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Sunday, June 24, 2007

Weekend Races and Music

- A couple of commenters wrote to praise the NYRA Internet Wagering system, and I'd have to agree that it's extremely fast and easy. Perhaps too much so! I got off to a bad start, getting shut out twice - once due to a bad internet connection, and the other I guess because I was trying to bet Hollywood on Friday and it was after midnight. But now I have no complaints at all, and I like the fact that it's the same account I use when I go to the track and use the betting card.

Big Wig, a two-year colt graduating first-time on the turf for Pletcher in the second at Belmont on Sunday, is a three-quarter brother to Rutherienne, the very nice grass stakes winning three-year old filly trained by Christophe Clement.

Michael Matz had his first Belmont winner of the year with his second runner at the meet. Glamour Star ($8.20) won in her 4th start after burning lots of money along the way. Remember that Matz was having a rough time back at Gulfstream, and started to come out of if in Keeneland. Over the last 90 days, he has a more characteristic record of 18 for 79, or 23%. The Ag, 6-5 in her debut for Pletcher, ran 6th at 4-5, ugh. She's a half-sister to the trainer's stakes winner J'Ray.

In the sixth, the awfully-named War Monger graduated on the grass at 12-1 for Mott. Why would anyone give a name like that to a horse, or any other kind of animal or thing for that matter? Another horribly named horse, Perfect Bullet was third, and I guess it's pretty fitting these days that Peace Mon lagged behind in 6th as the favorite.

- A dramatic renewal of the Salvatore Mile at Monmouth on Saturday, as 1-10 Lawyer Ron mounted an ultimately futile rally, trying to catch pacesetting Gottcha Gold. This wasn't a case of a horse stealing off to the lead in slow fractions. This four-year old son of Coronado's Quest zipped through fractions of 22.95, 45.43, and 1:09.39; he was still motoring to the quarter pole in 23.96 seconds. And though Gottcha Gold did slow down, a bit, to a final quarter of 24.86, he had enough to hold off the prohibitive favorite. In fact, he set a stakes record at 1:34.25. Chuck Lopez said: "I didn't hit him at all, because he doesn't like to get tagged. I didn't see Lawyer Ron coming and I wasn't looking -- I was just riding my horse all the way to the wire." [Newark Star Ledger] He may have heard the desperate chalk players as the favorite drew closer.

Also at Monmouth (and speaking of Coronado's Quest) a reader wanted me to mention Cable Boy, now an easy three-for-three after breezing by three lengths in the stakes named after that late Travers/Wood Memorial winner. It took the bettors awhile to catch on to this one; he won his debut at 12-1, and his second race at 5-1. But he was an easy winner at even money on Sunday. This three-year old is by the AP Indy sire Jump Start, out of a mare by Taylor's Falls, and is a half-brother to six figure earner Tricky Tyler. Trainer Pat McBurney will point him to the Long Branch, and perhaps the Haskell after that.

Sunday was Canada's big racing day, as the Queen's Plate was run at Woodbine. 15-1 Mike Fox (Giant's Causeway) staged an unlikely late rally to get up over another longshot in 16-1 Allezandro and win the Grade 1 (Can) race for jockey Emma-Jayne Wilson, the first woman rider to win the Canadian classic. Pletcher's Twilight Meteor didn't seem to like the Woodbine Polytrack anymore than he did the Turfway surface and finished 7th at 9-2 to complete an unproductive travel weekend for John Velazquez, who also rode Lawyer Ron on Saturday at Monmouth, as well as third place finisher Vicarage in the Sneakbox Stakes there. The fans went way overboard on Shadwell's Daaher, slamming the 15-1 morning line runner to 7-2 off of one maiden win at Belmont.

And speaking of our friends to the north, it was Canada Day in New York on Sunday. Or at least it was in Central Park, where the Head Chef and I were treated to a couple of excellent Canadian bands playing at Summerstage on another perfect early summer day in the city. Hard for me to describe The Duhks, a quintet from Winnipeg who won a Juno Award in Canada for best Roots and traditional album and group, and have also been nominated for a Grammy for Best Country Vocal Performance by a Group or Duo. But any band with a violinist and a banjo player are OK by me. Apostle of Hustle is an inventive, dual-percussion propelled guitar band featuring Andrew Whiteman of Broken Social Scene; like the latter, Apostle of Hustle record on the essential Toronto-based Arts and Crafts label. Originality is such a relatively rare commodity in today's pop music scene, and leave it to our northern neighbors to produce a couple of bands who produce it in abundance. I've posted videos from each band in the sidebar for your enjoyment.

1 Comment:

Hawken said...

Just saw that they are retiring Scat Daddy because of an injury that would have required 90 days to heal ... leaving their plans for the fall undoable - Which means they were planning on retiring him at the end of the year no matter what. What on earth are they planning to get at stud for this horse! I enjoyed Scat Daddy and backed him frequently on the triple crown trail, but you've got to be kidding me. I guess they figure he's got G1s next to his name and Johannesburg on top, so he's probably ... another sad reminder of why a horse like Flashy Bull is the top older horse in the U.S.