RSS Feed for this Blog

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Thursday Night Notes - May 17

- Oh man, 2-5 on Pletcher's Brooke's Valentine in the baby race at Belmont today. Sometimes I wonder in a case like this if all the bettors even noticed that she's a filly racing against colts. I'll admit to sometimes missing that; in fact, the very first race of the Keeneland meeting, I had no clue that Yogi'ssplashofgold, who I picked for third in the Special, was a filly until the race was over. Fortunately, I didn't write anything to embarrass myself (and even if I had, Jamie, the sharp-eyed editor, would have bailed me out again). As I mentioned yesterday, Brooke's Valentine came out of a key race which included Rated Fiesty, who went on to win against colts in a Grade 3 at Churchill (the aforementioned Yogi'ssplashofgold was second).

This time she was ahead by open lengths turning for home, and as they passed the eighth pole, I'm sure her backers were ready to go to the windows. But Ascot Hall was cranking it up in the middle of the track, and the chalk players got crushed by this 6-1 shot from the Anthony Dutrow barn.

For the winner's sire Aldebaran, it was a winner with his first ever starter, as noted at the Darby Dan site (beware of the music). The stallion son of Mr. Prospector won his only race at two, but didn't do much more winning until he was five (though he ran second in four Grade 1's at four). So we don't know how precocious his youngsters will be, but he's off to a good start to be sure. Ascot Hall is out of an Unbridled's Song mare, so he's inbred 2x5 to the great Mr. P.

In the 5th, Small Potatoes, with Cornelio Velasquez, nipped Clay's Run, with John Velazquez, and the reason I mention that is because will all the crap I've gotten, and rightfully so, from some readers for misspelling names like Jimmy Jerkins Jerkens, I've never gotten any credit for getting those two guys' names right every time. So there you go.

And a nice little five horse turf stakes in the feature, even though half the field scratched. Meribel came from last to get up for the hot Christophe Clement (11-5-1-2) over Fantastic Shirl for the hot Kiaran McLaughlin (19-7-3-0), and favored Jade Queen (Giant's Causeway), making her four-year debut for Pletcher, and battling on well despite falling short of the place spot. Pletcher is 13-for-15 in the money at the meeting, but has just three winners thus far.