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Sunday, June 26, 2005

Stakes Recap and Stuff

- A much more patient ride for Smuggler in the Mother Goose than she got in the Acorn. Edgar Prado had her situated comfortably behind the contested pace, and swept around them on the turn. Nice effort by Spun Sugar, and Summerly was certainly not disgraced and will likely improve around two turns at Saratoga if Steve Asmussen chooses to send her there. She was very wide down the backstretch and never seemed comfortable. After the race, Simon Bray on TVG pointed out that this daughter of Unbridled out of Inside Information, now a Grade 1 stakes winner, is worth as lot of money! But with her breeding, I doubt this Phipps filly will be going anywhere but the Phipps broodmare band. It was the first Mother Goose win for Shug McGaughey, who saddled Smuggler’s dam to a third place finish. The win didn’t come without trouble though, as she had to check behind Spun Sugar after that filly ducked in at the gap between the chute and main track. "She just about clipped heels," McGaughey said. "She hit herself on the back of her ankle." [NY Daily News]

Prado said she was capable of more than the final :13 second furlong and time of 1:48 2/5. “She was just galloping along when she got to the leaders. She is a very nice filly. I think she forgot to keep going. She kind of pulled herself up. She could have won by a little more." [Bloodhorse]

- When you’re hot, you’re hot; another turf winner for Billy Mott at Belmont, but better yet, his Seeking Slew got double DQ’d into a Grade 3 stakes win in the Kent BC at Delaware. And sizzling jockey Elbar Coa had another four-bagger at Belmont, his second within a week’s time.

- There was a nice co-feature scheduled at Belmont, a $60,000 handicap at a mile and three eights on the turf, but the field was decimated by five late scratches, leaving the standard field of five. NYRA can't seem to catch a break here. Dreadnaught had won two consecutive Grade 2’s to close out 2004, but here in his 2005 debut he was no match for Salic Law, who could be a developing long distance star for red hot Tom Albertrani. It’s the second straight impressive win for this 4 yo son of Deputy Commander who's a half brother to millionaire Bowman’s Band. He’s out of Hometown Queen, a stakes winning Pleasant Colony mare who is also the greanddam of Pollard’s Vision. This is a royally bred horse - Chris Evert is her third dam; this is the direct family of Sightseek, Chief’s Crown, and let's just say many other good horses.

- Kelly’s Landing set a track record for 6 furlongs in winning the G3 Aristides BC at Churchill yesterday. Give at least partial credit to Jet Prospector for setting a pace of 21 flat ant 43.83 to set things up, and to Gary Stevens for the perfect rail-skimming ride that propelled them to a clocking of 1:07.58 in the 4 yo gelding’s first stakes effort. "I guess when you run 1:074/5 and lose, you can't feel too bad," said [2nd place finisher Battle Won’s] trainer Chuck Simon. [Courier-Journal]

- I like to write about (and win on) horses that get tote action and then back it up on the track, but of course it’s not always that easy. There’s been a preponderance of maiden turf races at Belmont, many of them state-breds, as NYRA desparately attempts to present full fields, quality notwithstanding. Since they raised the purses on claiming races, I personally haven’t noticed a single horse shipping from another track other than the Finger Lakes. In a lot of these maiden turf races, the board is the only thing to go by, as you get a mix of first-time starters, first-time turfers, and if you’re lucky, a couple with mediocre grass form. If you’ve been following the money the past couple of days, you’ve lost. I fell for one in the 4th; Final Markdown (Dynaformer) was making his career debut on the turf; he was 6-1 morning line, got pounded to 5-2, and made an impressive appearance in the paddock. But he ran a sluggish 7th.

In the second yesterday, for state-breds on the turf, Pletcher’s first-timer Spin Factor (Indian Charlie) went off 9-5 (he was actually 8-5 ML) but settled for second. And in the 9th, Aaron’s Classic was 8-1 morning line, got pounded to 8-5 in his turf debut, and ran well but finished second to an absolute monster performance by 17-1 first timer High Yield Hunter, Coa’s 4th winner. He jumped at the start, settled into last, circled around them all effortlessly while five wide on the turn, and drew away to the win. So, even as the money was right about Aaron’s Classic, it was wrong.

High Yield Hunter really got away at that price; his trainer Jimmy Toner is doing well at Belmont with 5 wins and 11 in the money finishes in 18 starts, and is worth watching; he’s always been one to pop a first-timer. This 3yo gelding is indeed by High Yield, and his second dam is grade 1 turf winner Estrapade, winner of the Arlington Million, amongst others.


throwaway said...

Just out of curiosity, alan: in the races you mentioned where certain horses got pounded at the tote and lost, did you happen to notice whether they received comparable play in the exacta pool? i recall your writing peviously that part of this approach was to look for a horse with a disproportionate amount bet to win, not so much in the exacta, suggesting someone's extreme confidence for the win, w/o wanting to screw around too much with filling out the exotics.

alan said...

Excuse this if it shows up as a duplicate response...

I don't recall in these particular cases, but you're correct in that you'll sometimes see horses bet "on the nose" not get the same kind of action in the exacta pools, and I consider that a positive as well as an overlay in the exacta. I also look at the will-pays for any multi-race wagers, because these horses will often not get bet at all in the doubles and pick 3's; if I notice a big disparity developing, then I'll take a closer look.