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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Aqueduct (and GP) Notes

Racing is set to resume at the Big A on Thursday, though you might think about having a backup plan in mind. Wednesday morning's snow turned into rain as the temperature warmed. But it's supposed to turn freezing overnight. In the past, when inner track cancellations have occurred, they've usually done so in the freeze-thaw scenario being forecast. So, on the odd chance that they do cancel, you heard it here first.

In the first, trainer Randi Persaud looks to break out of an 0-for-22 streak at the Big A with Fit Faze (7-2). I guess one can spin a trainer streak any way he or she wants - stick with the trend or play the percentages. In this case, Persaud hasn't really been close of late, so perhaps I should stay away. However, this is the kind of class dropper that I can't resist, so I'll say he's due to win. This seven-year old son of Honor Grades has competed well against far better while dropping the class ladder, and I think he's found his proper level here. Persaud switches to Jeffrey Sanchez, who rode The Vin Man, one of the trainer's three winners this meeting, after the horse broke poorly in his last two before finishing quite respectably behind two legit 16K runners in Gallant Again and Three in the Bag. 0 for 12 on off tracks, certainly a possibility here, but he's run some good races in slop, and, in this case, I view that more as something that could create some value.

In the third, Even Raise (5-2) is actually looking for a big raise; in fact he's seeking to triple his salary. In this economy? This five-year old son of Stephen Got Even, who appears to have been purchased privately by Winning Move and Contessa, dominated the 10K Starter Handicap races at Calder, winning eight of 11 races on the year. His total purse earnings? Not even $60,000. While today's race carries a purse of $30,000, the comparable ones at Calder were for just $9,545.

But no pick for me in this race. I'm recusing myself because King Mobay (5-1) is in for Kasey K. Just look at the Form, and you don't need me to tell you that he is fit, loves to compete, and has three wins in the slop. Stealth Missile (3-1) rocketed right by Mobay last time in his first race for Enrique Arroyo.

Down at Gulfstream, another high priced winner for Michael Matz, whose Spicy Dubai ($39.40) won the 5th. He also had that first timer Indy's Sonata ($49.80) on Saturday. I don't think that Nicanor will go off at odds like that on Saturday.

Mott, whose name I don't seem to have mentioned on this blog since October 21 (welcome back), took the 9th, on the grass, with first-timer Strike Again ($25.20). Though this barn's 0-for-first timer streak still stands, at 49, in New York, this was his third such winner on the Calder/GP circuit since he arrived in December (from ten starters, with three seconds and a third). Strike Again is a Pin Oak Stud homebred by Dixie Union, out of a stakes winning Smart Strike mare; and he's a half-brother to the stakes winning, on dirt and grass, Euphony. This is also the distaff family of Tap Day, and the graded grass winner Fairy Garden.


Anonymous said...

Wayne Catalano has been let go from owner Frank Calabrese. Who is going to report on the full details of this?

Catalano has done wonders for Calabrese over the years.

Anonymous said...

I always wondered about the economics of Wayne Catalano the trainer. Claim a horse for 20k and within two weeks he runs for 10k and wins and loses the horse. Always looked like a losing($$$)situation to me. Evidently it was. Calabrese claims to have won many leading owners titles but always lost money.
Chicago Sun-Times 1/27/09.

Anonymous said...

You fail to mention that Strike Again was the horse that won the National Handicapping Championship for Conte, the public handicapper and Belmont tourney grad.