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Wednesday, July 18, 2007

They're Off at Del Mar

- I thought that Christina Olivares was on the outs at TVG when I saw her in apparent exile at Emerald Downs over the weekend rather than at Hollywood. But I guess she's served her penance, and she's back at Del Mar today sporting one of those big hats like Jan Rushton. It seems as if Polytrack's reputation has preceded itself; the third race, that five furlong juvenile sprint from which the $4.6 million Maimonides was scratched, went in fractions of 23.53 and 47.65, splits more suitable for a mile and a sixteenth race. But thus far, horses close to the pace (if not exactly wire to wire) seem to be doing pretty well.

Richard Mandella took the baby race in that fashion with his first timer Kanan Dume, at 9-1, in an exciting stretch duel, edging past the stubborn Dan the Man, who he stalked persistently down the backside and into the turn, and holding off even money Coast Guard, a bit slow at the start, by a long and steady neck. I didn't mention this colt in my preview of the race, mostly because Mandella doesn't win many of these - he was three for 36 over the last two years with two-year olds, four for 69 overall. In fact, he hadn't had a first-timer win since April, 2006, some 40 starts ago. But as we saw with Nick Zito at Saratoga last summer, those stats can change for a specific meeting, and it may be worth paying attention to Mandella in baby races to come.

Kanan Dune is by Malibu Moon, who has been in the news on a couple of occasions this past week. He's out of Trishyde, a graded stakes winner on the dirt in the U.S., and on the grass in France.

An exhilirating run between horses by Vauquelin to take the third division of the Oceanside in a finish that was marred by an apparent injury to favored Mayor Bozarth (good job by Todd Scrhmmppff on TVG in pointing that out immediately after the finish). Victor Espinoza waited patiently, and then darted to the inside and exploded to the lead from the rail. This was all seen close-up courtesy of a great isolated replay on TVG. I do get on their case when I think it's warranted, but they can do great work when they put their minds to it.

6 Comments:

Anonymous said...

Mayor Broshart was put down. BTW, Tood will be at Saratoga opening Day

Walter said...

I had some good workout reports on Kanan Dume, and i knew he could run. But as you alluded to, Mandella was 1-for-48 with firsters over the last 18 months. Regarding the snail-like fractions, they really weren't going that slow. It's just the polytrack, which must be very deep and tiring. I can assure you that if Good Man Dan had gotten a half-mile in any kind of legitmate 47 seconds, he wouldn't have been caught. Let alone caught by TWO horses while going only 5 1/2 furlongs. The track is VERY slow, my friends. At least so far...

Anonymous said...

The franchise bidders all seem to promise artificial surfaces at Aqueduct and the Belmont training track. I say they are a sufficient "control group" for the purposes of conducting studies over the next several years in NY. Saratoga should not install artificial surfaces unless and until the market forces them into it, i.e., that enough good stables decide to run on artificial surfaces elsewhere for less purse money. If enough stables still want to run on the Saratoga dirt track, why change? For the sake of change? If you are # 1, Charlie Hayward, don't you get to set the bar for everyone else? /S/ Green Mtn Punter

Anonymous said...

Just saw that Discreet Cat is 'jogging' and that Rick Mettee said he will probably be galloping 'by the time we get up to Saratoga'. If he only starts galloping at Saratoga, will he be ready to race while they're still at Saratoga? I assume they're looking at either a 2 or 3 race campaign before retiring him?

alan said...

Yeah, I mentioned DC in the next post. I suppose he could be ready for a race during the latter part of Saratoga. That might only leave time for one serious prep before the BC, right? Say he runs around Sept 1 at Saratoga - I don't see him racing twice more before Oct 27, do you?

inthebeginningtherewasace said...

Perhaps stating the obvious, but I think this path might actually be good for Discreet Cat. The horse doesn't seem to be able to put together more than two races in a row.