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Friday, September 14, 2012

Belmont Notes

In the 2nd at Belmont on Thursday, Cheechako ($13) shipped here from Ellis Park and won for trainer Ian Wilkes, who had a rough Saratoga meeting at 1 for 22. According to our worldly and wordy local chartcaller, Cheechako (and try saying that ten times) was given a couple of shots [..with the whip, not the hypodermic] from the right side spinning into the lane along the outer edge of the three path...[somewhere I suppose near that nefarious void on the journey towards the four path]...and kicked into full gear, overhauled the pair of Darleys [never before seen a chartcaller refer to a horse by its nationality] with a nice display of speed to be the leader by the eighth pole.."

This is a three-year old daughter of the 2006 Horse of the Year Invasor; and that one has sure been quiet as a sophomore stallion. Nary a stakes winner to be found amongst his progeny thus far. Cheechako is out of a Boston Harbor mare; her third dam is Dear Birdie, the dam of Birdstone and Bird Town. And So Long Birdie. And Mountain Bird, and Honey Bird and Bird Charm and Bird Legacy and Bird Cage (the dam of Caged Glory) and Birdshot and Love Dove and Tweeter. And boy, that last one has a different connotation now than it did back just in 2006, which is like yesterday in the scheme of things.

The aforementioned Darleys were favored; it was an entry including first-time starter Well Received. This homebred is by Any Given Saturday out of a Quiet American mare who is a full sister to Cara Rafaela, a multiple graded-stakes winner in her own right, and the dam of Horse of the Year champion 3yo Bernardini. And now that we've mentioned Bernardini and Invasor, how about we watch the 2006 Breeders Cup Classic between the two. (Sorry about that Fox-like opening music.]

  - It was kind of a slow Saratoga meet for trainer Linda Rice considering her success there in the past; eight winners from 65 starters over all. However, three of those winners came on the last weekend of the meet; and she's been live thus far at Belmont with a couple of seconds and a third from six starters. In today's 8th, Karakorum Legend (3-1) returns off a layoff, which has often been the case for this infrequently raced six year old son of Mutakddim, and he generally handles it well. Drops in class, comes off a solid series of works culminating in a solid five furlong move on Labor Day, and has the best figures sprinting on the turf in the race (at least according to the numbers I'm looking at). Will need to utilize his tactical speed to stay close to Marquet Cat (9-5). That one set some blazing fractions in his last and just failed to hold on against Strong Impact, who would likely be favored here; was claimed by Jacobson and gets Ramon, all of which makes him the logical one to catch here. Best of luck and have a great day.