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Saturday, July 09, 2011

Belmont Saturday

Sometimes....or actually I should say....on a rare occasion, everything just happens to work out. In the third on Friday, 1-2 Understatement got left at the gate, and the rest of the field went out and set a suicidal pace, making it an EZ game for Tuvia's Force ($11.80). Nice to get lucky sometimes.

Tough break for NYRA with the horrible weather for the second twilight card. Besides the ruined aesthetics, five turf races was washed away, leaving two three-horse fields, and two with four. So, this is when I go into my usual ranting about how if all other things were merely equal, synthetic tracks would be worthwhile for the sole reason that they don't get sloppy. And I can't think of a track that could benefit more from that than....almost afraid to say it and offend the racing gods and purists....S-S-S-Saratoga!

- In the 6th today, a wildly competitive state-bred seven furlong affair on the grass (labeled good), Karakorum Legend (6-1) returns from a lengthy layoff for the hot Linda Rice barn. Can't give you exact recent numbers because the Form's site is struggling this morning and the trainer stats are not available, but she's 21% on the meet, and 22% with 180+ day layoffs. Five-year old son of Mutakddim returned from a similar layoff to score in similar company over this course last year. When last seen in the fall, he was holding his own very nicely in open optional claiming allowance company, and I think that gives him a clear class edge over the rest of these state-breds. For example, the morning line favorite Compliance Officer, who is coming off a win at this same class level in his first start for Bruce Brown, and is thus the horse to beat, was way up the track when he last tried that company. Karakorum Legend does look like he may prefer the turf firm, but the sun is shining brilliantly, so let's still take a shot at or around that morning line. Westside Corral (7-2) is 2-2-0 in four starts in state-bred grass races for Clement; shortens up a bit here, which might not help. Strong Impact (9-2) closed sharply off a hot pace to miss by a nose to Compliance Office at six furlongs in their last efforts, but, still, looks as if may prefer that shorter route. Best of luck and have a great day.


El Angelo said...

Putting a synthetic track for sloppy/off the turf days is like building a dome at Yankee Stadium to avoid 6 rainouts a year. Not remotely worth it.

Anonymous said...

Oh. And thanks for making me aware of Off! Good f'n stuff.


Figless said...

AQU is the only NYRA track that should be converted, and not because of off the turf races but rather to provide variety during the long winter months.

The current inner dirt should be converted to whichever AWT is most proven in cold weather, and the outer should be converted to the current "winterized" dirt surface, of course with a much needed new base and modern drainage system installed.

This way NYRA could run a variety of distances in the winter months, the Wood could remain on true dirt, and they could card 3-4 AWT races per day all winter, keeping a number of the turf bred animals in NY for the winter while providing nuance for the handicappers.

Field size would increase and the product would be more interesting from a handicapping perspective.

El Angelo said...

I think the idea of keeping turf-bred horses in NY in the winter is a little wishful thinking: if they're that bad, they'll be here anyway, but if they're good, they'll go to Gulfstream or Tampa.

Figless said...

I think you underestimate the number of turf horses that are laid up for the winter, the whole midlantic circuit, many of the NY Breds etc. There are only two turf courses in FLA vs. about ten on the east coast in the summer.

With the forthcoming purse increase and AWT plenty of AWT and turf horses will be running here.

Of course the proven good horses will be in FLA, but the vast majority of ordinary turf and awt horses will run for the money.

Johnnie said...

How ofter do horses have sex?