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Monday, November 27, 2006

Mighty Effort for Thor's Echo

- Watchmaker makes a case for Discreet Cat as the sprint champ, but I think that Thor's Echo deserves the award. He writes in the Form (sub. only) that the latter's win in the DeFrancis on Saturday was much more workmanlike than impressive. I don't know if I agree with that. Thor's Echo tracked within 2-3 lengths of a very quick pace - the second quarter went in 21.74 - and then had to circle 4-5 wide into the stretch. When confronted with the fresh Diabolical, Thor's Echo dug in like a champ and got the last furlong in 12.04 seconds while conceding the runner-up six pounds and a couple of paths on the turn.

"What a great race," [Diabolical jockey Mario] Pino said afterward. "I thought I had him. [Diabolical] charged at him, but that other horse just kept digging in. We were running; I just couldn't get by the winner." [Washington Post]

I thought it was pretty damn impressive; and even Watchmaker concedes that: it is to Thor's Echo's credit that he was able to run a representative race on such relatively short rest.

- Street Sounds, who took the grassy Selima at Laurel, is a two-year old daughter of Street Cry, getting her first stakes win for Michael Matz. She's now two-for-three since switching to the grass. She's a half sister to Silver Highlight, a stakes winner on the turf at Woodbine this year; and her third dam is the fantastic multiple Grade 1 winning turf filly Sabin, who won 18 of 25 for trainer Woody Stephens in the early 80's.

In the Laurel Futurity for the boys, Alan Goldberg-trained Strike a Deal gave Ramon Dominguez a sweep of the two juvenile grass stakes and became the latest stakes winner for his sire Smart Strike. It's at least his 12th of this year, and his career stats on Equiline now show a lifetime stakes-winners-to-foals percentage of 10%. Strike a Deal is also now two-for-three on the grass. Strike A Deal is out of Shag, a stakes winning daughter of Dixieland Band.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

Lemme get this straight. Watchmaker didn't think Lost in the Fog deserved to be champion sprinter, but now Discreet Cat does? What a freaking moron that guy is. I won't debate whether Discreet Cat is better, i think it's obvious that he is. But is he more deserving? Absolutely not. Lost in the Fog travelled the country all year long, winning every damn one up until the Breeders Cup (at which point he was no doubt affected by the cancer that eventually took his life). In comparison, what has Discreet Cat done? A single allowance race @ 7 furlongs, and a couple of wins in 5-horse fields going a mile??? Big deal. Obviously he met (and vanquished) a couple of serious foes in his most recent effort, but it's too little, too late. How anyone can make a case for a sprint champ who has never competed at 6 furlongs IN HIS ENTIRE CAREER is completely beyond me. How this buffoon got a job as Daily Racing Form's "National Handicapper" remains a mystery. How he keeps that job is an even bigger one.

Btw, if Steven Crist (or anyone similar) happens to read this, i'd like to nominate Alan for that position (or a similar one). I can't think of many people better-suited for the job...