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Friday, September 05, 2008

Just Six

- Wow, just five opponents for Just Zip It in Sunday's $100,000 Schenectady Stakes; if, that is, the track is not washed away by tomorrow's expected arrival of Hanna, which is expected to drench this area between really soon and Saturday night. Three of those are fillies and mares that she defeated when she ran third in the Union Avenue; another is Light Tactic, who came back on to edge Just Zip It by a neck for second after forcing the pace between horses inside of her, and altering course top stretch; that in her first start since January. The last one is Under Serviced, from Baffert. This daughter of Hook and Ladder is 3/4 lengths from being unbeaten in her four starts. She's making her first stakes start, but note that her best race came in the mud, which I'd guess is a possibility, even at 5:15 on Sunday. Even though she wired the field in her last race, I think she's better suited to sit behind if Just Zip It and Light Tactic duke it out again.

Just Zip It however took the worst of it at Saratoga, a full three wide all the around the turn. Here, she should at least have inside position on Light Tactic, who breaks from the stall outside of her. The purse is $100,000, and I think it's fair to say that she has an excellent shot to get at least a portion of that. She's never been worse than third in her nine starts, which include a NW3X open optional claimer as well as the aforementioned stakes.

I mentioned yesterday how Del Mar Futurity winner Midshipmen has been dull on the board for both of his starts for Baffert. On Friday, with just over 4,000 on hand at Belmont for opening day of what has become my least favorite NYRA race meeting of the year, he took the second with his first-out two-year old Ventana; 5-2 in the morning line, he paid $12.40 as the 4th choice. He's a son of Toccet, the first-year stallion son of Awesome Again standing for $12,500 in Kentucky. Ventana is his 6th winner, but his 4th since last Sunday. So if a sire can be on a roll, this one is.

Elusive Bluff was a first-out winner, on the grass, at 32-1 for Bill Badgett in the 4th. He's a two-year old son of Elusive Quality out of a Pine Bluff mare, and plenty of turf pedigree here. He's inbred 4x5 to Sir Ivor, his second dam is by Cozzene, and the second dam of the sire is by Hero's Honor. Trainer Pat Kelly was second with 8-1 Insider; recall that we picked up on this barn being sharp with its grass runners late in the Saratoga meet. So we'll continue to watch him, especially if there's any grass racing here before next spring.

H. James Bond went the entire Saratoga meeting without a winner until closing day when he had two. How many times have we seen that recently? Seth Benzel had his first two winners on the first day, and Kimmel had three after going 1 for 20. Bond won another won on Wednesday (not three in a row however) when Turnupthevolume took the 7th at 12-1.


Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

what is beomce ?

Steve Zorn said...

Just for the record, Just Zip It finished 3rd in the Schenectady, ahead of Light Tactics but behind Baffert's filly and (by a neck) Street Sass.