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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Toddster Taken Down An Octave (Or Two)

- You know it's a slow news day when the top headline in the Racing News section of reads Dreaming of Anna, 'Liz Work at Arlington. Oh man.

Well, at least we have Any Given Saturday set to make his final pre-Classic appearance in Saturday's Brooklyn Handicap against what promises to be a short and sluggish field. Since I expect him to win the Classic, I don't expect him to have any problems here at Belmont. But if Rags to Riches couldn't get the win for the ice cold Pletcher barn, I suppose that nothing is guaranteed.

He also has Octave running in the Grade 2 Cotillion....or should I say, the Fitz Dixon Cotillion Handicap at Philly Racino, also on Saturday. I am not a big Octave fan, so it wouldn't necessarily take a Toddster slump to get me to bet against her, especially when she's the 7-5 morning line favorite. Having said that, she's never been out of the money, and in seven Grade 1 races, she has two wins, four seconds, and a third.

But having said that, she's never won a race around two turns (a true two-turn race, not the turn and a half that is a mile and a quarter at Belmont.)

But having said THAT, there ain't no Grade 1 fillies in this field. Bear Now looks like a Polytrack specialist, and a Woodbine Polytrack specialist at that; and Talkin About Love rode the rail to take the G3 Monmouth BC Oaks in her last. Moon Catcher finished 4 1/2 lengths behind Octave in the Alabama, fading in that painfully slow final quarter of nearly 27 seconds.

But here, Moon Catcher, Tim Ritchey's daughter of Malibu Moon, cuts back to the mile and a sixteenth distance at which she won the G2 Delaware Oaks and the Susan's Girl, both at Del Park. The former was achieved with a 100 Beyer that exceeds anything Octave has ever run. So the way things are going for Pletcher, Moon Catcher doesn't seem an unreasonable pick at all. Whatsmore, perhaps Humble Janet, 10-1 morning line, could rally her way into the exotics to create some value. She was also beaten by 4 1/2 at a mile and a quarter by Octave, she in the CCA Oaks. But this Steve Asmussen trainee, by Humble Eleven, a $1,000 Lac Ouimet stallion, also turns back in distance, and has shown some nice late foot at this distance.


El Angelo said...

In Octave's defense, with a smidgen better racing luck/trip, she likely would have won the Alabama. I know, excuses, excuses....

Anonymous said...

Moon Catcher could be tough, always watch the runners that disappoint shipping into NY (and the detention barn) when they return to the minor league venues.

THAT said, Octave was best in the AL and is a very honest filly, even Todd will have a hard time getting her beat.

Will box with MC and hope for the upset.