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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Just Zip It Nipped in Stakes

- No doubt that By the Light was best in the Union Avenue stakes on Monday; her 1-5 odds seemed completely appropriate. But you still gotta open the gate and run the race, and when they opened the gate for this one, Dutrow's daughter of Malibu Moon took a stumble and was last. And when she turned for home, she was carried (drifted?) out a good six wide. Meanwhile, Just Zip It, at 18-1 the second longest shot in the field, despite dueling for the lead throughout and doing so a full three wide around the turn, not only had the lead, but had angled to the rail and opened up some daylight midstretch! Oh man, I thought we had it there for a second.

Unfortunately, Prado got By the Light straightened out and motoring down the center of the track. And while our game daughter of City Zip - a bruiser in her own right - dug in admirably and battled to the finish, she could not hold off the favorite, a half length winner. Additionally, she succumbed by a mere neck for the place spot to second choice Light Tactic. Getting beat narrowly there for second hurt, not only since it cost Just Zip It around $10,000 in purse money, but it cost me the $27 cold exacta too. Nonetheless, a thrilling race, a great effort, and some well-earned black type!

You can talk about class and speed figs, and Just Zip It was at a big disadvantage in both regards coming in. But, as my buddy Bob likes to say, horses don't know what the Beyers are or who they're running against....and some of them will just run their hearts out no matter what they're in against. By the Light was coming off a second place finish in a Grade 1 stakes, and Just Zip It, who didn't have the best of trips either, gave no quarter against that rival when faced down at the end.

At Philly Park, Rap Tale managed to get the job done at 4-5, but it sure wasn't easy. In fact, it was rather reminiscent in a way of Big Brown's Haskell. Jockey Kendrick Carmouche was in a full out drive, going to the whip as the filly was stalled in third on the turn. Not a good sign there. Turning for home, it looked like she was hung out to dry. But Carmouche persisted, and Rap Tale kept going and was able to reel in the faltering leaders, drawing away at the end for a 1 1/4 length win that was hard-earned for horse and rider alike. Wasn't pretty to be sure, but the $27,600 winners share sure is.

Yeah, we're back in NYC - already! - after what was really a whirlwind weekend. Not really sure when I thought I was going to be able to do much posting and prognosticating up there. Since the latter sucked (except for that Saturday late Pick Three), just as well as far as that went. We stayed in Albany this time, left the hotel early in the morning each day and came back late. So I'll have some photos, thoughts, and a restaurant review (which I'm trying to get the Head Chef to write) once I get settled back in here.....and we'll be back upstate, and staying right in town just down the road from the track, for a long Labor Day weekend as the meet comes to a close.


Anonymous said...

The Just Zip[ It race was a real treat.
The commentators on HRTV (?) remarked how good she looked pre-race.
She was very game but I think six furlongs is her limit in terms of distance, I would even look for something shorter if there are opportunities at 5 or 5 and 1/2.

The times I saw from the Rap Tale race (if correct) are really slow in the latter part of the race. Almost comparable to SomeBeachSomewhere's best efforts.
The one good thing about Philly Park is the generous purses.

Really exciting weekend for you current and former horses, Alan.

Anonymous said...

Zip almost got there, we were both very excited for you Alan.

In front in the stretch in a Spa Stakes race, even a NY Bred event, has to be a real thrill. And Black Type is golden, wonder what they think she is now worth as broodmare?

Gutsy filly, she will be odds on dropping back to an Alw at 6f, see you in the winners circle!

Anonymous said...

Great race and I thought for a minute she was going to hold on and pull it off. Still getting a piece of the action is great.

I watched the race on TVG and sadly they had little to say about her in the post-parade outside of Turner's numbers being low. For a moment I thought instead of the Saratoga feature they were going to show a generic DelMar race instead.

Alan since you were there in person did you think that Country Star's number should've been taken down in the 7th? On tv with the replay she looked like a drunken sailor on leave in the stretch.