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Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Extra Quality

- Nice allowance for three-year old fillies at Gulfstream on Wednesday as Magical Ride, who burned a ton of money in the Adirondack (.95 to 1) and Matron Stakes (6-5) last summer, makes her return for trainer George Arnold. She's a daughter of Storm Cat out of Victory Ride (Seeking the Gold), who won the Test for Arnold in 2001. The 102 Beyer she earned when I had her in her debut was subsequently downgraded by ten points, which still towers over anything else in here. But she seems to need the lead, and she could have her hands full with Quality Affair, starting from the outside eight post for Allen Jerkens (ok?). The Chief is hot, hitting just under .300 (10 for 31) at the meet, and this daughter of Elusive Quality is enjoying her trip to Florida. She makes her third start of the form cycle after winner her last in front running fashion.

Randy Moss' pace figures in the Form indicate that Quality Affair can give Magical Ride a tussle up front, so I think that the 6 1/2 furlongs may be a half furlong further than they'll last. Two fillies come off debut wins in which they each benefited from a pace scenario such as the one suggested for this race. Silverinyourpocket (Silver Deputy) is the 5-2 morning line favorite for Helen Pitts. She took her debut at 9-1, holding off Slammingpartygirl (Grand Slam - I'm In Celebration), a hot Pletcher returnee.

But why she's favored over Pletcher's Extra Classy (3-1) in this race, I'm not sure - perhaps it's her two point Beyer advantage? Extra Classy was 6-5 in her debut on Jan 21, and was impressive enough to get a mention here. She was confidently handled by Johnny V, and won off after seeming to have a little trouble changing leads. The third and fourth horses (Quality Affair being the former) both came back to win maiden specials. And, of course, Pletcher is hot. So this one looks formidable.

- They're certainly not shy in Dubai, are they? No less than 15 opponents are lined up to face Discreet Cat on Thursday in the one mile Lahan Burj Nahaar Stakes at Nad Al Sheba, for which he's listed as the even money favorite.


Anonymous said...

Something to be looking for tomorrow:

Discreet Cat came from off the pace in his one-mile prep @ Nad Al Sheba last year. He also rather off the pace very comfortably in the UAE Derby. I've already seen speculation that he's going to be on the lead in the World Cup. I don't think that's necessarily true. Sure he's gotta ton of speed, but he's silky-smooth and extremely versatile, i think. We should have a much better idea what to expect in the World Cup after tomorrow's race.

I'd like to go on record (if i haven't already) and say that Discreet Cat is probably the best horse i've ever seen. I've seen comparable talent, but the others are mostly one-dimensional. Discreet Cat is just a lot more versatile. On the pace, off the pace, sprints, routes, he does it all. If i had to compare him to anyone, i'd say Congaree, but i don't think there's much question Discreet Cat is better. Other similar animals might be Ghostzapper or Holy Bull.

Anonymous said...

According to my recollection (if I'm thinking of the right horse...I'm at work right now) Quality Affair broke from the 14 hole, showed outstanding acceleration entering the turn three wide, took over through a hot 1/4 to 1/2 fraction, then drew off professionally. I marked her up as a maiden who would easily win at the next level, but I didn't think she'd face this tough of a field. Nevertheless, looks like I'll have to head to the OTB and see what the price is.


Anonymous said...

Please heap scorn on the above commenter, as he deserves it: Quality Affair finished last.

Anonymous said...

Feel free to heap scorn upon the above blogger as well, as he too deserves it: Pletcher's filly finished 5th at even money, ouch.