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Sunday, April 10, 2005

Sunday Night Extras

- A couple of upsets at Oaklawn Saturday, as Eddington was beaten in the Oaklawn Handicap, as John McKee stole the race on the lead with Grand Reward. He slowed the pace to :49.45 with a nearly 25 second 2nd quarter, then scooted away with two 24 second quarters, and a 12.15 last eighth to hold off Second of June. Grand Reward is a zillion dollar baby of Storm Cat and Serena’s Song who seems to be coming to hand at 4 for Lukas; in his last he was within 3 lengths of Rock Hard Ten in the Big Cap at 54-1.

In the G1 Apple Blossom, it was a totally different pace story, as Dream of Summer (Siberian Summer) was pressed into a pace so much faster than Grand Reward’s race that you realize just how well McKee rated his horse. The half in the Apple Blossom was :47.17 with a second quarter of :23.38 and Ashado pressing on the outside, and continued at a quick pace to a 1:11 3/4’s, over 2 seconds faster than the Oaklawn Hdcp. Track announcer Terry Wallace called Ashado taking a lead in mid-stretch, but Dream of Summer came back and held on despite tiring. With the wisdom of knowing who won, the winner figured to be tough and present a tough task for the returning Ashado, who was bet down to 1-2.

- Anyone casual fan watching on NBC would certainly be confused upon hearing about Martin Wygod’s post-race remarks. Sweet Catomine was spoken about glowingly throughout, especially by Charlsie Cantey, who gave a little laugh when saying that all the trainers who decided to challenge her “may find out that they’re sadly wrong.”

Meanwhile, the California Horse Racing Board has announced that they will look into the matter, including comments during the week by Wygod and Canini.

"The review will include interviews with the practicing veterinarians treating the filly as well as the official veterinarian who conducted the required prerace examination on Saturday morning. CHRB investigators also will question stable and security personnel," the advisory said. [Thoroughbred Times]

- On the Sunday night baseball game on ESPN just now, Joe Morgan said he read in the New York Times that George Steinbrenner was going to have a horse running in the Kentucky Derby, and his name is “Bellamy Rose.” What’s his name, asked Jon Miller? “Bellamy Rose.” No correction was forthcoming from one of racing’s television partners. The Twins beat the White Sox 5-2, as Torii Huntington drove in 4 runs.

- There were a lot of conflicts this weekend. The Illinois Derby and the Sis City’s dominating win in the Ashland went off one right after the other. I had to find a bank of TVs that had both tracks in close proximity in case they overlapped. The Apple Blossom went off at the same time as the G3 Providencia at Santa Anita, won by Berbatim (Bernstein), beating 3-2 favorite Shining Energy, quite a bad day for trainer Julio Canini (and the worst could be yet to come). Today, the G3 Las Cienagas, won in stakes record time by favorite Elusive Diva (Elusive Quality), went off just as Chris DiMarco’s chip on the 18th hole skipped right over the cup, costing him the win in the Masters.

- Please feel free to email me with links, comments, or questions.