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Thursday, April 21, 2011

Thursday News and Notes

Bob Baffert seems to be a bit delirious with Derby fever too. He won't run Jaycito in the Lexington on Saturday, but still intends to start him in the Derby. This colt has a lifetime best Beyer of 88, which came in his lone win, in the Norfolk on the Cushion track at Hollywood last fall. He was, for some reason, made the favorite off that effort in his lone start as a three-year old, a distant second at Santa Anita in the San Felipe (in which he admittedly ran better than I thought he would). It would be unprecedented for a horse to win the Derby off a single start at three, and would obviously do nothing constructive towards the future of the so-called Road to the Triple Crown.

Baffert also has not ruled out starting The Factor despite his disappointing performance at Oaklawn, and said he will just let the horse wing it on the lead. We can all guess how well that is likely to work out. Perhaps Midnight Interlude is his best hope, coming off his Santa Anita Derby win with a 98 Beyer which actually makes him one of the fastest horses in the Derby field. Sure, he never raced as a two-year old, but how long do you think that "rule" is going to last?

- In the 7th at Keeneland on Thursday, Sam's Bliss (5-1) makes her local debut with a win on turf and a 444 Tomlinson number which indicates that maybe she'll like the Poly. Daughter of War Front disappointed as the favorite off a freshening in an off-the-turf affair at Fair Grounds, but lagged behind in what was a slow paced 5 1/2 furlong dash. Prior was a fine second in her first against winners close behind Wicked Deed, who then won a four horse overnight stakes; and ahead of Lovenotlost, who has since won three in a row including two restricted FG stakes. (4th place finisher Sotogenic also won a stakes in her next race, albeit a restricted one at Evangeline in a 56 Beyer [albeit against males]). Sam's Bliss also switches back to jockey Miguel Mena, who rode her in that good second as well as in her maiden win on grass. Erma Lee (8-1) graduated in a seven furlong turf race at Belmont last fall and has some nice local works for her Poly debut. Salty Strike (2-1) was a close third in a G3 stakes last year, but we know just much graded stakes status means in two-year old races in June these days. Seems a likely underlay in her first try on a non-dirt surface.

The G3 Appalachian (8th race), on grass for three-year old fillies, marks the return of Winter Memories (9-5), second in the BC Juvie Fillies Turf at even money. She's likely to get bet down in that vicinity here. Never know how a filly will return at age three, and with a couple of other impressive juveniles, New Normal (8-1) and Ruthenia (6-1), also making their sophomore debuts and, in the case of the latter, getting stuck on the outside, let's take a shot with a couple of fillies with recent form. Gotta love the way Diva Ash (12-1) handled both facing winners and stretching out to a route for the first time in her second career effort, at Gulfstream, last month. She was forced to swing a good 4-5 wide around the turn for home, and rallied strongly to miss by just a length to Naples Bay, a two-for-two $350K daughter of Giant's Causeway who would likely be second choice here. Daughter of Tapit, out of a Boundary mare, has a bunch of grassy stakes winners in her distaff family, including Bakharoff, a European juvenile champion. Desormeaux wins at a 23% clip for trainer Dale Romans. Smart Sting (5-1) rallied smartly at Gulfstream last month to win in her first try against winners, off a layoff for Roger Attfield (no surprise there). Daughter of Smart Strike is out of the champion grass mare Perfect Sting.

- And yes, it's late....or rather early Thursday morning, having gotten home late after watching the Rangers blow a 3-0 third period lead and succumb to the Caps in double OT. (So please excuse any typos in this post.) Don't really understand, nor ever want to know, exactly how that puck went in. Sure looked like it got a lot of help from the home team. The Blueshirts now trail 3 games to 1 with their second OT loss of the series. Hopefully, this resilient young team can bounce back better than I, as they have done all year.

9 Comments:

Anonymous said...

It wouldn't be unprecedented to win the Derby in the second start of the year. Old Rosebud in 1914 and Brokers Tip in 1933 did it and there are probably more. There are probably more who won the Derby in their first start of the year.

Not the Rangers first double OT loss in the Stanley Cup playoffs either.
RG

alan said...

OK RG, how about 'unprecedented in recent times.' Or in our lifetimes (mine, at least.)

Anonymous said...

Caps Fan: I was ready to fire Boudreau, and turn the TV off. Second period Rangers were buzzing around listless Caps. Second OT period just the reverse. Both teams got fluke goals. Ist Ranger goal off Cap defenders skates and Caps winner. Tough series, tough to lose.

alan said...

Caps fan - the way the Rangers dominated you guys in that 2nd period was truly astounding....truth is, we could/should have been up 6-0! Thought your goalie played an outstanding game.

Anonymous said...

This Baffert guy is so full of himself. Jaycito has one start this year, a bad foot and hasn't worked since April 2nd. Give me a break!

Anonymous said...

And who does Jaycito have to beat? Where are the monsters with 105-110 beyers that he can't touch? There are no standouts in this crop, which means any nag that might be able to get the distance can win. -jp

Anonymous said...

Yeah! And I have a jaycito future, toss him in that gate.

Figless said...

And I have an Astrology future, win today at Big A and run him back in two weeks!

Figless said...

Back in Ole Rosebud days most Derby runners were making their fifth start of the year, or more.

Not sure how they managed to train horses back then without figs to tell them when to run.