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Tuesday, March 04, 2008

Wednesday Morning Notes - March 5

- The purse subsidy deal in New Jersey still has a lot of details to fill in. We know that the casinos would kick in $90 over three years, and that the tracks again give up their right to seek slots; but just how the money will be distributed amongst the tracks remains in question. The casinos also get a tax break related to comps. The deal that expired this year was for $86 over four years. So, on a per year basis, it's gotten far more expensive for the casinos to deny New Jersey's racing industry the opportunity to freely compete with surrounding states. Governor Corzine, by the way, supports the casino's contention that the tracks should not be permitted to have VLT's because they would hurt business in Atlantic City, so thanks a lot for that.

- Here's Saturday's card from Fair Grounds, and it looks like quite a day of racing. Full field allowances and maiden races sandwich the six stakes races; four of those Grade 2 events. I haven't seen the betting slate. But figuring that they'll be a Pick Four on those graded events, it looks like one of those which are playable for those with smaller bankrolls, with single candidates in each race - Grasshopper in the Fair Ground Handicap, Daytona in the Mervyn Muniz, Indian Blessing in the FG Oaks (or Proud Spell if you prefer....I prefer Indian Blessing), and Pyro in the Louisiana Derby.

Some of those may be more "singlish" than others. There's surely no lack of talent in the Muniz.....while Pyro, in my opinion, looks like the biggest cinch of them all given his edge in recency, his familiarity with a track that suits his style, and his triple digit Beyers from last year. I was amongst those who sought to temper the excitement over his Risen Star win; but I'd be quite surprised to see him lose here. It's true that several of the other contenders have a similar late running style; but his speedy stablemate J Be K may prove to be an unintended rabbit, ambitiously stretching out from six furlongs in this spot.

Indian Blessing is listed at 3-5, and Proud Spell 6-5 in the FG Oaks. I've flipped on the former, going from a doubter to a supporter after the Silverbulletday. Looks to me like Proud Spell will again have her work cut out for her given the short field (four horses) and lack of any apparent early challenger to Baffert's brilliant Eclipse winner.

The unbeaten Euroears gets tested for class in the Duncan Kenner, which preceds the graded stakes action. The four year old son of Langfuhr is unbeaten in five starts, and his Beyers certainly match up with those of Noonmark, who I'd guess will be the favorite, and definitely with King of the Roxy, making his four-year old debut. The latter's running lines look kinda ugly here; his Beyers dropped off precipitously as his 2007 season ended, and I view him with skepticism here. Obviously, I hope to get into these races some more before Saturday, but figured that we'd take a sneak peek as long as I had a few moments free.


Brett said...

50 cent Pick Four time at the Fairgrounds on Saturday. I am somewhat pumped.

Anonymous said...

The Louisiana Derby looks to be great with so many possibilities beyond Pyro romping.

Geo. Steinbrenner's 'Majestic Warrior' with that outside position isn't catching a break on top of that long layoff.

Exceedingly curious is the entry of Stevil. Zito slips him in there after he's dropped 3-straight allowances, but he gets Calin Borel. With him looking to perhaps prove some folks wrong about the switch off from Blackberry Road. I would take a second look at Stevil.

ljk said...

Alan, you might want to take a peek at the replay of the "feature" at GP today. I've seen both of Big Brown's races in person, and I'm impressed. This race scratched down to 5, but the Toddster had one in that took some money (and got a strange ride from Edgar). BB stalked a 1:09 4/5 pace and then cantered home with ears pricked.

Curious to see where Dutrow goes next.

Anonymous said...

Worth correcting my prior posting based upon new info:

Borel was named to ride Stevil at entry time in the LA Derby, but Eddie Castro will replace Borel, who is riding Saturday at Oaklawn.