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Monday, April 06, 2009

Binn There Done That

The chart comment for Gone Astry, the winner, for Shug, of the 3rd at Aqueduct on Saturday reads that he drew away under good handling. And I realized that, even after all these years of seeing that phrase in the charts, I really have no idea exactly what under good handling means. The main thing i want to know about the winner from the chart is, quite simply, whether the horse won with something to spare or had to be ridden hard by the jockey. Under good handling doesn't tell me either!

Besides, chart comments are just one person's opinion; and one which I disagree with more than just occasionally. As you may have noticed in the comments section of this and other blogs, a hundred horseplayers can see the same race and interpret it a hundred different ways. It's what makes the game go 'round. So why would you just take one person's word for it? That's why I try to watch as many relevant replays as possible.

Watching Gone Astray's race, I saw a three-year old colt who is still learning the game; a little green perhaps but a really nice, easy way of going with speed seemingly in reserve while defeating older horses. Seven furlongs in 1:23.60, as opposed to 1:23 flat in the Bay Shore. This being a Phipps homebred, Shug can handle him patiently as he prefers, and I'd look for this one to climb the allowance ladder before attempting stakes late summer and fall should he prove up to the task.

Gone Astray, inbred, 4x2 to Mr Prospector, is by Dixie Union, out of an unraced Mr. Prospector mare who's a half to the champion Phipps filly Smuggler; his second dam is the champion Inside Information.

- Capt. Candyman Can, the winner of the aforementioned Bay Shore, is the 4th horse to win coming out of the Fountain of Youth; plus, Taqarub was a nice second in the Bay Shore, and Theresgoesjojo hardly disgraced himself with his troubled third in the Florida Derby. The FOY was a weirdly run race, as Quartercracked Quality Road and subsequent winner This One's For Phil dueled a nutty second quarter of around 21.65. Others such as the Candyman may have flattened out after running too hard just to keep up. Third place finisher Beethoven, who stayed far back from the action early on, has not yet run back, and is now doubtful for the Derby.

- Edgar Prado rode Gone Astray, as well as Montecore, a promising NY-bred three-year old who won the 6th on Saturday by open lengths cutting back to a sprint. Puchased by Puglisi Racing for $400K last year, Montecore is by the Storm Cat sire Hold That Tiger, presently holding court in France, out of a Gulch mare. His second dam is a half-sister to a horse named Jose Binn, and anyone else remember him? Sometimes I'll come across the name of a horse that really jars the memory; and then I'm shocked to see that my recollections are from, as in this case, some 30+ years ago! Jose Binn won the Great American Stakes at Belmont in July of 1978 and paid $15; I'm sure I must have had him that day. He went on to win the Arlington-Washington Futurity, a Grade 1 at the time.

But Jose Binn suffered near fatal injuries when he was stomped on by General Assembly in the Hopeful at Saratoga. The horse recovered, but ran only once at three before retiring to a very modest career at stud. One of his sons is the sire of a half-sister to the third dam of Rachel Alexandra. And how do I know all of this? The Head Chef is out being a head chef and I have a little time on my hands..

- Carter winner Kodiak Kowboy is the first Grade 1 winner for Posse.

- A troubled 103 Beyer for I Want Revenge; 96 for Pioneerof the Nile....98 for Musket Man.

- Not much bang for the buck for the Yanks on Opening Day. CC Sabathia ($161,000,000.00) was tagged for six runs in 4 1/3; and Mark Teixeira ($180,000,000.00) was 0-4, leaving five men on base, including the tying run on third in the 8th, after which the Orioles tacked on four to win 10-5.

- I've heard some people say, what's the big deal, Air Power is all-natural. But so is baking soda and cobra venom.


DiscreetPicks said...

Just an FYI on Montecore. He's by Hold That Tiger, and Montecore was the tiger who attacked Roy (from Siegfried and Roy). Pretty clever.

Nice horse too. He had dueled inside with Omniscient in his debut, and Omniscient has since returned to win two in a row. Montecore himself returned to win by 8 lengths, and his only loss since then came around two turns. He really had those NY-bred sprinters over a barrel on Saturday.

Anonymous said...

With a few Derby hopefuls starting to get injured and out of the race, how will this affect Dunkirk's chances of getting in?
I'd like to see him in as a "mystery horse" always adds to the excitement.

Anonymous said...

Its called at trainer responsibility rule for a reason, he is responsible to know the rules, they are posted all over.

Doesnt matter what it is, the rules are clear that no substance is to be administered except lasix, and that only from the track vet.

Security should have perhaps warned him, yes, but it does not excuse his failure to know the rules.

That written, NYRA is clear in their statement that nothing was administered to IWR so there should be no question regarding his performance.

That written again, how long before IEAH uses this excuse to fire Mullins and transfers the horse to Dutrow (and Prado)?

Anonymous said...

I would think, given the disastrous ending to Big Brown's attempt at the Triple Crown last year due to a quarter crack, that Quality Road's chances are now severely compromised. I Want Revenge appears to have moved to the 'head of the class.'

Anonymous said...

I am sure someone will tell me to stick to my day job, or some other idiotic comment, however if I owned Rachel Alexandra I would be awfully tempted to run her in the Derby. IWR is juiced and therefore his Derby day performance is questionable. Quality Road has a quartercrack which makes him a dubious choice. After that it is wide open and she is as good as anyone else.

Anonymous said...

check that Alan I don't think she is nominated.

Anonymous said...

i hate fillies running in the derby and if i owned her i would be pretty darn tempted to run her in it, she is so freaky

steve in nc said...

I remember Jose Binn, but really, it is just the name, not the actual animal that I remember (you may have cashed him but I didn't!). For some reason, I remember him as a NYB. But probably he wasn't because back in those pre-Karakorum days, maybe 80% of NY breds were sired by Talc and only half of those could break 1:14 for 6f.

Anonymous said...

did i miss something, you have this ones for phil as the FOY winner, i thought q road won it

Alan Mann said...

No, I said This One's For Phil was a subsequent winner coming out of the FOY.

Anonymous said...

sorry, i read it as after the speed duel that he was the subsequent winner

t said...

how timely. i was just wondering what "under good handling" meant by drf's standards. as backstretch nomenclature, i'd characterize the term in one of two ways. One intent of horsemen i've heard use the term means under some urging, but to a non-specific degree. Also, theres a measure of compliment intended for the rider for either getting the most from the horse or a particularly professional, deliberately executed ride.

Another more simple meaning just seems to be solid but not substantial urging. that is to say the horse is being asked, or at least reminded of his task, but not but not for his most.

i would guess the definition as related to charts is closer to the latter, but i really don't know. my interpretation is strictly anecdotal.

i doubt the definition will answer all the questions most chart readers have when encountering the term, however.