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Thursday, April 26, 2007

Turf to Poly, Poly to Turf

- Graham Motion is one of those trainers that I've mentioned at Keeneland, and today he took the Grade 3 Ben Ali on the Polytrack with 26-1 Jade's Revenge, who just barely held off 14-1 Minister's Joy, who I had a big bet on the last time he ran (and ran second). The latter easily transferred his turf form to the Polytrack, unleashing his usual late burst to miss by a nose. Same goes for Mustanfar, another nose back in third completing a $6400 triple, who'd been running strictly on turf. The biggest impression I've gotten from my first experience of intense handicapping on a synthetic surface is the interchangeability of turf and Polytrack form. I've heard that that's the case, and I can say with no reservation that it's certainly true, at least at Keeneland.

I picked three winners in the Special today, two of them in off-the-turf races in which the winners won the way I expected them to, for a change. In fact, I didn't even know that they had come off the grass, and I wouldn't have cared anyway. I knew it was supposed to rain there today, but didn't bother doing an off-the-turf contingency pick, because I really don't think it matters. Of course, like everything else, there's nothing 100% certain, as those who lost on Wait A While would tell you. But at the end of the three week meeting, I make virtually no distinction between turf and Poly form. At Keeneland anyway.

First year sire Sky Mesa, undefeated at two including the Grade 1 Hopeful, had a winner in the baby race. Twenty Eight Hours, 15-1 morning line, went off at 3-1 and got up by a head over the Asmussen horse. Woo-hoo, don't you love this game? He's out of a Clever Trick mare who's a half-sister to the dam of Langfuhr.


Neal Watzman said...

It doesn't surprise me at all that horses are going both directions at Keeneland. I can only scratch my head (like I do most seasons) at how that track plays. But it does seem like the races are ridden much more like turf races that what we used to expect to see on the Keeneland dirt.

I would exclude California turf in this assumption. Seemed to me that the Santa Anita turf played almost like the dirt and was almost as hard. Lots of speed winning out there.

Although I do love that downhill course. Great to watch.

Anonymous said...

If you see any Chosir 2 year olds running in the US watch them closely. He's had 5 different winners in the UK and Ireland already. 3 of them were first time out.