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Thursday, October 18, 2007

Belmont Notes

- What's with this Russian thing at Belmont? The day after Leningrad-Stalingrad, Russian Sage won the 6th on Thursday!

The Sheikh was in action as Darley's four-year old filly Golden Velvet made a very nice U.S. debut for Kiaran McLaughlin with an extremely patient ride by Alan Garcia. He allowed his filly to drop back to fifth rounding the turn. She saved ground and effort doing so, but found herself behind a solid line of four horses at the top of the stretch. After waiting for just a moment, Garcia found a hole and they exploded through to draw off by six.

This is an extremely well-bred filly by Seeking the Gold, out of the graded stakes winner Caress. She's also the dam of Sky Mesa, off to a rather slow start with his first crop on the track this year. According to Equiline, he has four winners from 30 starters, no stakes winners. Sky Mesa himself won all three starts at two, but was o-for-three the next year, including his second to Peace Rules in the Haskell.

In Thursday's feature, True Cause just missed getting a stakes win for Godolphin in the Awad Stakes. But Norberto Arroyo, Jr. slowed the pace in the 1 3/8 mile marathon to a walk with Tricky Causeway, loping along in splits of 26.78, 53.04, and 1:18.66. Durkin noted that he should plenty left for the drive; still, for a moment it looked like he was going to get passed by either True Cause or favored Prince Rahy. A game finish in a final furlong of 11.75 took care of that, giving Jimmy Jerkens a stakes win in a very un-stakes like field. The black type will still be black however.

Tricky Causeway, by Giant's Causeway, is another extremely well-bred horse, especially for grass. Out of a Private Account mare, he's a half-brother to the grassy stakes winner Rey de Cafe; the dam is a half to the fine turf runner King Cugat, who won the Bowling Green for Mott in 2001. His third dam is Con Game, the dam of Seeking the Gold.


Anonymous said...

Garia is taking it to another level, will be interesting to see if he follows Kiaran to FLA or stays at AQU.

My guess is he will fly south.

Anonymous said...

Belmont Race 4 today. The Russian hunch angle lives. Mushka was one of the dogs that went up in Sputnik 6 but never made it based on impact on landing. Looks like a sure thing to me.

Alan Mann said...

Andrew - That's weird! I actually did Google Mushka looking for something like that, but missed it. It's also Russian for "little fly."

Anonymous said...
Here it is! Bet away.

Anonymous said...

The Russian angle lives on!!