- Saint Liam jumped right back to the head of the older horses division, at least, with his win in the Stephen Foster, and there’s just one obvious goal in mind.
It didn't take the horse's connections that long to let the world know that they intend to win three major races -- the Whitney at Saratoga, the Woodward at Belmont Park and the Breeders' Cup Classic, also at Belmont -- and pursue Horse of the Year. [Courier-Journal]That’s the same campaign that had been mapped out for Ghostzapper. Racing manager Mark Reid said, "We hope to see Afleet Alex at the Breeders' Cup. " Bobby Frankel gets credit for the training win, sitting in for the suspended Richard Dutrow, to whom Frankel insists the horse will return, even if asked to keep him; Reid said "It's nice when you can get Babe Ruth off the bench to pinch-hit." [AP] The campaign planned for him should give him enough time between races, though not the 3 months or more which he really seems to prefer.
Owner Ken Ramsey said that Badge of Silver bled "pretty severely." [Courier-Journal]
- With the Belmont just a week in the past and having watched the sport on national television yesterday, I became temporarily deranged, thought for a moment that horse racing was a major sport in New York, and turned to the NY papers for some stories on Ashado’s win in the Grade 1 Phipps yesterday. What was I thinking? Considering that the Yankees dominated the sports headlines even the day after the Belmont, I was foolish to think that the papers would dispatch correspondents to cover a Grade 1 race with last year’s 3 yo filly champ. Well, one did anyway, the Daily News.
John Velasquez used the race as vindication for Ashado’s loss in the slop at Pimlico. "I told everybody she's good over a wet-fast track, not in the slop....Look at today, it was the same pace scenario, and as soon as I squeezed on her she was there." [DRF]
"I don't think being on the lead is her preferred running style, but any time you can get the first quarter in :24, you have to take that," Pletcher said. "I think she showed today what she is all about. The whole field finished up really well - 1:41 is a solid time off those early fractions." [NY Daily News]Society Selection finished up well, but had no shot given the slow early pace; definitely continue to follow her down the road when the pace gets more contentious.
Just 7,667 in attendance at Belmont. The Phipps was the 9th race so it could lead the NTRA telecast; I guess the horse shortage is bad enough that they didn’t even bother adding a 10th. If it wasn’t for state-bred and turf races, there’d barely be any horses at all, or so it seems.
The Dutrow/Rodriguez strategy of running horses back in a few days backfired in the Meadow Star Stakes, as Slew Motion, who won the feature on Wednesday, ran last at 6-5. But Rodriguez added anothe winner, and hot trainers Christophe Clement and Tom Albertrani added a win apiece.
- It’s Father’s Day, and we’re having a fairly large gathering of family and friends later in the afternoon, so I gotta run. It’s doubtful that this father will get to enjoy his favorite leisure activity on his day. (Er...besides family and friends of course.) Have a good one and Happy Father’s Day.