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Friday, March 03, 2006

Break Time

- Well, it’s vacation time, again. Yeah, I know, I was just away, but a real vacation this time.. The Head Chef and I are off for a week, and this time with no kids, and no laptop. I must say that I’m rather blogged out at this point; blog burnout if you will. So the break comes at a good time; I can relax and recharge for the run-up to the Triple Crown, and they’ll be no distractions. Other than the job and the kids. And the New York Rangers’ first playoff appearance in nine years. And the new Morrissey album.

- Wouldn’t you know it, Pletcher did it again in the 8th at Gulfstream on Friday as Morning Raider (Giant’s Causeway) won in his first start since June 21 at Delaware; that’s around a 250 day layoff. 5-1 third choice in the morning line, he paid $7.80 as the post time favorite. This is a nicely bred four year-old winning in only his third start; he’s by Giant’s Causeway, out of an Unbridled half sister to Super Derby winner Arch, and his third dam is the great filly Althea (which makes his 4th dam the blue hen Courtly Dee).

In the 9th, Dubai Escapade (Awesome Again) was 1-5 off her huge return to the races last month. Though she held off second choice Grecian Lover by 3/4's of a length, the chart notes that she was fully extended to prevail in 1:36.07. Dubai Escapade is a half-sister to Madcap Escapade.

- That’s it for me. As always, thanks so much for reading, and see you in a week or so. Please check out my blogging colleagues at the TBA; their individual links are listed over on the right. And feel free to email me with questions, suggestions, comments, links, or whatever.

15 Comments:

Walter said...

...have a great time, Alan...we'll miss your postings over the next week, that's for sure...

...for the rest of you, i have a shocking "A-" report on Blazing Sunset in the Santa Catalina...i say shocking because this horse appears seriously overmatched on paper, as evidenced by his 30/1 ml...i said earlier to keep an eye on Mister Triester, i guess you can add Blazing Sunset to that list as well...should be a very interesting race tomorrow...

thecalicocat said...

Fountain of Youth. I don't like any of the colts coming out of this race for the Derby. It looked like a mediocre group to me, and Corinthian will not hold up to Derby Day noise and excitement. He's too green, still.
I loved Coppertone Kid's race at Oaklawan yesterday even though he was DQ'd. He ran a nice time for that slow track and showed some real heart.
He will be a nice sprinter for Servis, but I soubt if he will go more than a mile.
Stewart Elliott gives too many horses wide trips. He is not giving some of Servis' best horses a chance to win.

Walter said...

...i didn't see anything special in the FOY either...First Samurai had things all his own way up front thru some very easy fractions, and still let Corinthian run right by him in the lane...he didn't look anything like a horse who'll appreciate 10 furlongs...nor did Corinthian, who looked to be very wearly late...it did look as though First Samurai was re-rallying, but that was an optical illusion based on Corinthian backing up...the others were gaining on both of them at the finish...

...as for the Santa Catalina, WOW, what a tour de force by Brother Derek...i've said it before, this guy is as solid as they come...he did employ some stalking tactics, which was nice to see, and he had absolutely NO problem putting away a very nice horse in Latent Heat...he was also striding out extremely well, as evidenced by the fast final time...he still has yet to try 1 1/8 miles (let alone 1 1/4 miles), but the way he finished yesterday, i don't think distance will be a problem...he also remains unbeaten around two turns (all in graded stakes), and can win from on or off the lead...to me, Brother Derek is the strongest looking Derby favorite since Point Given...i've gotta think he'll win the Santa Anita Derby as well, at which point i think the main issue will be his lack of a race outside California...who knows how he'll handle Churchill, but he never seems to run a bad one...i'm not sure a surface change will matter all that much...

...btw, earlier this week, trainer Neil Drysdale said that Your Tent Or Mine would work "sometime in the next few days"...well, he STILL hasn't shown up yet...they did have an inch of rain in Los Angeles on Friday (there were no recorded works at Hollywood that day), so maybe that altered his plans, but the horse does remain AWOL...

Teaman said...

Enjoy your vacation Alan..you deserve it and enjoy yourself. I just came off of a 7 month long one (a.k.a. Unemployment) and know how enjoyable and relaxing it can be. Take full advantage and have a great time!!

Walter said...

...CHRISTENING UPDATE...Alan's filly worked 48.47 over the Belmont training track yesterday, the 5th best time out of 55 horses...

Tote Board Brad said...

Walter,
Thanks for carrying the torch along while Alan is sipping Mai Tais and fending off the advances of sparsely clad nubile spring breakers on the beach. [Scene: "Oh, Mr. Mann, I just looooove turf writers," the bikini'd lass coo'd, her perky breasts heaving.]

Handride said...

this is f'ing killing me. i check this blog more than i check on my 8 month old. walter keep it coming.

Walter said...

...not much going on right now, but i'll share a few thoughts...first off, i was passing thru Aladdin/Planet Hollywood on Sunday and checked their price on Brother Derek...i was quoted 10/1, which by coincidence is the same price he closed at in the latest Derby Pool (maybe it wasn't a coincidence, who knows)...i was really at a loss as to what to do with that number...no doubt it was the best price in town, so if i chose to bet, i would have to do it there...so i started thinking about Brother Derek's actual chance of making the starting gate, which right now i'd put at even-money...that basically turns 10/1 into 5/1 on race day...which is more or less his chance of winning the race, i think, given the current unknown of his Santa Anita Derby results (he could go either higher or lower than 5/1 on Derby Day, based on how he looks in that race)...i expect him to do well in the SA Derby, so likely he'll go lower than 5/1 on race day, so i thought maybe there was a little value there...but then i started thinking about what a crapshoot the Derby is, with 20 horses in the race and all hell breaking loose once the gates open...it's hard to feel comfortable with 5/1 in that race, no matter WHO you have going for you...so bottom line, i thought 10/1 was a "fair" price, but not a "good" one...not enough value there to justify a wager, so i passed...

...also, i just checked out the Bloodhorse site, and noticed a new Derby Trail article by Steve Haskin, who i like a lot...but i think he must be sniffing glue...he says that the two most impressive performances over the weekend were seen in a maiden race, and a WORKOUT...is he insane???...Brother Derek rating off a fast pace, and then blowing past Latent Heat en route to a 1:41 and change finish, that effort ranks behind a workout...ummm, yeah, sure it does...he then goes on to say that Brother Derek was 1/2, and wasn't beating anyone...first off, just because Brother Derek was 1/2 doesn't mean the race was a foregone conclusion, or that he was SUPPOSED to win by a certain number of lengths...Latent Heat is a stone-cold runner, regardless of the fact that he was lightly-raced, and had no two-turn experience going in...it's very easy to discredit Latent Heat AFTER he loses the race, not so easy beforehand...nice try, Steve...incidentally, i thought Latent Heat ran pretty damn well...he just had too tough a task to deal with, especially in his route debut...i do agree with Haskin's assertion that the Fountain of Youth was no great shakes, but i don't see how anyone can say anything bad about Brother Derek's performance in the Santa Catalina...and as for Brother Derek "not beating anyone", keep in mind that he's already beaten Your Tent Or Mine, Bob and John, and 3/4 of the field in the Breeders Cup...btw, the maiden win Haskin was referring to was Bernardini, in Race 1 @ Gulfstream on Saturday...the workout was by Strong Contender, which i was glad to hear about, because i have more than passing interest in the colt...i am a bit surprised that his trainer (John Ward) is opting for a polytrack run @ Turfway for Strong Contender, considering he needs some graded earnings immediately, and running on polytrack seems pretty dicey...a lot of horses just don't fire over that surface, for whatever reason...but Ward says that Strong Contender has worked over polytrack @ the Keeneland training center, so i guess he knows what he's doing...at least, i hope he does...

...also of note, the under-tack show for the Barrett's sale was held on Sunday, and the fastest quarter was turned in by a Richter Scale colt in 20.80 seconds...interestingly, the colt already has a name, Call Zoll...you don't see that too often at the sales...a total of TEN horses tied for the fastest one-furlong move, in 10 seconds flat...the article didn't mention when the second under-tack show will be held, or if there'll even be one...my guess is it'll take place this weekend...

Walter said...

...trainer Neil Drysdale now says that Your Tent Or Mine is "off the Derby Trail" with a foot injury...thanks for the update, Neil...very forthcoming of you... 8^P

Tote Board Brad said...

Of course, Walter's readers have known YTOM wouldn't be making waves on the Derby Trail for a long time. You get some extra "I called it!" points for that.

You should just be the guest LATGer while Alan is off playing shuffleboard.

Handride said...

all in favor of Walter getting his own blog.... "I"

Tote Board Brad said...

Aye!

Walter said...

...well, whaddaya know???...DISCREET CAT scored a sharp 4-length victory going one mile @ Nad Al Sheba this morning...Godolphin's #1 guy Frankie Dettori was aboard, and had Discreet Cat reserved early near the back of the 7-horse field...Discreet Cat launched a smooth rally approaching the turn, made the lead in early stretch, and was hard-held late, finishing up in 1:35.91...Godolphin racing manager Simon Crisford had this to say: "He won well and we are really pleased with him. It was a nice race to start him off in, and we are now going to step him right up in class in the UAE Derby and see what happens"...for the record, Discreet Cat is WAY short on experience/foundation, but no more than Blues and Royals was last year, ands that one produced a sensational victory in the UAE Derby that compared favorably with Roses in May's impressive World Cup win, run over the same surface on the same day...i considered Blues and Royals a huge threat in the Derby, though he turned out to be ill-fated and was euthanized before Derby Day even arrived...i forget exactly what happened to him, but my point is, Godolphin seems capable of getting a horse ready for a top effort off works alone, and should Discreet Cat run well in the UAE Derby and gain entry into the Derby, it's possible he could deserve some consideration...he's probably no Blues and Royals, but we should know a lot more on World Cup day...stay tuned...

Walter said...

...Bob and John, prepping for the San Felipe on Mar. 18, drilled five furlongs in 58.80 this morning...also on the worktab were stablemates Point of Impact and Point Determined, who worked in 59.40 and 111.80, respectively...Baffert said he has "no plans" for the latter two colts...also on the tab was Baffert's lightning-quick filly My Miss Storm Cat, who went four furlongs in 46.40...nice to see her back on the track...meanwhile, Neil Drysdale says that impressive maiden winner Really Indian is "not a candidate" for the San Felipe...i also read yesterday that the nice Frankel colt Racketeer will likely scratch from the California Derby this weekend, and point at the San Felipe...in other news, Balance appears a go for Sunday's Santa Anita Oaks...so does Wild Fit, who Pat Biancone says will run "rain or shine"...

thecalicocat said...

Round Pond was superb in turning back the strong challenge of Happy Ticket, but again the riding abilities of Stew Elliott left a lot to be desired.
Though he couldn't deliver his usual wide trip coming from the one hole in a six-horse field, he found a new way to screw up when it took him about 10 seconds to get the whip out in the stretch. He looked like a guy going through his pockets in search of a quarter for the parking meter. It's a good thing Round Pond has so much heart because she went on her own.
The time was excellent for that wading pool called Oaklawn. A mile in 1:37+ is damn good at Oaklawn this year.
John Servis is a great guy and great trainer. he deserves better than Stew.