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Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Tough Task for Highland Cat

- I'm in a bad mood. And looking at the competition in Highland Cat's race in the first at the Big A on Wednesday doesn't help (not to mention that it's another weekday, mid-day afternoon affair). It's six furlongs for open $25K claimers, and it's a tough field for a horse coming from a bottom basement maiden claimer. The race he was intended for, a $30K route for non-winners of two lifetime, was not used. Two horses are coming off 80 Beyers; by contrast, Highland Cat ran a 61 in winning on Feb 22 against an awful field. And I noticed that the Form's Dave Litfin downgraded the effort further by saying that he Rallied up gold rail. Thanks for that, Dave.

As I'd mentioned, there was talk of scratching him, but I guess the attitude is to let him get some work as grass racing approaches. There is a lot of speed in the race, so the hope is that a contested pace will perhaps allow him to pick up some purse money. Or at least get some exercise.

Going by the Moss Pace Figures, Mend, second time off the claim for Scott Lake, looks like he could be the speed of the speed. But I think he'll get a run for the money from Skip Along Jet, dropping from 50K company for Jason Servis, six for 19 over the past two years with horses dropping 50% in claiming price. He comes out of a really, really tough 50K event against Laptop Computer, Trailing Twelve, and Crafty Tricker, all of whom ran very well in allowance company in their next races.

More Impact also looks tough, with competitive Beyers and Moss...Mosses? Mosss? Mossies?....pace figures moving up in class for Contessa, leading all trainers with 63 wins (out of 338 runners, for 18%. The second through fifth trainers all have higher win percentages.) The trainer is in a bit of a mini-slump with two winners from his last 27 runners.

There's also Gentlemen Only, a speed horse shipping in from Philly Park, and this is the main problem with the Moss figs thus far. They're not quite complete in terms of track coverage...tracks like Philly, Monmouth, and Charles Town don't yet have ratings. (Seven major tracks that are currently open do, as well as the rest of their respective circuits.) I think that what we're all looking forward to is using these numbers to be able to compare disparate entries that have been running at all different tracks. But the others will be phased in over time. What is there now is quite comprehensive, and if you haven't seen them, the Form is offering samples to check out.

Anyway, there's a lot of speed, and Slick City News, the other half of the Jason Servis entry, looks like he can get the job done from off the pace if they do go fast early. This entry is listed at 7-2, but I think it will be lower than that. Ivory Bead, for Richard Dutrow, is listed as the 2-1 choice. He's moving up to open claimers, and if the Moss Pace Figures are to be believed, you can show this one the door along with Alberto Gonzalez.

Highland Cat can stay however. He may not have much of a shot to win this race, but he's cute. And he doesn't lie under oath to Congress.

5 Comments:

Anonymous said...

whew Alan, I dunno, I'm not sure HIGHLAND CAT has the speed for this spot. If I owned the horse, which I don't, I would be focused on the firm Belmont turf course this Spring and see if he can run back to that promising 73 Beyer he put up last year at 9 panels, or even 10.

Of course, Belmont doesn't start until May, so you might need one race to bridge the gap. But this isn't the one. A 7 furlong race might be better for his conditioning if you do point him to turf routes. That all said, good luck today.

Anonymous said...

Wow, certainly picked a tough spot. Plenty of two lifetime races filling, but sure you have seen that.

Turf racing begins at the Big A, 4/11, figured I would cheer you and everyone up!

Hopefully the race falls apart, he picks up a check and moves forward on the turf. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

Wow, certainly picked a tough spot. Plenty of two lifetime races filling, but sure you have seen that.

Turf racing begins at the Big A, 4/11, figured I would cheer you and everyone up!

Hopefully the race falls apart, he picks up a check and moves forward on the turf. Good luck.

Kevin said...

well, it looks like MEND went wire-to-wire and the speed held up. The favored entry failed to do anything and HIGHLAND CAT could not get a rally going.

I don't really follow the Big A a whole lot, but from what I have heard, speed holds up really well. I see your runner wasn't claimed and hopefully you can find a turf route in April or at Belmont in May.

alan said...

Stuck without internet access today....but just snuck on someone else's computer. Thanks for the well-wishes, and I agree it was a totally inappropriate spot. Hopefully, he doesn't get discouraged. One more chance to put up a bad running line to inflate the odds when he gets back on the grass.