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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Echo and the Cherry Dams

- The Head Chef wanted to go to a travel show at the Javits Center today so she could plan trips to exotic locations where there is no racing except for those involving lizards. I dropped her off and took off to the Meadowlands, to which it should only take about 12 minutes without traffic in the tunnel. With only unsavory public transportation options from Manhattan, if you don’t have a car it might as well be in one of those exotic locations. There was live harness and simulcasts from around ten tracks, and for me sometimes it’s a victory just to be able to focus on some races on which to bet. In that way, and only that way, it was a successful, but far too short day, as the travel show was apparently not as expansive as I’d hoped, and I was summoned to pick her up with travel catalogs aplenty, none of them for Saratoga or Lexington.

In the Equibase program there, it had the 6th race at Philadelpha Park listed as a “Beaten Claiming" race, which I’ve never seen before. I thought there was maybe a weight allowance for horses that Had Been Abused Since September 6 or something; but apparently it’s used for races with the ‘which have never won x number of races’ condition. There was a horse in the race named Leggo My Echo, which reminded me of Letgomyecho, who upset Maddalena in the Forward Gal Saturday. Trainer George Arnold is pointing her to the Ashland and Kentucky Oaks, and says that "We think this horse is dying to go two turns. She likes to come running at the end." [Thoroughbred Times]

Letgomyecho is by Menifee (Harlan), a grandson of Storm Cat. He was 9th on the second crop sire list last year, and has 4 stakes winners. In 1999, Menifee won the Blue Grass, and then closed to miss the roses by a neck to Charismatic in the Derby. Then he was the solid 2-1 favorite in the Preakness, but again settled for second to Charismatic, dismissed at 8-1, this time by 1 1/2 lengths. He went on to win the Haskell at Monmouth. Charismatic (Summer Squall) is the sire of Derby hopeful Sun King, but in 2002 was exiled to Japan, while Menifee stands in Kentucky for $15,000 . Letgomyecho is out of a dam by the late Eastern Echo, and his her third dam has the same sire as Menifee’s second dam, an Argentine stakes horse and successful sire named Tatan, making for an usual 4x4 inbreeding to that largely British-blood stallion.

As for Leggo My Echo, he has 2 wins in 24 starts for just over $5000, and was entered in a beaten $6,250 claimer (for NW3L), where he finished 4th at 10-1. He’s by a $2000 Louisiana stallion named Western Echo, who won the Laurel Futurity in 1994 and is, not surprisingly, also by Eastern Echo. Western Echo is out of Cherry D’Or, who is out of Cherry Lady, out of Cherry Fool, out of Cherry Fizz, out of Cherry Pit, out of Cherry Tart, out of Cherry Bounce, out of Cherry Malotte, who was foaled in 1909. Cherry Malotte was a popular steeplechaser owned by the Whitney’s Greentree stable and, according to the Thoroughbred Heritage site, Cherry Malotte's high-class foal, one of the best horses of the early 1920s and a one-time holder of the American record for a mile, Cherry Pie, is also buried here. (at Greentree Farm, now part of Gainesway.) [Thoroughbred Heritage]

- Churchill Downs has an awesome website for the Kentucky Derby, though it's a real pain if you don't have the flash software, as it doesn't seem to have a non-flash alternative. There are charts and summaries of all the races in the Derby's history, and even replays if you have the right software. But if you go to and go to History, you get this, a page that doesn't seem to have taken much more thought than this blog; and if you click on Previous Winners, you get this laughably lame list of the first place finishers each year...not even updated for Smarty Jones in 2004! We've heard Magna use the Preakness to try and wrest concessions from Maryland, saying that its great history deserves the proper attention and hinting of maybe moving it to Lone Star; but apparently they can't put any effort whatsoever into having a decent website for what should be its top priority race. It looks like more effort went into their Sunshine Millions site. Well, just a little, maybe.