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Sunday, October 01, 2006

Point Ashley Not Included

- The guys on TVG were talking up Point Ashley before the Oak Leaf like she was the surest bet in the world, even though she had never been around two turns, and was starting from the 11 post. At one point in the betting, she was 1-5, before drifting up to 1-2, still astoundingly short for a young filly being asked to do things she hadn't tried before.. Baffert was downright cocky, prompting Gary Stevens to note how nervous he usually is. Simon Bray, at one point, said when she wins the race, instead of if. Stevens even declared that the whole going-two-turns-for-the-first-time thing is overrated! One of my bedrock handicapping principles gone poof!

As it turned out, while the two turns may have mattered, it was the outside post that hurt the most. Point Ashley was hung out three wide on both turns, and it wasn't surprising that she lacked the kick to run down Cash Included; especially given her very slow final eighth in her prior race.

The winner looked to have as much of a chance as anyone else I suppose. They all looked the same to me and I passed the race. Like all but one entrant, it was the first try around two turns for Cash Included, if that means anything anymore. She's the first graded stakes winner for the first year sire Include, who already has ten winners to his credit. Cash Included is out of a Chimes Band mare; her second dam is a half-sister to Apple Blossom winner By Land By Sea.

- Kentucky Cup winner Ball Four (Grand Slam) looks like a Polytrack specialist for sure. Or at least a Turfway Polytrack specialist. He's run the three races of his life on the surface. But will that form translate to Keeneland, Woodbine, or Hollywood? Will Polytrack horses like Cushion Track? These are some of the things we'll be finding out soon. But Ball Four is a horse for this course, that's for sure.

7 Comments:

Walter said...

I won't post about the Arc because Alan hasn't seen it yet, but there was an interesting development in the Prix de l'Opera today. Mandesha won while a bold move along the inside, with Alexandrova running on late to finish a well-beaten third. Mandesha will pass on the Breeders Cup (as Aga Khan horses generally do), while trainer Aiden O'Brien had this to say regarding Alexandrova:

"She's run well, but after three races over one and a half miles she was dropping back to a mile and a quarter and raced lazily. The race was over when she got going. We had been talking about the Breeders Cup, but we will take her home and see how she is before deciding where she goes."

Walter said...

Just read about Discreet Cat's 10-length win in the Jerome, after which his trainer (Sayid bin Suroor) said:

"We'll keep our options open for the Breeders Cup and Cigar Mile."

Hmm. By that, does he mean the BC Mile and Cigar Mile? I kind of got that impression, though obviously he could be referring to the Classic, or even the Sprint. In any case, he said they'd probably give it 10 days and then decide what to do. Quite obviously, Bernardini's performance in the Oct. 7 Jockey Club Gold Cup will have an influence on their thinking.

alan said...

I've seen the race now, so post away. I would think that the Mile might be most suitable for DC, other than the Classic in which I don't believe they'll run him.

Walter said...

First off, i'm guessing that Simon Bray's "Lock of the Year" was not Rail Link. Wow, RAIL LINK. I certainly wasn't expecting that. I guess that Prix Niel angle is now 7-for-10, and counting. All i can offer is the Euro-sharpie Simon Holt's pre-race analysis, where he suggested that a paceless race might help Rail Link most of all. I guess that's exactly what happened. As for my own visual impressions, i don't have any. Why not, you ask??? Well, ummm, i'm embarrased to admit that I MISSED THE RACE! I had gone to bed early last night (very early, for me) in order to get up and watch the race. The combination of my schedule being thrown off, and me being pretty excited about the race, resullted in a nasty case of insomnia and wasn't able to doze off until about 6:00 (with the race scheduled for 8:30). I had my alarm set for 7:00, and i have no idea whether it didn't go off, or i just completely slept thru it. In any case, i woke up and looked at the clock, and it read 9:30. NOOOO!!!!!! So i ran over to the computer, and saw the shocking result. And i felt downright relieved, because i had been planning on making a reasonably large wager on Deep Impact, assuming he went off better than 2/1 here in America. In regard to that, i have no idea if he did or didn't. I'm absolutely floored by these reports of Deep Impact going off @ 1/2 (or less) in the Longchamp pari-mutuel system. Reportedly, he was 1-10 with 15 minutes to post, with Shirocco & Huricane Run hovering near 15/1. Incredible! Alan Shuback in the Racing Form estimates that there were roughly 10,000 Japanese among the 50,000-plus crowd, and that they apparently "brought half the funds of the Bank of Japan with them." Good Grief! Shiroco and Hurricane Run got pounded late (but still went off higher than they should've), while Rail Link went to post @ 24/1. Wow. I believe he was being offered in the 10/1 range in the days before the race. I haven't heard what Pride went off at, though it's gotta be something similar. Does anyone know what Deep Impact went off at here in the States??? I'd love to know if i saved some money, or if i just came out even. In any event, Deep Impact ran a very good race by all accounts, though his connections picked a very strange time to experiment with his running style. A horse who usually comes from way out of it, Yutaka Take had Deep Impact settled in second, just behind the longshot pacemaker. Obviously Take was cognizant of the fact that there was very likely going to be a slow pace, and i'm sure he didn't want to repeat his incident aboard White Muzzlew in the 1994 Arc, where supposedly he had a ton of horse, but waited much too long before making his move and couldn't run down the winner. It sounds like Deep Impact had a trouble-free trip, and it also sounds as if he had head-start on the Rail Link & Co. after tracking a slow pace, so by all rights he should've had plenty of gas left in the tank. So i rather doubt that Take's ride cost him the race. If so, it was only because Deep Impact was taken out of his comfort zone, in the biggest race of his life. On the flip side, had Deep Impact been laying farther back, Rail Link would've had a nice little jump on him, and the way things worked out, it seems unlikely that Deep Impact would've run him down. But who knows, as Pride came from dead-last and nearly ran him down herself. The three horses were seperated by less than a length at the wire, and it sounds like the slow pace affected Pride more than anybody. She may have been best on the day, but again, i'm just going by what i read. I feel like such a bozo. Incidentally, it appears that each of the Top 3 finishers will pass on the Breeders Cup. The only participant seemingly confirmed for the Turf is the inexplicable last-place finisher Shirocco. Go figure. No announcement was made regarding Hurricane Run, who finished 4th after enduring some traffic problems.

Anonymous said...

It does look like its the BC Classic that they're considering for Discreet Cat. This quote (which I got from the NYRA site) was edited in other articles: "We’ll keep our options open for the Breeders’ Cup Classic or the Cigar Mile. This horse has the class to run in big Group 1 races. Everything we’ve asked, he’s done so easily. That gives us a lot of confidence for the future. We’ll probably give it 10 days, and then decide with Sheikh Mohammed (bin Rashid al Maktoum). This horse has plenty of speed. A mile might be his favorite distance. He won easily in Dubai going nine furlongs. I think he will stay a mile and a quarter. We need to see how the horse comes out of this race, talk to Sheikh Mohammad and figure out the best plan for this horse." - Alex

Anonymous said...

Walter, I watched the race on Ubet and they took the feed from Arlington. Final odds as the best I remember them:
1. Deep impact- 4:5 (after starting at 1:9
2. Hurricane Run- 5:2
3. Shirroco- 3:1
4. Rail Link- 12:1
5. Pride- 20:1
Two of the other runners were 99:1 and I do not remember the others. I lighten up and be no straight bets once I saw the 1:9, but my exacta's with deep impact over Shirroco and Hurricane Run were as worthless as my trifecta's. Better luck next time and congrats on missing the race. Byanose

Walter said...

No way do i make a win bet @ 4/5, but with Pride @ 20/1, i definitely would've gone for a small exacta. And please don't congratulate me for missing the race, i feel like an idiot. I'd have rather lost the twenty bucks or whatever. Thanks very much for posting these U.S. odds, it's the first time i've seen them ANYWHERE. You'd think the Rcaing Form, being an American publication, would be all over that. But no. Alan Shuback is based over in Europe, and i guess the rest of them don't give a shit. Worse, they assume that WE don't give a shit either.