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Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Go to the Windows

- Steve Asmussen has won five of the baby races at Keeneland, but She’s Roughing It (Forest Camp), his first-timer on Wednesday, was second choice to Audacious Chloe. The favorite was a Todd Pletcher first-timer, and she had Garrett Gomez aboard, in his debut as a fill-in for the injured John Velazquez. 2-1 in the morning line, she was a solid choice at 7-10. Audacious Chloe is by More Than Ready, out of Audacious, a mare by the turf champion Manila; and the way the More Than Readys have taken to the grass, I see green in her future. Audacious is also a half-sister to Freddie Frisson, the dam of First Samurai.

Anyway, the chalk players were heading to the windows, so to speak. That expression isn’t really fully relevant anymore, since bettors who utilize vouchers and account cards generally don’t cash until the end of the day. But I recall in the old days how we would literally head to the windows immediately after the finish, if not sooner, in order to avoid long lines to cash. "Go to the windows" was a commonly heard victory cry. "I was already heading to the windows!" a familiar lament.

But I digress again. You should check out this race; when Audacious Chloe started to pull away from Asmussen’s filly midstretch, the chalk players were heading to the windows. So to speak. Pro Pink (Touch Gold) had made up a lot of ground while wide, but still looked beaten, with four lengths to make up at the sixteenth pole. But she took off from there, and ran by the favorite by a half length to score at 24-1 to become the first winner for trainer Jamie Sanders, a former exercise rider and assistant to Nick Zito.

The Pletcher/Gomez combo then failed in the 7th with Talented (Fusaichi Pegasus), the 4-5 favorite making her first start since running 4th as the choice in the Grade 1 Prioress last July. This was one Pletcher layoff horse who wasn’t ready, as she tired after battling for the lead, and lost by more than 20 lengths.

Pletcher will probably also have the favorite in Thursday’s baby race with Bella Shambrock. He had a bad start at 6-5 in her debut, and will probably be forgiven by the bettors. He’s by Grand Slam, out of a Silver Deputy mare; his third dam is the great race mare and broodmare Dahlia. This was a $200,000 two-year old in training sale at Ocala just a couple of months ago.

1 Comment:

QQ said...

Funny you mention Bella Shambrock. In the first race at Keeneland on opening day, I noticed that he was entered in the same race as L'Grande d'Oro - also out of Grand Slam by way of a Silver Deputy mare. It caught my eye because the Tomlinson numbers for the two were identical -- though their auction prices were quite different. It looked to me that Bella Shambrock cost 10 times as much as L'Grande, who came in second to Bella Shambrock's fifth. (Always cheering -- and betting -- the underdog, I went with L'Grande.)