Through the magic of Twitter, the Mighty Forego himself pointed out that I haven't mentioned Goldencents here; and it's true. I've kinda lost interest in the Cali horses since Hear the Ghost got hurt. His past performances make a striking impression; a lot of 1s and 2s, nary a poor effort to be found, and the best last Beyer in the race. But I have my doubts about the quality of what he's run against out there; and though his dosage checks out, the son of In Mischief out of the middle distance star Banker's Gold doesn't have much on the catalog page. (Though if you go back to his 5th mare, she's the dam of Mostly Sunny, in turn the dam of the 1983 Derby winner Sunny's Halo). Most importantly, he runs fast early, not so fast late. And on top of that, he figures to be overbet, especially with the Rick Pitino connection. Not the profile of a horse I'm interested in as far as the Derby goes, so if he wins, I'll lose.
Mike Welsch is on the scene for the Form if you haven't seen, and filing daily workout reports. Not only do we get his in depth observations of the official timed workouts, but we also get the jogs, gallops, and anything that constitutes an appearance on the track.
Vyjack, a big, impressive-looking colt, looked very sharp Tuesday but was not quite as impressive Wednesday.Well, here I think we're getting squarely into "too much information" territory. Don't think we need quite that much day-to-day granularity. But the general impressions of the DRF clocker are surely worth following as we move along to the big day. Though most of the horses seem to be doing fine (as one might expect), so far he seems to be particularly impressed with Revolutionary; and the filly Close Hatches for those interested in the Oaks.
As reader August Song pointed out, the Toddster has been experimenting with blinkers on Palace Malice in the mornings (though Welsch reported that he didn't have them on Wednesday). He seemed to get distracted when he passed Rydilluc in the Blue Grass, and briefly switched back to his left lead. So I wasn't surprised to read the Pletcher is considering an equipment change. Agree with jp that he could be the wise guy horse. But even the 3rd and 4th choices figure to be like 7- or 8-1, doncha think?
- State Senator Malcolm Smith and his alleged co-conspirators naturally pleaded not-guilty to the charges that he tried to bribe his way onto the Republican ticket in the NYC mayoral race to be decided this year. Marcia Kramer reported for WCBS-TV that Smith has additionally been indicted on a new and even more troubling accusation:
— trying to obtain $100,000 from a government witness “to give to other state senators in an effort to win their support … for a state Senate leadership position,” according to court documents.I'd guess that there are some of those other ratty politicians - maybe perhaps some connected to the AEG affair - that might be more than a little nervous about that. Smith and the others have each been asked to provide a 150 GB storage device so that the prosecution can share the voluminous audio and video recordings, text messages, emails and more. So this should be fun for sure.
Sources told Kramer prosecutors are hoping to put extreme pressure on Smith so that he will rat out other politicians.
- People seem particularly excited for Belmont this year. Maybe it was the extended cold weather around here this winter/spring. Or perhaps the buzz is emanating from people who went to the dismal Aqueduct during the recently concluded meet. But whatever the reason, I've heard a lot of enthusiasm over Friday's opener. Of course, while the setting will improve, we'll probably have to wait a bit longer before the quality of the product picks up. Of Friday's opening day card, the Troy Record's Nick Kling tweeted: The 6 dirt races.....make it the worst card in my 25 yrs watching Belmont. Eek! But Nick is referring here to the Beyers of the horses in the allowance races, which he guesses "have Beyer figures 10-15 points below what they used to be." So here again we get into the question of what constitutes "quality" at the races nowadays. Haven't looked at these races yet; but I can surely live with lower Beyers as long as the races remain competitive. (Though this observation from a long-time observer of the NYRA circuit is surely revealing and well-taken.)
- In the 6th at Keeneland today (scheduled for the turf), North by Northlite (4-1) ships in from Fair Grounds for trainer Kellyn Gorder, who's been live with a couple of longshots here the last few days, including General Election, my Lexington pick who ran a bang-up second at 36-1. Her last race was an odd one, as she was allowed to drift out to the seven path leading into the stretch before sprinting home in 23.82 seconds and getting nailed late by the graded stakes-placed Treasured Up. Has a race over this course last fall which comes up as a fast one with my speed figures. Will need to last another half-furlong today, but could control the pace here in a race which projects to be slow-paced. Cry War Eagle (8-1) comes out of a couple of good allowance races at Gulfstream, and finished strongly in a slow-paced race in her last. Could face a similar scenario here but could liven up the exotics. Joel Rosario jumps off that one to ride Prissy (7-2) for the blistering Michael Maker/Ken and Sarah Ramsey combo. Their success at this meet has surely been reflected on the tote board lately; I'm betting it will pay off to stand against this filly coming off a 328 day layoff and trying winners for the first time. Morning line favorite Flower Mart (5-2) also advances from maiden company, goes for the Christophe Clement barn, winless at this meet, and comes up slower than the others on my numbers. And I probably just set this race up for the favorite exacta box.