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Tuesday, August 07, 2007

Any Given Saturday Attains Head of Beyer Class

- A Beyer rating of 113 for Any Given Saturday, which exceeds anything earned thus far by Street Sense or Curlin. Pletcher indicated to the Form that he'd prefer the colt to have only one more race before the Oct 27 Classic, jeez! Just when we see this horse really start to blossom, the trainer is basically telling us that if it were up to him, we'll only see him race twice more in his career. Unless of course you believe that he's destined to return to race in 2008, a highly unlikely prospect in my opinion. Since the Travers is nine weeks before the Classic, the Toddster mentioned the Sept 22 Brooklyn BC, or the Sept 30 Jockey Club Gold Cup as options. I'm still not counting him out for the Travers however. The owners may want to strike while the iron is hot against a crop of three-year olds that suddenly seems to be at his mercy, rather than wait and take on tough older horses, Lawyer Ron? Anyway, if the Travers is too short a turnaround, how about the Sept 1 Woodward, which would leave four weeks until the Gold Cup, and then four more until the Classic?

As for Curlin, Steve Asmussen still sounds a little shaken by a performance that didn't seem all that bad to this observer. Regarding the Travers, the trainer told the Form: "A lot will be told when we take him back to the track, his first breeze back, and how closely we pay attention to what he's telling us. But John Pricci, writing on his Horse Race Insider site, speculates that the defeat in the Haskell actually gives the Curlin team extra incentive to run in the Travers:

We’re thinking that if Curlin had won instead of finishing third, he sits out the Midsummer Derby for sure. But now can he afford to spot Street Sense another prestigious victory?
And I'm glad to see Hard Spun cutting back to seven furlongs for the King's Bishop.
"We're going to turn him back to seven furlongs and try to stretch him out again,'' Jones said. "Our goal is still the Breeders' Cup Classic (Oct. 27 at Monmouth Park), but we're going to take a different approach with him.'' [Albany Times Union]
The trainer just won't give up on his distance aspirations with this fine colt. Here's hoping that the King's Bishop is instead his first step towards either the Mile or the Dirt Mile. (Is that race really going to be called the Dirt Mile?)


Anonymous said...

Hard Spun always gives his all and that is commendable .... the King's Bishop is definitely a more favorable spot than the Travers. However, I'm sure that the hard knocking Teufelsburg will not be scared away. Looking forward to that great weekend of racing.

Anonymous said...

That horse Most Distinguished, who looked powerful late in his win at the Spa last week, might also be pointing to the Kings Bishop. But I agree it's a spot that makes sense for Hard Spun, much more so than the comment about stretching him back out for the Classic.

As for the Classic, I'm still giving Curlin a big chance there. I don't think it should have been that much of a surprise that Any Given Saturday was the sharper horse Sunday, coming off his Dwyer effort; visually, he seemed to explode around the 8th pole and that was the difference. But Curlin moved well to join the leaders at the top of the stretch, and seemed to run well thereafter; he just didn't have the burst that the sharper AGS had on this day. He'll be back.

John said...

Alan it sounds like you’re getting your hopes up again about AGS. Don’t you remember what I told you back in May when he broke your heart with that Derby effort. I said to forget about him, he’s no good for you, he’s just a tease and he’ll crush your hopes. Some three-year olds may be at the mercy of AGS but Street Sense is not one of them; AGS will wrinkle like a cheap suit when he stares Street Sense in the eye again.

Alan Mann said...

John - Hmmm, guess we're not going to agree on this matter. But we can at least agree that we hope that the issue can be settled on the racetrack before one or both heads off to stud duty.