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Friday, October 05, 2007

Saturday Morning Notes - Oct 6

- Dick Powell, writing on, laments:

I only wish Lawyer Ron could have held on for the win to get a better price on Curlin. As good as Lawyer Ron has been, I still think his best distance is nine furlongs and will toss him at Monmouth.
Ladbrokes now has Curlin as the 4-1 favorite, which I think Powell would be pleased to receive that price at Monmouth. As a recognizable name from the Triple Crown series and having defeated Lawyer Ron, it seems a virtual certainty that he'll be the betting favorite.

Lawyer Ron is listed as the 9-2 second choice, with Any Given Saturday and Street Sense 5-1 (there you go, John). I do think he'll be second choice, and if you like Curlin and can toss Lawyer Ron it could set up some interesting exotic possibilities. But still too early for that.

The Meadowlands Cup, run last night, was billed as the last "major" Classic prep. But I thought that the only way it would make a major impact this year is if Godolphin's Utopia had built upon his US debut and established himself as a legit contender. Instead, as the 2-1 favorite, he bobbled just a bit at the start and really showed very little afterwards. He made a brief move approaching the turn toward the uncoupled rabbit Mr. Umphrey, but was quickly passed by the eventual one-two finishers and dropped back feebly.

So instead, it was Diamond Stripes by a half over Magna Graduate, two second stringers who have proven to be not quite up to Grade 1's. For the latter, who was conceding four pounds, it was a wakeup after a couple of awful attempts. Pletcher said there are no plans to run Magna Graduate in the Breeders' Cup. [AP] Diamond Stripes surely benefited from the drop in grades. Dutrow indicated that he is leaning towards the Breeders' Cup Dirt Mile on Oct. 26 at Monmouth Park rather than the Classic the following day. [Bloodhorse]

- Keeneland is not the only track in Lexington with big races today. The top three-year old trotters and pacers will be in action at The Red Mile, where there's virtually no betting handle at all. I'm sure it doesn't help that it's an HRTV track. Donato Hanover heads the Kentucky Futurity, and yes, that's a race for three-year olds, though this son of Andover Hall surely has very little future left on the racetrack at all. He is already slated to stand at Hanover Shoe Farms next year. He puts a 17 race win streak on the line, and at least he's raced that many times. The Futurity is run in two elimination heats, and it's possible that a horse would have to race three times in order to be declared the winner. And that's a lot of fun to watch, though I'm not sure how much it is for the horses! But it's cool that harness racing still retains some of the tradition and flourish of the past.