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Sunday, July 15, 2007

Rose Blooms in Dick

- Pletcher went down with two well-bet horses in Delaware stakes on Saturday. Five scratches added up to two even money shots in the Dick; the Toddster's Safari Queen and Christophe Clement's Royal Highness, the latter going off as the slight favorite. Jeremy Rose seized the lead with Rosinka after stalking a lethargic pace - 26.26 and 52.39 to the half. From there, they steadily picked up the pace - 25.02, 24.75, then 22.77 to the eighth pole. At that point, the two favorites were chasing futilely in an all-out sprint. Safari Queen gave up the chase; Royal Highness surged on, but it didn't look like she was making much progress at the end, with Rosinka prevailing in a final eighth of 11.63. So an excellent tactical ride by Rose, and the first graded stakes win for this improving four-year old filly from the Graham Motion barn. "She's a monster right now," Rose said. "The pace worked for us, and she just wasn't going to let the other horse get by." [News Journal]

Rosinka is by Soviet Star, and she's a half-sister to the ill-fated King's Drama, a multiple graded stakes winner on the grass for Bobby Frankel.

Motion has a colt in today's Barbaro Stakes who shows a similar pattern of improvement. Longley comes into this Grade 3 having won three in a row, the last two by a combined 14 lengths, and the most recent in a modest stakes on this track, earning a 99 Beyer that is most competitive here. After yesterday, I'm a bit hesitant to single out horses who I don't like, but let's just say that King of the Roxy and Xchanger are liable to be overbet, as horses coming off the Triple Crown trail often are.

I'm not looking for an upset in the Delaware Handicap. Indian Vale is undefeated in fast track two-turn races in which she wasn't ridden by a retired jockey.