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Wednesday, March 15, 2006

A Baffert Four Bagger

- The Santa Catalina on Saturday may have the feel of a spring intrasquad baseball game, with Bob Baffert planning to send four horses postward. All of them worked out at Santa Anita this morning; Point Determined got a half in 47.80 (6/30), Point of Impact went five in 1:00.60 (8/31), Bob and John a half in 48.60 (15/30), and Sky Diving a half in 47.40 (4/30). I imagine that Bob and John will be favored, but given the hype surrounding Point of Impact, it will be interesting to see how he’s treated by the bettors come post time.

A.P. Warrior is expected to give it another shot; another disappointing performance for him, and we’ll have to start dialing 1-800-NO-DERBY to vote him out. Refinery is also probable for Richard Mandella. According to the Downey Profile, he worked an unrecorded three furlongs on Tuesday.

Hard to decide which of the preps other than the Tampa Bay Derby is the most interesting, but I imagine that much attention will be focused on Oaklawn, where Private Vow will make his first start of the year against Lawyer Ron and Steppenwolfer. Dan Peitz seems extremely confident that the latter will improve with each stretch out in distance; and not only is the Rebel a mile and a sixteenth as opposed to the mile of the Southwest, but he’ll get a longer stretch as well since the mile races there finish at the sixteenth pole. Music School will be entered in the Rebel, but trainer Neil Howard says that he’s “50-50 at best” to run. [Arkansas Democrat Gazette]

- Speaking of unrecorded workouts, our filly Christening (Vicar) breezed a half at Belmont this morning that was not recorded by the crack clockers there. Bill Turner caught her in 48 3/5, which would be the 13th best of 44 at the distance. She’s a possibility to debut in a seven furlong race on April 2.

- Strong Contender worked five furlongs in 59.80 (2/9) at Gulfstream. John Ward has him pointed for the Lane’s End at Turfway on the 18th. That will be his first race around two turns, and should give him a chance to pick up some graded earnings while avoiding the top colts in the division.

- ESPN will show all four preps, but only two, the Rebel and the Santa Catalina, will be presented live. Jerry Bailey will make his debut in the broadcast booth. The telecast will be from 6:00 - 7:30 Eastern time.


Patrick J Patten said...

3 posts 1 day, you'll need another vacation in no time.

Alan Mann said...

Plus one on the Rangers too. But I'm trying to cut down.

Anonymous said...

...i ran across Wire 2 Wire on ESPN late last night, and amazingly, they had footage of Discreet Cat's win in Dubai last Thursday...and lemme tellya, he looked goooooood...if he runs a good one in the UAE Derby and ends up going in the Kentucky Derby, he'll have only 3 career starts at that point, but again, Blues and Royals had only ONE career start (on turf, no less) before coming up HUGE in last year's very-fiercly-run UAE Derby...i believe Godolphin can have the horse ready, assuming he's good enough...

Alan Mann said...

I certainly hope that Discreet Cat comes out of the UAE Derby better than Blues and Royals did! Could this be the year that Godolphin is a real factor in the Derby? There's a blog on the Dubai Carnival, and surprisingly there wasn't a single word on Discreet Cat.