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Thursday, August 28, 2008

Saratoga Notes

- Two more winners for McLaughlin on Wednesday, breaking the tie and vaulting him to the lead in the trainers standings over the Toddster. Majestic Blue was his second debut Darley two-year old winner in two racing days after Regal Ransom won on Monday. Nice price ($8.40) too, as the fans instead went for the Baffert first-timer Mayor Marv, third after a troubled trip at 9-5. Majestic Blue is by Forestry out of a Seeking the Gold mare, and descends from the illustrious distaff family of the blue hen mare No Class, her third dam. She's the dam of Canadian champions Classy N Smart, Grey Classic, and Smart Classic, and the granddam of Dance Smartly and Smart Strike.

McLaughlin also saddled Stream of Gold, who showed his class dropping into claimers and mowing down the field after a rough trip. But they didn't think they were going to sneak this one by Ken Ramsey, even with the 60K tag for this seven-year old gelding, did they? The barn seems likely to pick up another winner in today's first with Caesar Beware (6-5), perhaps owner Zabeel Racing's way of helping their trainer take the Saratoga title. He returns to the 35K claiming level at which he dominated in his last, and I'd expect he could be wearing Ramsey's colors for his next race.

I've mentioned trainer David Duggan a couple of times, but he's largely flown under the LATG radar, partly because of horses like Cagey Girl, who won the 8th at 22-1. Like some of his other winners, I just couldn't make this one, moving up to a state-bred stakes. Duggan, a former assistant to John Kimmel and Eoin Harty, now has six winners from just 15 starters, and an average win payoff of over $25. So maybe I should be paying closer attention.

I obviously liked Yield Bogey ($16.60) in the 9th since I picked him here (and thanks to those of you who recognized my effort in that regard). I mean, I thought he could outrun his odds, but this was ridiculous. This four-year old gelded son of Langfuhr was a total handful for Jean-Luc Samyn from the beginning as noted by Durkin, and methinks that the rider could have taken the wide route and gotten the job done. Instead, he tried to save some ground on the turn, and found himself in what seemed to be an impossible box in the stretch. You could see the horse's head turned sideways as he and Samyn struggled to get through. Don't know quite how he did it and there was quite a bit of contact along the way. But he managed to edge through, getting the final sixteenth in 5.72 after an eighth in 10.99.

Quite a sharp horse, and trainer Pat Kelly obviously bears watching. In the 7th today, he saddles Talbots Shopper (15-1), back to the grass and a sprint after an ambitious stakes placing. Prior to that, she graduated against bottom basement maiden claimers. She may still be in over her head here, and I hesitate to pick her on top; but I'll certainly be using her in some fashion. Kelly is also seeking a spot for Evening Attire, entered again today as a MTO, but he'll likely have to wait again.

Heading up to Saratoga shortly on this sunny morning. Not much red meat for advance handicapping on this card with four two-year old races with first-timers galore, the aforementioned opener with McLaughlin's favorite, a lackluster overnight stakes, and the annual dreaded steeplechase stakes in the body of the card (race 8, yuck). The 10th however is a wide open claimer on the grass. This race features several horses moving up in class off a win; tough heat. But how about a flyer on Fairytale Story (15-1) for trainer Phil Serpe? This is one barn which I touted before the meet, but which has not had a productive Saratoga, with two winners from 21 starters, and many losers at low odds. This mare comes off a lengthy layoff, but note that she's won twice under very similar circumstances before. Whatsmore, Edgar Prado was aboard both of those times, and he returns today.

That's it, time to hit the road, speak to you next from the Spa.


Anonymous said...

the US economy grew at an annual rate of 3.3% in the second quarter.

This is outrageous we need a recession or Omama will never get In.

Power Cap said...

Yield Bogey almost flipped in the paddock, was shut off for a 8th of a mile and could have been DQ'ed in some degenerates opinion. You earned every dime of that $16.60. Jean-Luc Samyn is the best on a price on the green.