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Friday, February 02, 2007

Invasor Returns

- Invasor's past performance lines [PDF file] are a thing of beauty, ain't they? Four wins in a row, with ascending Beyers up to the 116 earned in the Classic. Another number which stands out is the 6.70-to-1 he went off in his win against Bernardini; easy to say now, eh? What price do you think he would have been had he not been coming off that three month layoff? Tough to speculate, because he was supposed to have run against Bernardini in the Gold Cup. Invasor has been installed as the 6-5 morning line favorite for Saturday's Donn, and I would think that many bettors will be salivating if they see that price.

After all, he's coming off a layoff of nearly exactly the same length as that before the Classic. And unlike before the Classic, when he missed a brief period of training, Kiaran McLaughlin told the Form: "I never stopped on him after the Breeders' Cup."

"I didn't want to stop and have to get him going all over again because it was only 90 days to the Donn. He's doing great and ready to go. He's plenty fit for this race. That won't get him beat."

"It's a handicap and he's carrying 123 pounds, and that's always a concern, but you can't argue the weight when you've got the Horse of the Year....If he gets beat by a lightweight, so be it. Our main goal right now is Dubai."
Note how he said only 90 days - that length of time used to be an eternity. That last statement about Dubai is the kind that might make you think twice about betting the mortgage on him, but it's hard for me to imagine him getting beat. Pletcher has Magna Graduate, coming off a two month layoff, and a 110 Beyer, earned at the Big A, that could make him competitive. But note the running comment of Dictated pace, as well as the presence just to the outside of the speedy Barcola, who should ensure a fast enough pace to set things up for the champ.

Strong Contender starts from the nine post, which is not a good thing. Whatsmore, he suffered some aches and pains in the Hal's Hope, and the best the sometimes cocky John Ward could come up with is: "He's had a couple of good works and I think we're ready." [DRF] Hmmm, maybe this is the time to go to the windows!

Chatain, who won the Hal's Hope, is an extremely promising four-year old son of Forest Wildcat who has lost only to Showing Up in four starts. He seems to me to be the most likely winner, starting from the four post for Angel Penna Jr., should the favorite falter.


Green Mtn Punter said...

Had to laugh at Kieran McLaughlin's comment that Invasor carrying 123 in the Donn Handicap is "...always a concern...."! Kelso and Dr Fager, just 2 of many that come to mind, often carried 130+, and 135+ in some big handicap races, and still won. Low weights, synthetic racing surfaces, designer drugs, and shorter distances are just a few of the most obvious symptoms of the decline of the breed rather than the lofty goal of improvement of the breed. Racing continues to "define performance down", to paraphrase one of the late Sen. Moynihan's most brilliant social insights, as well as memorable sound bites, and somehow I think the general sports fan realizes this about racing and no longer follows the sport other than the Derby and perhaps the Breeders Cup.

Anonymous said...

Claiming fillies carry 123 that every day in NY, which by the way is ridiculous.