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Saturday, February 11, 2006

Saturday Morning Notes - Feb 11

Some quick notes and observations on today's races at Santa Anita and Gulfstream:

Santa Anita

3rd – Baffert unveils Evaluate, a TC-nominated Fusaichi Pegasus colt, with the typical Baffert workout tab; most recently a bullet :58.1 (1/50). He’s out of a French stakes winning Affirmed mare, and his third dam is stakes winner Viva La Vivi. This is the distaff family of Vicar and Viva Sec.

4th – Frankel sends his three-year old Racketeer (Awesome Again), a maiden winner of his last. This Stronach-bred seems short on pedigree but was a hot number at 9-5 in his winning dirt debut.

5th – Cold exacta alert: Giant Shift has burned some money and moves to the rail. With the stretch long run to the first turn at the nine furlong distance, I’m not so sure if that’s really an advantage. K C Nite Mayr is an always-trier, and could get the decision over the morning line favorite today. Fire Wood looks just a tad slower than these.

7th (Grade 1 Santa Maria) – Proposed is another offspring of Benchmark making headlines this year, but Star Parade looks real tough on the switch back to dirt.


4th – Steve Asmussen gives it another shot with his Triple Crown hopeful Noonmark (Unbridled’s Song), scratched from the sloppy going last weekend; but Bernie White Shoes is the morning line favorite. Praying for Cash (Songandaprayer) makes his first start since winning his debut at Monmouth in June, when he beat Confront, subsequently stakes placed. He’s bred a bit similarly to High Limit in that his dam is inbred to the influential broodmare Tamerett.

7th//11th – Todd Pletcher now has 22 wins with 80 starters at the meet after his Manchu Prince took the finale on the grass on Friday with a bold late close into quick closing fractions. He’s by Gone West out of a stakes placed Cox’s Ridge mare, and his third dam is the prodigious producer Toll Booth, dam of Christiecat, Toll Fee, Toll Key, and a personal favorite, Plugged Nickle.

In the 7th, he sends out second time starter Coach Kent, and he pops at a 33% rate with these. By Forestry, he’s a half brother to graded turf winner Changing World. In the 11th, he has second time starter Minidrop (Lemon Drop Kid).