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Thursday, September 06, 2007

Belmont Opens

- In the opener of Belmont's fall meeting, note that Chameleon is making his second start in four days, and 4th in less than three weeks. None of them have been particularly successful, and I don't really expect that this will be much different. Maybe trainer David Jacobson, having been away from the game for 25 years, isn't aware that you don't run horses like this anymore. Tactical Gold is the 5-2 morning line favorite, and I think that would be an extremely fair price. He looks as if he could be a suspicious dropdown running for a 25K tag after missing by just a nose in 35K company, and having been claimed for that price three races back. But since that claim, he earned $6,000 running third, $9,000 from that second place finish, and would make another $24,000 with a win here. Add that to the $25,000 I expect he'll be claimed for, and I think owner Larry Carter will have done pretty darn well.

Two-year olds in the second, and look who's still hanging around the east coast. Bob Baffert, who won with all three of his juvenile first-timers at Saratoga (including Maimonides, out of BC consideration with sore shins), starts Massive Drama for Zayat Stables. Like the others, he sure didn't seem to dislike the Polytrack during the morning hours. This one is by the rookie sire Kafwain (Cherokee Run), standing at Darley for $10,000. This stallion is off to a nice start with six winners, and two stakes winners. Massive Drama, purchased by Zayat for $485,000 last year, and he must have looked really nice because there ain't much on the catalog page. But Kent D. takes the mount, and we obviously ignore at our own risk.

In the third, One in a Romp has come on for Allen Jerkens with two strong closes, including a ridiculous eight wide sweep to run second two back. But the real reason I mention him is because the DRF pp's I printed out on Thursday show that this horse worked three furlongs that very morning. And it really struck me that you almost never see horses work a day before the race anymore. Really, do you ever see that? Used to be not that uncommon at all, and I remember being able to look them up somewhere at the track on race day, perhaps in the track program, I don't quite remember.

Another workout pattern you rarely see anymore - though I think more often than works the day before the race - is to see them on consecutive days. Me and my racetrack crew back in the day would always bet on Angel Penna Sr. when one of his horses worked that way. That was a solid angle as I recall. Anyway, Richard Schosberg has the ML fave in that 3rd race with Papa's Kara, and it will be interesting to see if barns that were hot upstate carry that form over here. Schosberg finished the meet with six winners in 27 starts, plus another 13 in the money for an ITM percentage of 70%.

If it sounds like Saratoga thus far, the 5th is a $10K claimer, so welcome back to Elmont. Several in here are dropping sharply, not only from their recent races but from their claim price as well. But the latter does not apply to Archie Boy. Like the aforementioned Tactical Gold, this one earned some minor awards after being claimed, and drops from 20K company. But he's merely dropping to the price at which he was claimed. He's actually raced quite well against better, and I think he'd be a bargain at his 6-1 morning line for Leah Gyamarti, who had a nice finish upstate with a couple of wins and two more ITM in the last two weeks.

Linda Rice, the hottest trainer of all in the last week or so upstate, has Meriwether Jessica in the 6th, a baby race for NY-breds. This daughter of the $10,000 sire Freud sold for $95,000 earlier this year, and is listed as the 5-2 choice. Though all of her winners during her six race win streak were on the grass, she did have a first-timer win on the dirt earlier in the meet; and today's rider Corny V was on board for seven of her 13 wins at the Spa. Cherekovsky (Mayakowsky) was entered and scratched on Aug 30, and then worked a solid three furlongs at Monmouth on 9/2. She shows up here with Desormeaux, who's won two out of his seven engagements for trainer Carl Deville.

That's all I got....good luck if you're playing opening day.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Baffert's actual complaint was that the track in the pm was not the same as the track in the am, his horses liked it early.

Horses do not work as close to the race as they used to ("the blowout") simply due to the use of lasix. Most horses that run on it also get it in the morning, so recovery time is longer. A breeze 4 days out is the equivalent of a blowout nowadays.

Your logic seems fair on your picks.

I would add that Gold and Roses looks like lone speed in the feature, and despite this spot not being the trainer's first choice, one mile is well within his scope, even toting 123 pounds, if he is allowed a loose lead.

In the finale, an inscrutable NY Bred maiden sprint, I will try #9 simply because he has not proven he is horrible, having only one start where he showed some interest late. Hopefully he breaks well and shows more early pep in his second start in a rare paceless turf sprint.

Luzzi may get off the schneid early at this meet after a horrible SPA vacation from the winner's circle.

Late DD 7-9.

Mr. Ed