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Sunday, July 24, 2005

Sunday Morning Notes - July 24

- I’m not the type to brag too much, but it seems to me that I've picked a few winners on this blog in limited attempts lately, most recently Gun Salute ($9.80) in the American Derby at Arlington Saturday. I've also certainly mentioned other winners as contenders if not selecting them right on top. Those qualify as winners to the guys who hawk the tipsheets outside the admission gates at Saratoga. Maybe I should be more demonstrative about successes like this like they are, and proclaim something like SEVEN WINNERS RIGHT ON TOP. Every day seems to be a good day for these guys. WE HAD THREE TRIPLES, THE PICK 4 FOR $3500, THE LATE DOUBLE, THE EARLY DOUBLE, THE MIDDAY DOUBLE, THE DOUBLE FUDGE SUNDAE! Of course, any horse mentioned anywhere on the sheet amongst the four they give out for each race qualifies as a winner. I promise that if I ever walk up and hear a guy go “Well, we didn’t have a great day yesterday, but we’ll try again today,” I’d buy a whole bunch of them in an instant.

I’ve never been to opening day at Saratoga - I’ve probably been to every day except that one - so I don’t know what they say on the first day. Maybe something like OVER TWO HUNDRED WINNERS RIGHT ON TOP LAST YEAR! WE HAD THE LATE DOUBLE AT THE HARNESS TRACK AND THE NEW YORK STATE LOTTO. I’ll hopefully be finding out this Wednesday as I plan to make my opening day debut. I’m also planning to start to do a spot play of the day for the Saratoga meet - we’ll see how long that lasts. And where the hell is my new PC laptop? The day after I ordered it from Hewlett-Packard, they laid off 10% of the staff, perhaps including the guy who took my order? Once I do get it, which should be any day, and regain the use of Formulator, I’ll dazzle you with incredibly relevant facts and figures, more trainer stats (oh good), and with the overload of information, will probably never select a winner here again.

I was out and didn’t see any racing yesterday, the price I had to pay for our trip to Belmont Friday, so I’ll have to find a replay of the American Derby, in which Mott’s colt Gun Salute got up by a whisker over favorite Purim at the wire. Purim’s trainer Tom Proctor offered a novel rationalization to deal with the loss. " If you won them all, no one would want to race with you.” [Bloodhorse] Cornelio Velaszuez swept the three grassy graded stakes races on the card at Arlington, and Mott also took the G3 Modesty with Noisette (Broad Brush) - can you believe how on fire this guy is? Velasquez’ other winner, Cool Conductor (Stravinsky), has really stepped up for trainer Ralph Nicks and won for fun - he was coming off a close 4th in the G1 United Nations, just over a length behind Better Talk Now.

- And can you believe that Smuggler paid nearly 5-2 in the Coaching Club American Oaks? She continues to mature and to win, this time doing it easily. "She does it so easy I'm kind of floored a little bit," said Shug McGaughey... "She has taken to racing good now. It is pretty exciting. We have been looking for a really nice horse for a while. It looks like we have on now." [NY Post] With many of the early season 3 yo filly contenders having either retired or faltered of late, this one is certainly in contention for a championship. The generous price was in due in part to all the money bet on John Ward’s For All We Know, who was sent as a close second choice based on her 3 for 3 record against maiden and allowance fields. She finished 4th, 6 lengths behind the three more proven fillies in the field. Jerry Bailey had his usual frank assessment about second place finisher Summerly: "She probably doesn't want to run that far."

- Jerry Bossert in the NY Daily News is reporting today that Bellamy Road, who worked 4f in 50.20 yesterday, is being pointed to the 7 furlong King’s Bishop at Saratoga on Travers day, where he would possibly face Lost in the Fog and Roman Ruler. As Bossert writes, the King’s Bishop may turn out to be a better race than the Travers.. As for Bellamy Road :

"He looked super like he always does," Zito said. "It's good to see him come back. He's a special horse and we'll see what happens. But when he's right he can run with any horse." [NY Daily News]
If the King's Bishop really does unfold in this fashion (and it's way too early to get as excited about it as I feel now), we'd certainly find out if the vocal skeptics of Lost in the Fog are right or not.