- Nice job by DiscreetCat picking Elusive Bluff in the G3 Pilgrim, which, I dunno, may be a Win And Yer In race for all I know. [It is.] I do know that the Summer Stakes at Woodbine on Saturday is a qualifying race in the same Juvenile Turf division. The idea that the Juvie Turf will be run at 4:35 PM on Breeders Cup Saturday, between the Juvenile and the Turf, instead of, say, Zenyatta or Indian Blessing, is really astounding. If you need an hour to run to the store that day, there's your chance. Don't get me wrong, I like the concept of the Juvie Turf. But as a lead-in, not part of the showcase. Those Friday races were something that the BC got 110% right at Monmouth last year, and they just threw it down the toilet with its decision to segregate the sexes, an idea that nobody - no one - likes.
A press release from the BC notes that ESPN's telecast on Saturday, which will include the Summer, three other races from Woodbine, and two from Keeneland, is the final telecast before the Breeders Cup. It of course doesn't mention that it's the first since August 24, some five weeks, and two Grade 1 appearances by the defending Horse of the Year ago. I mean, how often does this sport even have a defending Horse of the Year? Man, I don't wanna go off on this again now. But I keep thinking back to those lofty words we heard from ESPN execs when they signed on for the Breeders' Cup, and it all seems like such crap now. I was half-kidding the other day when I said that racing would be better off on Versus. I mean, that network sucks (other than it carrying my favorite [team] sport). What other network would give a show to that loser Dennis Miller (even if they had the good taste to can it after about a week)?
But it does have some legitimacy with the NHL and a healthy schedule of college football, and hell, racing can't get any worse treatment than it's getting now.
Anyway, where was I? Oh yeah. Certainly was an interesting move for the west coast-based Southern Equine Stables to purchase Elusive Bluff after he won his debut at Belmont at 32-1. I guess Nick Hines must have seen the race on TVG. Elusive Bluff is by Elusive Quality; he's inbred to Sir Ivor, in addition to Northern Dancer and Mr. Prospector; and is out of Megans Bluff, a graded grass stakes winner by Pine Bluff. Our trainer Bruce Brown was a tough luck second with front-running Show Me The Cash, moving up from state-bred maiden company and leading to the final couple of strides at 19-1. Didn't look at all like the winner was going to get there as late as the sixteenth pole. Herr Mozart was a dismal 6th as the 5-2 favorite for Mott.
The Miss Grillo was the filly counterpart to this race, and it went more than a second and a half faster. Tom Durkin spent much of the far turn following the wide move of My Magic Moment. But Maram, just inside, moved with that one step by step, and persisted on for a narrow win in a four horse finish. This one is another interesting story; she won her debut for a 75K tag for trainer Chad Brown, hitting at a solid 21% in his rookie season.
"I ran her in a maiden claiming race at Saratoga because she's got a marginal pedigree and I thought I could get away with it....She could have won a maiden special weight, but I was going to try to take an edge wherever I could at Saratoga. [BRIS]Maram is by graded turf stakes winner Sahm, a deceased son of Mr. Prospector, and the only
Maram is out of a mare by Quest for Fame, who you can also see in this race, and who won the Epsom Derby that year. That may be a pedigree marginal enough in these parts to get away with running in a maiden claimer at Saratoga. But little surprise that she likes the grass. She was way live on the board too; 15-1 morning line, she returned $15.20 as the 4th choice.