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Sunday, August 03, 2008

Sunday Morning Notes - Haskell Day

- Getting ready to split for the big day at Monmouth, so just a quick shout-out for now to Indian Blessing for her dominant win in the Test, and yeah, I guess she rated, a bit anyway, stalking the leaders from close range on the outside. Johnny V took the overland route again, which may cost him once she finds some competition at these shorter distances from the older ranks. As for Zenyatta, she's already faced the supposed best of the division, and on natural dirt as well. So I don't know what competition she's going to find, other than males or an impost too large for her to handle (which we just don't see in this sport nowadays). As Brett wrote in the comments: Everyone take off Saturday and go to "Ladies Day" on Friday this year for the BC. Or maybe they should switch the days.

Especially if Big Brown loses today. This is not a prediction based on anything other than a wacky gut feeling, but the karma around this horse and his connections is so incredibly bad, that I think he's going to lose, be retired, and stand at stud next year for $40,000, stands and nurses.

Great big day card at Monmouth - had a great time handicapping the races; 13 of the 14 anyway. The streak heading out to the parking lot immediately after Atoned wins the Haskell will be me. Hope I have as good a time wagering on them! With such a long day, away from my home base, on a track which favors speed, this closer may be up against it. Quickly, some horses of interest are Run Sully Run in the Jersey Derby, Dixie Dreamer in the Regret, Waquoit's Love and Dyna's Lassie in the Matchmaker, Talkin About Love in the Lady's Secret, and Giant Wrecker as a longshot flyer in the Oceanport.

And completely off topic as I head out the door, check out this play from the bottom of the 9th of last night's Mets-Astros game; what a crazy play. Lead runner Mark Loretta, for some reason thinking that the ball might be caught, held up at third, thus creating the simultaneous arrival of he and the tying run behind him. The funny thing is that Mets catcher Ramon Castro, who injured an ankle on the play, needed only to step on home with the ball to get Loretta out; since the bases had been loaded, a simple force play was in effect. If Castro was somehow able to step on the plate, and tag the trailing runner, it would have been a double play, and the Mets' overrated closer Billy Wagner wouldn't have blown his 7th save in 34 attempts. Instead, Loretta acted as a lead blocker, taking Castro out of the play as Hunter Pence scored behind him.

In fact, what's to stop any team in a similar situation, with two runners on base and the safe arrival home of the second one in question, from having the lead runner hold up and wait, and then escort the trailing runner home and take the catcher out of the play in this manner? Seems like a flaw in the rules!

Anyway, I'm outta here. Good luck everyone, and have a great day!!


Anonymous said...

Just a reminder. On March 15th in the Tampa Bay Derby, Atoned who looked like a shoo in for show against War Pass and Big Truck paid $27.80 to show when the bridge jumpers went down big time on War Pass.


Superfecta said...

I'm with you on the 40K stands and nurses; did Boundary ever stand for more than 10K? If memory serves, he was usually in the 4-figure range, what with his well-documented soundness issues and so forth...

Anonymous said...

I remember Boundary offered at 5k near the end of his career.

IF BB loses today he will be a tough sell at 40k.

Anonymous said...

Appears Castro DID? step on home plate before contact, which forces the drop.

If so ump was fooled too and blew the call.

forego is my witness said...

>>On Friday, Big Brown blew out three furlongs in 38.66 seconds over Aqueduct's turf course. Asked why Big Brown blew out on turf, Dutrow said, "Just felt like doing it. No reasoning to it."<<

What a great trainer! "No reasoning to it, how I handle this multimillion-dollar horse!"

Love the horse, can't stand the trainer. But I do think BB will win easily today.

Anonymous said...

Well, he didn't lose but I have to think his connections are somewhat disappointed in his performance.

Wonder if we'll ever see him again.


El Angelo said...

That was one of the least impressive G1 wins in recent memory. I think we saw the last of Big Brown today.

Alan, hope you at least cashed a saver on Giant Wrecker, who barely missed today. There may have been a BC winner on the card: Rockerfeller looked tremendous.

Brett said...

Was it a mistake or did the Pick Four at Monmouth with Big Brown really pay over $800 with a $15, $12, $5.60, and Big Brown. Is that sick or what. Congrats to whoever hit it.

Diogenes said...

The big question was never asked of Dutrow, "Did you put Big Brown back on his steroids?" You have to love this game, 50,000 people standing and cheering for a horse, trained by a man with 73 fines and suspensions for "illicit activies" (and currently allowed to race while appealing a suspension) in 6 states and Canada. Despite all that, Big Brown was "life and death" to beat a $32,000 optional claiming horse. Thank God, for the California Racing Commission and the Breeder's Cup Commission for trying to put some "health and sanity" back into a sport sadly in need of it. Isn't it kind of ironic, "Drug" O'Neill and several other California trainers sending their horses urines to the lab for testing, so not to run them and be fined and suspended if they test positive? Jack Van Berg, some honest people willing to take a stand against the "druggists" heard you. Thank God. Imagine, it will actually force those "leading trainers" like Dutrow and O'Neill to rely on their training skills, again. I will love to see the training stats next year about this time. New York, Kentucky, New Jersey, Florida, Maryland Racing Commissions, are you listening?

Anonymous said...

Let's put our expectations of this horse in perspective. He did win a million dollar race - in good time - and showed determination in deep stretch when it looked like he was beaten. Compare the time of the race (1:48:1) to the W. Virginia Derby Sat. which was run in 1:52 for God's sake.

Coal Plays second race back, on this track, was very, very good. He may have BEEN an allowance horse but he's not an allowance horse now.

As recently as last year, Curlin got beat in the Haskell and nobody thinks he's a bum.

It's now the second semester for three year olds. The picture changes - every year.


El Angelo said...

Ballyfager--my point (and I think many others') isn't that Big Brown is a POS, it's that everyone who said that Big Brown was a 'great' or 'superhorse' wasn't right. In terms of accomplishments, he's done about as much as War Emblem, who wasn't awful, wasn't great.

Brett--some of the prices yesterday were crazy. How did J'Ray pay almost $13? And that Pick Four was a gift if you snifted our the winner of the Lady's Secret, who wasn't that hard to come up with.

Anonymous said...

El Angelo,

I don't even think we disagree about the horse. We're just saying more or less the same thing in a different way.

People's expectations of the horse are too high based on what he was in late winter and spring. He's not that horse now but I think it would be fair to say he's still at the head of his class at this point.


El Angelo said...

He's absolutely at the head of the class, and nobody's close to him. He should win the 3yo colt Eclipse award unanimously. But HOTY? In my mind, he's behind both Curlin and Zenyatta right now. I would love to see him take on Commentator in the Mass Cap, that would be fun.