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Sunday, April 15, 2007

Monday Morning Notes - April 16

- Another week and a couple of days to go of my handicapping for the Keeneland Special. I'm endeavoring to post here as much as possible, but please bear with me through any gaps. Especially with the Rangers home Tuesday and Wednesday nights this week!

Highland Cat is entered in that long-awaited grass race on Wednesday, a $35,000 NW2 event that seems like a perfect spot for him. Unfortunately, there are a couple of problems. For one thing, he didn't draw into the main body of the race; he's first on the also eligible list, so he needs a scratch to get in. Whatsmore, the northeaster that battered the area with several inches of rain is still lingering and is expected to do so through tomorrow, so it seems highly doubtful to me that the race will stay on the grass.

- A few Keeneland notes: Trainer Phil Sims is definitely one to watch there. He had three close seconds with his last three starters last week, and broke through to the winner's column on Sunday with Unthinkable in the third; 10-1 morning line, he paid $11.80 with Leparoux.

Ken McPeek had a winner, a second, and a third on Sunday. He's a guy who hasn't enjoyed much success at Keeneland over the last couple of years - he's 3 for 52 during that time. So maybe he's due for a couple more winners. Also keeping an eye on Graham Motion, Dale Romans, and, of course, Michael Matz.

Perfect Drift had no excuse for his second to Stream Cat on Saturday. He saved ground on both turns - he ran 45 feet less than the winner - but just wasn't good enough to handle a horse who had never run faster than an 88 Beyer. You can point to the layoff, of course, but he's going to have to do much better than that if he wants to continue competing against top company at the age of eight. Stream Cat was coming off a layoff too, and a longer one - he hadn't been out since July for Biancone. The trainer also won there with Quasicobra off a similar layoff last week.

Wait A While was fifth in Saturday's Jenny Wiley, which was transferred to Polytrack due to the rain. I guess not every turf horse takes to the surface.

"She was herself, and she tried to give her usual performance," said her jockey, Garrett Gomez. "But you could just tell she couldn't get a hold of the racetrack." [DRF]


Anonymous said...

Two Questions:

1. Any word on Curlin's Beyer?

2. Any word on where/when/if Discreet Cat is expected to reappear?


Anonymous said...

Actually, one more question:

During the 120+ year streak of nobody winning the Derby without racing at 2, how many horses have actually run in the Derby who didn't race at 2, but won 3 races including a Grade II or better stakes race? Even lowering the bar a little, how many have run in the Derby who won 2 races including a Grade III or better? Unless there are a substantial amount, then the 'streak' is meaningless as a consideration in evaluating Curlin at this point.

Michael said...

Perfect Drift uses a turf race at Keeneland as a comeback race every year. In 04 he used the Makers Mark mile and got killed... then went on to hit the board in six races in a row.

I can't find how he did last year in his come-back race, but he did come in last in the Woodford Res. Turf (2nd off a layoff) in May and then came in 2nd in the Foster, Wash. and Ky Cup.

He may be slowing down, but it looks to me like his connections use April and May as "off layoff" races for a focus on hitting the board in June-September.

My wife says the best bet in racing is "Perfect Drift to place."

Anonymous said...

Question Allen or others, Perhaps Walter can shed some light. Why would Magnificience not be in the future pools for the Oaks? She is a 3 year old filly is she not? Do the Filly's have to be nominated and she is not. Just wondering?
Thanks, byanose

Valerie Grash said...

I don't believe she was nominated, plus it has been announced that her next race is the May 13 G3 Railbird Stakes at Hollywood Park. There some discussion of the reasoning for not taking the Oaks route here:

Anonymous said...

thanks valerie!!!

Valerie Grash said...

News in the DRF tonight that Magnificience will be sidelined now until next year because of a chip in her left front ankle...what a disappointment!

Anonymous said...

Another Perfect Drift fan checking in! Love "his" longevity and 75% in the money finishes over 5? 6? seasons, oh, and the $5 mill plus in purse money. This is the kind of horse any owner would love to see in his barn- "Have Grade I Stakes Horse, Will Travel". The all expenses paid way to see the USA along with your friends- could it possibly get any better than that?! It's the Perfect Drifts, John Henry's, Fourstardaves, et al that make racing worthwhile for this long-time racing fan. Can't get excited about the Derby anymore- wake me up when we get to the Belmont Stakes, the first 3 YO race that really matters, followed by TheTravers.

Green Mtn Punter