- I got to the Big A after the second on Saturday, and already I heard some murmuring about the track favoring speed. By the end of the 4th, after two pure wire jobs, it had grown into a frenzy. Andy Serling and whoever the other guy was were talking about it, and that stuff can become a fait accompli pretty quickly on a cold day with an intimate crowd of 3,125 huddled inside like old friends in their familiar and very much weathered surroundings.
However, I was having none of this, ever the skeptic on the matter of track bias that I am. You just can't, except in the most extreme circumstances, make conclusions about a bias based on such a small sample - two races each at six furlongs and two turns to that point, in my opinion. There was nothing I saw in either the third or 4th race to indicate anything other than the fact that the winners, both favorites, were the best horses in a couple of very weak races, particularly the 4th.
Sure enough, the rest of the winners came from off the pace. You might read some analysis that says that the track favored speed early and closers late; I'd say don't believe the hype. Each of those races had its own circumstance - a contested pace, lack of quality speed horse, a nice-looking improving horse in Researcher - just as the earlier ones did.
So, big deal, I was right about that - didn't help me make any money. In fact, my best shot of the day blew up when 65-1 Golden Caesar came from out of the clouds to win the 7th. I had the exacta with second and third place finishers 5-1 Raffie's Dear over 6-1 Borrowing Limit darn near cold. Always nice to see those West Point horses like Drowning Bear run on Saturdays when they get bet off the board; 6-5 on that one, oh my.
Raffie's Dear is another live one from the Asmussen barn (though Sir Whimsey disappointed in the Queens County). Chief Export got the job done for Lake in the 5th, and didn't get claimed either; but the trainer claimed Bubba Gum back for 14 after losing him for 10K last time. Run With The Lark ($40.60) was the second winner in two days for trainer Richard Schosberg.
If it sounds like I'm in a rush, it's because I gotta get ready to go to the Jets game. But DiscreetCat has a pick for the Big A. Best of luck and have a great day.
Aqueduct - Race 7
#7 Access Fee (3/1 ml)
Just happened to catch the filly's Laurel debut by accident way back in February, and was EXTREMELY impressed with her. I began following her after that, with the hope that she would ship to New York for a stakes, and we could get a price on her. Unfortunately that didn't happen, as she resurfaced in an allowance @ Laurel where she scored another impressive win at miserly odds. Disappeared for a bit after that before turning up in a turf sprint @ Philly where she lost @ 4/5, then disappeared again, presumably injured. By the time she returned @ Laurel last month, i had put her on the back burner because i thought perhaps she was damaged goods, and i assumed (quite wrongly) that she would be odds-on again. To my dismay, she went off @ 3/1 and blitzed the field, looking very much like her former self. This filly is just a bundle of talent when right, and seeing that they've NOW chosen to send her to New York for a stakes, it's safe to assume she's in fine fettle. Also note that Ramon Dominguez (who has some ties to Laurel) is climbing aboard, and he's previously ridden a winner for this trainer. Like this one a lot.