- My pick on Sunday, Gift of Giving, faded to 4th at 6.90-to-1 after leading to the eighth pole. I have an excuse that even that guy who has been hassling me for handicapping can certainly understand - Mr. B and the other guy on TVG both picked her, OK? And, though I think you'll agree that this blog is relatively free of jockey-blaming, I don't like when the rider still has the horse wrapped up after leading to the three quarters in 1:16.99, thus allowing the main contenders to get close and gather momentum instead of trying to bottom them out.
Here's some LATG stable news (is it OK for me to write about that?): Bill Turner is looking for a spot for Just Zip It. She's out of state-bred allowance conditions now, so she'll have to try an open company entry level allowance, or a state-bred stakes. Her Beyers have just not progressed the way she has in terms of class and raw time; in fact, they've gone backwards. She only got a 72 for her last win despite lowering her six furlong career mark by a full second to 1:09 4/5.
Turner and managing partner Steve Zorn were looking at a state-bred turf stakes on June 5. However, Turner has decided that he doesn't want to run her on grass; that she doesn't have a "big, flat turf foot." But they may nominate her anyway and hope for rain, and a resulting soft field. Otherwise, they'll try the open allowance. Whatever she does, she'll have to improve on those figs. But she likes to run and win, so it will be interesting to see how she does moving up the class ladder.
On the Kasey K side, lost in the excitement of the Preakness and a busy family-oriented weekend was the win by Mr. W.B. at Philly Park on Sunday. Honestly, I didn't expect him to win; I was figuring instead that Foolish Bid, who also ran on the card, would be the one. However, as the even money favorite, Foolish Bid made a big four wide move on the turn and actually had a clear lead between calls before fading to 4th. Mr. W.B. was running for a 10K tag, and earned 60% of the $16,000 purse.
Rap Tale, the beautifully bred filly that Bob claimed from Pletcher after surviving a five way shake that included Steve Asmussen, is going to run in a seven furlong starter allowance on Thursday. The racing office approached trainer Bruce Brown, trying to round up horses for the race, which carries a $48,000 purse! It's for horses who have run for 50K or less and non-winners other than. It's not what they have in mind for the filly - turf at two turns is the goal. But they've entered her anyway. They figure that they have a shot to pick up at least a piece of the rich purse, and also see if she can rate, since she doesn't figure to be able to keep pace early in this field. So, this spot is not her ultimate goal. There's some info for you; don't say I didn't tell you so!
One could argue that it's apparent from reading between the past performance lines that Bob has other intentions for this filly. However, it's certainly true that handicappers in this country don't get nearly as much info as we should. You gotta check this out if you've never seen these - this is a Race Report posted on the website of the Hong Kong Jockey Club:
BROTHERS IN ARMS was withdrawn on 16.5.08 by order of the Stewards acting on veterinary advice (coughing) and was replaced by Standby Declared Starter REDHILL COMMANDER (Z Purton). Before being allowed to race again, BROTHERS IN ARMS will be subjected to an official veterinary examination. While being saddled, it was noted ALL FOR ONE had shifted its right front plate. This plate was reset. The horse was examined by the Veterinary Surgeon who said in his opinion it was suitable to race. On jumping, VIENTO blundered. LUCKY TYCOON, which was standing badly, began awkwardly and lost ground. JADE DANCER, which was standing with its head turned to the left, began awkwardly, shifted out and bumped CALIFORNIA HEART. As a consequence, both horses became unbalanced. MAGI JOY and WIKI WIKI were slow into stride. Shortly after the start, REDHILL COMMANDER, which was being taken back from a wide barrier, became unbalanced when crowded for room between ALL FOR ONE and JADE DANCER which shifted in. After the 600 Metres, GOOD TRIO was carried wider by MAGI JOY which shifted out. After this, GOOD TRIO raced without cover. At the 500 Metres, PRIMIATA, which was being ridden along to maintain its position, became unbalanced when awkwardly placed between VIENTO and FANTASTIC TIME. Throughout the race, FANTASTIC TIME travelled wide and without cover and in the Straight gave ground. When questioned regarding the poor performance of JADE DANCER, M Du Plessis said from a wide barrier he had to make some use of the horse in the early stages to obtain the lead. He said after obtaining the lead near the 900 Metres JADE DANCER then relaxed well and travelled comfortably, however, when placed under pressure in the Straight did not respond to his riding. He said he was not able to offer any explanation for the poor performance. JADE DANCER was sent for an official veterinary inspection. A veterinary inspection of JADE DANCER after the race did not show any significant findings. After the race, G Moss� expressed concern over the action of GOOD TRIO. GOOD TRIO was examined by the Veterinary Officer who said the horse was lame in the right front leg. Before being allowed to race again, GOOD TRIO will be subjected to an official veterinary examination. THAT穏 IT and LUCKY TYCOON were sent for sampling. Following the race, the Veterinary Officer reported PRIMIATA had lost its right front plate.Can you believe that? That'll be the day for sure when we hear a rider's explanation (or lack thereof) for a poor performance before the horse is shipped off to the vet! More of the charts can be found here; they are really a revelation to see.