- My friend Bob is a Thoro-graph guy, and he's all over Just Zip It today - that's in the sixth on opening day at Belmont. She has three straight 7's, and I'm told that she's poised to move forward. If Bob was Richard Dutrow, he'd probably bet like $150,000 on her. One key factor in her favor is that I can't go; she's shown an aversion to the winner's circle when I'm there and both her wins came in my absence. But I'll be watching at a downtown OTB (though not the one at 17 John Street), and that's always a lot of fun. And it was good luck when she graduated at 5-1.
Precious Too went from a 10 to a 6 on Thoro-graph, so I guess she's eligible to bounce; though considering how she's run since Levine claimed her, she could easily run off and I wouldn't be at all surprised. Hopefully they'll be a little pace, and Just Zip It will be able to track it and kick home. She always tries, and
seems at least a good selection if you're in the SHOWdown contest which begins today [doesn't start until May 7, sorry].
The race kicks off the midday double, and the 7th is a toughie. After long deliberations, I narrowed it down to two, so I'll probably use both depending on the payoffs. Mine Or Who's raced in open company last year, and ran third in a Churchill stakes last fall. Her three-year old debut in March at Gulfstream seems disappointing at first glance - 8th by almost eight lengths. But that race has turned into quite the key race, producing four winners, two of whom finished behind Mine Or Who's, Calder Oaks winner Ginger Brew, Seemingly and Lookalike, who ran 1-2 in a Keeneland allowance, and Calder Oaks winner Ginger Brew. Now she drops into state-bred company where she appears to have a decided edge in class (if not in Beyers). John Velazquez gets on board; he is now at 30% with 33 rides for Mott.
Ambidaxtrous graduated in her grass debut, in which she was well-bet at 9-2 for Tom Bush. A half sister to two turf stakes winners, the daughter of Deputy Commander was steadied sharply first time by the stands. She moved three wide on the turn, and exploded past the maidens to a six length win, earning a field high Beyer of 80. 4th place finisher Sonic Sound was a close second at 10-1 last weekend; and I picked second place finisher Stormy Catch here on Saturday. Unfortunately, she got absolutely buried in stretch traffic on the inside, and closed late for a good 4th.
- New flat screen TVs in the backyard are among the improvements you can expect to see if you make it out to Belmont this spring. The rest of the renovations are listed on this page (scroll down).
- A statement released by the Mid-Atlantic Cooperative claims that NYRA is making "unprecedented monetary demands" for its simulcast signal. Here's the list of tracks which will not be receiving the Belmont signal starting today:
Atlantic City Race Course, Freehold Raceway, Meadowlands, and Monmouth Park in New Jersey; Philadelphia Park Casino & Racetrack, Hollywood Casino at Penn National Race Course, and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pennsylvania; Charles Town Races & Slots in West Virginia; Delaware Park, Dover Downs, and Harrington Raceway in Delaware; Ocean Downs and Rosecroft Raceway in Maryland; Colonial Downs in Virginia; Suffolk Downs in Massachusetts; and Rockingham Park in New Hampshire. [Bloodhorse]