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Sunday, May 13, 2007

Sunday Night Notes - May 13

- I got a tip on Saturday at Belmont, and I apparently wasn't alone. Uncle Indy in the 4th was not exactly a closely held secret. I told my informant that since the horse is from the Angel Penna barn, we would know from the tote board if the horse was really live. He was 6-1 morning line after a decent sixth in his debut at Keeneland, in which he was 7-1. I figured he'd open at 7-2 or so, but was only mildly surprised, and greatly amused, when the board flashed 2-1, second choice to Shug's Hedge Fund.

I went to check him out in the paddock, and his appearance there was inconclusive; one of the grooms kept his hand on top of the colt's head, and kept him looking down at the ground. As the field proceeded to the track, he had started to drift up in price a bit; 5-2, and then 3-1. I figured he'd go off around 4-1. Now on the track and free from restraint, Uncle Indy looked magnificent. And as post time approached, his odds went back down - he got slammed back to 2-1.

Man, I was all sucked in at that point. I just love that kind of stuff - that solid bet-back-down after a hot horse drifts up a bit in the 4-8 minute-to-post range. What a riot! Daheer, who I'd mentioned prominently in this post, didn't get bet, drifted up towards 12-1, and though I used him prominently underneath, I was no longer considering the possibility that Uncle Indy could lose. And since I didn't like Hedge Fund, there was value to be had in the exotics.

Uncle Indy sat a stalking trip with Cornelio Velasquez, but ended up strung out three wide while vying for the lead for a too-long portion of the sweeping turn, and it's just not a good sign at Belmont when you see your jockey driving hard while wide turning for home. Uncle Indy was actually pretty good to achieve the lead around midstretch, but was no match for the aforementioned Daheer, and I didn't even have the exacta. But I don't have any regrets; I'm always game for a genuine betting coup, and I probably would have dismissed Daheer for being dead on the board anyhow. I really need to get over that one of these days.

Nothing else exciting to report - just some routine losses, nothing else for you to laugh at me about. I was done by the time the feature rolled around, but stuck around to watch Songster's impressive return to the races. He motored 21.77 and 44.19, and had plenty left finishing up in 1:08.80.

Rutherienne was quite impressive in winning the Sugar Plum Time Stakes, closing from way back off a slow pace. She's by Pulpit, out of a turf stakes winning Rahy mare; and Clement is 9-4-1-1 after the first two weeks.

The 5th was the race of the day; check it out on Cal Racing. It was a thrilling three-horse finish, and it was only in the final lunge that Taming the Tiger had his nose in front. He's the latest horse to return seamlessly from a long layoff; he'd not raced since running 7th in a stakes on New Year's Eve, 2005. Even though I have this new enlightened attitude towards layoff horses, the length of this one, plus the fact he was returning for a 35K tag meant that I wouldn't have had the Pick 3 even if Uncle Indy had won.

- On Sunday, Unenchantedevening, the Unbridled's Song half to Favorite Trick that I mentioned here, did wire the field stretching out to a mile. He got the first half in 46.68, and the final time of 1:36.65 means that he got the second half in 50 seconds flat, while maintaining a 2-3 length lead throughout. To me, it's races like that, and not four horses strung out across the track and flying to the finish, which constitute "ugly racing." But I digress.

Pletcher is 12-3-3-5 at the meeting. In the 4th, The Ag, his half-brother to J'Ray, couldn't hang on and settled for second. If John Velazquez was any wider going into the first turn, he could have been headed to the valet parking lot.

And two more layoff horses accounted for the late double. Red Zipper won the state-bred Kingston Handicap at 12-1 in his first race since November. Under Eibar Coa, his fractional splits were 25.20, 24.53, 24.19, 23.17, and 11.74 for the last eighth. Doesn't that make more sense? Enchantal was pounded to even money in the closing minutes; she was the only filly in the race that got bet. She won handily in her first race since July for Stan Hough.

1 Comment:

Lenny said...

"The 5th was the race of the day...was a thrilling three-horse finish, and it was only in the final lunge that Taming the Tiger had his nose in front. He's the latest horse to return seamlessly from a long layoff; he'd not raced since running 7th in a stakes on New Year's Eve, 2005."

I had Storm Boot Gold, who was in front the bob before and the bob after the wire. I did not use the winner, not sure how anyone could. Coming off a long layoff and dropping from stakes to bottom level claimers there had to be something wrong with him. If it is not this kind of horse that beats me it is the 0-27 maidens. I guess it is better for it to be this way, otherwise this game would be boring.

Lenny