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Monday, February 12, 2007

Notes - Feb 12

- Street Sense continued his leisurely preparation for the Derby trail with a five furlong work in 1:03.40 on Monday morning at Palm Meadows (just barely quicker than Highland Cat's 1:03.86 at Belmont). The first of what will be just two preps including the Blue Grass has not yet been determined. The skeptics are lining up, but the Lexington Herald-Leader's Maryjean Wall points out that Nafzger has always had his own ideas of how to train horses, and that he's proud of the major races he won when all the armchair quarterbacks thought his methods bizarre.

The classic Nafzger moment was his preparation of Kentucky Derby winner Unbridled for winning the 1990 Breeders' Cup Classic, then worth $3 million, run at 11/4 miles on dirt.

Nafzger brought Unbridled to the race off a trio of unorthodox races: a sprint, followed by a race on turf, then back to the dirt for the Super Derby, which was an off-road event in those years.
Street Sense closed at 10-1 in the Derby futures pool, making him the second choice amongst individual entries; Nobiz Like Shobiz was 8-1. Hard Spun is a slightly higher 10-1, and he's followed by three Pletcher horses, Ravel (11-1), Circular Quay (12-1), and Any Given Saturday (14-1). As Walter said, don't even get me started on how ridiculous this stuff is.

Except regarding Circular Quay. As I surmised, he is much lower than Notional, who won the Risen Star and is listed at 27-1. Those odds on Notional are easily, in my opinion, the biggest relative overlay amongst horses that have run this year. Pletcher's colt got bet based on what bettors surmised as to what he might have done had he not been taken up at the top of the stretch. And they may be right. He saved significant ground compared to the winner, and one can certainly speculate that he would have been much closer at the end. However, given his dead closer style and the 20 horse field he would have to weave his way through, his fair value probably wouldn't be much less than 12-1 come Derby day even if he wins his next two preps (unless he proves himself to be far, far better than most of us thinks he is).


El Angelo said...

The only future bets that made any sense, I think, are Notional at 27-1, and Out of Gwedda as a total flyer at >150-1. I don't like either in particular, but they're fair odds at this time.

Anonymous said...

Circular Quay has gotta be one of the most over-hyped 3yo's in recent memory. What have we got here, a horse who's 0-for-3 around two turns and hasn't won a race since last September? And he's somehow considered a major Derby contender? Nice colt and all, but gimme a break. I'd also like to point out the Steve Klein article yesterday, where he called Liquidity "an attractive overlay" at 50/1. Let's have a look at Liquidity, shall we? 0-for-4 around two turns, and barely made it around the track in his only race outside California. THIS is a horse that a Racing Form "expert" likes for the Derby??? He also mentioned that he likes Any Given Saturday and Adore The Gold. Those two make Liquidity's form look solid. Good grief. Btw, notice that all three of those horses saw their odds drop after Klein's article came out. Nice work, Steve. Might as well supply your readers with some bad stock tips while you're at it...

Regarding Notional, you guys know that i'm a big fan of Exhale, who ran a big second vs. Notional in their common debut. But how did Exhale go off at THE SAME PRICE as Notional in this Derby pool??? Exhale recentluy came back to win a maiden race @ 6.5 furlongs. Meanwhile, Notional has run in 4 stakes, winning the last two of them in impressive fashion around two turns. Those horses are not exactly equal, at least in terms of their current Derby credentials.

Anonymous said...

Rail bias or not, I am really bullish on Street Sense for the Derby (and in spite of what his prescribed training regimen may or may not offer); the Street Cry 3yo's have really blossomed as the distances have increased this year, and he should be no different.

Also, loved Trombetta's 3yo sprint maiden winner (by Street Cry as well) at GP over the weekend. Short price, but very stiff pace ability coming in and a runaway in his second lifetime start. Too late for the derby, but maybe he can make some noise later in the year...

Calgary, Alberta

Anonymous said...

Walter wrote: "Circular Quay has gotta be one of the most over-hyped 3yo's in recent memory."

Agreed, but this horse is nowhere close to the hype stratosphere achieved by Dollar Bill in 2001. At least Quay has a couple of big wins.