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Friday, April 06, 2012

The Wood

In the Wood, Street Life (4-1) has sure relished the extra ground since stretching out to two turns on the inner track after floundering in a sprint first time out. Subsequent graduation was not without its obstacles, as the son of Street Sense had to alter course sharply on two occasions. Stepping up directly into stakes company, he seemed hopelessly beaten turning for home, and even halfway down the stretch before he took off like a shot to catch Copy My Swagger. That one was trying a route for the first time, so one could quibble about who Street Life beat; but he did set a slow pace, and has an interesting pedigree for distance. And besides, that was a pretty decent field behind those two; I'd match them up with the horses that Alpha (5-2) beat in the Gotham for sure. Out of a Grindstone half sister to graded route winner Brilliant, this is also the distaff family of the G1 winner Furiously. Well suited to continue improving here at nine furlongs, and race figures to have a lively pace for him to close into.

My Adonis (8-1) comes off his second place Withers finish to Hansen, who's just plain better than these, I think. Best races have come on tracks with at least a bit of moisture, and there won't be a trace of that on Saturday for sure. Still, he's returned at age three with two efforts faster on the Beyer scale than anything he ran last year, and always love to see improvement from two to three like that. Will use top and bottom in exactas with top choice, and hope the top two morning line choices run out...

...which could be wishful thinking, but worth a shot here I believe. Alpha (5-2) is two months and about a dozen changes in plan from his last race, which I guess doesn't mean all that much these days. He won the Gotham easily, but, as mentioned above, didn't beat a field anymore accomplished than did Street Life in his last. Gemologist (8-5) is quick, unbeaten, and scary for Pletcher. Not only that, he showed in the Kentucky Jockey Club last year that he can stalk the pace and win too. But his one race this year wasn't much more than a workout in a paceless field on a wet track he's bred to like. Should be busy up front with The Lumber Guy on his outside, Teeth of the Dog and My Adonis to his inside. And I think he's going to be way, way overbet here.

- Quickly, in today's Transylvania on opening day at Keeneland, I was gonna stand against the morning line favorite Monastic (5-2) until I took a look at the replay of his last two races. I don't generally come on here to pick favorites. But man, this horse is a monster - not a surprise of course given that he's a son of Rock Hard Ten...this is daddy's boy! He just towered over his hapless opponents in his last race at two, at CD last November; and rolled by them after being caught in an uncomfortable spot throughout the backstretch. He faced similar traffic, pinned back of the field on the rail amongst horses, in his three-year old debut last month at Tampa. This time, he had too much to do with the pace scenario against him, but was still impressive rallying for third nonetheless. I think it will help this massive colt to not start from the rail as he did in his last two, and I wouldn't want to be in his way once he starts rolling with Leparoux today with an extra sixteenth mile to run this time. Trainer Thomas Proctor is hot, with four winners and two very close thirds with his last nine starters. Tough field though; State of Play (3-1) returns to grass for Graham Motion and gets Johnny V, who wins at a 30% clip for the barn; and Icon Ike (7-2) was a million wide rallying to beat weaker in a shorter race at Fair Grounds.


Figless said...

Like many have been waiting for Shackleford to turn back to a sprint, but he could not have picked a worse spot. He was done early in last, but has worked extremely fast since and I expect the connections to send him hard early, which obviously sets up the late runs of the logical favorites.

Going to play him in EX with Calebs Posse whose last was obviously a pure prep.

Jackson Bend is formidable but can't play everyone.

Will play DD with My Adonis into Shack and Caleb, should perhaps offer more value than the Win pool.

Good luck and enjoy.

Anonymous said...

Why no posts lately?

Anonymous said...

Well Alan, you picked a strange month to go on hiatus, brau. -jp

jk said...

This could be the future....

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