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Sunday, September 24, 2006

Backwards Pick Three

- As it turned out, I was alive to Octave in Saturday's late Pick 3, even though she ran in the Matron, which was the first race of the sequence. Before leaving to my parents' for a holiday family affair, I bet the late Pick Three with the two horses I picked here for the two juvenile stakes, Octave and King of the Roxy, with five horses in the finale.

I was able to free myself during that little lull between the hors d'ouevres and drinking portion, and dinner, and got to watch Mascot win the final race. Besides being one of my selections in the race, he was 11-1 winning his 4th race in a row! This three-year old son of Five Star Day was a $160,000 sales yearling who had one dull start for Todd Pletcher at two. Then in February, he turned up for a $16,000 tag for Dutrow, went off at 7-10, and got claimed by Robert Klesaris. After a third in three subsequent dirt tries, Klesaris tried him on the turf for a $40K tag, and he rallied for second at six furlongs. He hasn't lost since then, taking one at Belmont at 45K, and then two at Saratoga for 40K. On Saturday, he was moving up to allowance, and stretching out to a mile and a quarter from a mile.

Garrett Gomez did a great job rating him on the lead to a 1:14.69 three quarters, and from there, he was able to come home in quarters of 24.31 and a zippy 23.25. Far back in sixth was the 4-5 favorite Devil's Preacher, a close second in the Saranac.

Mascot is potentially a very interesting story, and let's see if Klesaris tries to find some kind of overnight stakes spot for this horse, perhaps at the upcoming Meadowlands meet. He has a lot of pedigree, being out of a Slew O'Gold mare who is half to the successful sire Clever Trick, and to the dam of Grade 1 winner Alydeed.

When I got home, I decided to watch the Futurity first even though it was run after the Matron. I was more confident about King of the Roxy than for Octave, so I figured I'd have a better chance of extending my action to a third leg. Might as well some bang for the buck, eh? Watching the race, I think you got an idea of what Barry Irwin was talking about when he raved about how the colt took the turn in the race that inspired Irwin to buy him. He was four wide and seemed to be propelled coming off the sweeping turn at Belmont, finishing the seven furlongs in 1:24.09, about four-fifths faster than the Matron was run. He got the final furlong in 12.69; John Velazquez said that he "got to the front, and he started waiting.... I think he can be better if he puts it all together." [Brisnet]

And he's trained by Pletcher, so we can add him to Circular Quay and Scat Daddy as the trainer's Juvenile prospects.

So I was alive in the first leg of the Pick Three! The bettors made Magical Ride the 6-5 favorite, but she was never really involved this time in a race whose pace was quite manageable. Her trainer Rusty Arnold told Bloodhorse.com: "It was kind of a disaster. I'm going to have to go back and re-assess and start over."

It looked like I was going to nail this one, didn't it? Octave had to be hard used by Garrett Gomez as he saved ground turning for home, so I wasn't confident at that point. But she continued to grind away as Meadow Breeze was drifting out and pacesetter Featherbed was tiring, and she looked like a winner to me as they passed the sixteenth pole. It's a tough angle to judge on TV, though, when a horse is drifting out, so I can't be sure if Octave ever acheeeeeved the lead (as Marshall Cassidy used to say), though it sure appeared that way before Meadow Breeze beat her by a head.

It was an unlucky bob that prevented Octave from having the place spot to herself instead of sharing it with stablemate Featherbed. And it was a disappointing loss for me, but at least I managed to get maximum excitement out of the bet.

- King of the Roxy is by the first-year sire Littleexpectations, a son of Valid Appeal who stands for $3500 in Texas; the sire is a full brother to the top Texas sire Valid Expectations. He's already had seven winners out of a 40-foal first crop, and this was his first stakes winner. King of the Roxy is out of a Bold Forbes mare, and has some classy turf winners on his distaff side, including Mea Domina and Geraldine's Store, the latter being a nice mare who was campaigned in New York by P.G. Johnson.

Meadow Breeze is by Meadowlake, and it's the sire's second Grade 1 winner of the year; his Wildcat Bettie B took the Prioress in July.

1 Comment:

Walter said...

When i was cutting my teeth @ Sam Houston Race Park, i used to sit near the Ackerley brothers, who owned Littleexpectations. He was a really nice colt, and it was something of an event whenever he ran. Nice to see him prosper as a stallion. Not only was he a full-brother to Valid Expectations, but he also has a full-sister named Little Sister, who was very nice herself and won several stakes on the Fair Grounds/Oaklawn circuit.