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Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Handicapping Post

In the 8th at Keeneland, Marlin Mission (5-1) returns off a layoff off another layoff for trainer Dale Romans, just 2 for 24 at this meet.  One of those winners was Tapitsfly taking the G1 Just a Game, and Marlin Mission is a 3 yo half-sister, by Strategic Mission, to that multiple G1 turf (and BC Juvie Turf) winner.  She's shown promise in her five career starts; but, as mentioned, hasn't been on the track much lately.  It was off a four month layoff that she graduated at Churchill in her last, and that was 116 days ago.  It was a classy performance in that win off a layoff similar to this one; three wide on the first turn, she sat patiently and professionally before bursting through a seam midstretch and winning well under her own power and earning a career high figure.  And she returns for her debut against winners with a series of works spaced about a week apart, the same pattern Romans used to train her up to the Churchill race.  Tight call on expected price in a really tough heat.  A Time to Love (9-2) blazed her way to the lead in very quick fractions this level in her last, and lasted over all of them but one, the improving Mott trainee Lily the Pink.  Not much else in the way of speed; she doesn't really even need better rating to hold on shortening up to a mile in this spot.  Warm Glow (7-2) trounced a weak state-bred maiden field at Parx after just missing against maiden claimers at the Spa.  Faces much better here, but owns the best figures in the field (at least the numbers that I'm looking at).

In the 1st at Belmont, Colossal Gift (4-1) seemed to find a suitable level and distance in his last, his first for trainer Rick Dutrow, sharp of late on the track, not so much in the courthouse.  The state's high court threw out his latest challenge to the 10 year ban which is 40 times harsher than the harshest penalties we usually see around here.  If that doesn't qualify as 'arbitrary,' I'm not sure what does.  Look, the guy had this coming, no doubt, as much for his flippant attitude towards his repeated suspensions as for those suspensions themselves.  But, as I've posted before, (and I refer you also to the article that post was based on), Dutrow's legal team's point that Racing and Wagering Board Chairman John Sabini had a conflict of interest due to his membership in Racing Commissioners International, whose chairman was loudly calling for the trainer's permanent ban, seems a valid one worthy of discussion in a court of law.  The New York court felt otherwise dismissing it outright, at least on constitutional grounds, and Dutrow's team will try again with a broader appeal.

Back to this race, Colossal Gift rallied solidly for third behind King David, who only won the G1 Jamaica in his subsequent try, in that last race against a strong pace grain after the prior connections seemed to struggle to find the horse's niche; seems set for further improvement here.  Adirondack Dancer (5-1) drops in class and returns from a freshening for Linda Rice; won off a similar layoff in April.  Never On Time (3-1), a $225,000 yearling purchase for Repole, drops in for this 35K tag for the Toddster, probably the horse to beat here.  Best of luck and have a great day. 


El Angelo said...

How quiet is the run up to the Breeders Cup this year? I feel like even the Form is doing a crummy job of getting the hype train going.

jk said...

Killing N.Y.’s horses for an extra buck

The shame of Aqueduct

Harl said...

El Angelo...

I think there is a lack of hype leading up to the Breeders' Cup because it lacks a great story line. There is no ZENYATTA. There is no GOLDIKOVA. There is no I'LL HAVE ANOTHER. You look through the pre-entries and there's not a lot of interesting horses for the casual handicapper.

What are this year's top stories? WISE DAN ducking the weak competition in the Classic to run in the Mile? ROYAL DELTA looking to repeat in the Distaff (it will always be the Distaff no matter what)? GAME ON DUDE looking to prove he is a California specialist?

I'm having trouble finding a solid story that the media can hype. Fortunately, that doesn't change the fact that there will be more than a handful of big prices on Nov 2nd and 3rd.