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Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Belmont Odds and Ends - June 8

- Reverberate is tired, according to his trainer Sal Russo.

“It's asking a lot of him to come back in two weeks, but we're going to give it a try,'' a weary-looking Russo said Tuesday morning as he continued to fight a stomach flu.

Even though his 3-year-old colt will be making his third start in 34 days, Russo said Reverberate has improved with each race and is bred for the grueling 1 1/2 mile-Belmont.

"I still wish we had more time,'' he said. "I'm just hoping he'll be fresh for the Travers..'' [Bloodhorse]
Yes, another one bred for the distance, but I won’t quibble with this one. As mentioned before, he’s by a Belmont stakes winner, Thunder Gulch, out of a mare by BC Classic winner Proud Truth; and he descends from a prolific female line of producers from whom have descended a plethora of graded stakes winners including Glorious Song and her brother Devils Bag, Soaring Softly, Mehmet, Military, and Plenty of Grace. Also interesting to note is this: History buffs will know that Reverberate's owners, Centennial Farms, won the 1993 Belmont with Colonial Affair after running second in the Peter Pan — the same course being taken by Reverberate. [NY Post]

A.P. Arrow is firmly in the “bred for the distance” club according to Wayne Lukas. "He is absolutely a perfect fit for the mile-and-a-half….He carries his speed and stays and stays. He has no bottom to him." Of Afleet Alex and Giacomo, he says that their prior wins "will not help them at the quarter pole on Saturday." [USA Today] However, Ken Ramsey says of his maiden entry Nolan's Cat, who ran second to A.P. Arrow in the 1 1/4 mile maiden race: "No way A.P. Arrow can beat him in the Belmont." Sounds like a good proposition bet to me.
…computations called "fatigue curves" are behind the decision to race this son of Catienus in the Belmont.

Ramsey explains that fatigue curves show how much a horse slowed down in its races -- if it did slow down. Ramsey said the figures he has show that Nolan's Cat ran every quarter-mile faster than the previous fraction in his most recent race at Churchill Downs. [Lexington Herald-Leader]
He’s by the Storm Cat stallion Catienus, out of a mare by Belmont winner Easy Goer; his second dam is by Hatchet Man, and his third dam by Belmont winner Stage Door Johnny, so the distance influence is certainly there. It just may have helped if he had a win on his record.

- Some recent Belmont parimutuel history gives hope to these longshot types:
Four of the past six years have produced gigantic payoffs. Birdstone spoiled Smarty Jones ' Triple try last year and returned $74 at odds of 36-1; in 2002, it was Sarava paying a record $142.50 at 70-1; in 2000, Commendable returned $39.60 at 19-1; and in 1999, Lemon Drop Kid paid $61.50 at 30-1.

In the past 12 Belmonts, only two favorites have won -- Thunder Gulch in 1995 and Point Given in 2001. [Bloodhorse]
Matt Graves reminds us of the importance of the jockeys in this race:
We also have learned that the Belmont Stakes is a jockeys' race. We've seen Kent Desormeaux push the button too quickly on Real Quiet, a charge that was also leveled at Stewart Elliott aboard Smarty Jones last year. It has happened to plenty of others unfamiliar with the unique demands of Belmont.

Just look at the winners of the past eight Belmonts -- Gary Stevens and Edgar Prado twice, Pat Day, Jerry Bailey, Chris McCarron, Jose Santos. Yes, it is a jockeys' race. The stalker with the cool, calm pilot and perfect pedigree usually gets the job done. [Albany Times Union]
While I was watching all those past Belmonts last night, it really jumped out just how early Desormeaux did move on Real Quiet, and it just so happens it was the same big move on the turn that Afleet Alex generally makes. If he runs his typical race, will there be anyone who can track him down in deep stretch? Jeremy Rose will be riding all this week at Belmont to try and get familiar with the course.

- NY-based trainer John Parisella commented the other day that if Edgar Prado had been riding Afleet Alex, he’d be going for the Triple Crown. Rose, a former wrestler who has been gaining in confidence and bravado since the Preakness, responds in the NY Post today:
I'll introduce myself to Parisella this morning at Belmont, and we'll have a little chat. I'd like to know what he thinks I did wrong in the Derby while we're face to face. If he just wants to be a wise apple, then we have a problem. I never even heard of the guy.
Parisella was farily well-known around here at one time, but I can’t tell you anything he’s done of late. Rose, however, should keep his mind on business; Parisella is not the only person who has expressed the opinion that Rose moved too close and soon in the Derby. He has two mounts at Belmont today for Scott Lake, who just got his first win of the meeting after 28 tries on Sunday. However, one is one the turf, and I don’t see how that helps familiarize him with the main track. The other is at 6 furlongs, and Parisella has a horse in that race. I don’t expect they’ll be exchanging pleasantries beforehand.


Anonymous said...

I love Kent D., but he really blew it with Real Quiet in that race.

RK said...

Kind of off-topic, but please have your readers take a look at this post--very important: