- We'd be remiss if we didn't mention the dominating win by
Pleasant Premium Tap in the Clark at Churchill last Friday. He destroyed the tattered remains of what passes for the handicap division, and in doing so capped quite a second half of the racing year. Given his more than credible third in the BC Classic (trainer John Kimmel says he was hampered by a skin ailment), I think it's fair to say that he's currently the best older dirt horse that's not from Uruguay. His final time of 1:47.39 was just .11 seconds slower than the track record set by Victory Gallop.
And the good news is that he'll be back next year; the Donn at Gulfstream has been mentioned as a possible next race.
- Interesting point by the Saratogian's Jeff Scott in discussing Discreet Cat and his pedigree prospects to get a mile and a quarter.
For example, of 124 Grade I dirt races run at a mile-and-a-quarter or more over the past decade, only two (the 1999 BC Classic and 2004 Personal Ensign Handicap) have been won by tail-male descendants of Storm Cat -- an astonishingly low figure considering the hundreds of blue chip mares (many of them with stamina-laden pedigrees) that have been sent to Storm Cat and his sons over the years.- Empire Racing continues their marketing blitz with a press release detailing specific safety proposals for racing in New York, including synthetic surfaces at Aqueduct and Belmont. It's not clear whether these proposals were part of their presentation to the Ad Hoc committee. The release touts the unprecedented coalition of racing industry talent behind the plan, and I'm sure that will be an ongoing theme as they try and contrast the presence of experienced track operators such as, say, Magna, with the lack of such experience at Excelsior.
On the other hand, Discreet Cat does have plenty of stamina elsewhere in his pedigree. And in his races thus far he has shown no sign of having distance limitations. Will he be up to the challenge of taking on proven distance runners such as Invasor and Premium Tap at a mile-and-a-quarter, a distance he has yet to run? It'll be a shame if we don't get to find out.