- At this point in the season, a three-year old race without Bernardini or Discreet Cat is kinda like a series between the Braves and the Nationals. But nonetheless, The Super Derby is shaping up as a pretty interesting race amongst some of the second stringers (as in, anyone other than the two mentioned above) who figured more prominently earlier in the year. Lawyer Ron, fresh off his successful return at Fairmount Park, is scheduled to face Point Determined, and Strong Contender.
The latter is perhaps the most overhyped horse of the year and speaking of which, what ever happened to Point of Impact? No sign of that Baffert colt these days, but the trainer's Point Determined returns to the dirt after failing on the turf, and gets the nod for the trip to Louisiana over stablemate Bob and John. Baffert told the local Shreveport Times: "He's still a horse that is lazy and learning, but he's tough....It's going to be a tough race, that Lawyer Ron, he's no slouch."
Strong Contender makes his first start since a disappointing third in the Haskell. Trainer John Ward says that the son of Maria's Mon has matured, and he still has lofty aspirations for him.
"The horse has gotten stronger, and he's leveled that big stride out. He used to have big knee action, but he keeps his back very level and is doing everything like he should....If everything goes well and he runs a big race, I'd have to look at the Classic, because he's an improving horse." [Bloodhorse]But Lawyer Ron has matured too, according to trainer Bob Holthus, who pointed to the way he rated comfortably from well off the pace in his return. "I think he's more relaxed now. You can probably take him back further. It's just maturity. He's gotten older, has a little more seasoning." [DRF] Louisiana Downs is also the site of his fastest race, the 106 he earned in the Risen Star (he got a 103 at Fairmount). You may recall the way Lawyer Ron was able to kick home so quickly after going to the lead earlier in the year, so he could be quite formidable rating as he did. But as far as the Classic goes, Holtus said: "He'd have to run a very high (speed) number to consider the Breeders' Cup. That race is going to come up with some very nice horses."
- Empire Racing released a brief statement in response to Alan Hevesi's letter to the New York Lottery Divison. "This thing has been a mess for years and is just getting worse. 2007 can't come fast enough." Gee, thanks for that Perlee of wisdom.
- Sue at Post Parade is all ga-ga over Dreaming of Anna, the juvenile filly who beat the boys on the grass at Woodbine on Sunday. Steve Davidowitz, writing in the Form (and it's nice to see him writing regularly in the Racing Bible about a real sport again), doesn't rank her in his top three prospects for the Juvenile Fillies.
1. Point Ashley: A very impressive winner of the seven-furlong Del Mar Debutante; Bob Baffert-trained, bred to improve with more distance.Baffert is pointing Davidowitz' top pick to the Grade 1 Oak Leaf Breeders' Cup Stakes on Sept 30 at Santa Anita. As for Dreaming of Anna, she is by Rahy, and is a full sister to Lewis Michael, out of a half-sister to grass champ Kitten's Joy.
2. Five Star Daydream: Shug McGaughey-trained; improved on cue to win second career outing, more development expected in the fall.
3. Octave: Finished well for her win in the 6 1/2-furlong Adirondack; trained by Todd Pletcher who, as usual, is loaded with prospects for this division. [Daily Racing Form, sub. only]