- Running Dog, 6-1 morning line, had never been on the turf and his only win was at six furlongs. That didn’t stop him from getting bet down to a flat 3-1 in a mile and an eighth grass affair in the first race of the Belmont meet, and rallying to win for trainer James Jerkins, the first of his three wins on the day. And they’re off at Belmont! This gelding is by NY stallion A.P Jet, who was critically injured in the freak accident that killed Gold Token.
"Yesterday morning, A. P Jet was being turned out into his paddock. He reared up at the gate and got loose from his handler. He galloped over to Gold Token's paddock. Gold Token came through the fence to get at him. They started fighting and took off galloping beside the paddocks. Gold Token hit a tree and dropped dead. A. P Jet is at a New York clinic and is currently in serious condition." [Bloodhorse]Hmm, this pedigree of Running Dog's seems familiar; I must have written about it before. Oh yeah, here, in this very long post. In fact I bet on him in his debut, and wrote that I’d put him on my watch list. Fortunately, I didn’t, because he lost his next six races at prices ranging from 6-5 to 9-2.
Running Dog is by A.P Jet out of stakes winner and millionaire Clabber Girl, and a closer look at this unconventional pedigree reveals that he has Fappiano as his grandsire, and his granddam is Jedina, a stakes winning half-sister to Fappiano! This is also the female family of Commendable and Keeper Hill.Jerkins took the one mile G3 Westchester with Sir Greeley, who lost heartbreakers in his last two, including his neck defeat to Bishop Court Hill in the Carter. Love of Money was live on the board at 3-1, and opened up about ten in 44 3/5 in his first race in nearly a year; but succumbed late.
Star Dabbler (Saint Ballado) looks like a nice three-year old that is improving with distance for trainer Michael Hushion; stretching out to a mile, he won the sixth by seven in a handy 1:35 to graduate in his third start. He’s out of Meadow Silk, a stakes-winning Meadowlake mare whose name is more suggestive of a harness horse. Meadow Silk is a half to Silken Cat, the stakes-winning dam of champion sprinter Speightstown. Star Dabbler’s second dam, by Chieftain, is a half to the Grade 1 turf winner Turk Passer. And through the magic of Google, we learn that it was on Turk Passer that John Velazquez got his first-evert Grade 1 win in the 1994 Turf Classic at Belmont.
- Reader Nick had some very interesting observations on some of the Derby contenders, including cautionary notes on two of the horses I like.
Sweetnorthernsaint looked off behind, stabbing and up under himself a little in a morning jog. Now this could be significant or it may the way he always looks after he works a 1:11 6FNick also has some very interesting and positive statistics on the Derby record of horses that come into the race with “back to back 100 plus Beyers” in their last two races. I’ll come back to that later when I pick one of the horses who doesn’t qualify.
Point Determined is not good in the turns, he needs to be closer than most going into the last turn to make up any ground in the stretch.