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Tuesday, December 27, 2005

Monday Night Notes - Dec 26

- The nearly 35,000 fans at Santa Anita for opening day witnessed a lively betting card with some close finishes and a mix of short-priced favorites and unlikely longshots. In the first division of the Sir Beaumont on the grass, my pick Warrior Song was scratched, but that probably saved me money as I doubt he could have held off the determined Chinese Dragon, winning for the fifth time in six grass starts. The son of Stravinsky roared down the middle of the track through a closing quarter of :23.80 to just nip the inanely-named but improving turf-runner-in-his-own right Hockey the General (General Meeting). I wrote a bit about Chinese Dragon’s pedigree back in April. Buzzard’s Bay had nothing left on the turn and finished 7th at an overbet 3-1.

The 4th was a maiden two-year old filly affair, and it was Baffert first-timer Fletcher’s Cove hanging on at 13-1. Walter had a positive workout report on this one in the comments section here, but neither I (nor he) scored on this one. It’s not often that Baffert pulls off a debut two-year old winner at a fat price. Looking back over the last five years in Formualtor, I see that out of his 33 debut two-year old winners over that time, only one other time did one score at double-digit odds, and that one was 10-1; 17 of those were less than 2-1. Fletcher’s Cove is by Flame Thrower (Saint Ballado), out of a Holy Bull mare who’s a half to Domestic Dispute, who won the Santa Catalina at three for Baffert. Just a week before the Derby, the colt was sold and transferred out of Baffert’s barn. He ran tenth in the Derby, but went on to be useful at four, taking the Strub. I ran ninth in this race with Kentucky Souvenir, a half-sister to the dam of Meetmeinthewoods.

I was all around the finish of the 5th but came up empty; I had 6-1 KC Nite Mayr, but he settled for second behind favored Charmo, who I had underneath my choice along with the third and fourth place finishers, 7-1 and 13-1 respectively.

HRTV unveiled their new graphics today, and they were right on top of the proceedings at Santa Anita, paricularly the sixth race, the maiden affair in which Baffert would unveil two of his well-touted two-year olds (though not Point of Impact, who Jeff Siegel said is reported to be a “monster.”) They gave the race the import of a significant Derby prep, showing that Derby fever 2006 can strike in 2005. They even showed a tape of one of Point Determined's workouts. Neither that colt nor the other half of Baffert’s entry, Royal Legacy (Monarchos) broke particularly well at 3-1, with the latter downright left at the gate. They both did fine to finish 3rd and 4th, but nice win by 4-5 favorite Cindago (Indian Charlie), who no doubt will continue on to the Derby preps.

The Strub showed how you can be right about many things in a horse race, but still go unrewarded. I was right about standing against Wilko (and that he would be bet far more than his morning line indicated) and Greeley’s Galaxy; right about Proud Tower Too being a pace factor that would make life difficult for Attila’s Storm. But I didn't imagine that Proud Tower Too would stick around to win at 20-1, though a second look reveals a sharp improving colt who went :43 1/5 to the half in his last and still won at seven furlongs. My selection Thor’s Echo was no match for those top two, settling for third; would have been a nice score as I had him hooked up in the late double with the eventual nightcap winner Austin Barber at 9-1; that double was paying around $200. To compound that failure, I failed to cash on the 9th, as I left out second place finisher Sea Harbor from my exactas and didn’t bet Austin Barber to win, as his win odds drifted up sharply in the final minutes after I’d made my wagers. Sometimes being right and going unrewarded is your own damn fault.

- Proud Tower Too is by Proud Irish, a horse by Irish River about whom I can’t find much information about his career as a racehorse nor as a sire. He won four out of 21 races and over $111,000 according to the Pedigree Query site, and he was bred to 11 mares in California in 2005 according to Bloodhorse. However, he’s not listed for 2006 in Bloodhorse’s Stallion Register nor on the Thoroughbred Times stallion site, and that does not bode very well for his health. If anyone knows anymore about this one, please fill us in.

1 Comment:

Walter said...

...i don't know anything about Proud Irish, other than the fact he also sired Proud Tower Too's older brother, the ill-fated Proud Tower...that one was a flat-out exceptional 2yo for Sal Gonzalez, who also happens to train Proud Tower Too...i forget exactly what happened to Proud Tower (whether he suffered a fatal injury or just got sick), but he's been dead for a few years now...real shame, he was a much better horse than his younger brother, who's now a Grade 1 winner and has put together a pretty nice career for himself...