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Tuesday, March 27, 2007


- Reader Matt writes:

Anybody concerned about Any Given Saturday's graded earnings? He absolutely can't have anything go wrong (ala Circular Quay in the Risen Star) in his last prep or he probably won't have enough to get into the starting gate at Churchill.
The current graded earnings standings are here. Any Given Saturday currently stands 22nd, having earned $102,969 finishing second to Tiz Wonderful in the Kentucky Jockey Club last fall. There are a couple ahead that could drop out; King of the Roxy is hardly definite, and you'd think that Sedgefield would stick to turf or Polytrack. But there's also the danger of someone behind him jumping in front. The Florida Derby is worth $1 million, so a second, or even a third by a horse like Chelokee would put Any Given Saturday another notch down.

So Pletcher doesn't have quite as much leeway as Carl Nafzger does with Street Sense, or Doug O'Neill with Great Hunter in terms of using the race strictly as a Derby tuneup. (Although, considering that both of those will have only two preps, one would think that they need to get more than just a tuneup out of the race). Actually, you never want to see a horse finish out of the money in its last prep; but it would seem that Any Given Saturday must finish at least third to be assured of a spot. Nice catch by Matt; thanks for pointing that out.

- Reader Kevin is psyched about NO-TION-AL in the Florida Derby, and yeah, he could conceivably be that 4th choice in the betting, y'think? He has the most to prove in terms of class and Beyers; but he can certainly benefit from any action up front between Adore the Gold and the stubborn Stormello. And Notional is also working on the Cushion Track; most recently a six furlong move in 1:12.40 (2/21) on Saturday.


Anonymous said...

I like Notional and longshot Chelokee, who impressed me greatly in his last, to run by the speed in Florida this weekend. Box and pray.

Mr. Ed

Kevin said...

I'll take the 4-1 morning line on my runner. He doesn't get the same attention as some other notables because of his light Beyers, I guess. But, he won the San Rafael and the Risen Star without the clean trip that many believe he received. He was well wide going into the first turn before settling down closer near the rail and behind several horses down the backstretch. He was near SLEW'S TIZZY when that one fell and had to swing out to find room in the stretch run before pulling away from ZANJERO.

He ran a 105 Beyer in the slop earlier in his career and how many other horses can say they've won two Derby preps?

4-1 is a gift.