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Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Filly Might've Been a Contender

- The 109 Beyer that Magnificience earned in the Santa Paula Stakes is the highest of any three-year old this year, and unfortunately, she won't get a chance to try and duplicate that this year.

Magnificience was never going to run in the Oaks, so Todd Pletcher's Rags To Riches was 3-2 at closing time of the Oaks Futures Pool, which attracted a total of around $71,000 in wagers. I'd imagine that that total barely makes it worth Churchill Downs' time. In past years, that price would be considered an insane wager on a filly that will be coming off a layoff of eight weeks. And perhaps it still is. But in the World of Todd, we're barely even hearing any discussion of it, and apparently a relative handful of bettors aren't the least bit worried. Similarly, in the Derby futures pool, Circular Quay, who will also have had eight weeks off, is the 9-1 third choice.

Rags to Riches' high Beyer was the 96 she got in the SA Oaks. You may recall that there was talk of sending her down the Derby Trail. And in retrospect, with none of the colts looking dominant - and I won't use that term to describe Curlin due to the lack of top quality in the fields he's faced - that's too bad. Between her impeccable pedigree and her performances on the track thus far, she seems at least as certain as any of the colts to get the distance. And based on the way she improved her Beyer each time she ran, it's not a stretch to speculate that, had she had another prep, she could have moved forward to a fig that would have put her right in the thick of it.

Pletcher explained at the timethat she was light on seasoning. But that wasn't going to stop him from running Ravel. Some people felt that the real reason had to do with the fact that the Smith/Tabor ownership team opted out because a Derby win by one of their two colts on the Trail at the time, Circular Quay and Ravel, would be far more valuable to them as breeding assets. Now, Ravel is out, Circular Quay is taking an highly unusual path, and the race seems to be up for grabs.

John (AKA Not Too Swift) had the gall to come on to the comment section and employ some slick sarcasm to mock my Derby preference. Despite the fact that he did so in a witty and good-humored manner, I was still going to steal his embedded video thing and post Magnificience's spectacular maiden victory here. But when I found it on Google, posted by someone I know in the intimate world of people who search for races on You Tube (which probably makes up about .000000000002% of their hits), I found that the video quality was below the high standards I've set for this site. It's kinda funny actually; it's like you're watching an old film of some race from 1967. I expected to hear Fred Cappossela calling the race. You can watch it here if you wish.

- And Michael Nylander took a sweet pass - a really sweet pass - from Jaromir Jagr and fired the puck home at the 32 second mark of the first period, sending the Madison Square Garden crowd into a frenzy. It set the tone for a 7-0 Rangers win over Atlanta in a dominating performance that was stunning in its thoroughness. The Broadway Blueshirts can sweep the series with a win at home on Wednesday night.

2 Comments:

Brian said...

Of course the future wager is worth it for Churchill. What track wouldn't want four separate betting pools that get repeat business, by the way, while only putting on one race. Adding Futures 1, 2, and 3 to whatever handle they actually get on Oaks day is just icing on the top. When the cost of marketing those bets exceeds what they take, then they'll disappear.

Handride said...

Sheesh, you can't do anything on the internet that someone won't find nowadays. Yes, I posted that, and yes it's total garbage, I was just checking to see how bad it would look, and it looked real bad. How did I even get into this? Still think that if you get a split in the Derby and Preakness you could see Rags to Riches in the Belmont.