- Rap Tale is listed at 30-1 in today's Statuette Stakes at Belmont; Bob called on Friday to inform me that trainer Bruce Brown decided to take a shot. The morning line seems appropriate to be sure. Not that it's the most accomplished field in the world, but bottom line is that Rap Tale has finished 5th and 7th in her two grass tries, while Julia Tuttle is a stakes winner, and a few others are stakes placed. On the other hand, she was less than six lengths behind Senior Rita Lady, 9-2 morning line here, in her grass debut, a race in which we think she could have been much closer; and we believe that her Colonial race is a complete throwout. The idea is to somehow get her some black type for her value as a broodmare, and time is running out on her being able to compete in restricted 3yo stakes (non-winners of a stakes) such as these. So, that's the rationale, at least the way I perceive it to be. I'll bet $2 on her to win, but I'm certainly not recommending her.
Zee Zee (3-1) is the morning line favorite for Mott/Zayat. We noted all summer the trainer's slump with first-time starters, a streak which ended on 9/14 when Hold Me Back, a $400,000 Giant's Causeway 2 yo, won at Arlington. But it's really been an overall slump for the trainer in NY; he's just eight for 102 (8%) over the last 90 days. And as you might expect, that includes many, many short priced losers. Put all the money lost on those horses together, and it's a lot, though not quite $700 billion. However, he has won a couple of races at Belmont, and you can't keep a good barn too long. (Though I don't particularly care for Zee Zee at 3-1 here.)
Indian Blessing showed her class again yesterday. I guess I was wrong about her not being able to rate. I was surprised to see Elope get bet down to 5-2 as she did. She was very good, and looked momentarily threatening, but Baffert's filly just left her in the dust. There's talk in this article of her possibly taking on the boys in the BC Sprint. Ha, that would be a laugh if some of the biggest "Ladies" stars like Indian Blessing and Zenyatta showed up on Saturday instead! Indian Blessing's road to a possible second Eclipse was helped when Proud Spell lost at Philly Park.
Zito still sounds skeptical about sending Commentator to the Classic, but left the door ajar.
"You have to think about the Breeders' Cup....It's a long way to go for a synthetic surface. As you know, I'm not crazy about anything artificial. There's nothing wrong with dirt." [Boston.com]His presence would certainly change the complexion of the race, and add some zest as well. So let's hope that Nick won't let the synthetic thing stand in the way of having some fun with this horse, assuming he's physically able to make the trip.
- I've turned on the comment moderation function. Sorry about that; I hope that doesn't dissuade the vast majority of you whose comments enhance and help fuel the discussion and debate on this blog.