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Friday, April 23, 2010

Two For the Trial

As this reader mentioned, those looking for some closers in the Derby will sure be rooting for Eightyfiveinafifty to win Saturday's Derby Trial. Fans of horses like Sidney's Candy who, I do still believe, will be on or near the lead, hope that he fades in the stretch like the NJ Devils. What can you say....seems like every year we see at least one horse who appears to at least some of us that they're being pushed beyond their limits to satisfy their connections' egos. This colt is very green, and didn't look to me like a horse who wanted to go much further as he was finishing up in the seven furlong Bay Shore. His dosage index is a sky-high 8.33, and there ain't much on the catalog page as they say.

Pleasant Prince will also use the Trial to try and qualify (it would seem that they would both need to earn the full winner's share), and owner Ken Ramsey explained:

“I’d like to be part of it.....I’m getting a little long in the tooth, I’ll be 75 this November, and who knows when I’ll get this chance again. If we get in, we’re going, and if not, we’ll lick our chops and wait for another day.” [Thoroughbred Times]
Well, I won't quibble in this case; Ramsey plays the game at all levels and puts in a lot of money, so he's entitled as long as the horse is up to it. And I'm actually a bit intrigued by this colt, trained by the red-hot Wesley Ward (six winners in his last seven starters, at Gulfstream and Keeneland). Let's forget the Keeneland race, which can of course be discarded due to the surface. Up to that point he had a nice improving pattern; in fact, he had improved his Beyer each race of his career, culminating in his game and narrow second in the Florida Derby, a race in which he got a hot pace to close into and earned a Beyer of 99 which actually would put him in the upper echelon if he made the Derby.

Pleasant Prince also has some intriguing bloodlines despite being by an obscure unraced son of AP Indy who stands in Indiana for $1000. With a loaded dosage index of 2.40, he's out of a Pleasant Tap mare, actually shares the same 4th dam with his grandsire; and this is (therefore) also the distaff family of the Preakness winner Summer Squall; as well as the Belmont winner Lemon Drop Kid, and the distance loving multiple graded winner Christiecat. Seems like the type who could be one of those big price horses who gets a race that falls apart and sneaks onto the bottom of the exotics like the ones El Angelo mentioned....maybe like Don't Get Mad, a closer who won the Derby Trial before rallying for a close 4th in the ultimate fallen apart Derby, won by Giacomo in 2005.

- It wasn't long after I mocked the NTRA website for its tiny replay screen that they got their act together and joined the modern age. The website of the National Hockey League is a good model for further improvement with its vast array of video options. I especially like the Top Moments page from which you can choose from a healthy menu of various highlights arranged by date. While I could do without the slow motion replay of the Flyers' Ian Laperriere blocking a slapshot with his face; I did especially appreciate that they presented the complete replay of a wild and wacky ten minute stretch without a whistle during the first OT of the thrilling Bruins-Sabres Game 4 on Wednesday night.


Anonymous said...

I would root against both these horses except for the fact that they horse they will likely bump from the field is the even more undeserving Homeyboykris, with IEAH using his presence to sell even more shares this week so I hope one of them win, preferable Ramsey over Contessa since PP actually has some right to run.

Whose brilliant idea was it to run Pleasant Prince in the Blue Grass?? Should have been on dirt, somewhere.

And he already has a runner in the race so what is so urgent about Prince running here on short rest other than to keep someone else out?

Does not say much for Dean's Kitten's chances.

I used to be totally against further limiting the field size but am now beginning to see the wisdom.

Anonymous said...

It's a great point about Deans kitten. I though the same thing, and I'm curious if a scenario could come up where they could scratch that one to get PP in the field if need be.


Anonymous said...

I haven't looked at the race on paper yet, but my guess at this point is that Conveyance will be on the lead. He's plenty quick, and I don't think he's ever NOT been on the lead during his entire career. Line of David is another possibility, of course.

ballyfager said...

The alibi for Pleasant Prince is that he didn't like the Keeneland surface in the Blue Grass. Look at his Kee workout of Apr. 4 and then try to tell me that.

If Eightyfiveinafifty wins they plan on running him back next week? They all get Derby fever don't they.

The Derby trial is not a two horse race.

Anonymous said...

Jess Jackson on Rachel from DRF:

"She's happy at Churchill," Jackson said. "Lexington is her home, but Churchill is her favorite track and she's surely giving us every sign of being ready to run. She's going to need another race before she really defines herself the way she did early last year but I think she's 85 percent to 90, maybe 95, right now."

85 percent? Get the fuck out of here. So you were like 65 percent before the last race? She loses again for sure.


Anonymous said...

Nice to have a short priced bet against on the Oaks card.

Now if I could only figure out the Oaks....

ballyfager said...

Eskenderya is out. Which is a shame because I thought he was an excellent bet against.

And to the people who were talking about him as the next Triple Crown winner - grow up.

DiscreetPicks said...

Second year in a row the favorite scratched within a week of the race. Several nice future-book tickets up in flames, no doubt.

Dirty. said...

There is more than meets the eye here. I suspect Mr. Zayat will jump off a building.

Anyways, it sucks because I won't get 10-1 on Sidney now. But it sure makes my "All Others" a little easier.

DiscreetPicks said...

I don't think Sidney's Candy was ever going to be 10/1. I nearly fell over when i heard Battaglia say that. Still though, the odds on everyone else in the race just took a major hit. And LAL/SC do figure to be the ones most affected.

Which leads to a question, which horse who ran his last race on dirt will take the most money? Would i be too far out of line if i thought it might be the Sunland Derby winner Endorsement?

Anonymous said...

DP, the filly will be the third choice if she goes.

Otherwise, yes, Endorsement is the logical wiseguy horse of those that made their last start on dirt.