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Friday, May 04, 2007


- The weather forecast for Churchill looks as bleak as the Rangers' chances after a truly devastating and heartbreaking overtime loss in Game 5. So I'm gonna write about some stuff to help keep my mind off it, but I might not be funny for the next 7-10 days (pending Sunday's Game 6, for starters).

I don't know how much the early betting means with only around $325,000 in the pool, but thus far, there are some nice prices there. Circular Quay is 14-1, and Any Given Saturday is 21-1. Garrett Gomez's ride on Rags to Riches in the Oaks could be a good tune-up for his appointment on the latter. Breaking from the 11 post, she had the kind of trip that Gomez will try to work out on Saturday (though from seven plus stalls further out). Curb Your Enthusiasm was at the press conference, and the rider said, "I've got to try to do the same thing I did with her today... save some ground and get into that first turn."

Calvin Borel ended up with three winners on the Oaks card, and the third one was so much on the rail that he brushed the inner at the five sixteenths pole. The third one came in the Grade 2 Louisville Breeders Cup on 11-1 Fiery Pursuit. All of Borel's winners were double digit odds, which will not be the case in the 10th at Churchill on Saturday. Fiery Pursuit is Wayne Lukas' second stakes winner of the meet after Flying First Class took the Derby Trial, and his first graded stakes winner since January 16, 2006 when Dance Daily took the Santa Ynez - that was 45 attempts ago. She's by the dead stallion Carson City, out of a Private Account mare who's a half sister to champion juvenile Flanders (the dam of champion 3 yo filly Surfside). Fiery Pursuit just held off Asi Siempre, who likely prefers Poly and grass.

And Dale Romans continues to be hot, with a winner and second from four runners; he took the Grade 3 Crown Royal American Turf with the nice three-year old Duveen (Horse Chestnut), beating a nice field including Mott's impressive Marcavelly and the graded winner Whatsthescript. That's his second graded win in a row, and he's a neck away from unbeaten on grass. Romans has four runners on the Derby Day card, and they all look live.