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Sunday, February 04, 2007

Still Learning

- Nobiz Like Shobiz just exuded class in winning the Holy Bull; I thought that once he emerged from an early four-way scrum, sticking his snout in front of Scat Daddy, he looked like a winner every subsequent step of the way. I was surprised to see John Velazquez take on Nobiz early like that, and as they rounded the turn, Larry Collmus noted that Pletcher's colt was "pushed on for more speed." Meanwhile, Cornelio Velasquez was just cruising along on the favorite.

But the really scary thing is to imagine what this colt might be like once he actually learns how to race! Watch him in the stretch as he struggled to change to his right lead. For awhile there, it looks to me as if he was almost coming down on both leads simultaneously, and for more than just a few strides. Once he finally switched over, and he settled into his majestic strides, I really noticed how he just towered in physical stature over his two closest pursuers.

'It worked out absolutely perfectly,'' trainer Barclay Tagg said. "I needed a win. I didn't plan to come back in a one-mile race, but that's how the series [at Gulfstream] is set up." [Miami Herald]
Drums of Thunder, as I mentioned in the preceding post, ran an excellent second, and though he was no match for the winner, he's an improving colt with a lot of foundation who will appreciate stretching back out to two turns. His trainer William Kaplan told the Thoroughbred Times: “He ran second to a monster today...I’m tickled to death with the way he ran against these good horses."

- Keyed Entry's owner Jack Wolf told the Daily Racing Form: "We all made a mistake trying to do the Triple Crown thing with this horse last year...It was like trying to fit a square peg into a round hole." Reading that quote makes me realize just how many owners who make the same mistake don't admit it! Fortunately, based on his smashing return to the races in Saturday's Deputy Minister, Keyed Entry has survived the Derby trail and is ready to stake his claim in the sprint division this year. "I would think that as long as we don't screw it up, this horse has a future as a very good sprinter." [BRIS]

This one was just about never in doubt; the fractions of 22.25 and 44.53 were well within his ability, and he easily disposed of Kelly's Landing in the upper stretch, making him three for three on this track.

- Keyed Entry was the only winner on the day at Gulfstream for the Pletcher barn, but out of the ten runners they started on the day, eight ran in the money, including J'Ray's second in the Suwannee River, AP Arrow's good third in the Donn, and a close second by Host in the Canadian Turf. Whatsmore, the barn's Ravel took the mile and an eighth Sham Stakes at Santa Anita.