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Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Belmont Notes

- Pletcher won with his only starter at Belmont on Wednesday. Now that I'm off Any Given Saturday, he'll probably start warming up now and gain momentum climaxing in him having 12 winners in the 11 Breeders' Cup races!

Cowboy Cal was the 5-2 third choice making his debut on the grass after a poor effort on the dirt at 5-1. With John Velazquez aboard, this son of Giant's Causeway went right to the lead in a first quarter of 22.91, and a half of 46.38 - second quarter of 23.47. At this point. Johnny V. gave his horse a breather as they rounded the turn. With the others working hard behind them, the gap was closed, as favored Manitowish Waters got to within a length. But Velazquez had slowed the third quarter to 24.64. That allowed Cowboy Cal to re-break at the top of the stretch, come home in 23.16 and win by four in a final time of 1:34.18. It was like Lucien Fontaine slowing the three quarters to 1:32 and zipping home in :28 flat!

Cowboy Cal is out of a Seeking the Gold half-sister to the $4.5 million earner Behrens.

That was Johnny V up again on the third race winner Pool Land. But the Toddster no longer trains; Tom Albertrani took over since this mare's last start, in the Distaff last year, in which she actually led on the turn before tiring to 9th. Velazquez got the job done with a similar ride, slowing the pace after a quick second quarter of 23.09, and, this time, just having enough left at the end.

And it was Johnny V with the natural hat trick in the 4th with Forza Bruta for James Bond.

- Cowboy Cal was the third winner in the last four racing days for the Toddster; plus that nice second place finish with Jade Queen. So, perhaps things are turning around. His slump has been exclusive to New York. Over the last 90 days on the NYRA circuit, Pletcher's winning percentage is 12%. But at all other tracks, it's the usual 24%.


Anonymous said...

Cowboy Cal had worked head-up with King of the Roxy prior to his debut. Not bad for an unraced maiden, and very likely a sign of confidence from Pletcher. Didn't help him much in the debut, but the Pletcher firsters aren't winning anything these days. Might've been a prep run anyway, considering he went two turns on grass today. Safe to say there's some upside here.

Anonymous said...

Manitowash Waters has absolutely no turf pedigree, odd they keep him on the grass. Sure they have their reasons but..

Always there but never seems to fire, tabbed him for the turf to dirt angle.

Won't last long but you can catch Todd without paying the usual premium right now.

ljk said...

Saw the Toddster having dinner with his assistants Tuesday night at Sperry's in Saratoga. A few cocktails, several bottles of fine red wine -- maybe they just needed to loosen up a bit.