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Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Wishing for Alex

- NYRA officials are obviously hoping….pleading…..praying that Afleet Alex graces Saratoga with his presence, but the Cash is King crew is firmly committed to the Haskell Invitational at beautiful Monmouth on August 7. It’s been awhile now since the Haskell was moved to a Sunday, which eliminates any realistic chance that I would go and battle the coming home from the Jersey shore traffic on the way home. (I’ll be starting a solid week in Saratoga that day this year anyway. :-D) I imagine they don’t want to conflict with the Hambletonian, which always falls on the Saturday before. Given Monmouth’s relative proximity to Philadelphia, who knows what kind of crowd they’re going to have this year.

Anyway, with the Preakness/Belmont winner running less than 3 weeks before the Travers, NYRA will be at the mercy of the racing gods.

"I would love to see him run in both races," [Tim] Ritchey said recently outside Barn 19 at Belmont Park, where Afleet Alex has been since winning the Belmont on June 11. "If he is healthy and doing well, then he will. The Haskell is the first race up. It's very possible to do both races, but we will just have to wait and see how it goes between now and the Haskell, and then between the Haskell and the Travers."
"I love it at Saratoga," said Ritchey, who will have 12 to 14 horses saddled there. "Having him there would be good for racing. Obviously, it would be great to go back there and run in the Travers." [Albany Times-Union]
20 days between Grade 1 stakes wasn’t that big of a deal in years past, but it is now, unless it’s a horse like Afleet Alex. Or Golden Man I suppose. As for Alex, a recent diary on his website shows that he’s doing fine.
I feel great... I am not going to the track as much as I used to... it's just so hot! I know Tim gets real hot too! He gets all wet when we go out... I wonder why he wears all that stuff, he wouldn't be so hot if he took everything off! [Afleet]
I thought this website was supposed to be suitable for the whole family?

- Nice story by Glenye Cain in the Form regarding breeder Rosilyn Polan and her first day session-topping El Corredor colt that drew $385,000 at the Fasig Tipton yearling sale. Going into the two-day auction, Polan's best price for a sale horse was, as well as she could recall, somewhere below $100,000.
Much to her husband's chagrin, Polan turned down private offers of $70,000 and $80,000 when the colt was a weanling and a $125,000 offer the week before the July sale.

"My husband was sick," she said of Kenneth Ross, who admitted that, in retrospect, his wife knew what she had better than he did.

Holding 7-year-old daughter Laiken on her hip, Polan was both exuberant and tearful about the sale, which came after two decades of hard work. Polan and Ross bought Sunday Morning Farm almost 20 years ago, gradually working up to eight mares on their 100 acres. [Daily Racing Form]
El Corredor (Mr. Greeley) is a half-brother to Roman Ruler who won 7 of 10 starts including the Grade 1 Cigar Mile. He had a pretty good sale, with 6 out of the 10 offerings selling for an average of just under $180,000 – this for a sire with a $20,000 fee. He’s been credited with four winners in his first 2 yo crop thus far, including the filly Adieu, winner of the Astoria Stakes at Belmont. If you go to this page here, you can watch his win in the Cigar, in which he defeated fellow promising sires More Than Ready and Golden Missile.

Rosilyn Posan’s sale topper is out of Meadow Bryte (Meadowlake), whom Polan bought for $51,000. According to Bloodhorse, Polan liked Meadow Bryte because she had a "babydoll head" and big, strong-looking hindquarters. However, what I’m not reading anywhere in the trades is the fact that, according to this article, this mare who sold as a 2 yo for $375,000, was sold to a slaughterhouse for $450 in 2004. Huh? What’s up with that?? (As usual, nice to see the racing press asking the tough questions.)