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Sunday, January 25, 2009

Sunday Morning Notes - Jan 25

David Jacobson has had his share of high priced claims go sour, but he's apparently undeterred. He took Fujita from Pletcher for $75,000 from Saturday's third. The stakes placed son of Lion Hearted was a close second as the 2-1 favorite, behind the well-bet Shoptate ($9.90), a winner for trainer Steve Jerkens, two winners and a second in his mere four starters at the meeting. This lightly raced five-year old son of Orientate is out of a Dehere half-sister to Miss Shop, a multiple graded winner for the trainer's father Allen.

A couple of well-bet three-year old first-timers at Gulfstream for the Toddster with differing results. La Rocca was 7-2 in the 5th, but the daughter of Toccet broke poorly and flattened out to 5th after recovering to flash some early speed. The winner was another debut runner, Indy's Sonata ($49.80), the first such winner for trainer Michael Matz since La Menina won her debut at Saratoga in July, 2007, some 71 starters ago (and she's entered in the 9th today at GP). The breakthrough comes just about in time for him to start that Barbaro brother horse too. Indy's Sonata is by AP Indy out of the graded stakes winner Golden Sonata (Mr. Prospector).

In the 5th, Pletcher unveiled Dunkirk, a $3.7 million yearling purchase for the Coolmore folks. Sent off as the 8-5 favorite, the son of Unbridled's Song out of the G1 winner Secret Status (AP Indy) also broke poorly. But this one swung six wide after encountering traffic on the turn, blew by the field and drew off to win by almost six. Before you get too excited though, consider this: John Velazquez rode Kings Village for Albertrani instead, and it seems highly doubtful that would be the case if Pletcher thought he had a big horse. In addition, take a look at the extent to which this race fell apart; after three horses sparred on top in quarters of 22.35 and 23, the subsequent quarter took an imponderable 26.76. So the breadth of the horse's move may have looked far better than it really was. Though he finished up in a respectable 12.90, I'm not at all interested in any futures lines on this one.

3 Comments:

Anonymous said...

The most impressive maiden last week at the gulf had to be Pinckney Hill (by AP Indy). Bumped and squeezed at the start, finished up in 1:34.7 or so going a mile on the turf.

It's a good time as it is for a maiden (88 Beyer), but Pinckney Hill made up 6 lengths in the last quarter, which officially went 24.05. Had to have been something in the 22 range for him - which is absolutely flying for a maiden 3 year old, regardless of surface.

Any firster who has that kind of performance after a troubled start deserves a serious look. If you're looking for a bomb, that's the one - if you can even find a futures number on him at this stage.

ajkreider

Steve D said...

Alan,
If anything, I saw the fact that it was Edgar and not Johnny V. as an indication that there was something special about this horse. Not sure who made that call: owners, trainer or Velazquez?

I agree with everything you say about the race. Fast pace early, fell apart late and a lousy final time. But something about Dunkirk caught my eye and makes me think that we could be looking at a contender.

Now that I've publicized this sentiment, the horse will probably get his head jerked off next time out. Also, I don't think typically unsound sons of Unbridled's Song are real good for future action. That said, I'll be keeping an eye on him.

alan said...

>>The most impressive maiden last week at the gulf had to be Pinckney Hill (by AP Indy).

Final quarter was 22 4/5 according to Formulator. Definitely seems to have a grass pedigree - out of a British stakes winner, and a half to grass stakes winner English Colony. But you never know these days.

>>If anything, I saw the fact that it was Edgar and not Johnny V. as an indication that there was something special about [Dunkirk].

I would think it would have to have been the Coolmore owners, as Johnny V generally gets first call for the Toddster. Agree that, despite the collapsed pace, it was definitely a classy performance for a debut race.