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Sunday, May 27, 2007

Belmont Notes - May 27

- A little preview of July at a hot and hazy Belmont on Saturday, with 7,138 on hand. Pletcher took the second with Communicator (Jump Start); the Toddster is now 7 for 27, gathering steam after a slow start at the meeting. This guy faded to 8th in his debut, but here came absolutely flying wide around the turn from out of the picture, and went on for Johnny V. This colt's second dam is a half-sister to the Derby winner Grindstone.

I loved Trippi's Storm in the third, and I watched with amusement as the 6-1 morning line shot got pounded on the nose in the win pool in the closing minutes; from 4-1, down to 5-2 before settling at 3-1. And though I had a winning exacta ticket with second place finisher Tiverton, I needed to hit the triple to make real money on the race, and was denied when Frankel's favored Lemon Law was edged for the third spot by 23-1 Big Bold Place. Ow. It was the first of two winners on the day for trainer Stan Hough, and of three winners for the resurgent Javier Castellano, who suffered through a poor meeting at Keeneland.

In the sixth, Count On Pal was another hottie; 12-1 in the morning line (a dubious line in retrospect), he was bet steadily throughout and went off at 4-1. After leading throughout with Raul Rojas, he was confronted by No Parole, who got pounded late at the windows himself returning off a long layoff for A. Dutrow. The two staged a fierce head-bobbing duel inside the sixteenth pole with Count On Pal getting the head bob.

An impressive return in the 7th by Frankel's First Defence. He'd run second to Zanjero in his last start last fall, a race in which Dominican ran 4th, and remember him? I guess he's a Polytrack specialist after all, eh? With a couple of speed horses scratched, First Defence went wire to wire in a dazzling 1:20.96; the chart reads: cruised away on his own courage turning for home and reported promptly under mild reminding.

Forget that thing I said Dubai taking something out of Honey Ryder. “I’ve always thought the shipping back from Dubai thing has always been overrated,” Pletcher said. Of course, he said the same about eight week layoffs before the Derby (though not afterwards).

And I was alive in the late Pick Four to Victory Assured, the second choice in the 9th. It was paying a decent $297 despite the two heavy favorites in the middle, but it was not to be, as he checked in third behind runners that went off at double digit odds. Ugh.

Taking the day off from racing today, and will rev up for the big Memorial Day card featuring the Met Mile, which may be the hardest race of all time.


Anonymous said...

The Met Mile is inscrutable.

I want to play Lawyer Ron, I really do, but afraid the ice cold JV will screw him up. But if the price is right, say 7-2 I am all in.

Looking like we may get the Big 3 for The Belmont, interesting rider change to Gomez on Hard Spun.

I may be overly optimistic but think bringing these three togethar may draw the masses, perhaps 90k?

As for the hockey controversy, when they get their ratings above the Preakness ratings then they can complain.

Until then they are just embarrassing themselves by making a stink.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the race was so inscrutable I did not even realize Prado is riding LR. NOW I really like him here, but not at 5-2 ML.

Red boarding yesterdays work and comment here, I find myself a bit hypocritical stating how tough this race is and then landing on the ML favorite. Just feel he will work out a perfect stalking trip in this spot, but need 7-2 to justify the play.

Sun King has never been my favorite animal but I liked his return race, and he should get a dream set up in here.

Silent Name will be on my deep ticket, his pedigree actually leans toward real dirt and I believe his form will translate to Big Sandy.

I am always afraid of the Giant Killer, but his charge appears overmatched, but then again it would not be the first time he ended up in the winners circle in a big race at 30-1.

Terrific race.

Box 2-4-9. Win bet on #2 if > 7-2.

$2 Win on #7 Political Force, just in case.