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Sunday, March 01, 2009

Sunday Morning Notes - Mar 1

Dominant win in the Sham by The Pamplemousse (Kafwain). Wire to wire in splits of 23.08, 23.43, 23.78, 24.80 and a final eighth in 12.77; he cruised home in 37.57 for the last 3/8ths. He's out of a Rubiano mare who's a half-sister to at least four ungraded stakes winners according to Pedigree Query; as well as to the dam of Stormello, a Derby pretender a couple of years ago.

This colt is now three-for-three since stretching out to two turns, so we can surmise he likes a distance of ground. Of course, as reader o_crunk most fairly points out, the matter of his transferring his form from synthetics to dirt is a question mark. I suppose one can look at the synth/dirt issue in two different ways with respect to the Derby trail - it's either a relatively new and compelling twist that adds, in a positive way, to the uncertainty that makes the Derby the intriguing puzzle it is.....or a completely random and uninterpretable element that is making a mess out of the whole thing. I think we need to wait a few years for some more evidence before deciding either way.

- Yet another debut winner for Pletcher at Gulfstream - that's an improbable nine out of 21 on the Florida circuit this season (and five out of his last eight) - and this one was a doozy. Affirmatif took the finale, on the grass, exploding home by nine lengths even after having to duel with McPeek first-timer Cardiologist on the backstretch. A poster on a chat group that I'm in compared the effort to that of Big Brown in his grass debut at Saratoga, and I think the comparison is well-taken. He came home in 22.91 for a final time of 1:34.27. Two races earlier, the Toddster's Twilight Meteor won the G3 Canadian Turf Handicap in 1:34.31! Affirmatif is by Unbridled's Song, out of an Affirmed half-sister to the aforementioned Rubiano, and to Tap Your Shoes, the dam of Tapit.

- Good point by this reader regarding three-year olds now facing their elders in maiden races in New York, and a nice trifecta indeed if you boxed the older horses in Saturday's sixth.

Three such races on the card today and, as pointed out, in the 9th, James Iselin, who had that 6th race winner yesterday, starts Crafty Gem (12-1). This four-year old son of Crafty Prospector ran 4th in the slop at 38-1 in January, and that race has turned out to be pretty strong. Second place finisher American Queen has run second and first in maiden specials at Philly Park, and third-place finisher Forest Intrigue won at that track with a Beyer of 86. 7th place finisher Laca romped in a 45K maiden claimer here last week.


Anonymous said...

As much as i think you are a poor handicapper I will defend you against that jerk who could buy you a hundred times. you seem to be having fun. and doing what you love. sour grapes to him Jason

Anonymous said...

Hey Steve From NC - I think you need to go to a library and see what system built this country. It wasn't socialism or marxism my friend. You must be a dem since you made a crack about republicans. I am neither. I do know that socialist policies keep people down and dependant on handouts from the government. Through these handouts the government then controls how the dependent votes. Check any ghetto in this country and see what the party affiliation is. Your guy Obama is attacking success in this country. He states that NOTHING in the past has been any good. I guess that is why his wife was never proud of her country until (of course) her husband ran for president. I personally feel he hates this country and will do anything to destroy it. He obtained this outlook from sitting in Wright’s church for 20 years. Just watch. Time will tell who is correct.

Companies get rich no matter who is president. Obama will bend over making his friends in the "green energy" business billionaires. His stimulus plan is a payoff to unions, welfare and his other supporters. I hope you are as upset about them as you are about the Blackwaters of the world.

steve in nc said...

Anon, I'm no fan of bailouts for the wealthy either. So we can agree on that, to a point.

As far as Obama helping friends, I also think you're right, to a point. He isn't out to literally help his friends get rich like W did, but to reward his political supporters like autoworkers & unionists. I think it would be politically really difficult for him not to help the automakers right now.

I just wish he would do it differently, by underwriting R&D on fuel cell and other kinds of non-gas cars instead of wasting our money building already obsolete cars.

The reason I responded to your previous post is that I think you are using the terms "Marxist" & "socialist" as namecalling, repeating what is on right-wing chat, rather than as accurate economic terms.

Some food for your thinking: Child labor laws, the minimum wage, and social security were all attacked as socialist programs, because they are. But they were introduced by people who wanted to save capitalism by humanizing it, so that poor and working class people wouldn't overthrow it out of desperation, as many feared in the late 1800s and early 1900s. I for one think Obama is hard at work at that same "saving capitalism" project right now. I'm no fan of corporate America, but i hope he succeeds.

It is business executives (who don't tend to be Marxists), not just unions who are clamoring for government health care right now. We're the only country that puts the cost of health care on employers and it kills our competitiveness along with many people's health.

I think Obama's a smart, decent, guy who may be making some mistakes and compromises I don't like, but is trying to do what he thinks is best for the whole country.

The hating America part, to me, just means he's trying to change our country in ways you don't like. Tough. Get used to it. I had to live through Bush who almost really did destroy America even if unintentionally.

The Rev. Wright thing is meaningless. Most of our Presidents had Billy Graham as a minister, and he said some pretty ugly anti-Semitic things on the Nixon tapes. Are you scared of having a President that isn't the same as you? Welcome to the America that millions of us loyal citizens have always known and loved.

I share Michele Obama's feelings. I sure wasn't proud of America during the Vietnam War or during the Jim Crow era either. I'm not proud of what we've done in Iraq, Guantanamo, or to the global environment. But I still love America. If your kid caused a deadly accident, would you run up and say "I'm proud of you!" No, but you still love your kid. (By the way, in your post, you didn't sound very proud of NY's government. Does that mean you hate NY in some unpatriotic way?)

I'm not going to say you hate America just because you obviously hate our President. It sounds like you really care and you're scared and angry.

I suspect you'll find out that by the end of his administration, you'll still be able to speak out, own property, run a business, and vote for the other party. And unless you're very rich, your taxes will be lower. And if we're lucky, we'll be able to get decent health care regardless of where we work. But I wouldn't count on that 2nd Avenue subway line. You're right, time will tell.

Anonymous said...

Regarding California horses being unable to win when moving from from synthetic surfaces to 1 1/4 miles on dirt, you have to go all the way back to last summer when Colonel John won the Travers.

I'm not buying that argument. Just because the Califiornia tracks are synthetic now, all California horses are somehow unfit as Derby contenders, and the East Coast horses are the "real" Derby powers? What the hell is going on in Florida this year that makes ANY of them big-time Derby prospects? Dunkirk basically needs to win the Florida Derby just to draw into the race, and the rest of the top Florida contenders aren't even racing two turns right now. Their credentials look pretty slim when compared to those of The Pamplemousse, Pioneerof the Nile, or even Stardom Bound.

It's that kind of East Coast bias that results in horses like 6-furlong maiden winner like Checklist being ranked 10-15 spots ahead of a two-turn stakes winner like The Pamplemousse on Haskin's Derby Watch. Just take a look at the latest front-page DRF article, which claims that Quality Road was "at or near the top of everyone's Derby list" when the year started. What, off a single maiden win @ 6 furlongs??? Yeah, that gives you instant Derby cred. Give me a f*%king break.

Back to the synthetic angle, it's easy to say California horses are not prepared for the Derby while racing on synthetic surfaces because they haven't won the Derby in an entire two years. The jury is still out on that argument, and will be for a long time (regardless of what happens this year). But remember Colonel John's Travers win last year after shipping in from Hollywood, and also remember that Street Sense had his final prep for the 2007 Derby over a synthetic surface. So did second-place finisher Hard Spun, for that matter.

Going further, Rags to Riches scored an Oaks/Belmont double after shipping in from Santa Anita.

Alan Mann said...

>.Just take a look at the latest front-page DRF article, which claims that Quality Road was "at or near the top of everyone's Derby list" when the year started. What, off a single maiden win @ 6 furlongs???

Not me, G. That's for the Haskins and Jeremy Wonks of the world, Welsch should speak for himself.

steve in nc said...

I for one like the added wrinkle of uncertainty about switching surfaces -- gives more vulnerable favs and more plausible longshots.

As for the politics, here's the follow-up in the form of a headline from the (evil) NY Times:

"Socialism!’ Boo, Hiss, Repeat"

Anonymous said...

Report: Joe Bruno in Car Accident

By Azi Paybarah

Former Republican State Senator Joe Bruno was involved in an automobile accident and transported to an emergency medical facility in Colonie, according to a dispatch from the Breaking News Network.

The dispatch, forwarded to me by a reader, said the New York State Police are “investigating a motor vehicle crash injuring [Bruno],” who was “transported from the scene.”

A spokeswoman for the local state trooper’s office said she had no information about the incident, but did receive one prior inquiry about it.

Bruno was the Senate Majority Leader until his abrupt retirement late last year. He left to work in the private sector before being indicted on corruption and wire fraud, charges he denied at a press conference.

Alan Mann said...

Sounds like Bruno is OK.

"banged up a little," but otherwise OK. [NYDN]

Anonymous said...

Yeah let's go back to that Travers...boy has that race come back to flatter. Could be wrong on this, but on plain old dirt, only two wins since then among that field. Certainly the only horses of any consequence that have moved forward since that race are ToE and Harlem Rocker - both of them will never win at 10 furlongs anyway. The rest are on milk cartons somewhere in regards to dirt racing.

Street Sense and Hard Spun were proven dirt commodities before the Derby.

I'm willing to give some of these synth horses the benefit of the doubt first time on dirt, it would be silly not to, but I don't believe that they are at any advantages against their peers in the Derby having to go that distance on a surface they've never raced over. It's just a built in knock on all of 'em that I believe can't be ignored.

Anonymous said...

I think you're overlooking the fact that the California/synthetic horse are not the only ones who will be racing over a new surface for the first time. Not all dirt tracks are the same; far from it. Old Fashioned, Dunkirk, Quality Road, Hello Broadway, Patena, Friesan Fire, Mr. Fantasy, Haynesfield, and many more have have never raced over the Churchill surface before.

Anonymous said...

The point is not that you can not win prepping on Synthetic surface, sure you can. The point is that there is no way to tell whethar a horses form is real or memorex when racing on this crap.

For every winner out there that possibly may be a true synth horse and will flounder on real dirt, there are a few runner ups that will improve dramatically if/when switched to dirt.

So the point is the form means less when prepping on synth, so as a handicapper I need to get better odds in exchange for that uncertainty.

In fact I predict it will not be long before some 50-1 shot, who has been picking up checks out west, explodes to win the Derby and proves to be a super horse that wasted its entire two and early three year old seasons racing on a surface it hates.