RSS Feed for this Blog

Wednesday, December 05, 2007

Purrsuing A Winner

- I like the KISS acronym that a commenter mentioned the other day - Keep It Simple Stupid - and with that in mind, I'll resume my quest to actually pick a winner on this site. I had three losers and a scratch before taking a break.

The 7th at the Big A on Thursday is an interesting little third level allowance/optional claimer, though a bit less so with the absence of Stolen Time, who raced on Wednesday and thus will likely be scratched. That's a drag, because he's been quite the money burner of late (and checked in 5th at 5-2). But there may be an able replacement in Richard Dutrow's Sinners N Saints, a possibility to inherit the role of favorite. He had two wins over this track two winters ago, but he's not the same horse as he was when he ran a 102 Beyer at Monmouth in May, 2006. That was the last time he won, some 15 races ago, burning a bit of cash along the way. Gets a nice fig for his last, and that may attract some money; but a closing second on the Keeneland Poly doesn't guarantee anything here.

So I'm going with Blazing Purrsuit (7-2) for Jimmy Toner. He's been very sharp in two races off a 4+ month layoff. He won for 35K, and then, stepping up confidently to this level, closed for third by a half. He had to run very fast early just to stay in striking distance - a 21.71 second quarter, according to Formulator, before altering course on at least a couple of occasions and finishing with much interest. It was a slow final quarter, and this will actually be his first two-turn try on dirt. I usually figure that if a horse is six years old, there's a reason he hasn't tried something he hasn't tried. But there's no reason on pedigree he can't stretch out a bit (he's related to I'm A Hell Raiser, a horse I remember fondly - I think I may have had him in his debut.. - who campaigned for Toner in the early 80's). He's definitely fit, retains Garcia, and repeats a winning workout pattern with a sharp five furlong drill a week ago.

Tiger D.R. has won three of his last four, in New Jersey, and has gone particularly well with today's rider Stewart Elliot. Two horses from his last race have come back to win. He faces likely early pressure from Silver Prospector, the remainder of Contessa's entry. Nothing lately for that one, but he scored in the restricted Don Rickles stakes on this track off an extremely similar six week layoff last year.

- Anthony Dutrow took Wednesday's feature with Indian Hawke, who, as the 2-1 favorite, prevailing by a long nose over Hurrah. The latter is one of those horses that, if you didn't look at the race beforehand, you think 'how could this horse be 22-1?' He was second by a neck at 9-5 in an allowance at Philly Park in his last, and was 8-1 morning line here. If I had looked at the race beforehand, I'd probably think he was dead on the board and throw him out; that's one of the ways that I really suck sometimes.

For A. Dutrow, it was his second winner of the day, and 5th winner from his last six runners...and the other finished second. Overall at Aqueduct, he has a record of 24-11-7-0. I had to look that up in Formulator, because of my number one Racing Form Pet Peeve - the zero'ing out of the trainer and jockey statistics when racing switches to the inner track. It's true that at some point, we would like to see the stats broken out for that specific surface. But not now. By the time the numbers start to build up, they'll go back to zero at the beginning of next year.