- Kiaran McLaughlin was back at Belmont on Sunday, saddling Roshani (Fantastic Light) to a 4th place finish at .55-to-1 in the second race. But forget about that, just you wait until she gets on the turf. That was a funny race; Michael Matz had first timer Cindy’s Mom (AP Indy) at 7-2 in the morning line, and Richard Dutrow had Baby Bird (Cape Town), listed at 9-2. They both looked absolutely fabulous in the paddock and on the track, particularly Cindy's Mom, but were totally dead on the board, at 10-1 and 13-1 respectively! Yet they ran far closer to their morning line. Roshani got cooked on the front end early, and Baby Bird swept by to win with a nice four wide move.
Matz’s horse closed extremely well after having to swerve out to go around a tiring front-runner. She’s out of a Deputy Minister mare who is a half sister to Sea of Secrets, Fight for Love, and Love That Jazz, the dam of Society Selection. Baby Bird is out of a mare by Kentucky Derby winner Strike the Gold who is a half to Grade 1 winner Stop Traffic.
- Did you see Dubai Escapade toy with Smokey Glacken in the Vagrancy? Edgar Prado allowed that rival to draw alongside around the turn, before kicking away at will and drawing off to win by six. Trainer Eoin Harty told Brisnet: “We're going to take a look at a race at Calder for her (July 15 Princess Rooney H. [G1]) or the (August 27) Ballerina ([G1] at Saratoga)."
- After winning the Belmont with Jazil despite working him only twice after the Derby five weeks prior, McLaughlin will apparently aim the colt straight for the Travers as his next start. Bernardini is said to be headed for the Jim Dandy, and perhaps the Monmouth (don’t get excited Patrick; it was termed a remote possibility). Bluegrass Cat and Sunriver are expected for the Midsummer Derby, and if we’re all lucky and things go well in the Dwyer, perhaps Discreet Cat will return to the scene of his celebrated debut last year. (He worked five furlongs in 1:01.84 [7/16] on Monday morning.) Henny Hughes is getting ready to return at Momouth on July 1. But one thing I’ve noticed about all the speculation for the three-year old division in the second half of 2006 is that the name Stevie Wonderboy is barely heard.
- Next for Lava Man is the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup.
"Obviously, we've got a top-quality turf horse, but I still think his best races and his style is more geared to speed and stamina that kicks butt on dirt," said trainer Doug O'Neill. "He's been bouncing out of these races very well, so we're hoping he continues to do that." [AP]One horse who wants no part of Lava Man is Buzzards Bay; of the prospect of facing him, trainer Ron Ellis said “I don't know if I want to do that yet.” [DRF] So instead of running in this weekend’s G2 Californian to prep for the Gold Cup, Buzzards Bay will instead target the Grade 1 Stephen Foster at Churchill on Saturday. "I'd rather run in just one race, and take a shot at a Grade 1 where it looks like we have a good chance." That could be bulletin board material for the other expected entrants, which include Brass Hat, the winter sensation who ran second in the Dubai World Cup (before being DQ’d to third for an illegal medication), Wanderin Boy, West Virginia, Master Command, and Wild Desert. Now you know why Ellis thinks he has a better shot at a Grade 1 in the Foster.