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Monday, July 11, 2005

Notes - July 11

According to the Miami Herald,

Lost in the Fog wasn't the spunkiest of specimens inside the saddling paddock when jockey Russell Baze was hoisted into the saddle and the two made their way toward the track. You could even say the colt many consider to be the fastest 3-year-old sprinter in the country looked a bit on the sluggish side.
Woe to anyone who based their handicapping decision on his appearance, as the unbeaten sensation missed the track record for 6 furlongs by 2/5ths in a facile victory at 1-20. Next is the G1 King’s Bishop for 3 yo’s at Saratoga on Travers Day.
"I'm glad he'll have the seven weeks between races," Gilchrist said. "I think I'll get him into Saratoga a couple of weeks ahead of the race. I've never been to Saratoga, and I've heard all the stuff about the track, it being the 'Graveyard of Champions' and all that, and I'd like to work him at least once over the track before he runs there." [LA Times]
- Got home from an early trip to the beach yesterday and the first race I saw on TV was the 6th from Churchill, a 2yo filly race with several well-bet and well-bred first time starters. The Churchill meet was really gathering momentum in these last couple of weeks in terms of both quality and quantity. The top three betting choices in this race were first-timers, but one of them was being bet the way I like to see, on the nose in the win pool. Didn’t bet this one, but watched as Rare Elegance, the 4-1 second choice took the lead shortly out of the gate and was never headed thereafter. From the Steve Asmussen barn, she’s by Forestry out of an unraced Gilded Time half sister to Storm Song, the 1996 BC Juvenile Filly and Eclipse champ (who doesn’t seem to have produced much herself as of yet).

Shortly afterwards, I was handicapping the G3 Lexington at Belmont. The presence of a sharp British invader, Im Spartacus, made it a daunting betting affair, but I noticed Woodlander (also coincidentally by Forestry) being bet on the nose the same way; and he'd shown improving form for the sizzling Tom Albertrani stable, so I took note. At 4-1, I put him on top, took a stand against the 5-2 second choice Im Spartacus, and scored a $68 exacta with runner-up Reel Legend. The latter goes for Jimmy Jerkens, so it was a hot trainer exacta, and gratifying personally to get back on track after a couple of dismal weeks. Woodlander is from a Kingmambo mare, and his second dam is a half to multiple G1 winner Twilight Agenda. I certainly don’t mean to suggest that horses bet in this way always win, but I find that they are consistently “live.” In fairness, I’ll have to remember to write about some that run like Don't Get Mad did on Saturday!

Interesting comments from the connections of Im Spartacus, who must have thought they hit the jackpot with his preferred soft course when the rains came late last week.
"It rained on Thursday and we walked the track when we got there. It was good ground and there was no jar, but it became very warm and it was like a hairdryer on the track, so by the time of the race it was like concrete."
"His best form is with cut in the ground, but if it had been English good ground it would have been fine. But that ground was like running on the M25." [GG-Racing]
Don’t know what the M25 is, but I guess it’s pretty hard. The official turf condition was "good," but I guess it's all relative when it comes to Euroean invaders.

- Trainer Leo O'Brien scored with longshot Dinah's Pearls on the grassy 5th at Belmont yesterday. It was only his 3rd win this year, but his second in the last couple of weeks here. He is also 14 out of 24 in the money at this Belmont meet. O'Brien historically does well at Saratoga, particularly on the grass, so keep an eye out for him next month.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

We have a trainer-friend who operates out of GGF. We visited him while making a one-day trip down to GGF, he practically begged us to stay the night in Berkeley because he knew LITF would work the next morning. Here's a hardened old trainer, just in love with somebody else's horse and wanting to share it with everybody...he told us how LITF likes to just look around and be walked about the backside, sometimes just standing in one place for awhile and taking everything in...that when he gets on the track, he likes to look at the birds, look at the he's generally pleased with life and everything around him. that everything he does is effortless.

We didn't stay to watch him work, but I certainly wish we could have.

But how our friend describes him sorta explains his mellow demeanor in the paddock. Really, I guess he's just a neat horse. :)