- Richard Dutrow is having a solid Belmont meeting with a record of 91-24-23-12. He took Wednesday's baby race, a state-bred affair, with By the Light. This daughter of Malibu Moon was 7-2 in the morning line, but paid an inflated win mutuel of $15.00. One might associate first-time winners coming out of the Dutrow barn with support on the tote board; but interestingly, a look at Formulator shows that's not necessarily the case. He had ten two-year old debut winners over the last two years coming into Wednesday's race (out of 42 runners, or 24%); and amongst those were two winners at odds of 7-1, and others at 10-1 and 21-1. So if you fancy a two-year old coming from this barn, don't be afraid to back it even if it seems dull on the board.
On Thursday, he has the morning line favorite in the 4th, a state-bred two year old race for the boys. Dazzling Derek has a string of stellar works, including, as Walter pointed out to me, a June 29 gate drill in which he outworked By the Light. He's by the Storm Cat sire Yankee Gentleman, out of a mare by Far North, and not much else to say about his pedigree.
Also in this race, we have Wolfson, a debut runner from Mott who fits the juvenile sale pattern we've been checking out. By the $8500 first-year sire Wiseman's Ferry (two winners from his first five starters), Wolfson brought a winning bid of $270,000 at Ocala in February after drills of 10.3 and 21.2. However, note that Mott, who had his share of debut two-year old winners here last year, is o for six in the category at this meet, including even money Gullible Gal on Wednesday, and a couple others at 5-2 and 2-1. Now that we're thoroughly confused......check out Iron Curtain, who debuts for Steve Klesaris, 38% with first-time starters over the last year, three for seven with his two-year olds. He's by the excellent first-out sire Boundary (17%). But I'll stick with Wolfson, since we're following the sales horses that went for high multiples of their sires' fee (and he graded out pretty well in the Form's Breeze Figs as well).
- Trainers at Mountaineer are upset with the strict enforcement of a West Virginia regulation that bars from the paddock "all persons who have no immediate business with the horses contained in the paddock.” I can tell you with certainty that if there's a similar rule in New York, it's not observed to the letter. Or much at all. At Aqueduct, you could probably flash your University of West Virginia student ID from 1978 and walk right on in. Anyway, the trainers say that the rule is being used to prevent them from checking out horses that they might want to claim.
“I think I have a business interest in that horse if I’m going to pay $20,000 for it,” said [trainer Loren] Cox, who noted people normally don’t buy houses without an inspection. “I don’t think this rule was meant to keep out people who are claiming horses. I’ve raced at 36 tracks and never encountered this.” [Bloodhorse]But, according to the article, the strict enforcement of the rule stemmed from trainers who complained that rivals seeking to check out their stock were becoming "intrusive." So we seem to have a conflict between the claimers and the claimees.