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Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Belmont In The Bag?

- NYRA should probably update their website, doncha think? I mean, this still appears on the home page!

- Sweetnorthernsaint is still a possibility for the Belmont despite suffering a minor foot injury (grabbed quarter) in the Preakness. "He was a little tender for a day or two but it turned out to be no big deal," Trombetta said. "We need to work him by Saturday. If he doesn't work by Saturday, he won't run in the Belmont." [Albany Times-Union]

Cause To Believe, who seemed to have more backers for the Derby than any 50-1 morning line horse in history (it really was just a bad line by Mike Battaglia, and he went off a far more appropriate 25-1) is back in the picture and is a possibility for Jerry Hollendorfer after a mile work in 1:39 4/5.

It’s funny how some horses will grow in its perceived stature approaching a big race even though he/she hasn’t really done anything of late to warrant it. Often, it’s due to the fact that the horse’s prior effort seems, with time, to grow on people. Sunriver was that horse going into the Derby (which he didn’t get into), and Deputy Glitters seems to be gaining respect going into the Belmont. Now, he’s picked up Edgar Prado as well. On Monday, he worked five furlongs in 1:01 2/5. The work included an unplanned and unidentified workmate from the Bill Mott barn.

Much of the optimism centers on a second and third look at his Derby, in which he finished a respectable 8th despite being wide throughout. Assistant trainer Andy Rehm, sitting in for the suspended Tom Albertrani, said of the effort:

"I think he got a 4 on The Sheets, which was one of the lowest numbers in the race. If we got the same kind of trip Bluegrass Cat got, I think we could have been second. Bluegrass Cat is kind of the same horse as Deputy Glitters, he beat us a length and we beat him a length." [NYRA]
And it was Deputy Glitters who had turned the table on Bluegrass Cat after losing to him. Then came the two efforts that you can excuse – the sloppy Wood, and the Derby.

However, I guess it should be pointed out that not all that much positive has yet to come out of that Wood. Plus, there’s nothing too special about his pedigree – he’s by Deputy Commander, a sire who has fizzled since his much hyped first crop featuring Ten Most Wanted, out of Glitterman, a sprinter whose progeny has an average winning distance of just over six furlongs. Nevertheless, he’ll probably take some money, especially with Prado aboard – a lot of sentimental money there, perhaps - as will plodding types such as Jazil and Steppenwolfer, thus perhaps creating a bit of value on Sunriver, who, in my humble opinion 11 days before the Belmont, appears to have this race absolutely in the bag. No?

- Perhaps one way to tell if the casual racing fans and bettors were turned off by the Preakness is to watch the board for the Belmont. If, for example, Platinum Couple is anything close to the absurd 33-1 he went off in the Preakness, then they're proabably still out there watching and throwing their money away on hopeless longshots.

- Richard Dutrow is in the news today for his Met Mile win with Silver Train, but check out what he’s been doing a bit south of Belmont Park: Dutrow has six wins in seven starts this meet at Monmouth Park, where he has 35 horses stabled. [Asbury Park Press]

1 Comment:

Walter said... mention of the Shoemaker Mile, beore or after the race?...i'm shocked!...incidentally, it was won by Aragorn in 1:32 and change, after he was able to stalk some slow early fractions and get the jump on extremely talented late-runners Charmo and Silent Name...Charmo, for his part, split horses in deep stretch to get up for second (beaten about a length and a half) after beating Aragorn in the SF Mile last time ou)...