Good day yesterday, so let's press our luck in the 8th race, the Curlin, for three-year olds who have not won a stakes this year. Bad Hombre (6-1) stretches out to two turns on the dirt for trainer John Kimmel. (And again, and strictly by coincidence, this is one of the free races of the day on TimeformUS.) This son of Sky Mesa has really blossomed since returning from Florida and switching back to dirt; he's shown a steady progression of adding distance and improving on his speed figures.
He made his win in his last race look easy, stalking a quick pace (23.05 second quarter) and edging away from So Scott (admittedly not a notable achievement given that horse's propensity for finishing second). He's out of a Deputy Minister mare who is a half-sister to the ill-fated juvenile champion Favorite Trick, who subsequently won the Jim Dandy over this track. (Favorite Trick died in a barn fire in New Mexico, and perhaps there should be a rule against Grade 1 winners being in a barn in New Mexico). So I think he'll love the stretch to nine furlongs. Not his first time going two turns though; he closed quite well against the pace grain in that last turf race at Gulfstream. Bad Hombre shows a snappy half mile work on July 20; a pretty typical work pattern prior to a race during his recent run of improvement. Also interesting that Kimmel goes to Johnny V, whom he's only used six times in the last year. Think this one represents solid value at his morning line.
Edge of Reality (4-1) ships in for the always dangerous Anthony Dutrow, also shows a nice pattern of improvement, and the Pace Projector shows him on the early lead. Transparent (5-2) is the likely favorite coming off a ten-length win at the Big A, but that came around one turn against just three other horses, all of questionable quality (at best).
- Seems to me that the attendance at Saratoga is kinda weak; just 10,000+ on Wednesday and a bit under 13,000 on Thursday. And weather is no excuse, even if it's a bit chilly there. It's still early. But I wonder when people will start to get concerned.
Besides taking the Quick Call with Central Banker ($10.80), trainer Albert Stall Jr ran a close second in the finale with Channel Marker (albeit disappointing the chalk players). Think we can make some more money with this barn as the meet goes along.
Well, got an email from the NYRA Press Office regarding the smashing maiden win by Our Amazing Rose ($2.90 in her debut as the fastest horse in the world); so maybe it's not as unusual as I thought the other day. The Toddster swept the two baby races; one each for his high-powered owners Mike Repole and Tabor/Magnier/Smith, the owners of Corfu ($3). That parlay wouldn't have gotten you much. Corfu is by Malibu Moon out of a Forest Wildcat half-sister to Peace Rules. Our Amazing Rose is by Yes It's True out of a Silver Deputy mare who's a half to the graded stakes winner Minister's Melody (the dam of Bob and John); and this is the direct female family of the great multiple Grade 1 winner Exceller. (Too Bald, the dam of Exceller, is the third dam of Our Amazing Rose.)