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Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Wednesday Morning Notes - Jan 24

- Tom Albertrani was reported to be surprised at Bernardini's margin of victory in the Eclipse voting for top three-year old colt.

Bernardini received 210 of the 271 votes cast for 3-year-old champion. Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, the sentimental favorite, was a distant second with 56 votes. The undefeated Discreet Cat got four votes, and Belmont Stakes winner Jazil received one. [Albany Times-Union]
Jazil?? Who the hell voted for Jazil?

A reader sent an email pointing out that the one horse who has won from beyond the nine post at a nine furlong race at Gulfstream was none other than Barbaro, who won the Florida Derby from post ten. After the race, I recall thinking 'what was so hard about that,' and marveling at the job that Prado did. Looking back, I didn't give enough credit to the horse. Watching it again (and you can on the Cal Racing site) reminds one that Barbaro didn't even break well that day, but still was able to gather himself, and accelerate into the contest without having to go too far wide going into that turn. I imagine that a lot of horses have since failed despite breaking far better.

Jazil? I can see the four votes for Discreet Cat, but what case can one possibly make for Jazil?

- Add another racino to the landscape in the Northeast, as Pennsyvania's Chester Downs opened its doors a day early after a successful test weekend. Only about 100 people were reported to be there for the "soft" opening, and they were probably lining up to be first in for the scheduled opening on Tuesday.
Word must have quickly gotten around as the floor steadily filled up throughout the day.

By 8 p.m. or so, about 2,000 to 2,500 people had already checked out the new casino, with even more coming after evening TV media coverage aired.. [Delaware County Times]
- Good luck with this Pick Six at Santa Anita today; it's not exactly a card fit for a jackpot which I imagine will equal or exceed $1.5 million or so. Three of the races in the sequence are maiden claiming events, two of which I'd classify in the "dismal" category.

There's also a turf stakes race, the Tuzla Handicap at a mile for fillies and mares, and man, that is one tough race; it seems hard to throw out more than a couple of these entirely. Frankel's Movie Star is listed as the 5-2 morning line favorite, and Singalong is 7-2 off a pretty good close for third in the Grade 2 Dahlia.

But let's take a shot with the outside horse, Maxxi Arte. AFter a couple of nice wins last summer in California, she found herself in Grade 1 company out east, prompting the pace in the Garden City and the QEII Cup, both at nine furlongs, before tiring. After two and a half months off, she set the pace from the rail in Movie Star's win before finishing third. Now she makes her second start off the layoff for trainer James Cassidy, who is 22% with a 4.44 ROI in that category. She also shows a bullet six furlong work (1:12) on Jan 18 on the Cushion Track. Maxxi Arte looks like the clear speed here, and could be tough to run down if she clears before the turn, as it appears to me that she can.

In the sixth at Santa Anita, Antifreezette looks like the clear speed of the $16K claiming sprint based on the Moss Pace Figures. Her last was a suspicious drop off a win from that level to 10K. Nobody bit, and she moves back up in class after getting nipped at the wire. The pace figs say she'll have that lead all to herself today.


Anonymous said...

Last year's Fla Derby was one of the better races I'd seen that season; especially the gritty stretch duel between Barbaro and Sharp Humor (who incidentally impressed me more than the winner, and I was sorry to see him fail to pan out anything of merit after that effort).

Green Mtn Punter said...

Alan, at least one Eclipse voter recognized the "Belmont Mystique" and voted for Jazil! Bernardini, as you may recall, skipped the Belmont(as he did the Derby) not willing to risk a Derby or Belmont loss on his rather limited resume. And, if I recall correctly, Bernardini is being shipped off to stud for the easy bucks rather than contend as a 4 YO in the handicap division. So, Bernardini, in my book, is just another colt in a long line over the past 20 years or so who had a pretty good 3 YO season, and had the best record of any 3 year old still in training as of Breeders Cup Day. As for my tastes, give me the Invasors, Perfect Drifts, Cigars, John Henry's, Dr Fager's, Kelso's, etc any day, battle tested and proven over 3,4, 5, 6 seasons or more, horses that exemplify the breed. We need to ge t away from this 3 YO mania and get back to putting the emphasis on the handicap division, where the real stars of the sport were traditionally found, season after season, developing a fan base for these stars and for the sport. Interesting to note that the Whitney Handicap at Spa was voted top NYRA stakes race of 2006(all 3 tracks) when HOY Invasor held off a late charge on the outside, and was voted top Spa stakes race of 2005 when Commentator held off HOY St Liam in a thrilling stretch duel.

Anonymous said...

In honor of Scott Lake's return to training I couldn't help but chuckle at this.

Almost as much as a trendy Manhattan night club!