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Wednesday, March 16, 2005

What A Song and A Prayer For a Good Post

- The Songandaprayer colt, named What A Song, that topped the Barrett’s sale at $1.9 million was a huge pinhook score for consignor Murray Smith, who purchased him for $95,000 at Fasig-Tipton Kentucky last July. Songandaprayer (Unbridled's Song) is a first year sire of 2 yo's this year; he stands for $10,000 in Florida, but will be changing addresses with a couple more of these. Winning bidder Bob Lewis was flanked by Wayne Lukas and Bob Baffert.

He will be trained by Baffert, who was unaware whether or not he would get the horse until Lewis, without looking, reached over his shoulder and handed the signed ticket to him. [Bloodhorse]
Lewis bought four other horses and doled them out to his trainers with some fancy moves behind the back and between the legs. The catalog page (pdf) on the big colt is here.

- Trainers continue to complain about the main track at Gulfstream. In yesterday’s Form, the topic was the outside posts at te 1 1/8 mile distance that both the Fountain of Youth and Florida Derby are run at.
"Obviously, it's a difficult situation for any horse drawing outside in these races - and, unfortunately, it's a situation that's probably too late to address now," said Pletcher. "It should have been addressed before they decided to build a mile-and-one-eighth racetrack, which not only created the problem of a short run to the first turn but also eliminated the option of running young horses a mile and one-sixteenth before stretching them out to a mile and one-eighth - which, particularly at this meet, where so many of us are trying to develop 3-year-olds, is extremely important." [Daily Racing Form]
Track president Scott Savin tried to downplay the problem.
...I think people are making a little more out of the situation here than there really is. But that doesn't mean I won't consider other options if I feel they are warranted.

"I'm a statistical nut, so I'll break down all the nine-furlong races after the meet is over and see if this needs to be addressed further." [DRF]
. Well, here’s the breakdown Mr. Statistical Nut thus far from the same article in the Form.
Twenty-three of the first 37 races run at a 1 1/8 miles - 62 percent - were won by horses breaking from post positions 1 or 2. Only nine winners out of 198 starters broke from posts 4 and beyond (4.5 percent), and only 2 of 59 starters (3.3 percent) have won out of posts 8 through 12.
That sounds more like Yonkers Raceway than a thoroughbred track.

Today comes word, also in the Form, that Shug McGauhey feels his closers will do better now that they’re leaving Gulfstream, because they didn’t like what was hitting them in the face.
"The first part of the meet it was like rocks coming back there at them," McGaughey said Wednesday from south Florida. "That part of it got resolved after the first part of the meet; then what was coming back had a lot of clay in it and some horses wouldn't run into it.” [DRF]
Sounds like trip handicappers should have a field day after this meet, having an excuse for any horse at 9f that didn’t wire the field from the 1 hole.

- Checked out the Derby roundup on HRTV, they do a very nice job. They go region by region and show video of all the horses, contenders and outsiders alike. It airs each Wednesday after the finale at Santa Anita and is worth setting the VCR or TIVO for. Jeff Siegel likes Don’t Get Mad and Noble Causeway, saying that they have the classic mile and a quarter pedigree, style, looks, and trainers. Laffit Pincay said that High Fly sent tingles up his spine in the Aventura.