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Tuesday, October 31, 2006

The Turf (Getting to It Soon)

- I'm just about ready to move on to the Turf, but I'm still thinking about the Mile and the Distaff. Steve D, who likes the outspoken Democrat Bobby Frankel's Badge of Silver in the former, says: I understand that the Beyers have been declining, but he ran his last two races in 1:32 4/5 & 1:32 3/5! What's a horse got to do to earn a decent fig? And Nick, who likes Aragorn, adds: 1:32 is 1:32, pool table grass course or not.

So what is up with the figs of 103 and 100 in his last two races? Although I don't really even want to know, since it provides a handy excuse for me to throw out a horse I don't wanna bet, I'll go straight to the source and ask Andy Beyer during his chat tomorrow night.

And the Distaff seems be to drawing a variety of ideas with the common thread that there should be a lot of pace. Nick mentioned Lemons Forever, which scares me; ever since he picked Superfly (or was it Andromeda's Hero) to beat me in the exacta a couple of months ago, I get scared when he goes against me. I'm thinking back to Pleasant Home last year, who I picked but didn't bet, and remember that I was looking for a horse with upside, and she fit the bill. I don't see much upside in this race; if you like Round Pond or Spun Sugar or Healthy Addiction or Happy Ticket or Pool Land, I think you're basically hoping that your selection will rebound from what was for whatever reason a subpar effort, and run back to form flashed earlier in the spring or summer. I don't think there's any expectation that any of these are going to move forward in a big way; just that they can run to back form. That's the way I see it anyway, and it doesn't mean I won't have a ticket on any....well, some of these at the right price.

Anyway, I keep coming back to Pine Island, and I have to admit that I've kinda fallen for this filly at this point. I'm naturally drawn to closers to start with, and I just love her consistency, especially so given the different track surfaces, configurations, and conditions she's encountered. She's just unfazed, puts her head down and goes to work. I looked back at Pleasant Home's pp's coming into the race (pdf, scroll down), and they're actually fairly similar looking. Not the same situation to be sure, since Pine Island will be facing older stakes f&m's for the first time. But Pleasant Home exploded to a 107 from a prior best of 95. And the pace in this year's race could fall apart similarly. With a little luck, I think Pine Island has to be right there if that's the case.

Of course, my affection for her only goes down to a certain price, I dunno, say 7-2 no, higher. I think Happy Ticket is the most likely of the above to run well; Round Pond next. I've moved Healthy Addiction into the 'against' column. She did not look like a sharp mare in her recent prep.

- Bummer that Dubai Escapade will miss the Sprint after she was found to have some inflammation in her front ankle, the Breeders' Cup press office reported on Tuesday. [Brisnet] This race has changed drastically with the defections of she and Commentator. I imagine that the connections of Bordonaro are pretty happy. I think it just helps Henny Hughes. He'll be close, and the less horses in front that he has to pass or go around when they're tiring, the easier it makes it for him.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Alan, Pine Island has the best late pace numbers in the race. If the race sets up with the pace I think it will, she will be there. She's either co-favorite or second choice in this race. I mentioned Lemons Forever for two reasons, one she is the price among the Silky Sullivan types and that she has Mark Guidry on her. At Churchill thats a big plus. I don't know if anyone rides that surface better than him. BC day means finding a price, tho Lemons Forever numbers dont match up with Pine Island's or Fleet Indian's, she does have a win over the surface at the distance, somebody stubs a toe and wham a 20-1 shot is on the board. Another thing about Pine Island, she is a 3 yo, yes, but I personally like standout 3 yo over olders this time of year. A horse like Pine Island has a right to get better, the olders are what they are. Pine Island is a big filly, she loved the big sweeping turns of Belmont, might be a little different story here. Little things mean a lot at this level. This is not a race I can invest a ton of money in. I will watch and see how the track plays that day, and adjust accordingly, Churchill is a speed track, always has been. If horses are finding it difficult to make up ground, I may go in a different direction. But I do think Fleet Indian is ripe for the taking in this field.