RSS Feed for this Blog

Friday, March 15, 2013

Rebel Rebel. - - Rebel. Rebel?

Baffert goes for his 4th straight Rebel Stakes at Oaklawn, and he's done it in a variety of ways. Lookin at Lucky rallied from mid-pack in 2010; The Factor won in front-running fashion in 2011; and Secret Circle stalked and came on to win last year.  Based on his romp in the Southwest Stakes, if Super Ninety Nine (3-2) is to extend the trainer's streak, he'll be doing it in Factor fashion. However, he has indeed shown the ability to sit off the lead and win, as he did in his two-turn debut two races back.  He might very well have to do that here, breaking from the outside post as he is, and with ample of speed inside him; Oxbow (4-1) and Title Contender (5-1) immediately inside, and Delhomme (7-2) back for the Toddster first time out since tiring to 3rd in the Remsen.  Baffert's colt looks fastest on paper but will have a tougher time than he did on a speed-favoring sloppy track in the Southwest.

Horse I find interesting here is Treasury Bill (5-1) (coupled with Title Contender), shipping in from California for trainer Ron Ellis; a rare journey for him to Hot Springs, Arkansas.  Last time he had a horse at Oaklawn was Buzzards Bay in the Oaklawn Handicap in 2008.  Ha, Buzzards Bay, remember him?  I was looking at his past performances and recalled the big wide move he made on the turn in the Giacomo Derby in 2005 before sputtering to 5th.  Eight years ago!  Then I thought, holy crap, I was writing this blog then!  Wrote about Buzzards Bay here that spring, and, reading it now, had to laugh upon reading: With the sport trying to clean up its image, as highlighted on the front page of the Times today.....

.....And indeed, there it was, eight years ago, on the Monday before the Derby, Joe Drape on the front page. writing about '''juiced' thoroughbreds and ineffective attempts at regulation."  Eight years and many front page stories later, the big debate is over a silly symbolic ban on Lasix for Breeders' Cup day.  And, on a far more constructive note, finally an effort, albeit only a regional one, to standardize medication rules.

Well, anyway, enough of that.  This site is declared to be Lasix-free.  Back to Treasury Bill, (who, like the other nine Rebel entries, will be running on Lasix) is coming off an impressive second to another good Baffert runner in Shakin It Up in the seven furlong San Vincente, his first effort against winners.  Chart says four wide into the stretch, but I find that conservative; and he closed gamely despite having pulled jockey Joe Talamo to a 22.21 second quarter.  Ellis said after the race: "I didn't really think he could compete with these kind of horses going seven furlongs, so I'm very happy." (BRISnet) Now he stretches out to two turns, and the trainer (and I) think he should love it.  Son of Lemon Drop Kid is out of Wow Me Free, a stakes winner at a mile and a quarter by Haskell winner (and Derby runner-up) Menifee.  Third dam Triple Wow and her daughter Alywow were both multiple stakes winners at a distance.  Treasury Bill is inbred 4x5 to Buckpasser and checks in solidly in the dosage department.

In the preceding race, the G3 Azeri, My Miss Aurelia (6-5) makes her 2013 debut, but runs into a really sharp mare in Don't Tell Sophia (3-2), a perfect two-for-two since taking up residence at Oaklawn this year.  She hasn't faced anything like the caliber of the 2011 juvenile filly champ, but I watched those races, and man, she dusted those horses with striking ease.  Think she's gonna be tough to beat.

 - Guns in the news again in New York.  Another random shooting, and another step to try and control them.  This one can't be that controversial; I mean, who would oppose something as sensible and logical as background checks, as at retail stores, for gun buyers at gun shows?  Oh yeah, these guys.  Well, in any event, Saratoga hosts a gun show each year, and some Saratogians expressed their displeasure with this:


Figless said...

I LOVE Don't Tell Sophia in this spot, she was as impressive in her last two wins as you will ever see.

Whether this Congaree mare has improved with maturity or just loves this surface, or both, doesn't matter in this spot, she catches the champ when vulnerable off the layoff and is a solid bet to continue the winning streak.

ballyfager said...

Alan, I agree with your choice. Treasury Bill is the fastest horse in the race. His breeding would indicate that he should love two turns. I'll cover him with Delhomme.

Lomgshots I'll use in the gimmicks, Carve & Stormy Holiday.

Figless said...

Note overly familiar with Oaklawn but doesn't that surface favor speed, especially on big days? Food for thought.

Figless said...

Track was playing fair enough and TB's rabbit did his job, quick pace to close into but only Lucas' two horses did any running in the stretch.

Sophia showed her recent improvement was no fluke moved early into a slow pace to engage Aurelia, put that one away and looked home free but inexplicably tired late. Something wrong, I suspect? None of these will be a threat to Joyful Victory who looked super romping at SA.

steve in nc said...

Joyful Victory came into that race with a really positive Sheet pattern, and overall, has the look of a very healthy mare, with her few bounces coming on less than 4 weeks rest.

With her history of being able to repeat top efforts, fast #s (and there is still room for improvement on her sheet), ability to rate and success now at SA, she'd be a decent BC future book play.

Bright Thought looked even better but those are 3 big races close together. I hope Gutierrez gives him a break because he'll need to be at top form when the Euros ship in this fall.

Seems like handicappers of all stripes were talking up Treasury Bill and I'm hoping you guys stayed off him because of the resulting low price. Can't take those odds on a first-time-router in a big stakes. Easy for me to say because I only played SA.

steve in nc said...


I'm making room at home and I'd be happy to give my racing collection for free to anyone here.

It's about 2 dozen books that can take a player through all the different insights, including equine body language, pace, class, speed, form cycles, money management, Sheets, pedigree, contrarian, etc.

Authors are Beyer, Davidowitz,an almost complete Mark Cramer set (my favorites), Dave Litfin, Ragozin, Quinn, Dick Mitchell, Brohammer, and many others, with a few non-handicapping books like Harvey Pack's memoir, Cramer's novels, Seabiscuit, a Mack Miller biography and similar things thrown in.

I don't want to start mailing a few here and a few there. If you'd like the full library, I'll mail it to you Book Rate and that postage will be your only cost (looks like it'll be $13 or so - it's $.43 per pound).

If you like, I also have 11 Dick Francis novels (addictive) I can throw in (with postage for that added).

If you're interested, please post and I'll ask Alan to be our info conduit.