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Friday, June 29, 2007

Friday Notes - June 29 [UPDATED]

- Check out this statement from Spitzer's spokesperson Paul Larabee:

"For the first time in 50 years, we have a chance to evaluate racing in New York, and that just doesn't include the racing that happens at the tracks, it's also the chance to look at the assets and think about other ways in which they could be used." [Daily Racing Form]
Oh, so that's the historic opportunity we have here!? Not one to update the laws, bring the OTB system into the 21st 20th century, and move forward with newfound vigor as the top racing program in the country...but a chance to think about other ways the assets could be used!!?? OH, I MUST HAVE MISUNDERSTOOD, EXCUSE ME!!

Let's move on before I start sending profanity the governor's way. I'm hoping to get out to Belmont today for at least the late pick four, and that's gonna be it for racing this weekend for me, as I'll be on the road Saturday through Monday, taking my daughter up to her college orientation in Oneonta. I don't think there are any tracks there. It's near Cooperstown though, so a trip to the Hall of Fame is a possibility. Here's a look at the last four at Belmont:

- In the sixth, we have the scary sight of not one, but two off the layoff entries from Godolphin, and our main man bin Suroor Saeed. The binster. The little b. Oh Saeed, can you see....him finishing one-two? Godolphin is five for ten at the meeting; four for six with layoff horses ranging from 201 to 622 days off! Leo makes his first start since running 9th in the 2005 BC Juvenile; that after taking a Grade 2 in England. I guess the Juvenile didn't really work out for Leo, but who's going to doubt him now? True Cause hasn't been out since last August. He doesn't have the graded stakes credentials of his stablemate, but he edged Leo out in a listed contest in Sept, 2005. He's by Storm Cat, out of a half sister to the fleet Balletto. Leave them out of the Pick Four opener at your own risk. Silver Timber is actually the 9-5 ML favorite for Linda Rice off of a close third in his seasonal debut a couple of weeks ago; but that was against a weak field, and Ms. Rice has gone a bit cold with an 0 for 18 streak. [UPDATE: This race has been taken off the grass (sorry Michael). No rain here today, but they must have gotten a deluge out at Belmont last night. But we still like the bin entry with True Cause out, and Minefield in. The latter returns off a layoff too, and is two-for-two on the dirt; he makes the switch from the Toddster to the binster.]

In the 7th, I'm not thrilled by either of the morning line choices; Cateleisha comes off a decent second for Contessa Laudati against an uninspiring field; and Montauk Daisy comes off a layoff. That's no big deal these days, but she fell short twice after graduating to entry level allowance company last fall and doesn't look inspiring here, particularly at her 9-5 morning line. Mt Langfuhr has improved in 2007, especially in her last, her first off the claim for the John Toscano barn. She wired the field against what is arguably better company than this, turning back the challenge of a Contessa dropper who was 3-5, and finishing up strongly in the 7th furlong, which could be key against these at that distance. Lady Elaine goes back to the dirt after a futile grass effort, and her experience at longer distances could help her stick around at the end, especially if she doesn't end up in a speed duel with Mt Langfuhr.

The 8th is a nice grass allowance race, and..... Oh fuck! Another Godolphin entry?? Mr. bSS again?? Oh man.... Well, Mathematician is one that didn't win off a long layoff, fading to 5th at 3-1 just 12 days ago in his first race since October, 2005. What to do with him I'm not quite sure. But Palace Episode, by Machiavellian out of a half-sister to Derby runner-up Tejano Run, is a freaking Grade 1 winner in the UK, having won the Racing Post Trophy in October of 2005! His next race was a disaster the following May, and this is his first outing since then. This entry isn't quite as inspiring as the one in the 6th, but I wouldn't dare leave it out. Giant Basil is the morning line fave for Frankel, coming off a nose win over a moderate allowance field at Hollywood; a string of solid workouts indicates that he's held his form. He figures to be overbet stepping up in class off a gaudy Beyer however. I'm also not that inspired by Rock Lobster, who has just never seemed to be the same since winning the Saranac last year; nor Woodlander, in for a tag after two poor efforts for Contessa following his win in the Fort Marcy.

So let's try 12-1 El Prado Rob. He has generally good grass form, albeit against a bit cheaper, at least in New York. He won in these allowance conditions at the Meadowlands last fall and gains entry courtesy of his $75,000 tag. This is his first start since a poor try on the Woodbine Poly last fall, but his last two starts off layoff lines have been excellent, and he gets Channing Hill, who rode him to victory last year.

In the 9th, Party Jones seems to have no excuses here, getting the rail in this nw2 claiming condition in which he missed by a nose to Exton last time out. The main concern is that he has tended to fall a bit short more often than not, with three close seconds (and a win) in his last four starts. Lets Get Going is equally logical to complete the exacta, with two recent seconds in this class; if the post positions were reversed (he starts from the eight hole with the start close to the turn), I'd consider the race more of a toss-up. As it is, I feel timid about singling the top choice.

So let's try this for the cheap man's Pick Four - add horses such as Silver Timber, Montauk Daisy, and Giant Basil as you wish...but to me, there just doesn't seem to be enough value in the series to spread around and make a big investment. So I'll try a smaller wager and leave them out.

Race 6 - bin entry
Race 7 - Mt Langfuhr, Lady Elaine
Race 8 - bin entry, El Prado Rob
Race 9 - Party Jones, Lets Get Going

1 Comment:

Michael said...

I'm glad to see this race come off the grass, let's hope minefield runs big off the long layoff.