- There should be little letup in the quantity and quality of the baby races now that racing has returned to Belmont. Two are carded for Friday, and here's a horse that I don't like in the first one, a six furlong dash on the dirt. Cowtown Cat is a $1.5 million two-year old this past March after a breeze of 10.1 seconds. In his debut, at Saratoga, he went off at 7-10 for Pletcher, and had to be ridden hard from the start. He had an absolutely perfect trip behind dueling leaders, but had nothing in the stretch while racing greenly. The only reason why he was close at the end was because the leader collapsed towards the end, prompting a last minute calvary charge, with dead-on-the-board Zito first-timer Boogie Boggs getting up for the win. So Cowtown Cat will likely be a short price again - he's 2-1 morning line - and I'd look to beat him. Though you know how opposing Pletcher usually goes.
De Lucia is rated at 5-2; he's another expensive ($375,000) juvenile sales graduate and another beaten favorite in his debut at Saratoga- 2nd at 6-5 for Scott Blasi. He broke poorly and rallied for second, but benefited from a very fast opening quarter, and slow final eighth.
Amongst the first-timers, Shug has a classicly Phipps-bred colt in Foolish Bid; 8-1 in the morning line, he could go off anywhere from 4-1 to 14-1. I noticed that the tote board at Saratoga was quite decisive in pointing out who was live amongst the Phipps youngsters (or not). Foolish Bid is by Maria's Mon out of Miner's Game, a full sister to Seeking the Gold, and a half to Fast Play. Survivalist is the best of the winning siblings to Foolish Bid.
Gary Contessa, who did not have a great meeting upstate, has an Orientate colt named Black Jack Blues. Nice workouts listed, but he sold at Ocala last March for just $95,000 after working his quarter in 21.3. That's a pretty good time, just off the 21.1 that was fastest for that day. So I wonder why the selling price was so low. There's not much to see at all pedigree-wise on his distaff side to be sure.
The sixth is a baby race on the grass, and the only ones who have run on turf are stuck on the AE list. All but two of the main body horses are making their debut. Vim N Vigor debuts for Jimmy Jerkins. He's a half to the grass stakes winner Lemong Drop Gal. He's inbred 4x4 to Secretariat, and has a few nice grass runners in his family, including the multiple G1 turf winner Bienamado. Allan Jerkins starts Leading On, who is by Mt. Livermore (Blushing Groom) out of a Dynaformer mare. His second dam is a half to the Grade 1 turf winner Cacoethes.
Scott Blasi has the morning line favorite in first-timer Cipher, a son of Gone West out of the Mother Goose / Ashland winner Fleet Renee.
- It turns out that Trevor Denman has called Breeders Cup races before. But he had to be reminded by the Form's Jay Hovdey that he was the voice of Santa Anita's low-watt, in-house radio broadcast when the races came to California in 1986. (sub. or print edition only)
While Durkin's voice boomed out across the public address system and the television airwaves, Denman was sequestered in a sound-proof radio booth, painting word images of Lady's Secret romping in the Distaff, Manila escaping trouble to beat Theatrical in the Turf, and Skywalker shocking Precisionist and Turkoman in the Classic. The transmission reached about as far as the parking lot, but there were listeners, especially among the early Denman loyalists who actually booed when their man turned the microphone over to Durkin as the Breeders' Cup races commenced.
"I think the signal just barely got across the street to Tommy T's, or one of the local bars," Denman said. "But as far as I know, nobody saved a tape."
Lost treasures, to be sure. Thank goodness, 20 years was not too long to wait. [DRF]