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Thursday, June 07, 2007

Pletcher Drives For Five

- Wow, 7-1 on Sunriver (Saint Ballado), winning his turf debut at Belmont on Thursday; that was actually bet down from his 10-1 morning line. It did seem more like a desperation move after two extremely disappointing efforts this year, but there is some grass breeding there. This own sister to Ashado is also a full to Saint Stephen, a stakes winner on the grass. In addition, his dam, Goulash, is a half-sister to the graded turf winner Quite A Bride, and his second dam is a half to Wised Up, winner of the Grassy Grade 3 Fort Marcy.

And as Tom Durkin put it: "Sunriver has found a home on the turf." Or so it would seem. He wired the field and drew off to win by 4 1/2; and the only breather he got was the first quarter of 24.61. From there he grinded out quarters of 23.53, 23.22, 23.50, and a final eighth of 12.08 with Johnny V Ramon Dominguez pushing him home after a couple of right-handed smacks.

It was his first win for Sunriver since last year's Peter Pan, and he was third in the Belmont. He seemed pretty dull on the board at 6-1 that day nearly one year ago, and it was like I knew I was making a losing bet even as I was punching out the numbers. Jeez, I take these big races so seriously sometimes, and can't even bear the thought of going off the winner. Especially if I pick it here! That would be embarrassing and require a lot of explaining.

Pletcher also won the ninth with NY-bred Jocassee (Wagon Limit/Conquistador Cielo), and according to my records, which I don't think you can hold me legally responsible for, the little Toddster has now won with his last four runners, and with six out of seven at Belmont Park. He has 15 wins from 40 starters here, after getting off to a 3 for 16 starts. That means he's won with half of his last 24 starters! On Friday, he'll start Distorted Reality in the Hill Prince; he should vie for favoritism with Mott's Marcavelly in a short six horse field, so he could very well get to five. He has no less than eight horses entered for Belmont day.


Harl said...

Here's a shot at the late pick 4 at Belmont on Saturday:


Alan Mann said...

Kevin, I like your inclusion of Christmas Kid, and your selections in the Manhattan as well. I'm a big Minister's Bid fan....don't know if he's good enough for these, but he always fires. Shadwell horse is interesting too.

Jim L said...


Believe it was Ramon Dominguez on Sunriver, not Johnny V. He was on Dave.

Anonymous said...

FYI the late P4 starts in race 10 at Belmont on Saturday. I have not had a chance to look at the races yet but would definitely include Cotton Blossom in the Acorn. She was my top pick in the Oaks and was stopped cold turning for home. She has three solid works since and will be a decent price.

In the Belmont I will try to beat at least one of the three favorites in the tri/super and will key on Hard Spun and Rags to Riches in the P3/P4 with smaller tickets covering Curlin and Slew's Tizzy.


Harl said...

i guess those will be rolling pick 3s, then. it's too bad they don't structure an all-stakes pick 4 ending in then big race.

Anonymous said...

Kevin/Lenny -

I'm looking at my Form, and it says that there's a Pick 4 starting in Race 8, and another one starting in Race 10. I'm kinda excited for those two state-bred races in the 12th and 13th. (not kidding..)

Anonymous said...

Hit the $17k P6 last year, but this year looks much tougher.

Manhattan, which I singled last year, looks very contentious.
Can even make a case for Red Zipper wiring the field.

The only thing I am sure of this early is Curlin, R2R and Tiago will all be on my ticket in the Belmont.

Alan, agree those last two races would make excellent betting races on a normal card, but do you ever remember TWO maiden races carded on Belmont Day?

And while I am glad they finally got around to naming a race for Woody, why did they have to dishonor Riva Ridge to do so?

The 9f Birdstone would have been more appropriate, Birdy certainly does not need a race in his honor. Even better would be a 12f test for older.

Micro managing, I know, but their thinking process is scary.

Mr. Ed

Anonymous said...

lenny is using Curlin in his pick 4 tickets ? Isn't that the same horse he said was a piece of crap and a complete throwout for the triple crown races ?

Anonymous said...

Mr. Ed - Curious that Birdstone even warrants a race named after him. And you're right, a marathon race named after a guy who won five Belmonts in a row would be far more appropriate.

Anonymous said...

NYRA obviously knew thatit was goingto retain the franchise soThe Birdstone on Belmont Day is obviously a peace offering to Marylou Whitney and her gritty little Belmont and Travers winner! Remember, Marylou cast her lot with Empire and now that it appears they are dead, dead, dead Charlie Hayward just wanted to say "No hard feelings, Marylou, see you in Saratoga!"