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Sunday, March 15, 2009

Aqueduct Sunday

In the first at Aqueduct on Sunday, Flash of Victory (6-1) is one half of an entry for trainer Joe Imperio, a live barn of late as I've noted. This five-year old gelded son of Victory Gallop had an extremely troubled trip at this conditional 7500 level two back, and finished with good interest for 4th. Moved up in class for his last with a jockey switch to Rafael Mojica, he rallied for a close third, surrendering the place spot after a game duel with Ballado Alert, a horse who had previously dominated that 10K level. Entrymate Stylish Tiger goes first off the claim, and Imperio has a winner and two close seconds with his last three of that sort. He's had bad starts his last two, but, with a better break, definitely has the speed to try and set things up for Flash of Victory should they both go (they're both owned by Michael Imperio). J J's Prophet (2-1) was the winner of the top choice's last; he drops in class off that win, never a great sign in my book, and may have to contend with Stylish Tiger and maybe Matthew TC early. Still, looks scary for the way live Linda Rice barn. Windication (5-2) takes a bigger drop than the others and comes off a field high last out Beyer.

In the second, Rice has first-timer Gentle Ride (3-1), by the 18% first-out sire Mutakddim. Three-year old filly is out of an unraced Pleasant Colony mare who has previously produced three foals, all winners. Her second dam is a 3/4 brother to stakes winner and successful sire Belong to Me; and this is the distaff family of the deceased Eight Belles (they both have the same third dam). Chasing Daylight (2-1) is a debut runner from the excellent first-out trainer Michael Trombetta. However, this one seems pretty light on pedigree - by Seeking Daylight, a Maryland-based Seeking the Gold stallion, out of a mare by Gallapiat. I must acknowledge that the dam has five winners from her five foals. Other than that though, not much to say about the breeding here; nothing on the catalog page as they say. Picking first-timers in advance is a crapshoot...or, should I say, even more of a crapshoot, and perhaps the board will provide some clues. But I'm predisposed to the Rice filly here.

- Two more winners for Asmussen on Saturday as this outfit continues its torrid run here. Heart Ashley took the G3 Cicada for the trainer, defeating 3-4 Dream Play, continuing a rough run of Saturdays in New York for her trainer Kiaran McLaughlin. The winner is a daughter of Lion Heart out of a Beau Genius mare who's a half sister to the marathon turf stakes winner Hostess.

- Charles Hayward issued a statement praising both the Governor’s and the legislature’s leadership in repealing the 1% increase in takeout on simulcast races. However, Hayward is probably giving them far too much credit. If the increase was as simple as the simple-minded legislatures who passed it thought it was, and didn't involve complicated renegotiations of existing agreements, you can bet that it would already have been done.