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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Sourwine for TVG (Sorry, Susie)

On TVG not long before the Fountain of Youth, a fascinating betting contest if no longer, as a one turn mile, as significant in terms of implications for the spring classics, Todd Schrupp was interviewing Susie Sourwine, the marketing director of Emerald Downs, about the upcoming 2009 spring/summer meet. (Thus, the apology for the tacky wordplay on the woman's name, I'm sure she's very nice.) It doesn't even start until April 17. Oh man, talk about filling time. I'd like to see them just come clean at this point. We all know what's going on. Just have Schrupp look into the camera, with that pseudo-sincere look and tone he likes to employ, and go "Man, we suck. We got nuthing now." Yeah, I tease these guys sometimes, but they are (mostly) knowledgeable hosts, and it seems undignified for them to be pretending that they have anything more than B material this time of the year. It will change of course, over the summer....but man, this is a rough patch.

It's not like they'd lose any viewers either. Anyone with Dish Network who's watching either TVG or HRTV is doing so for a specific reason - HRTV to see the best winter racing; TVG if your Uncle Seymour has some nag running in the 6th at Turfway (#10 in the HANA rankings). And if you have DirecTV, you have no choice. Anyway, I didn't get to the Fountain of Youth here either, as I was too busy. I think I need one of those road to the triple crown guest blogger dudes - how do I get one of those?

TVG didn't really miss much in my opinion. Quality Road ($13) stalked This One's For Phil (slammed in the win pool late) pushing him to a fatal second quarter of 21.63 after a tepid opening split. Dutrow's colt spit the bit soon after turning for home, and Quality Road was never threatened as he came home in quarters of 23.76 and 25.61 [four lengths in front of Theregoesjojo]. And I dunno, I guess that's not considered to be too terrible for a dirt race, considering the early pace. Nicely bred colt - by Elusive Quality, out of a Strawberry Road full sister to the champion three-year old Ajina. His second dam is a half to a couple of Irish stakes winners, and to the dam of Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes winner Bahri. So some class and distance in this pedigree.

But this race featured a lot of disappointing performances - especially Capt. Candyman Can, well-positioned at his favorite distance - with the field pretty spread out despite the slow fractions at the end. It was another four back to Beethoven, and two more to 5th place This One's For Phil, who stopped to a near walk, yet was still eight ahead of the rest. Taqarub tired to 9th for McLaughlin, who had a miserable day in New York - dead last with 3-1 first-timer Hot to Trot in the 6th, and the same in the Stymie with 3-1 Brilliant Son. The way the race fell apart tempers my enthusiasm for the winner, so I'll wait to see him go a distance of ground before considering him to be a serious contender.

- The Rangers scored more goals - four - in the first 15 minutes than they had in the last three games combined, and crushed the Avs 6-1 in a rollicking Saturday night performance at the Garden. Now, that wasn't so hard, was it? And not a trap in sight.


o_crunk said...

You're missing a key component for non-NYC, metro area viewers. Fios has both TVG and HRTV. It's hilarious to see the TVG A-Team (Schrupp, Carothers, et al) rollin' bum pick 4's at Los Al at 1 in the morning on a Friday night. Poetic justice in my view.

Knock Quality Road...and I can see what you're saying here - that this was a glorified sprint race, but proven dirt performers are a notch above whatever is going on in CA.

I think these synths are automatic throw outs. When you consider 10 furlongs plus first time dirt it's just too much to overcome against the east of the Mississipi bunch.

We've not seen as many top class synth performers replicate their performances on dirt as we've seen the other way around...and this goes on all levels. This means *something* and should not be ignored.

Anonymous said...

Quality Road (Jimmy Jerkens) was the respective 3rd choice in the double and the Pick 3, yet was the 6th choice in the win pool as they loaded the starting gate. When they sprung the latch though, he went from 8-1 to 5-1. More important, it was his 1st time lasix. Jimmy is 30+ percent on that type of move.

How about Saturday's 6th race at Aqueduct. The first race of the year that I have seen them card Maiden Special, where 3 y.o.'s meet older horses. There were 4 older horses in the field. If you boxed them for $2, you received $657. A lot of those 3 y.o.'s were still chronologically 2, having been born after February 28th. Such an easy game, right? Well, it continues on Sunday in the 9th race. There are 2 older horses in there, both at morning line of 12-1, including one trained by the winner of Saturday's 6th race. It could get interesting.

Anonymous said...

Must be a sign of our economic times when a 1st time homebred starter filly by Smarty Jones, out of a black type Holy Bull mare with a pedigree as long as my arm, gets sent out for a tag on that card with no takers.

Smarty Bull won as much the best at more than a square price. One of the last matings overseen by the late, great Jimmy Croll.

Bank Check

Anonymous said...

Did everyone take a good look at the size of Quality Road?

Forego-esq and he should still be growing.

Sunny Jim said...

Alan -

Is there any way you could require ID for all comments? Would it be a complicated thing to do?

There are lots of knowledgable readers who leave comments, and I don't know why they don't ID themselves. On the other hand, I DO know why the cowardly asshats like those who showed up yesterday won't identify themselves.

I think it would greatly improve things all around.


SaratogaSpa said...

"..road to the triple crown guest blogger dudes-how do I get one of those?"

Thanks for making me laugh very hard this morning..your wit is sharp and I hope others got the joke.