- Reader Saratoga Spa writes:
I have to say the Harness executives have done a good job marketing the sport of late. I dare say Somebeachsomewhere and Deweycheatumnhowe have more buzz out there than the Flat track stars of '08.Don't know if that's exactly true, but it's probably not far off if it's not. And I'd also say that, speaking specifically of Somebeachsomewhere, who I've followed closer than his trotting counterpart, most of the buzz was generated by the horse itself. He's been absolutely spectacular and breathtaking, even in the race that he lost.
You can't say that about Curlin this year. I've seen a lot of speculation as to why nobody outside of the already converted care about his retirement, but I think the answer is extremely simple. Curlin was electrifying as a three-year old, dominant in his World Cup victory in Dubai. But since then, he beat ordinary fields in ordinary fashion, and lost rather decisively when asked to expand his repertoire, going out with a whimper in what was quite likely his final race. I'd guess that the Lawyer Ron who he edged out in last year's Jockey Club Gold Cup might very well have blown the doors off this year's version; Curlin never again equaled the 114 Beyer he did in that race. It takes a lot these days for a horse to break through the mainstream barrier, and Curlin, as a four-year old, didn't even come close.
- DiscreetCat checks in with a selection from Hollywood Park.
Hollywood - Race 4Speaking of Sadler, interesting article in the Form about his Cost of Freedom, who state veterinarians have described....as unsound.
#5 Royal Taat (5/2 ml)
Been on this Sadler/Doubledown filly in both starts thus far, and no reason to get off her now after her superlative performance last time, where she encountered heavy traffic in the stretch but finally found a seam and exploded late to win off comfortably. Small field and small morning line, but she's a bit light in the Beyer department and it APPEARS that Bejarano is jumping ship in order to ride the Frankel entrant Pretty Carina, who incidentally is the 2/1 ml favorite. Bit of a misnomer there as Gomez is Sadler's #1 guy anyway, and has been aboard the top Doubledown horses in the past. Should hopefully avoid traffic this time in this small field, and it looks as though she'll get some pace to run at. Onward and upward.