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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Wednesday Night Notes - June 6

- Haskin says: We have seven legitimate horses, with none of the usual no-hopers that seem to pop out of the woodwork for the third leg of the Triple Crown. Sounds like he's setting us up for picking every horse in his final preview column. I was going to get on his case for saying that, but after actually looking at the past performances, there's at least something to be said for each of them, whether it be a recent pattern of improvement (Slew's Tizzy, C P West) or an apparent affinity for the distance (Imawildandcrazyguy, Tiago). But, on second thought, I do think the first pair are rather hopeless....and that Imawildandcrazyguy is a fraud as far as being a distance specialist. Perhaps Tiago could upset if the top pair falter. Obviously, that's a rather monumental if.

By the top pair, I'm referring to Curlin and Rags to Riches. I don't believe for a second that Hard Spun will be the second choice as he is in the morning line. And while it's not (generally) my thing to make loud assertions, I will hear repeat what I wrote in the comments section: I think that Rags to Riches will bury Hard Spun. There's a good reason why Garrett Gomez tried to jump off Hard Spun, and that's because he also believes that the filly will have left his colt in the dust well by the time they hit midstretch.

And man, have you checked out this card? It's just incredible. Check it out yourself, and time to get to work.


Anonymous said...

Tiago has a legit long shot if the race falls apart, but really feel that Todd and JV will finally get their classic, ironically with a filly.

Curlin and especially Hard Spun are questionable at the distance and may be spent regardless.

How long can Curlin continue to climb without a regression?

Slews Tizzy and CP West will not let Hard Spun rest.

Imawildandcrazyguy is a nice story.

Fun race, card is terrific as always, very much looking forward to the day.

Anonymous said...

They seem to be doing a good job publicizing the Belmont in the NY area. I just heard an ad for it on ESPN Radio that included the ENTIRE stretch call of the 1978 Belmont Stakes.

Anonymous said...

I'm not buying Rags to Riches as a legitimate threat to challenge the winner (whoever that may be!). It's funny because we knock horses like Tiago (deservedly) because he beats a misearable field in the Santa Anita Derby. Yet no one is mentioning that this years'crop of three year-old fillies is below average. I think RTR is a nice filly but not ready to challenge the top colts in this race. I also believe that Hard Spun will run a much better race than he did in the Preakness.

El Angelo said...

Am I being a party pooper for being a little disappointed with the card? The Manhattan is ok, and the Woody Stephens isn't bad either (especially since Deadly Dealer looks like a false favorite) but the other stakes races are very thin in terms of betting potential and could use something in the way of more horses running. And please, can we get these statebred races off the year's premier day?

Alan Mann said...

>>Am I being a party pooper for being a little disappointed with the card?

Yeah, I think you're being a little poopy! The Foresta (the 5th) and the Stephens is a terrific betting races I think. The Birdstone is an interesting little stakes as well. And there could be opportunities in the others. I'm going to try and get to these races on the blog, but I think Bordonaro could be vulnerable with Keyed Entry in the race; I don't think English Channel is a lock, and I'm even a bit concerned about Wait a While.

Anonymous said...

I'm surprised you've put so much effort into denigrating Hard Spun! I think the Belmont sets up pretty well for him, myself. I've been impressed by his display of stamina in the Derby and Preakness (particularly the Preakness). I think it's very noteworthy that the horses closest to his early pace in both races all finished well at the back of the field. He wasn't on the lead in the Preakness, but he made a bold move to assume command after three quarters in 109.4, which we all know was totally ridiculous. And yet he was able to stick around for third, beaten just 4 lengths in lightning-fast time. This after expending tons more early energy than Street Sense or Curlin. I think that WAY too many people are gonna look at these races and discredit the horse (as you are), on the basis that he's simply a bridesmaid-type who loses ground through the stretch. The way i see it, he's gonna be flat-out walking this time compared to his previous early fractions, and he's liable to assume command of this race with plenty of gas left in the tank and keep right on going to the wire. I give the horse a solid chance, though he's obviously no better than second choice behind Curlin. That one shouldn't be too far behind considering the slowish pace, and he's obviously a fantastic finisher. Could have the same type of trip he enjoyed in the Arkansas Derby. I do agree that Rags to Riches is a top contender as well, though i rank her slightly behind Hard Spun. I also agree that she's gonna be hammered at the windows, perhaps going off as the second choice. Regarding Gomez trying to get back on board, i don't think it's an indictment of Hard Spun, or even an endorsement of Rags to Riches. I just think he's afraid of losing the mount. Keep in mind, Rags to Riches figures to be around for quite a while and will probably make a whole lot of money over the next few years. Conversely, riding Hard Spun might be a one-shot deal for Gomez. In any case, the horse has been sold and will be retired at the end of the year, if not sooner. He also doesn't hold anywhere near the advantage within his division as Rags to Riches does. The fact that Gomez wanted to ride Rags to Riches probably has more to do with the future, and less to do with the Belmont.