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Friday, December 05, 2008

Aqueduct Notes

- Two winners, both two-year olds, in two days on the inner track for trainer Kiaran McLaughlin and Shadwell. Aswaaq, graduating in his third attempt on Wednesday, is a son of Empire Maker purchased by the other Sheikh for $525,000 last fall. He's out of Queen Mama, an unraced Seattle Slew mare who's a half-sister to the multiple G1 winner Behrens, and to the dam of Cowboy Cal. This is also the family of Commentator; they have the same third dam.

Empire Maker is one of the prominent names we've seen of late who has had his stud fee slashed for next year, from $100K to $75K. He hasn't had much of an impact this season. He ranks #11 on the second year sire list, but has had just one graded stakes winner, and three overall this year. That's the kind of numbers that can eventually earn a stallion a one-way trip to Japan.

Taqarub won the 8th on Thursday for the connections; his second win in as many starts. He wired the field with Chavez - speed seemed to do quite well at six furlongs on this day, as skeptical as I am about track bias - easily making the step up to winners, and probably earning a mention for the Derby in someblogsomewhere. This is a son of Aldebaran, who has already sputtered his way to the Far East; the 2003 Met Mile winner is mired at 19th on the sophomore sire list, with no North American stakes winners this year. Taqarub is out of an Honor Grades mare who's a half-sister to the F&M Turf winner Soaring Softly.

Anthony Dutrow gets his second winner in two days with Jenay Benay in the first.

Trainer Scott Volk was second in the 9th with 7-1 Ballado Artist. Volk ended the Meadowlands meeting with two winners and a second, and a streak of 12-5-4-1. He won at the Big A on Sunday with 9-1 Unwritten. On Friday, he saddles Teddy Ballgame (5-2) in the 7th (scheduled for the grass, though it rained lightly for awhile this evening...doesn't take much to rain these races out this time of year, and maybe for good!) Forget his last at 11 furlongs; Teddy Ballgame was in career form winning his two prior. The first of those was off a freshening of a similar length to the one he comes off today. The second, a career best 89 Beyer, was preceded by a half mile work eight days prior; the identical workout pattern leading up to this one. I imagine that Volk will be quite disappointed if this one comes off the grass.

1 Comment:

steve in nc said...

I hope they never close Aqueduct. I know there are fields for three legged llamas at times, but it is the track I am most in synch with. Go ahead, call me a goat herder.

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If you're a horseplayer, and a lefty, the only way it could be more exactly for you is if you like jazz. I don't know if M. Cramer has a way of selling it directly. I got it from DRF press.