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Saturday, February 19, 2005

Coast Line

- Impressive win at Laurel today for Coast Line (Boston Harbor), yet another lightly raced 4 year old to make an impression early in 2005. The Todd Pletcher-trained gelding grabbed the lead as usual and, stepping up in class from Aqueduct inner track allowances, turned back Offlee Wild (Wild Again), making a spirited return off an 8 month layoff, in a stirring stretch duel in the John Campbell BC Handicap. Coast Line returned from a 14 month layoff in a maiden claimer at Belmont last October, his second lifetime start; when I see that Md 45000 in first couple of lines in the pp’s, it just seems like a taint on the horse; why would someone enter a young horse for a tag if there wasn’t something wrong with him? I definitely would have bet against him at 2-1 at Belmont that day, and would have lost as he romped off by 10 1/2 lengths and he has now reeled off 5 in a row. He’s inbred to Northern Dancer 4x4, and is out of Mission Pass (Mr. Prospector). His 2nd, 3rd, 4th, and 5th dams were stakes winners. Boston Harbor is a son of Capote (Seattle Slew), and stands in Japan.

- Greater Good (Intidab) was also impressive in recovering from a troubled start and running down Munificence despite the short stretch in the Southwest; he should move up in people’s Derby rankings for sure. Nice race for the place horse too. Almost 22,000 at Oaklawn, cool! Befitting crowd to the fact that Oaklawn is virtually the center of the Derby world these days with several key contenders stabled there. Seeing horses that I saw out East training and running out in Oaklawn makes it feel kinda feel like when your college basketball team is sent to the west regional in Provo, UT.

- Here’s an account of Afleet Alex’s first 2005 workout earlier week, as related by Arkansas News Bureau:

He was on the track Wednesday morning and after he finished with flair, Alex was the talk of the racing office.

With regular rider Jeremy Rose only a passenger, Afleet Alex spotted Dancetilludrop a two-length lead and caught him in only three-eighths of a mile. His half-mile time was 47 seconds, including a second quarter-mile in a very fast :22 2-5. He coasted another eighth and his time of :59 3-5 was faster than 34 others who worked five furlongs.

The workout was replayed on Wednesday afternoon and was part of the simulcast signal that Oaklawn sent to other tracks.

Proudly, track announcer-media relations man Terry Wallace donned an Afleet Alex cap, black with a green emblem, and wore it all morning.
Nice to read how there are places where people get so excited about this stuff. I've never been to Oaklawn and definitely have to check it out some day.