- Watchmaker makes a case for Discreet Cat as the sprint champ, but I think that Thor's Echo deserves the award. He writes in the Form (sub. only) that the latter's win in the DeFrancis on Saturday was much more workmanlike than impressive. I don't know if I agree with that. Thor's Echo tracked within 2-3 lengths of a very quick pace - the second quarter went in 21.74 - and then had to circle 4-5 wide into the stretch. When confronted with the fresh Diabolical, Thor's Echo dug in like a champ and got the last furlong in 12.04 seconds while conceding the runner-up six pounds and a couple of paths on the turn.
"What a great race," [Diabolical jockey Mario] Pino said afterward. "I thought I had him. [Diabolical] charged at him, but that other horse just kept digging in. We were running; I just couldn't get by the winner." [Washington Post]
I thought it was pretty damn impressive; and even Watchmaker concedes that: it is to Thor's Echo's credit that he was able to run a representative race on such relatively short rest.
- Street Sounds, who took the grassy Selima at Laurel, is a two-year old daughter of Street Cry, getting her first stakes win for Michael Matz. She's now two-for-three since switching to the grass. She's a half sister to Silver Highlight, a stakes winner on the turf at Woodbine this year; and her third dam is the fantastic multiple Grade 1 winning turf filly Sabin, who won 18 of 25 for trainer Woody Stephens in the early 80's.
In the Laurel Futurity for the boys, Alan Goldberg-trained Strike a Deal gave Ramon Dominguez a sweep of the two juvenile grass stakes and became the latest stakes winner for his sire Smart Strike. It's at least his 12th of this year, and his career stats on Equiline now show a lifetime stakes-winners-to-foals percentage of 10%. Strike a Deal is also now two-for-three on the grass. Strike A Deal is out of Shag, a stakes winning daughter of Dixieland Band.