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Wednesday, March 23, 2005

Odds and Ends - March 23

- Lauren Stitch in the Form writes about all of Nick Zito’s Derby contenders today, but she loves Andromeda’s Hero, who, as she says, has been Under the radar so far. Actually I’m guilty of overlooking him as well, probably because I did not see his last effort in the Sam F. Davis at Tampa Bay, in which he broke from the 12 post with the gate not far from the turn, was forced further wide on the turn, moved up between horses and pulled away in the stretch; and Ms. Stitch adds he was crying to run around the track again.

The Lane's End on Saturday could be Andromeda's Hero's coming-out party. He is from the first crop of Fusaichi Pegasus.... and there isn't a 3-year-old with a better pedigree for 1 1/4 miles. Andromeda's Hero descends from a remarkable King Ranch female family that traces in tail-female family to Masda, a full sister to Man o' War. [DRF]
Eight are expected to face Zito’s colt in the Lane’s End, including Magna Graduate, winner of the Battaglia at Turfway, who will get JD Bailey.
"He's come along at the right time," [trainer Pat] Byrne said...”He's put on weight since his last race. Yesterday (Monday) he galloped out five furlongs in 1:01...The horse, talent-wise, he's getting there. He's a late April foal. I like the way he's coming around." [Bloodhorse]
Magna Graduate is a son of Honor Grades, a deceased Danzig half brother to A.P. Indy and Summer Squall, and is out of a mare by Fast Play, the half brother to Seeking the Gold.

- Word comes from Dubai that the U.A.E. Derby could produce Kentucky Derby hopefuls. One of the possibilities is British stakes winner Shamardal (Giant’s Causeway).
"He certainly has a pedigree that would indicate he would handle the track, and he has the stamina to go a mile and a quarter," Godolphin Racing Manager Simon Crisford said. [Thoroughbred Times]
Also mentioned is Italian stakes winner Becrux, trained by Mike De Kock:
"It’s been the plan since last fall to bring him to the U.S. for the Kentucky Derby, but he’ll have to finish in the top three for us to continue to consider it." [Thoroughbred Times]
Well, that’s just great. The Derby picture isn’t difficult enough now, we need to have these horses coming over with those stupid running lines with no fractional times nor running positions and some timeform rating? How does anyone handicap races like that? Isn’t there some kind of immigration law about foreign horses coming here with incomplete running lines?

- Roses in May drew the 12 post for the Dubai World Cup, but there’s a long run to the first turn, and his connections did not seem concerned. He’s the favorite - quoted at 7-4 odds by the English betting firm Coral. [Bloodhorse]

- Ghostzapper is aiming to make his seasonal debut April 9 in the G1 Oaklawn Handicap, and he worked five furlongs handily in :59.60. [BH]

- Quiet second and final day at the OBS select 2 year old sale; high sale was only $325,000 for a Salt Lake colt, and the averages and medians were once again down from last year. Whatsmore, the buy back rate, which was an anemic 23% yesterday, was over 40% today.