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Friday, May 06, 2005


- From time to time this week, I’d hear little bits about the Oaks poking through the blanket of Derby coverage, but one thing that I heard several time was about how confident Summerly’s connections were; that they had corrected whatever may have been wrong when she ran 20 lengths behind Sis City, and that they expected her to go right to the front. That’s exactly what she did to take the Oaks.

Summerly is by Summer Squall, whose son Charismatic has Sun King in the Derby. Her win reminds me that someone once said that you can always excuse a bad race from a young filly, and I’ve used that principle to some effect in the past. Perhaps it’s worth keeping in mind for Sis City. With Joe Torre owning a small interest in her, and the Yankees stuggling so badly, the vibe around Yankeeville doesn’t seem so hot right at this moment, does it?

And check out the Oaks-Derby daily double and the Derby pool thus far; Afleet Alex is slightly favored in both; Bellamy Road is 9-2 early. In a fan poll on the Racing Form website, with around 8000 votes cast, Afleet Alex has a solid margin of 23% to 15%. Meanwhile, I was watching TVG and the Works crew was on, and Tom Amoss said that he thought that Afleet Alex had “tailed off” a bit. That’s the third less than complimentary remark I’ve read or heard in the last 2 days. Steve Haskin wrote in his rambling Derby analysis today that Alex has done great and he’d be his top pick if he wasn’t picking ten other horses instead. But Amoss is an accomplished trainer who always seems to have a high win percentage (he’s hitting at 27% this year), so if push came to shove, I’d have to listen to him. This is becoming a concern; and it's also looking that he's going to be bet lower than we thought.