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Monday, November 27, 2006

Distance For Discreet Cat?

- Godolphin Guy Rick Mettee told David Grening of the Form, of Discreet Cat: "I still think it's going to be a question mark whether he gets the mile and a quarter."

"Any horse that has a cruising speed of 1:07-and-three and can run a mile [in 1:32.46] - how many horses do you see do that and still run a mile and a quarter? Precisionist is one, off the top of my head, that was a good sprinter and who got the mile and a quarter."
Discreet Cat won the UAE Derby at a mile and an eighth; that's the longest he's gone, and that is the race in which he beat Invasor by some seven lengths. His real trainer, Saeed bin Suroor, now mentions the Godolphin Mile as a possible alternative to the mile and a quarter World Cup; and Mettee talked about bringing him back to the U.S. in the seven furlong Tom Fool at Saratoga.

I say 'let's see,' before we anticipate too much. I'm not being solely skeptical of the connections; they do seem sincere in their intentions to bring the horse back. It's more a wariness of the fickle finger of fate which seems to plague this sport when it seems like something good is going to happen. That plus the fact that I don't imagine it would take much in the way of a minor injury to put the kibosh on the whole thing.

Because if they really don't think he's a mile and a quarter horse - and that's the way he's been campaigned, and the way the early indications are of what his campaign next year would be - then I don't see what they really have to gain from a business perspective to bring him back at all. This isn't like the old days; he doesn't have to prove any durability. Equaling (almost) the track record at a mile at Aqueduct while giving actual weight to older Grade 1 horses and going the first six furlongs in 1:07.3 is certainly sufficient to ensure a lucrative stud career these days - especially when it caps an undefeated career of sheer brilliance. Vindication comes to mind - he went to stud at $60,000 after going four-for-four at two; so we can imagine what an undefeated and freaky son of the extremely popular Forestry could get now.

It's hard to believe that they would bring him back here for the Tom Fool; where would that lead - to the Vosburgh? The Breeders Cup Mile? If the Sheikh's people don't think he's up to the mile and a quarter Classic, then I don't see the point in him coming back here after World Cup day - from a business perspective, of course. There just doesn't seem to be that much upside there. Of course, perhaps they're just trying to be great sportsmen by giving us all a chance to be dazzled again by an absolutely brilliant thoroughbred. I'll believe that when I see it.

- Discreet Cat got a Beyer of 116 for the Cigar Mile.

- The "numbers" would indicate that a mile and a quarter should be within the capabilities of Discreet Cat. He has a dosage index of 2.67, and his Tomlinson distance rating is 379.

He's out of a mare by Private Account, a Grade 1 winner at a mile and a quarter (Widener Handicap). He has inbreeding to Buckpasser and Ribot. His half brother, Pretty Wild, by Wild Again, was definitely a miler - he took the Grade 2 Jerome at that distance. But if you go further back in the distaff pedigree, you'll see that this is the family of the Belmont winner Touch Gold and the distance turf specialist With Approval. [Their third dam is the fifth dam of Discreet Cat.]

What that all means, we won't know until he tries the distance, as we all sincerely hope he will. It's fun to try and figure it out on paper; but it will be much more fun if we find out at around 5:30 P.M. at Monmouth next October 27.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

I think the Godolphin guys are on dope. Either that, or they're just f---ing with the media again. Anyone who witnessed Discreet Cat's tour de force in the UAE Derby should know that 1 1/4 miles is NO PROBLEM. I've already gone into detail on this blog about how Discreet Cat virtually matched the 1 1/4 final-time of World Cup winner Electrocutionist. This while being an under-developed early season 3yo. Just add 13 seconds for Discreet Cat's missing final furlong (which he surely could've run quicker than that), and you'll see what i mean. Throw in the fact that he's had ample time to grow and fill out, plus the additional foundation he has now with 3 more races under his belt, and it's even more of a no-brainer.