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Friday, September 15, 2006

The Sixth at Belmont

I know this is kind of like a Dan Illman post, but...

What do you think of the 6th race at Belmont on the Saturday card? That's a tough one.

OK, I'll take that one; it is an interesting race. Of course, the track condition will be a big factor; it will definitely be wet, but could be at the drying out/tiring stage by then. Extreme Supreme is the morning line favorite for John Ward. He returns after about six weeks off after winning by seven at Saratoga. But that race may look better on paper than it really was. I'm wouldn't put too much into the fact that the second and third place finishers came back to win. That's Our Point won in $40K maiden claiming company; and Tall Story lasted against three rivals in an off-the-turf race that was absolutely excruciating to watch - he ran the final three furlongs in :41.1.

On Board Again was very, very good in his return at Saratoga. He was significantly wide throughout the turn for home, but battled on until the end, just missing against a couple of decent horses, particularly the graded stakes placed Simon Pure. That was his first race in eight months; Frankel is 24% second off the 180+ layoff. So I think he'll be a prime factor assuming he handles the track. He's 5-1 morning line, but I think that's a pipe dream.

Nick makes a case for Superfly, who wasn't far behind On Board Again in his first race since April. It makes sense, but I dunno, I just don't care for this horse, nor his brother for that matter. But who am I to argue with a guy who hit a $900 exacta the other day?

A horse that interests me is Border Cat, 6-1 morning line. He's had two decent tries at shorter since coming to America for Richard Dutrow. He's registered quick final eighths both times, and had some trouble in each, five wide in one and bumped offstride at the start in the other. Now he stretches out to the one turn mile, and there's no reason he shouldn't relish this modest stretch out. He's by Storm Cat, out of a Devil's Bag mare who is a half-sister to the dam of Johannesburg; and his second dam is a full sister to Preach, the dam of Pulpit. He also has the highest Tomlinson mud number in the field.

So I think I'll stand against Extreme Supreme for the top spot, and against Oh So Awesome as well. The latter was purchased by Team Valor specifically for the Belmont, and the cutback to a mile smacks of desperation after some disappointing tries. He is dropping in class significantly though, and I suppose has to be used in exotics. I like On Board Again and Border Cat and will have to see the tote before deciding exactly what to do, but an exacta box seems in order and perhaps some triples keying one or both of those two with the others mentioned above.


Anonymous said...

Alan, I know what you mean about Superfly and his brother Andromeda's Hero. Earners, not winners, the kind you'd rather own than bet on. He's a grinder, he has to have some things go his way to be there at the end. Though 10 to 1's on the ML rarely inspire confidence. There's enough speed in the race to set it up for one off the pace. It looks like no more rain in Elmont today so the track will probably be "good" by the time they get around to the 6th...enjoy the track-less weekend and good luck to everyone today.Nick

Anonymous said...

Following up on Alan reporting the changes in the composition of the Polytrack at Turfway Park; much less kick back, it acts more like a traditional track, the stuff not being thrown up into the air. No more "snow". They promised faster times, they have broken the track record for 1 mile...tho overall, I dont see a significant difference. Nick