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Saturday, February 12, 2005

La. Derby Preview Day

- Watching the Fair Grounds stakes on TVG. Matt Carrothers says that he feels that Sweet Catomine will run in the Derby, making for great value for other Oaks contenders in the futures pool. After watching Summerly (Summer Squall) dominate the field really impressively in the Silverbuttetday at Fair Grounds, maybe it’s worth checking out her odds. She’s 43-1. If you do believe in Sweet Catomine and believe that she will indeed face the boys in the Derby, it may very well checking the odds on the fillies you like now.

- Pollard’s Vision seemed like a bad favorite in the Grade 3 Mineshaft Handicap, but I’m writing this just after the race. Winner Wanderin Boy (Seeking the Gold) was making just his 4th start, and his 3rd win, and first stakes try. He won very impressivley. He has Czaravich in his pedigree, a name I don’t notice much, and which brings back memories of when Belmont used to be jam packed with 40,000 people on Memorial Day for the Met Mile, which Czaravich won.

- There was little enthusiasm for anyone but Harlington (6-5) and Iced Out (7-2) in the Risen Star. It’s bizarre that Storm Surge was 6-1, and that Smooth Bid, who lost to Storm Surge by a neck in their last, was 30-1 for Steve Asmussen! If you didn’t like Harlington, which I didn’t, it was a mutuel delight scanning these prices. At 17-1, I had to go with Electric Light, who ran a game front-running race before fading at the end. And although I included the winner Scipion (AP Indy) in some exactas, it didn’t help. The guys on TVG pointed out that Gary Stevens purchased his own insurance to ride in non-insurance states, and he flew in to win with the 3/4 brother to juvenile champ Vindication, who was purchased for $1.5 million, and will no doubt pick up a bandwagon now. Harlington needs some more experience.

- The 10th at the Fair Grounds was a $17,500 claimer on the turf, and Relentless Red was a strong favorite off a drop in class from 35K, when he ran a closing third that would certainly qualify him to win handily here. But using the Daily Racing Form's Formulator 4 product that I just recently got, I downloaded the trainer stats for Dallas Stewart, adjusted the filters to see his record for dropping a horse in class by 50% and noted the grim results. I couldn't find anyone else that inspired me and just watched as Relentless Red opened up an unchallenged lead before offering no resistance when passed by most of the pack, but I think I'm gonna have a lot of fun with this.