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Tuesday, March 15, 2005


- Galloping Grocer has been forgotten a bit it seems since his 4th in the Whirlaway, and Sort It Out’s dismal run on Saturday does nothing to bolster his reputation. He’ll have to do that himself in the Gotham coming up, a one mile race around one turn, at my favorite racetrack in Queens. Here’s a reason to root for him; his owner’s a nice guy. When asked why he hasn’t handed the horse off to a big name guy, he says

" "He's been a trainer for me of horses that are not the caliber of Galloping Grocer and he's advised me honestly," Rosenthal said. "For me to finally get a real, real good horse - one we think could go all the way - to take the horse away would be disloyal, and that's not my style. I've stuck with him because I'm loyal. He does a fine job, and he's entitled to a shot." [Daily Racing Form]
I hope he runs well, he would add more speed to a pace scenario that I think is up in the air right now, since I don’t think this Aleo character is going to run Lost in the Fog in the Derby, and Rockport Harbor will have to show me something before I count him in. In any event, a big effort will put Galloping Grocer back in the picture, though it seems as if a big effort by anyone puts him right in the thick of things. I found it funny to read Haskin write that “High Limit and Bellamy Road dropped out of the sky and caused some big explosions in the Louisiana Derby (gr. II) and in Florida.” [Bloodhorse]

I don’t see how you can mention these two horses in the same breath at this point. High Limit came off a four month layoff in a Grade 2 race at 1 1/16 miles and practically toyed with the field, earning a 105 Beyer. Bellamy Road came off a similar layoff and beat four horses in a NW2 allowance around 1 turn; and if you still have the Form around, take a look at exactly who he beat. (Did you know that even with all the pre-race hype about Bellamy Road, Dearest Mon [feh] went off the 4-5 favorite?) I’m not saying he didn’t run a big race, no doubt he did; but let’s see him against some good horses, hopefully in the Wood. And as for High Limit, Watchmaker in the Form (subscription only) makes a case that he didn't prove anything because no one took a run at him. But maybe that was because they just couldn't. In the Risen Star, they went 1:11.3 to 6f and finished in 1:44.2, just under 33 seconds for the final 2 1/2 furlongs. High Limit went 1:11.4 to the 6f, just .1 off the supposed “torrid pace” in the Risen Star that Scipion closed into, but he finished in 1:42.3, that’s just under 31 seconds, a full two seconds faster, and he did it despite sloppy footwork. So maybe that has a lot to do with why nobody challenged him in the stretch. So, no I don’t think we should yet “build a shrine” to High Limit as Watchmaker derisively suggests, but I think there’s more reason to believe him than to doubt him at this point.

I'm in a bad mood, as you may be able to tell, I don't feel well. That's it for today.