- Giacomo flipped a palate before the race and had trouble breathing, which can be a problem sometimes. "You could hear it; he made a roaring sound," Smith said. "I heard it into the gate and it got louder during the race." [NY Times] In fact, his connections contended that his problems started long before the race.
Giacomo was a dud, according to Smith and trainer John Shirreffs, from the moment he set foot in Belmont Park's barn 8. That was designated for this Belmont as the detention barn - a quarantine area where the horses would have to spend the final six hours before post time.You don’t usually think of the betting in the huge pools you get in these races in terms of horses being “dead on the board,” but Reverberate certainly seemed to fit that description. He was 6-1 morning line, and was picked to at least be competitive by many public handicappers. I even mistakenly thought he’d be close to second choice; that was way off. He hovered around 12-1 the whole time and went off just a tad less, and he ran to his betting, beating only Pinpoint. The race chart tells of a perilous beginning. REVERBERATE broke in the air then stumbled at the start, steadied along the rail on the first turn and was never close thereafter.
"He got really shook up in the detention barn and he was really shook up the whole time I got on him," Smith said. [NY Daily News]
''We lost all chance when he stumbled at the start," [trainer Sal Russo] said. ''Clearly, he needed to be closer to the pace. He also bit his tongue, and that didn't help. With those two things, we had no chance." [Boston.com]Andromeda’s Hero finally showed something, continuing on well for second, though didn’t Alex’s 7 length margin seem like much more? Bejarano said, “My horse was coming really strong, too, but I couldn't get him because No. 9 (Afleet Alex) was flying." [Courier-Journal] Still, with no more mile and a half races available, you still have to wonder if he’ll ever win.
Zito’s Indy Storm ran 4th, and Edgar Prado said: "I was very happy going into the turn, but when I saw Afleet Alex going by me like I was tied to a pole, I said, 'Oh, (shoot), I'm in trouble.' He went by me so fast." [Courier-Journal] For Nick, at least Andromeda’s Hero spared him the embarrassment of not even finishing in the money for the series. "Pinpoint may not be ready for these horses yet, but Indy Storm ran great and Andromeda's Hero ran unbelievable." [Newsday]
Southern Africa was very sweaty in the paddock, stayed close as they turned for home, but faded to 8th. Wayne Lukas, ever the optimist, said of his A.P Arrow, who held on OK for 5th. ''I was very pleased...He ran a good race against some very fine horses." [Boston.com] By the way, Going Wild lost by only 9 1/2 against Lost in the Fog.
And then there’s Nolan’s Cat, who indeed beat A.P. Arrow has Ken Ramsey guaranteed. Dale Romans made two points that are absolutely impossible to argue with. "He's the best maiden in the country .....It’s going to be hard to pick a spot for him because he likes these longer races." [Newsday] I remember Ramsey produced some numbers showing that Nolan’s Cat ran each quarter faster than the prior one in his last maiden race, and it’s got to be I suppose that he did that again. I dunno, maybe if you had covered up the Md Sp Wt’s in his running lines and I’d seen that he’d closed compeitively against decent horses like Coin Silver and Noble Causeway, maybe you throw him onto some tickets.
- Tim Ritchey wants to try Afleet Alex on the grass, saying “I think he'll excel on turf." They’re talking about racing in the Haskell and Travers, which are three weeks apart, a daunting task these days to mere mortal thoroughbreds, but no one would question the prospect of him not only running and winning both races, but of him travelling from the Jersey Shore to Saratoga Springs by hoof.