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Thursday, April 13, 2006

News and Notes - Apr 13

- A filly by first year sire Came Home (Gone West) won at Keeneland today. The eight-time graded stakes winner (SA Derby, Pacific, Hopeful were the Grade 1s) stands for $40,000 at Lane’s End, and on average, that was a bargain for breeders, as his 2005 yearlings averaged over $147,000 at sale (36 sold). In fact, his Stallion Register page proclaims The Leading First-Crop Yearling Sire at the 2005 Sales (3 or more sold). I believe this is his first winner; Beautiful Venue is out of a mare by the Seattle Slew mare Avenue of Flags. This is a half to the nice turf filly Laurafina.

- Barclay Tagg seems determined to get Showing Up to the Derby despite the fact that he’s had only two starts, and had a setback when he missed the Wood due to a bruised foot. Fitted with a metal plate to protect the injury, the son of Strategic Mission (Mr. Prospector) worked five furlongs in 58.48 seconds at Belmont, and is now being pointed to the Last Chance Stakes, aka the Lexington. Tagg admitted to the Thoroughbred Times that “it's probably not the smartest thing in the world to try and push him into something like the Derby.”

"But we'll put him in [the Lexington] and see how he does around two turns. If anything, it should set him up nicely for the Preakness [Stakes (G1) at Pimlico Race Course on May 20.]"
But why would they ship him to Keeneland for the Lexington if they weren’t seriously thinking (dreaming) about the Derby; c’mon, really. Though it’s just a one-turn race, the Withers, at a mile at the Big A, is run on April 29th, and that race worked pretty well as a Preakness prep for Scrappy T last year.

- The Kentucky General Assembly adjourned with no action being taken in the Senate on the worker’s comp bill there; the bill passed the House handily 83-12 and had the support of Governor Fletcher. But the Senate Presiden, Republican David Williams said "Jockeys are independent contractors…..Independent contractors are not the responsibility of their employers."

- This is not my official Blue Grass preview, but I can tell you right now that I’m all over Strong Contender if he goes off at his morning line of 4-1. As you probably know, it will be his first race around two turns, and his first stakes race. The last Derby winner to race in only one previous stakes was Proud Clarion in 1967. [Louisville Courier-Journal]


Anonymous said...

...hi alan...yeah, i would like Strong Contender @ 4/1 as well...i don't think we're gonna get it though...btw, keep an eye on Sinister Minister...he was running extremely well in that Golden Gate race before veering in sharply and hitting the rail...he wasn't flattered by Cause to Believe last weekend, but Keeneland is speed-favoring and there's a good chance he'll run well at an overlaid price...not sure what the pace scenario looks like, though obviously Strong Contender and First Samurai have keen speed as well...i'm guessing Strong Contender will attempt to stalk the other two, but we'll see...

Anonymous said...

Alan, I read your blog daily, I enjoy your observations and input. I have to comment on the touting of Sinister Minister. He was stopping like a 20 dollar Times Square Rolex before he decided he wanted to jump into the centerfield. Despite the speed bias in Keeneland, he wont be around at the finish. If you want a speed horse, First Samurai still has the class edge over this field and the speed to control this race. I still dont understand the love affair with Strong Contender, if I am missing something tell me about it Alan. It will be almost two months since his last start when he crushed a one other than allowance field in a one turn mile effort at Gulfstream. He will have to be some kind of horse to beat this field. First Samurai and Sinister Minister sets the race up for Bluegrass Cat who really hasnt done anything wrong. He will stalk a fast pace with a perfect trip. The Tampa Bay track was very cuppy the day he threw a shoe and ran second to Deputy Glitter. He is a nice horse, and Pletcher is always a plus. Good job on the blog, best of racing luck and get that horse of yours a start on the grass! Nick

Alan Mann said...

Hey Nick,

I responded to your post in the main thread, but just wanted to thank you for reading and for the nice words. Best of racing luck to you too.