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Monday, October 22, 2007


- New post up at

Reality has set in for your industrious but weary blogger. I've been able to keep up pretty well here while posting twice a week over at the BC site thus far. But now, I'm on a one-a-day schedule there, plus I'm heading to Monmouth Wednesday morning after having to work full days at my real jobs today and Tuesday. So rather than put undue pressure on myself (and to have at least some time to handicap the other races so I can do some serious betting myself and build up my bankroll for Saturday, hee hee), the Head Chef has advised me to let you know that posting here will be subject to my ability to find the time to do so from here on in through the weekend. So please check in at the BC site (or via the list of those posts I update on the side). Over here, I plan to post photos, tidbits from the scene, and, if I possibly can, some live blogging during the races. Plus anything else I can squeeze in.

I'm figuring that the franchise issue will wait and not be resolved in the meantime....and I'm betting that the Big A will still be around when I return. Thanks as always for stopping by, and I'll see you over at for the rest of the week (though please do check out LATG as well, where I'll do the best I can).

- Probably won't get through my preliminary looks at all of the races, but I did want to get to the Distaff, perhaps my favorite betting race. This is the race that I find that I have probably my strongest opinions so far. I'll start by telling you who I don't like.

I don't like Balance. She hasn't won since March when the competition was softer, and her effort here at Belmont was mediocre even with a compromised start. I'm not crazy about Ginger Punch, despite the fact that she's been supplemented to the race. She disappointed in the Beldame around the one turn that I believe she prefers. Her only two turn race was the Go For Wand, which she won by six; but that was in a field I consider to be a weak one, including Teammate, who I really don't think too highly of at all. (Always a bit risky saying that about a Jerkens horse.)

Hystericalady had no excuse in the world when she was beaten by Tough Tiz's Sis, another filly I don't care for that much, in the Lady's Secret at Oak Tree. The 96 that the latter earned that day is her career high. If I can't use the Beyers to distinguish slower runners from faster ones in a race like this, what could are they? Hystericalady has that win over the Monmouth track, but she set a slow pace against a weak field on a track that may have been more speed-favoring than it will on Saturday. So I don't like either of those fillies in the Distaff.

I don't like Lear's Princess, though perhaps I'll like her in the F&M Turf next year. I love her grass races, but I think she hangs on the dirt, despite her win over the injured Rags to Riches in the Gazelle. Bloodstock agent Buzz Chace, who bought her on behalf of West Point, told Bloodhorse this morning: "She’s more comfortable on the turf but she runs on the dirt."

So you may realize that we're starting to get down to the Toddster's entries. Indian Vale (AP Indy) is a tough one to figure in my view. Earlier in her career, it looked like she was a two-turn specialist; now it's harder to say. She was game as can be in the one-turn Beldame at Belmont, but disappointed around two in her prior two efforts. Those were at a mile and a quarter though, and it's certainly worth keeping in mind that she's six-for-six around two turns at nine furlongs.

Unbridled Belle (Broken Vow) looks like a filly who has really come around here late in her four-year old season. She showed tremendous late acceleration and an unwavering will to win when she overcame traffic to get up late in the Beldame. Whereas I originally attributed her two good races at Delaware to open her year the result of her liking the track (she won twice there last year), now she just looks like a filly who's improved and who loves the game. Both Jay Privman in the Form ("looked particularly sharp going five furlongs in 1:01.28, followed by a strong gallop out"), and Karen M. Johnson in Bloodhorse ("looked powerful"), gave her Sunday work rave reviews.

I also like Octave (Unbridled's Song) at could be a double digit price. She has won twice this year, so I wouldn't necessarily call her a cheater despite all the times she's finished second. With her tactical speed, consistency (only once worse than second in 12 starts, all but two Grade 1's or 2's), she could be amongst the best value of the day.

Also have to mention Lady Joanne (Orientate), another fantastically consistent three-year old - she's never been out of the money in ten starts, and has only her narrow losses to Panty Raid and Octave in her last seven races. I'm thinking exotics for her, but may have to use her on top in the Pick 3's as well.


Anonymous said...


This comment has nothing to do with the distaff, but I feel like it needs to be made. I just want to thank you on behalf of all racing fans out there, young and old, for doing more than your fair part in keeping this amazing sport alive. If only there were more people like you, perhaps racing could return to a form more similar to its glory days. As a young horse racing fan, I just want to tell you that I truly appreciate all you are doing for the sport and its fans. Not just the hadicapping and the commentary, but the educational quality of your work. You have made me more knowledgeable about the game I love, and it's great to have a place like LatG, where I can find an abundance of interesting racing information every week- Information, that in many cases, I never would have discovered on my own.

The most amazing thing to me is that you do all this for the love of the game. You could easily be a turf writer for the drf or bloodhorse, or any other publication that actually employs turf writers these day. But instead you write to all of us as a peer, just another pony player trying to figure it all out. It's extremely refreshing and I am very glad that extended their blogging invitation to you. I hope that it is the first of many such accolades, Alan, you deserve to be recognized as one of horse racings greatest fans most entertaining writers.

I read your blog every day, but this is my first time posting a comment. I just want to again thank you for all that you have done with this blog, and everything else you do for this great sport.

A lifelong fan,
Nathan I.

SantaBarbarian said...

You might want to put in a little prayer for Del Mar. The city is advising it's residents to evacuate due to the wildfires.

With the thousands of horses and people that have evacuated to Del Mar Fairgrounds, this could be horrific.

Alan Mann said...

Nathan - Wow, that is really nice of you to say, and quite gratifying for me to read! It's feedback like that which makes this all worthwhile, thanks so much!!! And good luck on the Breeders Cup!