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Saturday, January 21, 2006

A Danaslam Dunk?

- Sprint stakes for older horses dominate the action on Saturday, and since those races just vex me, I’ll be looking elsewhere for action. To me, picking and choosing spots is the only way to go, not only in terms of the class or surface, but also in terms of the kind of betting race. I look specifically for races in which I don’t like the favorite, or at least one or two of the top choices – anything that creates some kind of value by taking a stand against a horse that I feel is overbet. If the odds are right around where I would have made them, I usually end up passing the race.

So I’ll do a quick pick of the 8th at Gulfstream today, a NW3X allowance on the turf, that's more like it. Ecclesiastic goes for Allen Jerkins and has been established as the 7-2 morning line favorite in a wide open race based on his perceived class edge against these. He won the G3 Jaipur at seven furlongs on the Belmont grass last spring. But that was actually his only grass win in 14 attempts, and his only win overall in his last 18 starts. Plus, he starts from the 12 post with the starting gate set close to the turn at this mile distance.

Another with the potential to be overbet is Electric Light, who, for one thing, always gets overbet, and may be again after an easy win on the dirt in his last. He tries the turf for the first time.

So I’ll be looking at Danaslam. Yes, it’s Pletcher, and I noted the other day that his horses are starting to really get overbet (he added another winner yesterday in Rectory Hill, at 8-5.) But perhaps this one will be a bit overlooked. He’s moving up in class off his second win in a row, starts from the ten post, and instead of Velasquez gets Chris DeCarlo, who rode Danaslam’s half-brother Mercurial to a win for Pletcher at 14-1 on opening day. There doesn’t seem to be tons of early speed inside, so perhaps he can get decent position and be able to kick home quickly as he has in his last two wins. I’ll be on board if he’s anywhere close to his 6-1 morning line.

- Our three-year old filly Christening (Vicar) had her first timed workout yesterday, getting a half mile in :48.04, the 16th best of 80 at the distance, not bad! The report from the barn this morning said that Turner really likes her (we’ve heard that before), and mentioned something about him never having had a runner in the Alabama before. Oh boy. Just reporting what we were told. Perhaps we should wait until she actually makes it to the starting gate before talking about stuff like that. Highland Cat is back in the barn and is scheduled to breeze on Sunday morning. His 4 year-old half brother Jono (High Yield) ran third in a $16,000 maiden claimer at Laurel on Friday....let’s hope we don’t get to that point.

- Three of last year’s three-year old stars continued their preparations for 2006 on Friday. Giacomo worked another seven furlongs, this time in 1:27.80; Noble Causeway five furlongs in 1:01.40; and Bandini five furlongs in the exact same time. And one of this year’s top Derby prospects, Bluegrass Cat, worked five in 1:02.20.


Anonymous said..., an exceptionally tough running of the Palos Verdes today, and there's a surprise entrant as well...none other than Papa to Kinzie, who was last seen hooking a U-Turn and running back around behind the starting you might remember, i had some great reports on her that day, and had a nice-sized wager on her @ 3/1...considering what a debacle that one was, i'm rather shocked to see her entered back vs. colts in what's probably the toughest sprint race carded so far this year, at any track...and you guessed it, i have another great report on her...also of interest is that she's adding blinkers today, obviously an attempt to keep her head in the game (instead of behind the starting gate or wherever)...when this one's right, she may be the quickest horse on the circuit (rivaling Bordonaro), though in the past she's been too fast for her own good, and has had trouble holding on late due to her hell-bent-for-leather style...what also makes her entry today very curious is that according to some guy in the Del Mar Chatroom, she's being sold this weekend???...isn't it unusual for a horse to run right before a sale, particularly in a race she's not expected to win?...she's 15/1 on the morning line...i'm not exactly brimming with confidence, because for one, i think it's very possible she'll be going too fast on the front end again and it'll be tough to hold this group off (particularly Jet West, i think)...and secondly, any horse i back lately is taking a swan dive right into the tank...but 15/1 on this filly?...i don't doubt that she can win this race if you catch her on the right day...and i think the chance of catching her on the right day is, well, maybe 8/1? i guess i'll let the odds tell me what to are the reports, and wow, it looks like EVERYONE is coming up to this race the right way...

ATILLA'S STORM (Jan 10, 45.4)

Quick 1/2 but was a total breeze in 22.3, 45.4, not asked at all while in blinkers. Worked in an Inda cloth here. Grade B+

PAPA TO KINZIE (Jan 16, 47.0g)

In blinkers with Bisono up here. Flew throughout in a faster than given 22.4, 45.3 looking powerful while in hand late. Looks super to me. Grade A-

PAPA TO KINZIE (Pre U-Turn debacle, Dec 11, 100.2g)

Terrific looking drill with Corey Black up in 23.3, 35.1, 59.2 light restraint throughout galloping out in 112.3. Returns running and looks quite relaxed too. Grade A-

MAJOR SUCCESS (Jan 14, 59.4)

Big drill in 34.4, 59.2 finishing with a ton of gas left. Clearly an improving sort. Grade A-

Anonymous said...'m stoked to hear about Christening, initial breeze in 48 is pretty good i think! for your trainer saying "he really likes her" or whatever, yeah, i'm sure he's just telling you what you wanna hear...but that doesn't mean she can't run, you never know...i'm looking forward to this one's subsequent works, especially those in would be SO cool if you ended up with a live one...good luck with Highland Cat also...hopefully his procedure will produce some results for ya...though i'm sure Highland Cat will never forgive you... 8^P

Anonymous said...

...FINALLY, a great day!!!...i picked up 10 units with a win/place bet on 7/1 shot Tonnerre, who took today's 6th with a late rally...she had run very well in her debut, then regressed as the odds-on favorite in her next start...but she looked ready to rebound, based on this report...

TONNERRE (Jan 11, 100.1)

Looked stylish here drawing away from a barnmate, last 3 furlongs in a really sharp 35 flat moving like a good thing late. Have to like this. Grade B+

...unfortunately, i passed on 6/1 shot Virginia City in the 1st, who took them wire-to-wire while boasting this report...

VIRGINIA CITY (Jan 14, 100.4)

Big speed with a mate here in 34.3 looking really nice while waiting on that one throughout the lane finishing in 100.0, plenty left late. Very nice. Grade B+

...i just couldn't back this one based on her poor race record, as she had been soundly beaten in 4 straight tries...ugh!... for Papa to Kinzie, she went off at a whopping 25/1, but by that time i already stood to pick up 70 units on her in the Pick 3, on less than a 1 unit total investment (thanks to Tonnerre, and Race 7 winner Charmo) i abstained from any further win bets, and decided not to bet her to place either (or dick around with any exactas)...i figured if she didn't win it, she'd probably be stopping in the lane, which isn't conducive to running second, especially in such a tough for the race, Papa to Kinzie did indeed out-quick them early, opening up 2 lengths on the backstretch, and she appeared to be moving pretty well (needless to say, i was pretty excited at that point)...unfortunately, and rather predictably, she tired from her early efforts and threw in the towel before they left the turn...she just wasn't good enough...ugh!...but what a fierce 3-way battle it was down the lane, with Atilla's Storm, Jet West, and Major Success all giving their best efforts and going at it tooth and nail to the wire!...surprisingly, it was Major Success who emerged victorious, and i say surprisingly because he was the one taking the worst of it from between horses...he really showed a ton of grit and determination, as did the other two...looks like Frankel has a top-notch sprinter on his hands...

...and speaking of Frankel's top-notch sprinters, did you guys catch Latent Heat's effort today???...he ran a blinder today going 7 furlongs, coming out of that nera-miss vs. Cindago on Opening Day...again, i'm no breeding epert, but this one is by Maria's Mon out of a multiple stakes winner named True Flare, who i believe was also trained by Frankel...looks like this one is going places, and his effort today certainly flatters Cindago as well...

Anonymous said...

...hey Alan, i stopped in @ Venetian yesterday to speak with a friend of mine, and he said that someone came in yesterday and bet Barbaro @ 75/1...i didn't even know they had futures up yet, they must've just gone up during the last week...anyway, he said the guy tried to bet $200, but they only gave him $100...afterwards they dropped him to 50/1...most likely it was somebody who's in town for the Horseplayer World Series @ the Orleans...incidentally, another friend of mine is coming into town this week for the DRF/NTRA contest...we're headed down to Santa Anita on Wednesday (i'm exciteded, never been there before), and then i'm gonna hang with him at the contest and try to help out where i can...he's more of an East Coast guy like yourself, so i'll likely have some input on his West Coast plays...should be fun, i know that first place is worth a lot of money...he's got a lot of contest experience too, i'm expecting he'll fare pretty well...