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Friday, June 08, 2007

The Back From Dubai Thing

- Marcavelly beat Distorted Reality in the five horse Hill Prince before 4,730 at Belmont on the day before the big race, thus snapping the Toddster's streak at four. I have to say that the racing here this week was pretty damn weak, and not a very good advertisement for the quality of the sport in the state. We've had some interesting maiden special races, on both dirt and turf, a couple of juvenile races, and a plethora of interesting turf sprints here lately....but not much this week. However, it's not like there was any extra attendance - maybe 1,000 or so more than usual on Friday - so who was really watching?

- After Honey Ryder won, Pletcher said that the 'coming back from Dubai thing' is overrated. But while I suppose that applies to English Channel in the Manhattan too, I'm inclined to take a shot against in a pretty deep field. Sky Conqueror stumbled very badly at the start of the Turf Classic, and just nailed Brilliant at the line. It wasn't quite as wide of a trip as the 9 wide comment would indicate, as he actually saved some ground on the turn before angling out. But he still covered much more ground than the runner-up. This five-year old son of Sky Classic has steadily developed into the Grade 1 winner he is, and seems the obvious alternative to the favorite.

Minister's Joy has also come along, and perhaps there's some further upside here for Shug. He always fires, and was hampered by a slow pace and a small field when he ran third behind Shakis in his last. Other than a mile and a half try last fall, he hasn't been beyond nine furlongs, which seems a surprise given his running style. He's by Deputy Minister, out of an AP Indy mare who traces directly back to the great Glowing Tribute, through her stakes winning daughter Wild Applause, the half sister to Sea Hero and Hero's Honor. So there's plenty of pedigree power as far as his liking ten furlongs, and maybe that's what he needs to take this big step forward. He'll be a nice price, and I'm going to use him on top. Better Talk Now was a troubled 4th, not far behind Sky Conqueror in the Turf Classic, and he finished the year strongly in 2006. But a check of his form over the last few years shows that his second races off layoffs are not great. And if that isn't just an excuse to not have to use him, I don't know what is.

1 Comment:

NoBoy said...

You're right about these Belmont cards. I've noticed a substantial decline in the quality of racing this year. Have you checked out Sunday's card? Plenty of scintillating NY Bred action. They might as well call this place Finger Lakes South.