized the tone of the CHRB’s statement, which said it was "inexcusable” that jockeys were being turned over to collection.
"It assumes facts to be true that we don't know are ...It essentially condemns the guild in the court of public opinion even though we have no knowledge about how the claims were handled or the circumstances surrounding the claims." [Daily Racing Form]Bloodhorse.com attributed this statement by Shapiro to a CHRB release:
"I apologize if it appeared in any way that I was judging the Jockeys' Guild. That was not my intent nor my desire....I do believe the Jockeys' Guild is entitled to be judged fairly and not pre-judged before they have an opportunity to look at and resolve the issues.” [Bloodhorse]