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Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Tuesday Night Notes - Oct 17

- The decision to run Flower Alley in the Classic is one of the stranger ones of the year. Or maybe not. His lackluster efforts at Saratoga were more worthy of a shot at an overnight stakes. On Polytrack. Restricted to non-winners of a sweepstakes over a mile in 2006.

But on the other hand, with his breeding plans (and $25,000 fee) already set for next year, it's kinda like the same nothing-to-lose theory that is apparently behind Coolmore's decision to run George Washington in the same race. Flower Alley and Gorgeous George couldn't be at more opposite ends of the horse scale at this point, but their owners' motives are one and the same.

- $50,000 is the fee for Bluegrass Cat; not bad for a horse with one Grade 1 win. Of course, he's a winner of one Grade 1 who's also a son of Storm Cat, out of an AP Indy mare. There's a lot of Phipps in this pedigree, and I posted more about that here.

Some of the mares WinStar has already committed to Bluegrass Cat are grade I winner Nany's Sweep; Brushed Halory, a graded stakes winner whose Storm Cat colt sold for $2.2 million as an auction 2-year-old this year; and With a Princess, dam of grade II winners The Daddy and With a City. [Bloodhorse]
- Reader Stalusk comments, on George Washington:
If I was with Coolmore, I'm not sure I'd want my squillion dollar colt thrashed in his final racecourse appearance, particularly if it meant further emphasizing the total dominance of a Darley homebred.

And if he does happen to win in the Classic, does it really add thousands of dollars to his fee? Is there a huge demand for Danehill stallions in North America?
Good points. Hmm, Coomore apparently couldn't care less if their horses get thrashed on the dirt, since they just experienced just that with Dylan Thomas. But personally, I do agree that it's just unseemly to have your horse go out that way (though the owners of Flower Alley apparently don't care about that either.) And if he did win, yes, I would think that he could be effectively marketed here as a Grade/Group 1 winner on turf and dirt. Would he then also be Horse of the Year?

- Tim McCarver is not having a good night on FOX (and neither are the Mets right now). Chris Duncan just hit a solo homerun to give the Cards a 4-2 lead just after McCarver went out of his way to question the move, displaying his meager stats against left handed pitching. (At least he made fun of himself afterwards.) In the top of the fifth, McCarver speculated that Tony LaRussa might yank Jeff Weaver after he gave up a hit to Paul LoDuca. But LaRussa had allowed Weaver to bat with two outs and the bases loaded in the bottom of the inning prior. I doubt he would have done so if he was at the point at which he would lift the pitcher after one single. Weaver ended up pitching through the sixth.

The momemtum in this series has gone back and forth, changing on a dime. After the Mets took a 2-0 lead, coming after the big Game 4 win and with Glavine rolling on the mound, you figured the Mets were on their way. Who would have thought that Glavine would quickly lose it after allowing the Pujols homer, especially with the extra day of rest. Mets in trouble here..