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Saturday, July 28, 2012

Saturday Morning Notes

Didn't do much handicapping for today due to the uncertainty around which races, if any other than the Diana, would remain on the grass, especially with additional rain in the forecast (which could effect main track conditions too).   [All races are on the turf as of now, surprise!]  The fact that a flash flood warning has been issued for the area from 11 AM Saturday to the same time Sunday cannot be a great sign.  Won't go into my Polytrack spiel here, but I wouldn't be spending quite as much time watching the green blobs with the yellow and red thunderstorm cells move east on

Did take a look at the Jim Dandy.  I'd generally be amenable to trying to beat a horse like Alpha (5-2), as I'm generally inclined to take a skeptical stance on these Triple Crown horses coming back after flopping in the Derby.  This one however looks tough to beat on paper as he seeks to become the 6th Derby starter to win his next start; not only because he simply looks like the class, but also in large part because I think the main contenders are all flawed in this spot.  Neck 'n Neck (3-1) comes in off two triple-digit Beyer romps at Churchill, but all three of his career wins have come over that track, with not that much else to show.  Teeth of the Dog (5-1) has excelled in his one-turn races; Liaison (7-2) has done so on synthetic surfaces.   I had Atigun (8-1) in the Belmont, but that was the Belmont, a race I don't consider to be a harbinger of future performance at standard distances.

A couple of the others look a little interesting to me.  Prospective (12-1) has bounced back from his Derby debacle with two straight wins, and generally has an excellent record in two-turn dirt races not at Churchill Downs.  Fast Falcon (10-1) may be the horse other than the favorite to have the most upside.  He has successfully stepped right up from his graduation with two excellent stakes efforts, and the son of Awesome Again out of a Pleasant Tap half-sister to the G1 winner Pool Land could like the stetchout to two turns.  His trainer Nick Zito is in a Saratoga funk thus far, and hasn't won a race in New York in his last 29 tries.  But I think Fast Falcon and Prospective are two that can provide some value in the exotics.  Of course, if the track is a quagmire, all bets are off and I'll be long onto Del Mar by that point.

 - Two winners for Shug on Thursday.  Sea Island ($33.60) paid that price in her first try around two turns; daughter of Pulpit out of a Pleasant Colony mare is a full sister to Shug's Peter Pan winner Sightseeing. while Abaco ($7.70) is by Giant's Causeway out of the graded stakes winner Cat Cay who, in turn, is out of Cadillacing, the full sister to the great Easy Goer.

Chad Brown now sits atop the trainer standings with five winners from 20 starters after sweeping the late double on Thursday and adding another on Friday.  Lightning Sound ($6.70), who capped off that DD, was taken by Linda Rice for 35k.  Son of Langfuhr brought back $80,000 in three starts (including the claim proceeds) since Brown claimed him for 50K in May for Michael Dubb.  Guess one could grind out a living that way.  Street Life ($6.30) splashed home to win the Curlin on Friday in his first start since the Belmont; he's the second horse from that race to win his next start, the other being My Adonis.

Centring ($3.10) got Tom Albertrani on the board in the 3rd on Friday; Darley homebred is by AP Indy out of the multiple G1 winner Composure.

I know that all the people who'd been pissing money away on Pletcher first-time juveniles must have been thrilled if they didn't have Park City ($15.60), the only first-timer in the 5th; he was 3-1 in the morning line.  He's by Harlan's Holiday out of Pleasant Colony mare, and his second dam is a half to the speedy and ill-fated A Phenomenon, who won the 1983 Jim Dandy for Angel Cordero and Angel Penna (both Jr.).  And with that, we've come full circle, so I'll just say - best of luck and have a great day!