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Friday, August 17, 2007

Alabama Picks, News, Notes, and Lies

- The UK's Guardian reports that Saeed bin Suroor will actually be at Saratoga on Saturday to saddle Folk in the Alabama. I handicapped the race last night for my horse-by-horse thing for the Special, and I have to say that I just love Panty Raid. I watched her win in the American Oaks; Prado gave her a supremely confident ride, keeping her on the outside all the way, and peeking back twice while moving towards the lead three wide on the final turn. What I liked the most was this: when the tough Valbenny engaged her inside the 8th pole, getting to within maybe a 1/4 length or so, Panty Raid would just have none of it, dug in, and was drawing back away at the end, with a certain flair and even arrogance, at least as it seemed to me. "Get that weak stuff outta my face," she seemed to be saying. I'm not concerned about the surface switch back to dirt, and neither is Pletcher.

"I think she’s better on the dirt; Edgar thinks she’s better on the turf. If you had seen her work, you would likely agree with me.” [NYRA]
Panty Raid worked five furlongs in 59.3 (2/46) on the main track last week. She's won on grass, dirt, and Poly surfaces at Turfway and Keeneland, so I don't really think it matters what she's running on. And she easily won her career debut over this track last August. So she's my pick. I think Lear's Princess is overstated at 10-1 in the morning line, and I see money prospects for her. With Moon Catcher and Folk (hopefully) setting the pace, and three stalkers (Tough Tiz's Sis, Octave [at least based on her last two races], Lady Joanne) in close pursuit, I'm looking for the race to set up for the two with the best closing kicks; and in my opinion, those will be Panty Raid and Lear's Princess, in that order. There's your cold exacta! (If only it were so easy...)

Back to Saeed bin Suroor and the Guardian article, which discusses how well Authorized, another of the top three-year olds snared in Darley's latest spending spree, is doing in preparation for the Juddmonte International Stakes, his first race since his bizarre loss to Notnowcato in the Coral-Eclipse, when the latter glided out to the firmer outside rail for the stretch drive. Those two will be joined by Dylan Thomas in what should be an outstanding race, which will take place on Tuesday. Hmmm, I guess NYRA doesn't host its British racing thing on dark days, does it?

- Still no fatalities on the Del Mar Polytrack, though we wouldn't know about more subtle injuries that may (or may not) be occurring there. However, there have been five deaths on the turf course, four of them in the afternoon, and the latest on Thursday. And apparently, the on-track euthanization of Holly Torque Tango did not go smoothly.
Even though a screen was up, many saw the 3-year-old filly rear up on her hind legs and fall to the ground after she was euthanzied. The crowd let out a collective gasp after she hit ground.

"They might have botched it, but they had no choice," said Dan Smith, Del Mar's senior media coordinator. "It was the humane thing to do. She couldn't walk to the van. They had to put her out of her misery." [North County Times]
Here's a collective 'ugh' to that nasty bit of news.

- And speaking of 'ugh,' the Albany Times Union's Saratoga blog reports that Rudy Giuliani was at the track yesterday. And boy, am I'm glad, first of all because it means that I missed him. But mostly because this allows me to seamlessly stray off topic. As you may know, Giuliani told reporters last week: “I was at ground zero as often, if not more, than most of the workers.” Referring to the workers at ground zero, he's been quoted as saying that he was “one of them.” But the NY Times, in an inspired piece of reporting, consulted the logs of his mayoral archive, and came up with this:
A complete record of Mr. Giuliani’s exposure to the site is not available for the chaotic six days after the attack, when he was a frequent visitor. But an exhaustively detailed account from his mayoral archive, revised after the events to account for last-minute changes on scheduled stops, does exist for the period of Sept. 17 to Dec. 16, 2001. It shows he was there for a total of 29 hours in those three months, often for short periods or to visit locations adjacent to the rubble.
A sample by Mount Sinai Medical Center of 1,138 participants in its study of health problems among rescue, recovery and debris removal workers found that they had spent a median of 962 hours at the World Trade Center site, or the equivalent of about 120 eight-hour days. [NY Times, via, no registration required]
The emphasis above was mine; the hypocrisy strictly the former mayor's. Who knows, in a couple of years, hopefully as a private citizen, perhaps we'll hear him say that he was at Saratoga as often, if not more, than most of the horseplayers. Somebody send this guy to the detention barn, please.


Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the Guardian link. With regard to Folk, i was extremely impressed with her last race, mostly how well she hung on in her first race after a very long layoff. Gotta think she'll improve here.

Alan Mann said...

Walter - Agreed re: Folk's effort in the CCA Oaks. And of course, Godolphin is a little hot. I'm looking for the rail filly Moon Catcher, much improved since the addition of blinkers two races ago, to soften her up this time.

Superfecta said...

I used to work for the NYC Dept of Health and there's a program to track the health of 9/11 first responders; I don't see Rudy making the cut to be tracked, given how briefly he was there.

That's so typically him.

I'm liking Panty Raid as well...

Valerie Grash said...

Call me crazy, but I'm seeing Tough Tiz's Sis for the upset :)

Alan Mann said...

Valerie -

We'll never hear the end of his Poly-bashing if he keeps winning here! :)

Anonymous said...

Quote of The Day From Bob Baffert: "It was nice to come back here (The Spa)." You have some serious fans here. Your horses are appreciated here. At Del Mar everybody's just getting drunk and going to the beach." Don't you just love Bob Baffert?! Sounds about how you summed up your impression of Del Mar, Alan! (Quote from a story by Sherry Ross in today's Daily News and linked on Ben Liebman's website). /S/ Green Mtn Punter

Alan Mann said...

>>At Del Mar everybody's just getting drunk and going to the beach."

Yeah, and the problem with that is.....? No Polytrack on the beach....just jellyfish!

Michael said...

You have the same problem somewhat at Keeneland -- there are the older Yuppies and UK Co-eds (my wife calls them Keeneland Sluts) who come out and start drinking at 10:30 in the morning -- I not to get there and start drinking until 11.

Valerie Grash said...

Well, now you've done it...Freddie Ruth (2 year old filly) was euthanized Friday morning after suffering catastrophic injury while working on the Polytrack at Del Mar:

Eerily, Clinton Potts was aboard Freddie Ruth, just as he was aboard Holly Torque Tango yesterday.

ljk said...

One thing for sure is that Panty Raid can get over the Spa track. She won for fun in her maiden race. I went back to watch the replay remembering that Tom Durkin had some fun with the race call. Coincidentally, an also ran in Ranty Raid's maiden win was Sharp Susan, who looked great today.

Mott's firster, Prussian, stole the show though, he cantered around in 1:42 3/5. Isn't one of the new Breeders Cup races a juvenile turf race?

Anonymous said...

I will be covering TTSis also, think she is live.

Todd is just sooooo cold.

TTSis/Folk/Octave, big balloons, grave yard of favorites the big story in Sunday's papers.

Great race, better than the Travers.

Anonymous said...

Prussian sure did look good, ljk, drawing off in one of the more convincing turf victories I've seen in a while.

In the feature, Lady Attack had another difficult trip, waiting and waiting and then going way wide at the top of the stretch. The winner didn't get pushed much on the front end. I'll try Lady Attack one more time next out and hope for a cleaner run, but with that late-running style, traffic trouble is always a concern.

In the 6th tomorrow, Mr. White Shoes comes off a race where the horse seemed like it had more to give, but lacked racing room.

ljk said...

I hoped and wished for Rags in the Alabama, but she would have been 1/9. Now it looks like a great race with legitimate cases to be made for all starters. I expect the Toddster, even though he's soooo cold at 15%.

I like Octave for the Tiara.

I'm off to study tendancies for 2 mile races on the main track.

Alan, welcome to the Spa. You know that's where you really wanted to be.

Though I think it's wrong to discount the UK Co-eds. Many are smokin'...

Alan Mann said...

>>Alan, welcome to the Spa. You know that's where you really wanted to be.

Thanks. Yeah, I'm ready man, it's been quite awhile since it's been this late in the season before my first appearance.

The Alabama really is a great betting race, and you really can make a case for every filly in the race. The Toddster has dipped down to 14% now!

affirmedny said...

>>Yeah, and the problem with that is.....? No Polytrack on the beach....just jellyfish!

but no JELLY-cable!!

Anonymous said...

Word of caution regarding Tough Tiz's Sis - she's been entered and scratched twice in the last month. May be dealing with some kind of physical issue. Aside from that, she's a very nice filly. Tough race to call, but put a gun to my head and i'd go with Panty Raid. There just seems to be a whole lot of speed in here, and i was highly-impressed with her off-the pace run in the American Oaks. She beat a couple of outstanding turf filles too, in Valbenny and the crack Aussie invader Anamato. No problem with the distance, and she seems to havea world of confidence right now, as Alan mentioned. Should be pretty tough, though obviously this race can go any number of ways.

Anonymous said...

A counter word of caution on Panty Raid, the track has been speed rail favoring, and that off the pace race occurred on artificial surface. And Todd is soooooo cold (since his last suspension, I might add).

Alan, does Formy have his W% since he returned?

Anonymous said...

How can you disparage Rudy after his great track record as mayor regarding the horses. Did he go to the track once in eight years? Wasn't he going to sell everything to Stronach? Didn’t he preside over OTB's termination of racing on TV that went on for a month or two and cost the City millions? A baldheaded, draft dodging, philandering bum.