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Monday, July 18, 2011

Monday Morning Notes

Coulda/woulda/shoulda mentioned (or picked) Aprilmayjune ($7.40), the winner of the final race of the Belmont spring/summer meet. For one thing, it was kind of a hunch bet since it will be Julyaugustseptember before another race is run there. And for another, you had to figure that if trainer Seth Benzel shipped the daughter of Offlee Wild downstate from Saratoga, where she's been training going back at least to May, for the last race of the Belmont meet, he must have thought it was a pretty opportune spot.

Well, what can you do....had to make a train to meet the Head Chef out at Jones Beach (long story), and I don't generally bother picking morning line favorites anyway. However, that seems a fair price in retrospect, considering the way the horse fit on class. Always used to believe that you get overlays on the favorites in the last race because everyone's shopping for longshots trying to get even. Don't know however if that's as meaningful anymore here in the simulcasting age, when the last race for many, no matter where they are wagering, means the last race at Penn National or Evangeline or maybe even Australia.

Zito got his second winner of the meet with Banker's Buy ($11) in the state-bred Reno Stakes. Hard to come up with this one based on his form to that point. Like Zito's other winner, Tuvia's Force, this one shipped down from Saratoga. After his 2-for-31 meet (though 2 for his last 3), one might think that Zito will do better upstate based on the law of percentages alone, no less his usual success there.

Linda Rice won the 8th with returnee Sextant ($5.90) and thus tied Pletcher for the training title at the meet. That's not the first time that they have been involved in a dramatic duel for a training title - a regular Alydar and Affirmed, those two. It was also the 1000th training win (with an asterisk) for Ms. Rice, so accomplishing it in that fashion was a little like Derek Jeter. A little.