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Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Off to Virginia

- Rap Tale is set to ship off to Colonial Downs tomorrow night for Saturday's Brookmeade Stakes, at a mile for Virginia-breds. Trainer Bruce Brown believes in shipping them either right before a race, so that the horse doesn't quite have a chance to fully grasp the fact that all is not as it usually is; or a week or two beforehand in advance in order to fully adapt.

She's listed at 10-1; but as I've said, there ain't much in here. Pletcher has the morning line favorite in Perfect Forest (5-2, and owned by Edward Evans, from whom Rap Tale was claimed). She's the obvious and clearcut class given her third place finish in the G3 Comely. However, she's never been on grass, and draws poorly, in post 11, for the first time in her career. Horacio Karamanos rides; he's winning at a rate of 35% at Colonial!

Debbie Sue is next at 3-1, off an allowance over the track with a field-best grass Beyer of 86. However, it's her second off a layoff with just 13 days rest; and she shows a distinct pattern of following good races with not-so-good ones. I'm wondering if she'll even run. Top Time (6-1) has been very consistent versus cheaper (not sure if that's quite the right word in this case), and also starts from an outside post. Rap Tale and two others follow at 10-1.

I think I've been pretty objective when it comes to horses in which I have an interest; too much for my own good in some cases, as with Highland Cat. Contrary to what at least one person commented, I did not tout Rap Tale here before her last race, her first on grass; but said merely that I was cautiously optimistic. But I have to admit that we're all pretty pumped about this race. She had a lot of stretch trouble in her last that was not reported in the charts and finished up very well once clear. Here, she draws an excellent post (4), and has good tactical speed in a field which doesn't have much at all. She hails from an up and coming trainer doing extremely well on the big stage, and the reports on her condition continue to be most upbeat. This time, I'm not being objective at all when I say that I think she has a shot. But I do think she has a shot.

- Just Zip It hasn't raced since her third in open company on June 4, and is being pointed to a state-bred stakes at six furlongs on August 18 at Saratoga. She's really been picking up the pace in her morning workouts; her last work, on July 3, was a half mile in 48.46 (4/27).

She hasn't raced simply because there hasn't been a spot for her. Strange, you'd think there would be an open company entry level allowance for fillies and mares at six furlongs sometime, somewhere in the condition book. But all there's been this month at Belmont is a seven furlong race, and a NW2X at six that's going tomorrow. Bill Turner considered the latter but decided to pass.

- Who’s gonna run in the Travers? Not Denis of Cork, for one.

9 Comments:

El Angelo said...

This year's 3yo class is a eerie parallel to 2000, with Big Brown taking Fusaichi Pegasus' role of over-hyped uber horse; Da'Tara being this year's Commendable, and there being no other horses of any real interest left in the class. (I can't figure out what the stand-in for Red Bullet would be.) That year's Travers was won by Unshaded, who was last seen running in steeplechase races.

Ruben Bailey said...

I'll be at Saratoga on the 18th, so hopefully I'll get to catch Just Zip It and throw some $ down.

Anonymous said...

don't forget to blame the jockey when Rap Tale lays an egg.

Anonymous said...

your rap tale should stay in NY and run in the starter alw races. The class she won in. It looks like a wasted trip to Va. what are you thinking by shipping to a new course, I saw her last race and was not impressed at all. Good Luck you will need a ton of it!

Anonymous said...

Pyro? Casino Drive? Proud Spell is the class of the class, shame they can not run her against the boyz.

alan said...

>>your rap tale should stay in NY and run in the starter alw races.

I can appreciate your skepticism, and perhaps you're right, I guess we'll see. But a couple of points - this is all being driven by the trainer Bruce Brown. He had this race picked out, and was gung ho after her last race. He's winning at a 30% rate at Belmont, and he says the horse is doing fantastic and remains convinced that she's a turf filly. It's a soft spot, and even if she gets third, it makes her stakes placed and enhances her value as a broodmare given her fine pedigree. So I think it's worth a shot.

El Angelo said...

The trainer's right, Alan, for a filly, it's really valuable to get some black type.

Anonymous said...

Agreed, it is worth a shot for the black type, and a wise man once told me you never run away from one horse.

Hey, it might rain??

Notice Colonel John is in vs. nothing out West.

Sixth in Derby not looking so bad on paper, but sure he will stay on the left coast beating no one on the artificial stuff rather than ship East to the Travers.

alan said...

Eoin Harty told Tim Wilken of the Albany Times Union that the Travers is a possibility for Colonel John:

>>Trainer Eoin Harty told me Wednesday that if the Colonel runs big in the Swaps, he is going to bring him East for the Travers Stakes at Saratoga.

”I would love to run him in the Travers,” Harty said from his base at Hollywood Park. ”It is one of the great races, like the Kentucky Derby. It is one of the high points of the American racing calendar.”