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Friday, April 28, 2006

Friday Morning Notes - April 28

- Nick Zito is threatening to close out the Keeneland meeting the same way he started it – red hot. He had two winners on Thursday, and a third that was first under the wire only to be DQ’d to third. Wanderin Boy took the G3 Ben Ali Stakes. This son of Seeking the Gold loves Keeneland, having won all three starts there. He won in the same dominating wire-to-wire fashion as he did in his last, when he earned a stakes-quality Beyer of 113. But he’ll have to prove that he didn’t just ride the speed bias when he makes his next start. Still, it’s been an impressive return to form for this lightly raced five-year old, who impressed winning the Mineshaft last year before getting hurt. Zito’s Noble Causeway finished third.

Nick took the 5th with Prism (Albert the Great) at odds of 8-1. Finishing last was the 1-2 favorite Peig Sayers, and man, Garrett Gomez is not exactly off to a flying start for Todd Pletcher. With Bella Shambrock disappointing again as the 6-5 favorite in the 2nd, that makes four out of four big favorites that the pair have failed to connect with in Gomez’ first two days on the job. Prism is out of the stakes placed Naskra Colors (Star De Naskra), and is a half-brother to Zito’s recently retired Sir Shackleton.

- Jono (High Yield) is a ¾’s brother to our Highland Cat (Tactical Cat), and on Thursday, he finally graduated in his 9th attempt. He took the first at Pimlico, a $16,000 maiden claiming affair. Let’s hope we don’t have to drop Highland Cat to those levels. The thus far plodding gelding has been having work done on those hocks, and Bill Turner remains optimistic, expecting him to race “much better” the next time. And yes, he’s pointing him to the turf (on which Jono failed miserably in his only try, at 4-1 in a 13 horse field); it’s scheduled for May 5 at Belmont, a $45K maiden claimer going a mile and a sixteenth.