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Saturday, February 25, 2006

Saturday Night Notes - Feb 25

- The best race I saw today was the Gulfstream Park BC Handicap. It was a classic stretch duel; Go Deputy appeared ready to surge past Einstein midstretch, but the leader dug in to repulse the challenge and was edging away a bit at the wire. Bejarano found himself on the lead and patiently rated him, even letting Gun Salute edge ahead on the backstretch. He went :51 2 to the half and 1:18 to six furlongs – that’s a :26.3 quarter. From there he sprinted home with quarters of :24.2 and :23.4, and the final 3/16ths in :17.2. Yet Go Deputy, who was wide on the far turn, was able to draw nearly even in the stretch and fight on grimly to miss by a neck.

Einstein (Spend A Buck) became a Grade 1 winner in only his sixth career race, his first try beyond a mile and an eighth, and first stakes effort. The possibilities seem endless for this colt; so I’m puzzled as to why his trainer Helen Pitts mentioned the UAE Derby as a possible next start. Einstein is a Southern Hemisphere three-year old and thus is eligible for that age-restricted dirt race. He’s shown great ability on the turf, and though he has on the dirt too, those efforts were in races taken off the turf and run on wet tracks. He’s never run on a fast dirt track such as what he would almost certainly face in Dubai. Whatsmore, there’s the issue of the long-term effects of the trip. Pitts told Bloodhorse: "Dubai is hard on a horse, but it's a great opportunity to consider.." A great opportunity perhaps for the connections, but not necessarily for the horse. I can’t imagine how shipping halfway around the world to run on a strange surface could possibly be in the best interests of this horse.

Go Deputy is an even more interesting story - a six-year old who got his fifth win in only 12 career starts; he missed all of 2004. But since coming off a seven month layoff in October, he’s progressed steadily in five starts from allowance company to being a legitimate Grade 1 horse and yet another potential star for Todd Pletcher. I thought he was the best horse in the race; he was relentless despite being wide and having the pace decidedly against him. He’s a half brother to the multiple Grade 1 winner (Strub, Pacific Classic) Dare And Go, and comes from a female family that includes the likes of Ogygian, Commendable, Honour and Glory, Dr. Patches, Quiet American, and Tartan Stable turf star Who’s For Dinner, remember him? This year, Go Deputy has won at distances from a mile and a sixteenth to today’s 1 7/16ths marathon.

- First Samurai’s mile work in 1:37.60 went in fractions of :49-2/5, 1:01-3/5 and 1:13-3/5. Clockers caught him galloping out a mile and an eighth in 1:53-3/5. [NY Daily News]

- Spanish Chestnut was supposed to make his comeback at Turf Paradise on Saturday, but he instead breezed five furlongs in 1:00.20 (6/27) at Santa Anita.

- Bandini may make his first start since the Kentucky Derby in the Grade 2 Richter Scale on Gulfstream on Fountain of Youth day next Saturday, where he may face BC Sprint winner Silver Train; there's a cool matchup!

2 Comments:

Walter said...

...i read on the SA website that Point of Impact worked six furlongs in 1:10 4/5, breezing...as you guys probably know, the designation "breezing" is very rarely used in California...must've been a helluva drill...

...also of note, it seems the impressive two-turn maiden winner Mister Triester will be lining up vs. Brother Derek and Latent Heat in the Santa Catalina...nice field taking shape, or so it would seem...

Walter said...

...following up on the Fasig-Tipton sale...during the second under-tack show, a Tiznow-Evil colt scorched a quarter mile in 20.60 seconds...a Fasig-Tipton executive said he couldn't remember any horse ever working that distance faster prior to the sale...a bit strange though is the fact colt didn't show his stuff during the first under-tack show, when he got the same distance in 22 and change...his handler seemed to think that he had "babied him" coming up to the sale, and that the first of the two breezes woke him up...possible, but still rather strange...in any case, a quarter in 20.60 is noteworthy to say the least...