- The latent heat in Bobby Frankel's barn is starting to detonate - two more winners at Belmont on Thursday; he took the sixth, the third of four consecutive turf sprints on the card, and boy, we’re going to be seeing a lot of these this summer. Yankee Thunder, a first-timer by Thunder Gulch, was the 3-2 favorite, and he won by 3 3/4 with an absolutely perfect trip. He settled in comfortably on the rail a few lengths behind a slow pace, saved ground on the turn with Kent Desormeaux, and exploded home when presented with an open inside lane turning for home; he got the last quarter in 23.97 seconds. He’s a half-brother to Private Emblem, the Arkansas Derby winner whose fatal breakdown at Aqueduct in 2004 was recalled by some in the wake of Barbaro’s injury. Yankee Thunder is inbred 3x3 to the UK champ Storm Bird, so no surprise he's taken to the grass.
Frankel then won the featured 8th with 7-10 Sugar Shake (Awesome Again), and the chart comment says it all about his Stronach three-year old homebred filly’s six length romp:
Sugar Shake quickly showed in front, set the pace while in hand, soon drew clear, ran away from the field when asked and was wrapped up in the final furlong, a handy winner.It just doesn't get any easier than that. Another possibility, I suppose, for the Darley Test She’s out of a stakes winner, Skipping Around (Skip Trial).
And speaking of three-year old fillies, seven are entered in the Grade 1 Mother Goose at Belmont on Saturday, one of two Grade 1's on Saturday's card. Or Grade 1's in name anyway. The Suburban comes up pretty weak in my opinion, and shows the lack of depth in the handicap division. Looks like we're going to be seeing a lot of Andromeda's Hero in our near-term future. I'll attempt to get back with a look at these, and some of the other weekend stakes sometime this evening. Sorry if I'm slacking, but, you know, life gets busy at times!
- In the old days, when people paid attention to the weights in handicap races, they used to say that the idea of the weight assignments was to produce a finish in which the entire field hit the finish together. The first at Belmont on Thursday was just an allowance race, but you gotta try and check this race out (I know, no more free lunch on Cal Racing), as the field of six was strung out across the track at the wire, and the official margins separating them read "nk, no, no, hd, hd." And it looked like this:
- And a bit of bad news on Highland Cat; he was not entered in tomorrow's turf race, and the report from the barn says that Bill Turner felt Highland Cat wasn't quite right.
Just a little bit of a foot bruise, from when he managed to take off his own shoe a week or so ago, and probably nothing that most trainers would even bother with, but Bill is extra careful, especially with young horses, and so he opted to wait a bit longer.Well, we like the trainer's caution....of course, he's not the one getting the cash calls...