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Sunday, March 06, 2005

Sunday Morning Notes

- Took a look back at the telecast of Rock Hard Ten’s Big Cap win on HRTV, and Saint Liam’s trainer Richard Dutrow was saying in a pre-race interview that he didn’t think the distance would beat his horse, though he seemed a bit concerned that he hadn’t had more than 30 days since his big win in the Donn. Indeed, he was not a sharp horse, and his jockey Edgar Prado said, "I was done on the backstretch. He was lugging in and that's not him.”[Daily Racing Form]

Analyst Jon White told before the race of how Formal Gold came into the 1997 Big Cap off a win in the Donn with a 114 Beyer, exactly what Saint Liam did. Formal Gold ran out of the money in the Big Cap; and White was right on in picking the winner here.

Gary Stevens did appear, as it was mentioned after the race, to use Rock Hard Ten just enough to force Prado to go wide into the first turn. The winner settled into just a perfect trip on the backstretch, and when Trevor Denman noted that Saint Liam was under a drive around the turn, he was already done.

- Great return for Afleet Alex.

Under top weight of 122 pounds, Afleet Alex’s time of 1:09.52 was the fastest of the meeting for the distance and equaled the stakes record (1:09 2-5), set by At The Threshold in 1984 and tied by Linear nine year later.
The time was almost a full second faster than 2004 Kentucky Derby starter Pro Prado ran to win a high-class allowance/optional claiming event a hour earlier.

Handicapper Rick Lee, who compiles Beyer Speed Figures for Daily Racing Form, said Afleet Alex earned, without question, a number of at least 100.
Equibase representatives credited Afleet Alex with an additional furlong in: 13 1-5, meaning the colt covered seven-eighths of a mile in a sizzling 1:22 3-5. Afleet Alex was also caught in 1:39 2-5 for a mile. [Arkansas Democrat Courier]

- And Ron Ellis psyched about Declan’s Moon.
"I hadn't really pressed him to be 100 percent for this race, so it was kind of a race I wanted to get through, not knock him out but still get a win. I think it worked....If he came up a little short the last sixteenth of a mile and still ran a really good race, I was prepared for that," Ellis said. "But I just keep saying I think this is a special horse and the longer he can stay undefeated, the more special he is."[Sign On San Diego]