I was far too depressed after the Jets game on Sunday to bother watching races when I got home. And when a reader (and fellow Gang Green sufferer) alerted me to Blind Luck's win in the Hollywood Starlet, I merely babbled unenthusiastically about synthetics and her having an uninspiring pedigree. But seeing is believing as they say, so check it out if you haven't already. Vic Stauffer almost fell out of the booth as she quickly bolted away from the field in the stretch. She came home in 30.52 seconds for the final 2 1/2 furlongs (a pretty good time, but perhaps an indication that there was an illusory element to her dominance attributed to the others tiring after a quick pace), and earned a Beyer of 93; that as opposed to the 83 earned by Lookin At Lucky on Saturday. (Though I wouldn't jump to any conclusions given the drastically different paces in those races...and we've seen how meaningless these figs can be on the artificial stuff anyway.)
Blind Luck is the only graded stakes winner for the first crop sire Pollard's Vision, currently ranked #3 on the rookie stallion list (with this filly accounting for roughly half of his $1.4 million earned). Here's one stallion whose stud fee is actually holding steady for 2010, at $10,000. About that pedigree, a speed-favoring dosage of 5.22; and the only familiar name under the first three generations of her distaff side is Chas Conerly, a popular sprinter in the early 80's here who won the Fall Highweight when it was a Grade 2 stakes. You have to go back to her sixth dam to find classic names such as Honest Pleasure and his full brother For The Moment (plus that dam herself, the Irish Oaks winner Suntop). Still, we can certainly look forward to her next start, perhaps in the Las Virgenes in Feb.
Discreet Picks emailed me about Tiz Chrome, who won a 6 1/2 furlong two-year old stakes on the Cash Call Futurity undercard (and has now won on dirt and synthetic in two career starts). Baffert also trains this one, and he called him a "pretty serious horse." Tiz Chrome earned a Beyer of 97. He's by Tiznow out of a Woodman mare (in turn out of the Grade 1 winner Fantastic Look). who's a half-sister to the G1 (turf) winner Designed For Luck.
Baffert also unveiled Clutch Player on Saturday, an impressive winner in his debut, also earning a 97 Beyer. This is a two-year old son of Malibu Moon, out of an unraced Awesome Again mare. And the barn had a 4th juvenile winner on the day in Quiet Invader, who ran a virtually identical time to Clutch Player, but yet earned a Beyer of only 85. If someone can please explain that to me I would appreciate it.
- According to the New York Times, Steve Wynn was the anonymous buyer of a painting by Rembrandt for a record $33.2 million at a Christie's auction in London last week.
This time around Mr. Wynn has gone quiet. Reached by telephone on Thursday, he said only, “I’m not discussing it, I’m not acknowledging my paintings anymore.”Maybe the reason he withdrew from the Aqueduct bidding was so that he could invest his money more wisely in this way. And perhaps he'll be more careful with this one.
On Dec. 8, the day of the auction, though, Mr. Wynn called several old-master dealers and Rembrandt scholars to ask their opinion of the work, “Portrait of a Man, Half-Length, With His Arms Akimbo” (1658), experts said. [NYT]