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Monday, June 12, 2006

Good News and Second Thoughts

- Christina from Team Belmont correctly points out that I failed to mention the incident at the starting gate that resulted in two scratches and a couple of bruised but otherwise not significantly injured fillies. I guess I was concentrating on the good news, but that actually was good news, because nobody got hurt. There are always going to be accidents on the racetrack, just as there are on the Long Island Expressway, so it’s prodigious news whenever injury is avoided. Of course, that incident, plus Nar’s visually spectacular crash through the hedge prompted one headline writer to declare Horse racing's danger is revealed once again. [Stamford Advocate]

And I see that Christina had Jazil, and so apparently did Patrick on top in the exacta after dismissing him entirely in his last post before the race. Also, there was a reader who picked Jazil in the comments section; but he missed the Pick Four by the neck by which Hello Liberty lost to Bushfire, so let’s hope he made out OK on the 11th race.

As far as my day, I was pretty damn demoralized going into the Belmont. I picked out the two Godolphin horses to stand against in the early races. I knew I was in big trouble after Safsoof won, because betting against him was easily the better case. On closer inspection, there wasn’t much quality in there against Afrashad, and I guess now 3-2 is looking pretty damn good.

I talked wrote myself off of Too Much Bling and Songster and took a shot with Fabulous Strike in the Woody Stephens. Then I was alive in the Pick Three for one race, as Bushfire was part of my spread. The Pick 3’s of the scratched Miraculous Miss and Wonder Lady L were the only things I cashed on all day. But in the Manhattan, I knew I was out with English Channel when I saw Cacique repelling his advances on the lead. I had nothing going on going into the big race.

Then, Sunriver was dead on the board at 7-1, eventually edging down to 6-1, and even though I should know better than to pay attention to that considering all the wacky betting we’ve been seeing in the Triple Crown races, it couldn’t help but dampen my enthusiasm a bit. I ended up essentially with a triple box of the first three finishers – except that I didn’t use Jazil on top. I kinda wanted to bet him – after all, I picked up on him and his stellar pedigree after his maiden win. But I looked and saw a horse with only a maiden win to his credit, a Kentucky Derby effort that didn’t excite me, and a plodding style that we’ve been almost indoctrinated into believing can’t win the Belmont. I swear, 20 years ago, this horse would have been the 3-1 favorite in this race.

Of course, Jazil didn’t use that style, and Fernando Jara may have watched tapes of Jeremy Rose’s ride last year. Perhaps his losing an iron after the start was a blessing as well. If Jara had any inclination to try to get his horse closer, as we had read he was instructed to do, having to pause to regain his iron left him no choice but to ease over to the rail and save ground while just loping along. In the meantime, John Velazquez was caught contesting the leaders five wide on Bluegrass Cat on the first turn. You gotta think that the result of this race could have been different had Pletcher’s horse taken a shorter route around that turn; that was a huge difference in both ground covered and energy expended just there. Still, Bluegrass Cat was tough and game right to the finish despite covering what seems like more ground than the mere length and a quarter he lost by.

But hey, that’s just sour grapes. Props to the winner and to everyone who had him. There was a lot to be said for betting a horse that you just knew would still be running at the end, and other than Steppenwolfer, who just doesn’t have a winning move in his repertoire (at least against these horses), Jazil was the only one that qualified before the race.


Anonymous said...

Discreet Cat worked 5f today. 1.01:8

Anonymous said...

I'll add my sucker bets of the day just to make you feel better.

Saratoga Jet - I see you liked him too. New rule: No more NY breds in open company.

Spanish Chestnut/Vicarage exacta - Vicarage now owes me more than Going Wild.

I had English Channel. And Too Much Bling as well (I guess I have my 3 yo and older horses sprints mixed up in my mind.) Not bad bets, just horses that disspointed at short odds.

I can't believe you weren't impressed with Jazil's effort in the KY Derby. He used the same ground saving trip, but he was like...18th at the top of the stretch with a wall of horses in front of him. I still can't figure out how he DHd for 4th.

Has anyone heard any news from Henny Hughes? Triumphant return in the Kings Bishop maybe?

Craziness in the Acorn. Its always scary to see a horse stuck under the gate. I'm glad Miraculous Miss got away with just scrapes and bruises. Her and Wonder Anne Lady L are a couple of horses I think I want to see run at Churchill in October.

Alan Mann said...

I'm actually about to post about Henny Hughes - he's due back on July 1 at Monmouth.

I'm still trying to figure out how Brother Derek DH's for 4th in that race!

Anonymous said...

My P4 post did lose by a neck, but I actually did include Bushfire at the last moment after a very astute handicapper pointed her out to me. Still think M Miss may have run them down late, but at least she is ok and will live to prove me right another day.

BTW, had my best day ever. When Wend was scratched decided to expand the P4 to a P6, using the three favorites in the first leg and singling Gorella.

Could not afford the entire expanded ticket so decided to single Cacique, who I kept liking more and more as I stared at the form, in the Manhattan.

I still don't believe he won the photo, but I certainly will take the 17k+.

P6 is a suckers bet, the small players are the fish that get eaten alive by the bigshots, but all of us fall for it once in a while in the hope that for once we will be right and the big score will come our way. Well, it finally happened for me!!

As my buddy pointed out I am probably now even lifetime in the wager, but it does not diminish the thrill.

And as with most horse players, even when I score I have to complain about something, imagine how much it would have paid if M Miss stayed upright and won the race??

That being said, I am happy she is Ok and even more happy my buddy gave me Bushfire and she came through to win it for me.

Anonymous said...

Congrats on the pick 6!!!. I was pissed at New York because I had tow tickets that had 3 of 4 in the pick 4. I was hurt on that 9th race because I was going against Adieu and had the 5-6-9. Both 5 and 6 scratched and I was expecting a consolation pick 4 twice and found out that New York gives you the favorite (who I correctly decided to pick against) and got nothing. Fif have a $10.00 exacta in the Belmont to help the sting, but gosh-If I had wanted the 2 I would have played the 2. Byanose

Alan Mann said...

Hot damn, man! The Pick Six, way to go!!! Please come back and enlighten us again!

Anonymous said...

Thanks, I certainly will, but please do not place too much value on my picks. Was a long time between drinks on the P6 wager, and admittedly I got very lucky with the Cacique photo and more importantly to run into my friend who opened my eyes to Bushfire.