- Just Zip It has been nominated to the Union Avenue Stakes, at six furlongs for NY-bred fillies and mares. The nominations close on Saturday. Trainer Bill Turner gave her the rest of the month off after her last start on June 4. She then worked four times in July:
30-Jul-08 SAR 5f 1:01.66 B Fast 15/31She will have had some 2 1/2 months off when she goes to the post on the 18th; not by choice, there have simply been no suitable races that have filled since the last condition book at Belmont. Instead, she'll probably have two more works as Turner trains her up to the race.
23-Jul-08 SAR 5f 1:02.43 B Wet Fast 4/11
12-Jul-08 BEL 4f 49.03 B Fast 18/52
03-Jul-08 BEL 4f 48.46 B Fast 4/27
On the Kasey K side, Foolish Bid was claimed by Scott Lake for 25K when finishing a rallying 4th, just 1 1/2 lengths behind, at Philadelphia Park on Monday. Since Bob claimed the Phipps-bred from David Jacobsen last fall, Foolish Bid compiled a record of 12-2-2-2, earning around $60,000. Bob figures that, with the claim proceeds, he netted over 50K on the horse. Not too shabby for a $10,500 claim. So, we're now actively scanning the PP's at Saratoga, Monmouth, and Philly Park in search of a replacement.
Rap Tale was a tired filly after her unsuccessful journey to Virginia, and got a couple of weeks off. But she's bounced back well, and worked five furlongs in 1:01 3/5 on the main track at Belmont. Trainer Bruce Brown said she worked "like a dream," and he's looking for an appropriate spot, back on the dirt this time and probably shortening up, at any of the three abovementioned tracks.
- Somebeachsomewhere was an easy front-running winner back home in Canada, getting the mile in 1:49 in a $50K open pace written just for him at Mohawk. It was his first race since his wrenching loss at the Meadowlands, and he seemed anxious to get back in action. “He left faster than he has ever left before,” said trainer Brent McGrath of the 26 1/5 second opening frame.
Pace winner Art Official was also back in action, taking a stakes at Indiana Downs in 1:49 4/5. I've read the connections of each mention The Red Mile in Lexington in late September, so perhaps we'll see a rematch at that time?
- I'm taking the week off from handicapping, trying to refresh myself for next weekend's trip to Saratoga. But I'd be remiss if I didn't mention that George Weaver has a couple going today. Steve in nc mentioned that the trainer had a well-supported winner (no, not me) at Finger Lakes yesterday. In the first, Clay County (6-1) moves up significantly after his own well-bet debut - at the age of five - taking a cheap maiden claimer at Philly at 9-5! Hard to see this one in his first try against winners in a race in which he'll have to improve his Beyer by 15 points; but we've seen stranger things from this barn of late. In the 8th, Belle's Home (6-1) scored at Belmont at 14-1 last month, and Castellano, just 4 for 53 at the meeting, is back aboard to face winners. Runner-up Kapenga graduated despite a troubled journey in her next effort.
If you like maiden races, then this is your day at Saratoga; races two through seven are all for non-winners! Don't know that I've ever seen that before; lots of luck to you pick four and pick six players. Three of those are maiden claimers. The seventh is your typical Saratoga two-year old race, with some blue-blooded juvies from all the usual suspects, including the hapless Mott, now 0 for his last 67 debut runners. Here, he starts Zensational (7-2) for Zayat. This 700K 2yo in training purchase is by Unbridled's Song, out of Joke, a stakes winning Phone Trick mare who's a half to the juvenile stakes winner Laity. Nice works and Desormeaux aboard, but demand fair value from this barn at this time. Steve Asmussen, 0 for four, all out of the money, with debut two-year olds at this meet thus far, starts Kensei, a son of Mr. Greeley out of a Belong to Me half sister to the graded winner Grand Charmer, the granddam of Wait A While. Pletcher, three winners and two seconds with these thus far, starts Speed Limit (5-1). This Overbrook homebred is by Storm Cat, out of a full sister to the champion Banshee Breeze. Pegasus Fever (15-1) is an intensely inbred - 3x3 to Danzig, 2x4 to Mr. Prospector, 4x4 to Northern Dancer - son of Fusaichi Pegasus making his debut for Wayne D. Lukas.
[UPDATE: Del Mar selection from DiscreetCat.]