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Thursday, March 01, 2007

Race of the Day - March 1

- The Race of the Day for Thursday comes from Santa Anita, and it actually bore some similarities to the race from Gulfstream on Wednesday, in that it was a maiden special weight on the turf for four year olds, and that you wouldn't have given the eventual winner much of a chance when they turned for home. In fact, Skellytown looked out of it at the sixteenth pole, and it looked as if two outside closers were about to blow by him. But he suddenly took off, and mounted a desparate late charge with Victor Espinoza to emerge from what was at one point nearly six of them strung out across the track. He just nipped Seastate at the wire in a quick final furlong of 12.26. Check it out on Cal Racing.

Skellytown is a grandly bred colt who was making his second start for Richard Mandella; 20-1 in his debut in January, a late rally earned him 2-1 favoritism here. He's by the Derby/Belmont winner and accomplished sire Thunder Gulch, out of Miss Dahlia (Strawberry Road), a daughter of the remarkable racemare and broodmare Dahlia. That makes his dam a half sister to the Grade 1 grass winners Dahar, Dahlia's Dreamer, Delegant, and Rivlia. So it should be little surprise that Skellytown likes the turf, and he should like distances longer than this mile race.

- Thor's Echo was a badly beaten sixth in his debut in Dubai. And Day Pass, the previously undefeated Derby hopeful who previously raced for Darley (and now for Godolphin), was out of the money in his three-year old debut, beaten by Asiatic Boy, a Southern Hemisphere three-year old who won the race in 1:48.27, a tick faster than Discreet Cat's (Forestry) U.A.E. Derby (UAE-G2) last year at the same distance. [BRIS]

And speaking of Discreet Cat, he's apparently feeling better.

Trainer Saeed bin Suroor said: “He was a bit quiet this morning and we found he had a bit of a temperature.

“It’s a real shame as he was working well and in good condition. He is looking much better already and we will see how he is in the next couple of days.” [Dubai Racing Club Blog]
I still say he's no lock to run in the World Cup. “He has other options on Dubai World Cup night, but we are still thinking about the Dubai World Cup itself." We'll see.

- Hot trainers: winners on Thursday for Wesley Ward, Christophe Clement, and Allen Jerkens at Gulfstream. Oh, and that Pletcher guy too.