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Wednesday, September 20, 2006

A Bonus For the Gold Cup

- Being the cultural snob that I admit that I am, I grow to despise phenomena such as You Tube once it gets too popular. However, one must adjust to the times, and I've watched with envy as the more technically adept TBA bloggers have utilized the videos from the site. And political sites such as Think Progress have used embedded video effectively to catch some of the lying liars on this unhappy planet in the act.

So, I figured it out; it wasn't that complicated, really. I'll use it sparingly, and wanted to find the tape of Dylan Thomas's win over Ouija Board in the Irish Champion Stakes, since both horses have been in the news the last couple of days. Ouija Board will probably run in the Prix de l'Opera rather than the Arc. You gotta love the way the Brits put things sometimes: After pipping Alexander Goldrun in an epic duel for the Nassau Stakes at Glorious Goodwood, the five-year-old mare was just touched off by Irish Derby winner Dylan Thomas in the Irish Champion Stakes at Leopardstown last time. [Sporting Life]

And today came the news that Dylan Thomas will run in the Jockey Club Gold Cup, and may I say WOO-HOO!! Wow, the top three-year olds in the U.S. and U.K. squaring off right here at Belmont. However, Aidan O'Brien tried to temper expectations, saying that he wasn't expecting Dylan Thomas to be pipping Bernardini. "We wouldn't go there expecting to win it, by any means." [Thoroughbred Times]

In looking for the epic duel between the two on You Tube, when I searched for Ouija Board, all I could find is this Morrissey video.

A search of 'Dylan Thomas' yielded the race, though the call is in French. Appr├ęcier!

[EDIT: I read Walter's comment after I posted this; he points out that the Dylan Thomas news is not being reported in the UK...and O'Brien does say that he "wouldn't go there expecting to win," which does sound rather tentative.]


Anonymous said...

Last i heard, Alexandrova was also pointing at the Prix de l'Opera. Personally, i'd like to see them avoid each other until Breeders Cup Day. If Alexandrova shows a win over Ouija Board coming into the F&M Turf, it would have a huge impact on her race-day price. As it stands now, she could potentially be 4th-choice in an American betting pool behind Ouija Board, Gorella, and Wait a While. I'd hate to see that change.

Anonymous said...

With regard to Dylan Thomas' chances in the Jockey Club Gold Cup (if indeed he runs there), here's how i see it. First off, he's by Danehill, and i don't know of any Danehill's being stakes performers on dirt. But assuming he can handle the surface change (and he's reported to favor fast ground), he's got some serious hurdles to overcome. He's a stone-cold European stayer, accustomed to long distances and a slow early pace. It's extremely difficult to see him staying within shouting distance of a horse like Bernardini thru the first six furlongs, and God Knows, Bernardini isn't the horse you want to give a head-start to. Bernardini aside, given the pace scenario it's also very hard to see Dylan Thomas running down Invasor. Now, i think Aiden O'Brien has the right idea here, because if you're going to run Dylan Thomas in the Classic (and apparently they are), it would certainly behoove him to get a race under his belt and help acclimate him to the American style of racing, namely "speed first". I also think that Dylan Thomas' projected late run would play better in the Classic, where there figures to be a lively pace supplied by Lava Man. No doubt Bernardini will get first run there as well, but hey, that's just something the Euros are gonna have to deal with. Same goes for David Junior, although he's been competing primarily at 1 1/4 miles, and given the long layoff he'll obviously have been doing the bulk of his work over the all-weather surface, with the intent of putting more speed into him. I think the adjustment will go a little more smoothly for him than it would Dylan Thomas or Shirocco. Getting back to Ouija Board, i'm surprised to hear that Dunlop is looking at the Opera, particularly if Alexandrova is still a go. If you're gonna run @ Longchamp on Arc Day, then why not just go in the Arc? It makes sense for Alexandrova to pass, as she would be taking on older horses for the first time, and the Arc would represent a gigantic class hike for her. But Ouija Board has been running against older males for two years now. She missed the Arc last year due to some health issues and a lack of adequate preperation, but that's well behind her now. It seems to me (and this is purely speculation) that her connections simply may not want to face Deep Impact, given the way Heart's Cry thrashed Ouija Board in Dubai (Deep Impact is rated higher than Heart's Cry in Japan). More likely it's Deep Impact/Hurricane Run/Shirocco collectively, but i've never seen a healthy Ouija Board duck anyone, ever. There has to be a reason. Incidentally, if Shirocco does indeed pass the Turf and enter the Classic, and Deep Impact heads back to Japan as expected, i think Ouija Board would have a heckuva shot in the Turf. It's also worth noting she was cross-entered for the Turf back in 2004, when she won the F&M Turf @ Lone Star. 90% chance she goes for the F&M again, but just something to keep in mind.

John said...

Nice to see you have taken your seat on the Youtube bandwagon. Right now posting these videos is one of the few distinct advantages we bloggers hold over the mainstream press. I would assume that they will also get on the bandwagon soon and crowd us little guys out. But I think we are ahead of the curve with this and when Bloodhorse starts regularly posting video, I will smile and say to myself, we did it first!