- In the Gotham Stakes, Pletcher's Cowtown Cat didn't have a quick pace to run at. Wollaston Bay led to the half in 49.57 after slowing the second quarter down to a 25.03. That was the slowest quarter of the race. The third quarter was 23.83, then they went 24.81 as they rounded the turn and headed for the sixteenth pole. Meanwhile, Cowtown Cat ran evenly a couple of lengths behind the pace, benefited from saving ground on both turns, and did a good job, with Ramon Dominguez in the saddle, bulling his way between horses in midstretch. He surged to the front inside the sixteenth pole when Wafi City tired. "He was very brave and he finished very nicely. Judging by today, it seems like he'll go further. I had to get the outrider to get him pulled up. That's always a good sign." [Newsday] He may not have done enough to move into the ranks of Pletcher's first stringers amongst his ample stable of Derby prospects, but it was a pretty nice effort from another son of Distorted Humor (out of a Storm Cat mare) in his first start around two turns.
- Here's what Michael Matz had to say after Round Pond ran 4th at 2-5 in the Rampart Handicap at Gulfstream on Sunday.
“We had a little problem with her in mid-week....She tied up, but seemed okay to go ahead. Still, we got a race into her and, hopefully, can go on from here with the Apple Blossom next if she’s okay.”[Bloodhorse]I imagine that those who bet on Round Pond at that prohibitive (to some) price, as well as the bridgejumpers who took a bath, wouldn't be too happy reading that. Especially since in Sunday's Form, Matz was quoted as saying:
"She's wintered well and is training just as good now as she was before the Breeders' Cup. We're ready to go, and this looks like a good spot to go on from here - hopefully to the Apple Blossom."Ideally, you would think that bettors would have a right to know that their horse had tied up, or had muscle soreness during the week. After the race, he sounded as if he was happy just to get the prep into her. An expensive little prep for those who wagered on her.
Also, Round Pond had a similar trip up the supposed golden rail on Breeders Cup day as Street Sense. Does her disappointing performance portend the same for Carl Nafzger's Derby hopeful?
- Pletcher mentioned the Wood Memorial as a possible next start for Circular Quay. The trainer had four stakes winners on Saturday; in addition to the two Derby preps and Master Command, his four-year old filly India won the Azeri Breeders Cup in her 2007 debut, off a layoff of five months.