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Sunday, January 04, 2009

Big A Sunday Notes

- King Mobay goes in the 4th at the Big A today. He gets to race in the same class that he did when he won last time out; that's one of the beauties of these starters handicap races. No conditions here other than having to run at or below a certain claiming price, in this case $10,000 (in 2006-08). So, a relatively cheap horse like King Mobay has a chance to run against similar, be protected from getting claimed, run for nice purses - $30,000 here - and so as often as the race is written, even if he wins every time.

That seems like a reason in itself to try and slip a horse by for a cheap tag and perhaps something to think about when trying to evaluate the motivation of a trainer dropping his horse in one must do a lot these days on the inner track. Could be more to it than just the juicy purses. Not only did trainer Dominic Galluscio slip R Fast Favorite by for a $7500 tag in Saturday's first, and collect a $9,000 winners share, but now the horse, if sound, can run for twice that purse against horses he can handle on his best form.

King Mobay (4-1) has some speed inside of him, and Ramon Dominguez should be looking to close as the horse did last time. However, Admiral's Arch (5-2) sure looks tough for Asmussen, now nine for 18 since racing switched to the inner track. (Since I always criticize them about this, let's give props to the Racing Form for not (yet) having reset all the trainer and jockey stats for the new NYRA has done on their site.) This horse ships in from Mountaineer, where the trainer claimed him for owner Maggi Moss; and in his two races since then, he's moved up in class and achieved career and, by far, field high last-two-out Beyers.

Asmussen took the Count Fleet Stakes on Saturday with Haynesfield, and I wrote about his pedigree in this post.

Well Meant ($15.40) took Saturday's third for trainer Joe Aquilino - the ol' eased-up-in-last angle, with 8-5 Contessa favorite Our Special Effect some 37 lengths back in 9th in his first for a tag. That's the kind of stuff that makes one want to bet Gulfstream instead.

In the 4th, first-timer Shikilu was a well-meant second, at 7-2, for trainer Daniel Conway, who we mentioned the other day. Another Meadowlands shipper in the 5th - Banking Holiday ($23.80) led a $842 exacta.

In the 6th, Toulouse Lautrec weakened to third at 2-5 for trainer Richard Violette and Joe Bruno's buddy Earle Mack. Man, really, you gotta be kidding me there. I don't care if he ran a 194 Beyer in that debut; how can you make him that price in his first distance race? Just don't get it; people are reading too many Derby prospects columns I suppose. The two horses who finished in front had run 2-3 in a two turn race here last month; while the favorite hadn't even been over the track. Tranquil Manner ($14.20) is a Darley homebred, trained by McLaughlin, by AP Indy out of the G1 winner Composure.

And another well-meant debut settling for second in the 9th - Rightly So (Read the Footnotes), 5-1 morning line, was the 2-1 favorite for Anthony Dutrow, and led to the last 70 yards. This barn has been first or second with nine of its last 12 runners here. And check this out - at Philly Park, Dutrow has eight winners and four seconds with his last 15! And he had a winner at Laurel yesterday as well. Talk about hot. He has one entry for today - Charging Hero is the 5-2 morning line favorite in the first. He drops in claiming price off the claim, but he's moving up in conditions. Dutrow is 14 for 38 (37%) first off the claim over the last 12 months.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Skikilu looked terrific in the paddock but could not bring myself to bet a 5yo making its debut.

Gotta throw all my rules out the window at the Big A this winter, I guess.

The Finger Lakes horses were terrible last year, rarely hitting the board, but this year they are live as are all shippers.

And the kid riding for Conway can actually ride, wouldn't be surprised to see him picking up some mounts from downstate trainers soon.