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Sunday, January 27, 2008

Frank In All His Glory!

- Nothing clicks on today's Aqueduct card for me, so I took a look at the G3 Appleton at Gulfstream. Grass-loving Croton Road found himself on the lead in a paceless Calder stakes in his last after a four month break. That's not his preferred style it would seem, but he's shown versatility and improvement since returning from another layoff last summer. However, he was never quite able to clear Terrific Storm to his inside, and was hung outside that rival both turns. Still, he battled that one on even terms to the wire, and the pair succumbed late to Dancing Forever. Today, he draws inside of Terrific Storm, and figures to have a target to run at in Jet Propulsion. It's the second off the layoff for Croton Road, and he ran a career best race under similar circumstances in August. His workout tab since his last indicates he can do the same here, and he looks like he would be quite a bargain at his 8-1 morning line.

Host is reportedly making his final start here. The eight-year old rallied powerfully to win the Canadian Turf Handicap, a race in which Jet Propulsion dueled through fast fractions with the speedy Kiss the Kid. But the latter isn't here today, and the pace figures to be more moderate. This race is also a sixteenth of a mile shorter. Host is cleary the class of the field, but he will need things to go his way to get there today.

- I had a nice day at the Big A yesterday, hitting the 3rd race exacta with Laysh Laysh Laysh on top; one of two winners on the day for David Jacobson. Also had the midday double for $70; an excellent price considering that the parlay returned $34.60, with favorite Huge City taking the sixth. Bailsby was 12-1 morning line for the 7th, and was bet that way in the doubles. However, he was bet steadily to win, and went off at 5-1; and that's another betting pattern that I love to see.

- Did any of you catch what was going on in the winner's circle at Gulfstream on Saturday? I'm sure that Frank Stronach was smiling there after Ginger Punch dominated an outclassed field in the Sunshine Millions Distaff. But he couldn't possibly have looked happier than he did while he had his arms draped around two of the lovely contestants in the Frank's Energy Drink Model Contest. The sound was off at the Big A, but no words were necessary....nor could they possibly have been appropriate! Frank was in all his glory, and Donald Trump was there too as the lucky winners were selected. ("I love coming to the races, more so than anything else," Trump said. "I love it that much." [Palm Beach Post]) You should have seen the "what the f---?" look on Trump's face when he was handed a can of Frank's Energy Drink to display for the cameras. But, after the initial shock, the Donald shrugged and flashed his winning smile....though he wasn't beaming nearly as much as Frank himself. You'd think that the Magna chief would have been at Santa Anita to help manage the crisis there, but he sure wasn't going to miss this! (No word on whether Frank took the opportunity to solicit some advice on bankruptcy proceeding from Trump.)

The sixth at Gulfstream was the kind of three-year old allowance that has many thinking about bigger races down the road. But please spare us regarding the winner Cool Coal Man, who was fully extended to prevail in a final eighth mile of 14.03 seconds. War Pass, another Zito horse who I don't particularly fancy as a classics contender, worked a half in 48.80. The trainer said he is looking for a mile-long race at Gulfstream in three weeks to set War Pass up for the Feb. 24 Fountain of Youth Stakes (gr. I). [Bloodhorse]

4 Comments:

Anonymous said...

From a racing fan's point of view, Stronach's stamp on Gulfstream has been like a pox. Gulfstream for many decades had one of the premier race meets in the world when the Donn family owned it. The Donns also had the class and dignity to stay out of the limelight.

Contrast the whorishness of Stronach and Trump.
It wouldn't surprise me if the deluded and megalomaniacal Trump looks favorably at - and had an advisory role in - what has been done to Gulfstream Park.

Sunny Jim

Anonymous said...

Ditto.....

Good thing you had the sound down for the yodeling contest.

Didn't the female host look and sound clueless? She apparently didn't know who Andy STRONACH was!

Frank has ruined GP and he has had a largely negative impact on the sport, sans breeding Ghostzapper and Ginger Punch. Then again, that is all most are interested in these days....breeding, not running them for prolonged periods, like through their fourth or fifth year of age.

Anonymous said...

I saw the same quote about War Pass. Doesn't that mean he'll race two straight weeks?

alan said...

>>I saw the same quote about War Pass. Doesn't that mean he'll race two straight weeks?

Hmmm, good point! I suppose that either Zito misspoke, or the reporter got it wrong.