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Friday, July 08, 2005


- The Swaps is a Grade 2 for 3 yo’s at 9 furlongs at Hollywood tomorrow, and Don’t Get Mad is a narrow 9-5 morning line favorite over Surf Cat and Indian Ocean in what looks on paper like a three horse race. Indian Ocean beat Surf Cat by a neck in the G3 Affirmed, and the latter’s jockey Alex Solis said it was his fault. "I felt like I rode a bad race....I felt like I rode a little too cautious. I didn't want to abuse him the first time going two turns. I should have let him run a little leaving the gate. I could have been two wide instead of being four wide.” [Daily Racing Form] These two have better figs from the Affirmed than Don’t Get Mad 104 to 96, and Surf Cat has that giant 114 from two back at 6 1/2 furlongs.

But in this race I throw the figs and the Form out the window. Thinking back to the way Don’t Get Mad so effortless swept past the Northern Dancer field 7 wide at Churchill, there's no way I’d bet against him. I’ve been up and down with this horse; at one point I had him on my Derby short list, dumped him after the Santa Anita Derby, but then loved him in the Derby Trial because it was around one turn. I was against him in his last because it was a two turn race, but I’m way back on his bandwagon now. I know he likes Churchill, and he faced a decent but certainly not great field. But if you go with the visual evidence, man, that was an incredible move, you just gotta go with him, especially since Surf Cat and Indian Ocean figure to tangle early and often. There’s also Dover Dare, who actually set the pace in the Affirmed and served as a target last time but held on gamely to midstretch first time Valenzuela, who rides back here. I may regret saying this, but I think this all adds up to Don’t Get Mad being a lock here. I don’t think they’ll be any value at all; he’ll be overbet if just because of his Kentucky Derby running line; those horses always do, especially this one showing Don't Get Mad just a couple of lengths behind Afleet Alex.

(I probably should note that I threw Don't Get Mad out of the Northern Dancer with the same brash certainty with which I'm touting him here.)