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Saturday, March 31, 2007

Saturday Morning Notes - March 31

- Overlooked in the discussion of where you can and can't watch the Dubai races is the fact that there is no national coverage whatsoever of the Florida Derby, other than for the intimate audience of HRTV. You can, however, watch that network's coverage streamed live on starting at 5:15; and here's the link for that page. Nice job by NBC with that.

And a footnote to this post; Joe Drape of the New York Times is in Dubai to cover the races.

- I've actually started to put horses that I post about and say to watch, on my watch list so I can mention them before they run. Perhaps going forward, I'll remember to mention them before the weekend, when the traffic on the site generally subsides. Skellytown is a grandly-bred colt who graduated on the turf with a frenetic late burst on March 1 at Santa Anita for Mandella. He tries allowance company in the 7th at Santa Anita on Saturday, where he's the 3-1 morning line favorite. He doesn't get the extra distance I'd speculated that he'll relish, but finds a moderate field that he should be able to handle.

- The Aventura is a seven furlong stakes at Gulfstream with a nice group of not-quite-ready-for-prime time three year olds. Street Magician is listed as the 5-2 morning line favorite for Michael Trombetta. He comes into the race straight out of his graduation, accomplished by eight lengths and with a 99 Beyer. But in his prior race, his debut, he couldn't quite keep up with Allen Jerkens' Blue Bullet, who subsequently won an allowance and is in this field as well. Street Magician has been pounded at the mutuels in both of his starts, and may be well-bet again today. The second choice in the morning line is Green Vegas, who has an admirable record including two minor stakes wins and several such placings. The problem with this colt is that his trainer, Luis Olivares, 12% winners for 2006, is currently zero-for-42 at this meet.

The Moss Pace figures say that Blue Bullet, a half to Jerkens' stakes winning Kelly Kip, has the speed to clear the other front runners in the opening quarter mile; but he figures to have a host of pursuers. I'll take a shot with Silver Source (Honour and Glory), 6-1 morning line for trainer Larry Pilotti, hitting at a solid 20% for the meeting. This colt graduated over this course in February, making his first start for the barn, and first since October. He sat close behind what was a very moderate pace of 45.87, went three wide on the turn, and stylishly ran down a much-the-second best Sammarco, running two consecutive eighths in 11 3/5 for a final quarter of 23 1/5 seconds. Third place finisher Added Bonus graduated in maiden special company in his subsequent try last week.

- Soaring By drops into allowance company after his unsuccessful try against the Derby crew in the Louisiana Derby; that in the 6th at GP. Or maybe he didn't like two turns?