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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

A Key Story

- I've said before that one might want to be careful about assuming that any past performance line that contains italicized names amongst a race's top three finishers is a key race. A subsequent winner could have raced against far inferior company or on a different surface.

Darley has Tall Story in the third at Belmont today, and make no mistake about it, this one is most certainly coming out of a key race. Not only did the first three finishers win (and five overall), but two of them won stakes within their next two starts (runner-up Malakoff went on to win the G3 Marine at Woodbine).

Tall Story (Quiet American) was far behind in that race, but was steadied down the backstretch, and now makes his first start since that April 1 for Tom Albertrani. He's a half brother to current sire Abaginone, and to Grade 1 winner Cara Rafaela, the dam of Bernardini. He'll face a $1.85 million yearling purchase in Fairbanks (Giant's Causeway), who is trying the dirt for Pletcher after two unsuccessful tries on grass. He's a half-brother to Keats, and his dam, by Time for a Change, is a half to the popular handicap star Darn That Alarm.