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Saturday, April 20, 2013

Saturday Morning Notes

In the 9th at Keeneland, the Lexington Stakes, General Election (15-1) attempts to rebound from a dismal effort in the Spiral.  Prior to that, he won the John Battaglia with an extremely wide closing move, earning a solid speed figure in the process.  Giant Finish, who finished a half length behind, went on to run a solid 3rd in the Spiral.  General Election didn't fare nearly as well; quite possible he bounced off the big effort in a race just 21 days later.  Now, he comes off a 28 day break - similar to the 29 days before the Battaglia - and shows a snappy half mile workout over the Keeneland track, as opposed to the sluggish one that preceded the Spiral.  Son of Harlan's Holiday has some turf pedigree in his female family (and, as I've often said, I think the Keeneland Poly is virtually interchangeable with grass form-wise); he traces back directly to the French champion Madelia (4th dam).  A lot of potential speed inside of him, and if it plays out that way (and who knows, really, with so many surface variables in play), this horse could benefit and bounce back.  Cerro (5-1) chased the lightning pace in the Fountain of Youth, and tries Poly for the first time.  Third dam Sex Appeal is the dam of the champion and prodigious sire El Gran Senor.   G1 winner Pure Fun (7-2) has raced well on the Turfway Poly, Cushion Track, dirt, and grass; filly tries the boys today and ranks the horse to beat.

In the 7th, Queen of Mambo (7-2) couldn't quite seal the deal in close thirds in a couple of tough turf routes in her last two.  Daughter of Elusive Quality has been in the money all four starts; two each on dirt and grass.  Cuts back to seven furlongs for good route-to-sprint barn, should handle this Poly course fine, and Prado is four-for-nine for this barn.  Clear Danger (10-1) was clearly crappy in her last two, but ran a close second in a fast race at this distance over this surface last fall, beating some pretty good horses in Ire, Spun Cap, and Lady Diva Ga Ga.  Could rebound at a price.

 - In the 1st at Aqueduct on Thursday, Run a Dubb Dubb ($67) edged Talent N Passion, the 4-5 favorite from the Rudy Rodriguez barn.  The winner, not surprisingly, was originally owned by NYRA board member Michael Dubb before being claimed for 50K in his second start.  I'm mentioning this less because the horse's winning trainer, Randi Persaud, has been showing signs of emerging from a slump of several years' duration (and he had another winner on Friday), and more because of Dubb's testifying on Rodriguez' behalf at the show trial staged by the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission earlier in the week.  Just seems rather odd to me that a member of the New NYRA board, charged as it is with restoring the integrity of racing in the state, would take such an active role in the defense of a trainer with multiple medication infractions, and one who may very well end up in a legal tussle with the Gaming Commission and/or NYRA over the latest accusation of such.  I'll leave it at "rather odd" for now.