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Sunday, November 29, 2009

Aqueduct Notes

A double in the second at third at the Big A for the stallion Harlan's Holiday. First-time starter Launch N Relaunch ($12.80) won the second for Dutrow Juan Rodriguez, earning $26,400 towards his $350,000 price tag at auction as a yearling last fall. In the third, On Vacation ($18.40) made a successful switch to grass after five futile tries on dirt. Harlan's Holiday had seen his stud rise, from $17,500 in 2007 to $30,000 this year. He's had just an OK 2009, 6th on the third year sire list, and six stakes winners, two of them Grade 3's. And his yearling average has declines from around $92,000 to just under $69,000. So, little surprise that his stud fee was set to $25,000 for 2010.

That was a weak edition of the Demoiselle, won by Tizahit for trainer George Weaver. She's a daughter of Tiznow, the 10th stakes winner of the year for the sire. He's third on the overall sire list, which I guess was enough to hold the line on his stud fee at $75,000; that despite his yearling average dropping to just over $100,000, from over $170,000 in 2008 (14 of his two-year olds averaged a healthy $177,000).

Weaver has another horse who looks interesting in the 7th race on Sunday's card. Solvent (8-1) has shown some sharp improvement since Cornelio Velasquez jumped aboard three races back - a win in state-bred allowance followed by a close (though admittedly inside trip-aided) third to Banrock in the Mohawk Stakes. He made the switch to open company last time; but that was a mile and three-eighths. In the old days, when I was far more skeptical and suspicious, I probably would have thought that the trainer ran him in that race in order to produce an unimpressive pp line which would inflate his price for the next time, when the horse is really meant to win. Instead, I'll say that he's an improving horse who's found a jockey who fits and goes for a streaky kind of barn showing recent signs of life. (And it won't hurt his price that he ran 6th in his last.)

Buddy's Saint proved he could handle two turns.....or did he? He won the Remsen handily after taking over on the turn. His final time was nearly 1:53, and he came home in 25.98/13.49, earning a Beyer of 80, down from 101 in the Nashua.

Flashing ($8.50) took some late money before winning the Gazelle; no word if the Sheikh got in some late wagers with some borrowed funds. I took a long, hard look at this one before settling on second place finisher Unrivaled Belle, but didn't feel she had progressed (despite her win in the Test over a field which has not since distinguished itself). I know, she had a perfect synthetic excuse for her last two; indeed, that $33.20 exacta looks pretty generous in retrospect for someone who completely tossed the (slight) race favorite. Daughter of AP Indy progressed here to a career high 99 Beyer.

I was wrong about Kodiak Kowboy, a winner in his final race before going to stud. How much do you think this win, his third Grade 1 and first beyond seven furlongs, will cause his stud fee to increase?


Anonymous said...


Good morning.

So do we have a big week coming up?

1. Joe Bruno guilty or innocent
2. NY State Budget approval
3. Finally a decision on Aqueduct?

Anyone willing to give me odds on the above?

Alan Mann said...

Good morning to you too.

1. Joe Bruno guilty or innocent

The jury asked a couple of questions to indicate that it's not going to be the quick decision that some were speculating about. I still think it's 4-5 that he walks.

2. NY State Budget approval

I think the odds are fairly good that they'll get something done this week, especially if the legislators have been reading all the ridicule heaped upon them in newspaper editorials throughout the state this weekend. (Presumably, they're studying the 400 page legislation instead.) Given the changes that Paterson has already relented to, the question to me is more whether it will contain any significant cuts that represent a real change of culture that will help to address upcoming deficits, or rely on one-shots and tricks that delay the inevitable tough decisions for the next fiscal year. 9-5 on there being some kind of agreement; 5-1 that it gets the nod of approval from bipartisan fiscal watchdogs.

3. Finally a decision on Aqueduct?

Not this week. 10-1.

Anonymous said...

Durkin was way over the top with Buddys Saint, using the "drawing away with powerful strides" cliche, even as the Finger Lakes shipper was closing the gap.

Demoiselle will likely be an anti-key race and Buddys Saint ran only a fifth of a second faster.

Flashing looked very good by running two full seconds faster than Buddy, and may return for 2010 per a report this morning.

KK's victory was terrific but yet he will retire to stud, which I can not understand in this environment unless of course he has issues.

He appears on the improve since switching barns (and not insignificantly, jockeys, great ride yesterday).

Would seem logical for him to return for a 2010 campaign where he would be the pre season favorite for the BC Sprint.

He sire, Posse, was just moved to NY and is standing for under 10k, never a great sign, how much would you pay to breed to one of his sons?

I hope they reconsider as he has always been one of my favorites.

Anonymous said...

Buddy's Saint looks like a very good horse, likely to improve with age like his sire.
His time might have been slow, but he wasn't really trying, his ears were up and his jockey never used the whip. Looking forward to derby 2010.

Anonymous said...

Any horse that wins the Remsen has to be on the short list of Derby contenders, but I still feel Durkin's theatrical stretch call was very over the top and the fact that he barely timed better than a very mediocre group of fillies has to be cause for concern.

He had a perfect trip behind a perfect set up to boot.

Not impressed, we will see.

Stephen Alicknovic said...

Sounds like a bunch of redboards to me...Hey good call on Kodiak though