- Edgar Prados and Garrett Gomez(es) of the world beware. Larry Jones says of jockey Gabriel Saez: "If Gabriel can ever get heads up with you, you just don't beat him." [Albany Times Union] This rider has had a tough year, getting beat up with criticism by some idiot animal activists after Eight Belles broke down, and for his ride on Proud Spell in the Mother Goose.
Jones was talking specifically about Kodiak Kowboy's hard earned win over Desert Key in the Amsterdam. And Saez will naturally be back aboard Proud Spell in the Alabama, when she's expected to take on Music Note, of whom Jones said:
“Music Note ran a huge race the other day. Looks to me like she’s setting up for a bounce, we’ve got to play that factor. And if she does, we sure would hate for her to bounce, and us not be there.” [Schenectady Gazette]Music Note earned a Beyer of 100 for her overpowering win in the CCA Oaks. I read, don't remember exactly where, that she should run in the Travers. Tsk, tsk, hasn't anyone learned anything from Eight Belles about running fillies against males? (that's a joke) Though I think I'd like to see her a) win around two turns, and b) prove she's better than Proud Spell first. (no joke)
- The combined attendance at Del Mar and Saratoga on Monday, under good weather conditions, was 18,326. The crowd of 7,631 at Del Mar was the smallest in five years.
If you think you have the Poly at Del Mar down pat this year, things could be different come the races today. The track conducts maintenance on the surface on dark Tuesdays, and last Wednesday produced noticeably slower times.
Last week, the surface was power-harrowed, to loosen the material, and roto-tilled, to remix the components of the Polytrack, according to Pendergest. This week, the track will be only power-harrowed, he said on Saturday.Note that the track will be roto-tilled every three weeks; don't really know what that means to be honest, other than it apparently slows the track down. Jeff Nahill, doing a nice job covering the meet for the local North County Times, questions why we first learned of this work after the fact.
"I think it will be quicker on Wednesday than it was" last week, he said. "We learned a couple of things with what we did on Tuesday. It will be a notch slower on Wednesday than the rest of the week." [DRF]
Del Mar's management had an obligation to inform bettors last week that the Polytrack had been dug up on Tuesday's off day, but it didn't do so. When large bettors find out about such things, it only makes them question why they bet a track that isn't forthcoming.[North County Times]