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Sunday, April 19, 2009

A Little Advice

By the time Keeneland track announcer Kurt Becker finally picked up Advice, he was already practically past Square Eddie and on to victory, for Pletcher and Winstar, in the Lexington Stakes on Saturday. As far as last-to-first moves goes, this one seemed pretty effortless. Garrett Gomez was able to save ground behind the pack around the final turn and ease his colt out into a handy seam turning for home. According to Trakus, he ran 50 feet less than did favored Square Eddie, who no doubt expended precious energy sweeping a good five-six wide around the field.

Advice is a son of Chapel Royal, standing in Florida for a fee of $10,000. The perfect outcross for NORTHERN DANCER, MR. PROSPECTOR & SEATTLE SLEW-line mares, reads his Stallion Register page. Indeed, the son of Montbrook is completely devoid of all three, and Advice is out of a daughter of Hennessy (Storm Cat/Storm Bird/Northern Dancer). Inbred 4x5 to Damascus, Advice descends from a distaff family filled with turf winners; little surprise given his success on the Keeneland Polytrack (at least on Saturday; he was far back in 9th in the Breeders Futurity last year). His dam is a half to three grassy stakes winners, and his second dam is a half to Ascutney, a graded turf winner in her own right who is the dam of Raven's Pass, a multiple stakes winner in England before taking the BC Classic last fall. And this is also the distaff family of the Del Mar Oaks winner No Matter What, and the undefeated Rainbow View, the favorite for the 1,000 Guineas next month.

Advice was one of three winners for the Toddster on the day, including Readys Echo (More Than Ready), making a successful return to the races at the age of four. It was actually just the second career win for last year's third place finisher in the Belmont; and both have come at seven perhaps this one's late closing style is more suited for shorter distances.

On Sunday, Monba returns to the scene of his Blue Grass win as the Toddster starts him in the Ben Ali Stakes. As you may recall, this son of Maria's Mon subsequently ran 20th, by some 59 lengths, in the Derby. The Ben Ali also features Adriano, in his four-year old debut, who finished 9 lengths ahead of Monba in 19th; as well as Dominican, in his five-year old debut (yes of course he's a gelding), who finished 11th by 18 lengths in the 2007 Derby. So quite a happy reunion here!

- The Rangers come home to the Garden with a 2-0 series lead in the opening round of the playoffs after their gritty 1-0 win in which they blocked 29 Caps' shots. Who woulda thought they would win twice in Washington against the second-seeded Caps? I had searched online far and wide without success for a single professional prognosticator who picked New York to win the series....and I couldn't say that I blamed them one bit. Now it seems they have a legitimate chance....though still only that at this point. Ryan Callahan scored on what I thought was really their only glorious scoring chance of the entire game. So, without taking anything away from the Caps' rookie goalie Simeon Varlamov, I believe he remains untested. The Rangers have been an excellent home team of late, and I expect them to spend far more time in the offensive zone with their aggressive forecheck, spurred on by a delirious MSG crowd, and resplendent in their Broadway Blue home jerseys. They could deliver a staggering blow with a strong start and an early score on Monday night.


jk said...

Rangers in 5!!

Anonymous said...

Wings over the Rangers in the finals despite the fact that the Wings have only scored a total of one goal in Madison Square Garden the last two times they have beat the Rangers in the finals.