- DiscreetCat has a free pick today from Hollywood:
Hollywood - Race 7I've managed to get the TBA widget installed over on the left, though you may need a magnifying glass to read the text at this point. Gotta get Patrick to help me out. If you've been uninterested in the election, plenty of pure horse racing stuff to read over there, where it seems as if many of the bloggers have proceeded with their subject material without regard to the more profound "horse races" just completed (as well as those with the 'inquiry' sign flashing). No disrespect meant to them, nor to our friends down in Australia (which, in case you plan to run for vice-president, is a country AND a continent), but personally, I haven't been able to generate much enthusiasm this week for the Melbourne Oaks. But if you have, you can read all about it here; and, of course, you can access all the TBA blogs from here.
#1 Banner Lodge (5/1 ml)
Talented Sadler colt regained top form when trying a turf sprint last time, and now gets turf again while facing a speed-laden field that figures to produce a fast, contested pace. Always thought this colt was stakes-caliber, and i believe he can handle the class jump if he runs a representative race. Conditions seem made to order, and the price will be right. Also worth mentioning the Sadler/Gomez combo have done quite well over this course the last couple of years.
Trainer Seth Benzel took Wednesday's Rare Blend Stakes at the Big A with Never Retreat....and I told you about that barn getting hot! Well, perhaps someone listened, because this three-year old daughter of Smart Strike, 12-1 morning line for her first career grass start, paid a mere $13 to win. Out of a mare by the deceased Steady Growth, a champion in Canada (a country), this filly is from the distaff family of prominent sire Distorted Humor (the second dam of Never Retreat is the third dam of that stallion).
Another daughter of Smart Strike took Wednesday's finale; Smart Engagement is a two-year old, winning in her debut for trainer James Bond. Out of a mare by Canadian champion Sky Classic, here's a filly with some highly unusual breeding. She's closely inbred, 3x3, to the broodmare No Class, dam of the aforementioned Sky Classic, as well as Regal Classic, Classy N Smart, and Grey Classic, champs north of the border all.