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Saturday, January 14, 2006

Saturday Notes - Jan 14

- The Head Chef and the girls are off to IKEA, which leaves me home alone. A full day ahead with some interesting stakes, the return of Stevie Wonderboy, and some other three year-olds to watch. There's nothing quite like the feeling of hopeful anticipation immediately preceding a day at the races (even if it's from home); the endlessness of the possibilites seem even more so than anywhere else, doesn't it? Besides the racing, the Rangers are in Detroit on NBC at 2 PM. Don't know how I'm going to juggle this, but I imagine the DVR will come into play.

- Responding to complaints, Frank Stronach has rescinded the $10 charge to walk into the clubhouse building at Gulfstream...at least for now. [Scott] Savin said management will make an assessment by the end of the month. [Sun-Sentinal]

- Todd Pletcher continued his one-a-day routine at Gulfstream, where, I must say, there seem to be a lot of claiming races here in the opening weeks. He picked up his 9th winner in 19 starters on Thursday with Monarch Lane (Maria’s Mon). This four-year old was making just his 4th career start, and his first since running a distant second to Greeley’s Galaxy in the Illinois Derby last April. He was quite impressive, disposing of one-time Derby aspirant Kansas City Boy (also making his first start since the Illinois Derby, in which he was beaten by 38 lenghts) while in hand, and drawing off when asked to a six length win. Watch out for this one in the handicap division; he’s out of stakes winner Surprising Fact, and from the family of Grade 1 winner Lovlier Linda and the late stallion Old Trieste.

Pletcher actually lost on Friday with favored Unbridled Belle in the 9th. The race was won by three-year old filly Bushfire (Louis Quatorze). Don’t know what the motivation for the horse’s naming was, but in light of recent statements by the president confirming that he feels that he's above the law, consider that this filly’s grandsire is Sovereign Dancer, and her maternal grandsire is Mo Power.

Gary West in the Dallas Star-Telegram takes a look at some of Pletcher’s Derby candidates, including Keyed Entry, who we mentioned after his impressive sprint victory at Gulfstream last weekend. Pletcher said he’s a “completely different horse, much bigger and stronger” than when he won his debut last July, after which he was sidelined by sore shins. He mentioned the Hutcheson and the Southwest Stakes as possible next starts.

But from the sound of it, Pletcher is pinning his Derby hopes largely on Bluegrass Cat (Storm Cat). “To me.....he’s the perfect kind of [Triple Crown] prospect. He has all the tools, the right pedigree, the right temperament. And he’s a very efficient mover.” He’s training up to a February return.

- Giacomo continues to progress in the morning, getting seven furlongs in 1:26.40 at Hollywood on Friday.

- We’ll be watching Zito’s Fabled in an allowance at Gulfstream today. Another of his prospects, Doc Cheney (Saint Ballado), coming off an allowance win at Calder, turned in an impressive five furlongs in 1:00.60 at Gulfstream today, third best of 41 at the distance. He's out of stakes winner Lady Melesi, and traces directly back to La Troienne, his 7th dam.

- Contrary to earlier reports, Merv Griffin apparently will be on hand to watch Stevie Wonderboy in the San Rafael, and he says of the race, "I'm edgy, very edgy.”

"He won the Breeders' Cup, and you know how important that is. That gets you to thinking he will win the Kentucky Derby, the Preakness, the Belmont. I have already accepted the $5 million bonus check in my dreams." [NY Times]
I guess nobody told Merv that there is no $5 million bonus as of now. Maybe he should become the new sponsor.

10 Comments:

Walter said...

...heads up...Point of Impact drilled five furlongs in 57 flat this morning...WOW...

thecalicocat said...

Jeremy Rose gave a helluva ride in Friday's 10th at Gulfstream and made me some money. He has got to be as good as almost any jockey at that meeting, though I know Velazquez and Bridgmohan are hot. But JR couldn't go inside, so I pushed through a little crack and floated out two horses outside of him. I thought he might get dq'd, but the prices went right up.
The Rose/Ritchey horse in Friday's ninth at Gulfstream was a real dud -- Amandatude. Forget that one.

Walter said...

...just noticed something interesting on a big longshot (8/1 ml) in Race 1 @ SA, a two-turn turf race foe maidens...this strictly speculative, i'm not advocating a play here...but check it out...

LAINIES LION (Jan 8, 101.4)

One paced steady type move here, not asked for much in 37.2, 101.3. Should be okay roting. Grade B-

LAINIES LION (DEc 24, 100.4)

Even type drill here, running outside a Mullins trainee late in 36.1, 100.4. Might be a two turn type. Grade B-

...the trainer (Bell) is showing a huge flat-bet profit with Court, who takes over the mount today...might be using him on his sneaky types...plus, i just checked the toteboard with 35 minutes to go, the horse has been bet to 5/1...and he's showing NOTHING on paper...no reason for the action...could be live here...again, just a hunch...

alan said...

Pretty decent effort considering how Very wide he was both turns

Walter said...

...hi alan...yeah, i dumped half a unit on a win/place bet @ 6/1, but i thought he ran pretty well...thought mabe he was gonna do it coming around the turn, but he just got outrun thru the lane...anyway, as long as i'm pimping longshots, chjeck the reports on Southern Moment (8/1 ml) in the 5th...incidentally, the rains have come @ Santa Anita...

SOUTHERN MOMENT (Jan 7, 114.2g)

Good looking drill with Martinez up not real fast early, moved well on the turn then galloped out like a good thing in 25.1, 37.0, 49.0, 101.2 (up there) out in 114.2. Not flashy timewise but clearly has run. Grade B+

SOUTHERN MOMENT (Dec 31, 100.2)

Leaned on late outside Tobe Suave (100.2, Stein) looking solid in 35.3, 100.1. Nice; Enriquez up. Grade B

Walter said...

...just got done looking at the rest of the card...the only other horse i'm looking at is Unbridled Energy in the 8th...you might remember, i had a huge report on him hgoing into the Malibu, and it's possible Mandella setting him up for this one (he's 31% going sprint-to-route)...should be somewhat overlooked in the wagering, me thinks, and given his breeding he may take to the off track...

UNBRIDLED ENERGY (Jan 7, 112.3)

Heads up with barnmate Osidy (112.3) the duo matching strides to the wire in 47.2, 112.3. Both solid; could not seperate them here. Grade B

UNBRIDLED ENERGY (Pre-Malibu, Dec 20, 100.1)

Invader looks to have some talent, striding powerfully late in this eye catching drill, faster than given in 35.0, 58.3. Interesting. Grade A-

Walter said...

...incidentally, bad report on Greeley's Galaxy, the 9/5 ml favorite in Race 8 (though he's coupled with Osidy)...

GREELEY'S GALAXY (Jan 10, 139.3)

Was joined on the backside by Fighting City Hall (103.1, W. Stute) finishing under a stiff shove late with blinkers on and Desormeaux up, trying his best in 50.0, 102.1, 140.4. Did expect more. Grade C+

Walter said...

...Sailors Sunset has now been scractched from the San Rafael, joining MJ Pkay...down to a 4-horse field now, including status-up-in-the-air Brother Derek...some Derby prep for Stevie, watch it be a 3-horse field... 8^P

alan said...

Mandella has a good record going sprint to route, 2nd off layoff. Pulled it off with Osidy, Berbatim, and Rock Hard Ten in 2005.

alan said...

Brother Derek was going easily as Gomez was driving hard on the turn.