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Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Belmont Notes

- It's not quite Discreet Cat vs. Invasor, but those crazy Maktoum brothers will mix it up in the third at Belmont on Wednesday. Rondo is 3-5 in the morning line; the $2.9 million son of Grand Slam didn't miss a beat returning from a nearly nine month layoff at Gulfstream. Joe Bravo never moved a muscle, and he seemed to have a real smooth stride. Godolphin trainer bin ("Don't call me Bin") Suroor Saeed has won three out of four at the meeting and is now five for nine this year. The main challenger would appear to be Shadwell's Abraaj, cutting back to six furlongs for Kiaran McLaughlin and jockey Alan Garcia. And tell me this - why does Alan Garcia have his full first name listed in the Racing Form?

Admiral Bird is running in the 7th, and I got hooked on this three-year old son of Royal Academy when he made his debut at Saratoga last summer. I have him on my DRF Watch List and have been getting all the workout reports, but the notice of him being entered to run in this race ended up in my bulk folder; and that's not the first time that same sequence has occurred. You think maybe it's because of the word 'entry?'

Admiral Bird caught my attention with an exciting burst between horses to win that debut, and I eagerly awaited his return. It came on September 1, and I was on my way to crushing the $52 exacta with Giant Chieftain and getting out for the meeting when Admiral Bird lugged in badly. And despite Garrett Gomez having to nurse him home carefully, he missed by just a nose to Fernando Po with Giant Chieftain another nose back. I guess that means I would have lost that exacta even if Admiral Bird won... But I was really close to getting out!

He moved up to open company and beat Twilight Meteor in a Keeneland allowance before running third there to the same on Polytrack. Now he's back after seven months off for Clement, 14-5-3-3 at the meeting, including layoff winners Resound and Operation Red Dawn. This is a tough and interesting field, which again includes Twilight Meteor, now a stakes winner for Pletcher on Poly and turf, and back on grass after a brief appearance on the Derby Trail. Strike A Deal (Smart Strike) is another scary one coming off another good layoff trainer in Alan Goldberg; he won the Laurel Futurity in his last start. Summer Doldrums makes his grass debut; he caused a brief sensation winning the Whirlaway over the winter. He's by Street Cry out of an Unaccounted For mare; and has a bit of grass in his pedigree - his second dam is a half sister to the French Group 1 winner Var. But I look for him to be overbet off his dirt form. So it's a competitive race to be sure, but I'm definitely not letting Admiral Bird get by me at what should be a decent price.


Anonymous said...

Because there must be another A. Garcia riding. Might very well be more than one. And your comments still don't work properly.

Anonymous said...

Comments are working just fine for me, to some of your dismay I am sure :).

I too had the Admiral in that race, I think on your recommendation, but had him linked with Fernando Po. Different EX, same result.

Today's 7th and 8th at Belmont, and to some extent the 3rd, are why I love the Belmont spring meet. And 4 turf races is tough to beat!

KEE and SAR rightfully get terrific coverage, do not understand the lack of respect from the industry press for the BEL spring meet.

Weather is great (usually) as is the venue, and even on weekdays there is always a race worth the trip to the paddock.

Two longshots in the mentioned races may be worth using to potentially enhance the exotic payouts;

3rd - #5 Sweet Grass Creek 20-1 ML, not so much the animal but the trainer is on fire right now off the claim.

7th - #1 Angelouie 8-1 ML (Serpe/Prado!) - amibitiously place by an usually conservative trainer off impressive maiden win, may be the real deal.

Other spot plays;

8th - #3 Dina 6-1 ML - loved her in last, was compromised by horrid trip, one more try vs. competitive field.

9th - #5 Triple Bogey Blues 10-1 ML (Kieran/Alan Garcia), post time price will be more like 7-2, tries grass in second start for hot barn, has money burning disappointment Dubliner to beat in NY Bred finale, may provide value in the late DD.

Good luck - Mr. Ed

Anonymous said...

Yeah, I may have overlooked Angelouie, another one I have history with as I had him when he got nailed by a nose two back. And for everyone's information, the trainer that Mr. Ed mentioned that is hot off the claim is Diane Balsamo...not a lot of winners, but as I'd mentioned recently, she's moving them up. Seems as if she's found a couple of owners with money, as we're seeing her make some high priced claims.

And don't forget, Highland Cat runs in the 7th on Thursday. I'm not going to be able to post again today until later tonight, but I am definitely hoping to be there, so if anyone else is, please drop by the paddock, and hopefully the winner's circle to say hello!

Anonymous said...

Talk of that September Admiral Bird race brings back memories...I was having a spectacular meet at that point. I didn't bet that whole card until that race - $50 to win on A.B., at what I thought was a very generous 9/ lock and load play o' the day....
Before the race some guy in the row in front of us started talking up some horse, can't remember which one, but it wasn't the eventual winner. The guy was talking a lot of smack about his pick being a lock and how the rest of us shouldn't bother betting against him, yadda yadda.
I didn't say much back to him beforehand, or during the early stages of the race, but as A.B. came charging down the center of the course, I yelled, as loud as humanly possible, "GARRET GOMEZ, BABY, PICKIN' 'EM UP AND LAYIN' 'EM DOWN!" After all, I was hot, and he looked like a certain winner...
well, you know the rest...pride cometh before the fall, eh? The Bird somehow lost and all the good karma and discipline and good handicapping of the first five and a half weeks went out the window as soon as they posted that photo. It was still a great year but man, I got my head handed to me that last weekend. And it's all Admiral Bird's fault :)