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Wednesday, July 04, 2007

Happy 4th!

- The Dwyer is one of those races that has enough interesting story lines that it's not necessary to bet on it to be interested in the outcome. I guess that's my way of saying that it's too hard. Nobiz Like Shobiz and Any Given Saturday make their first starts since the Derby.

Things sure have changed for Nobiz Like Shobiz. Barclay Tagg's son of Albert the Great was considered by some to be the most talented of the three year old crop. It was thought that it was only a matter of him maturing before he went to the head of the class. If that's so, that would be pretty scary, considering how good Curlin and Street Sense seem to be. Tagg said that the horse didn't handle the Churchill surface, and jockey Cornelio Velasquez was unusually assertive about his mount's chances. "He's a different horse now, he's [much] better now, he's more relaxed now....I think Wednesday is going to be an easy race." [Daily Racing Form] Pretty strong words. But y'know, you look at his running lines and see that, besides the Derby, he's never finished more than 3/4 of a length behind the winner in six tries, four of them wins.

Any Given Saturday, who beat Nobiz by four lengths in the Derby, goes off the layoff for Pletcher. It may be worth noting that this will be his first one turn race since his 5 1/2 furlong (winning) debut. But man, he's been working up a storm, and he also exudes class on paper if you throw out the Derby. (The Wood was just a prep, you may recall.)

Sightseeing is listed as the 7-2 third choice. While I don't think he'll be bet lower than either of the above two, I wouldn't be at all surprised if he's very close to second choice here. He has an excellent pattern of improving Beyers going, and has a good record in these one turn routes, including his Peter Pan win. Shug adds blinkers, and his horses are pretty sharp these days; he has a record of 14-4-4-3 over the last three weeks at Belmont and Monmouth. Frankel starts First Defence, who popped a 100 Beyer in his last, beating entry level allowance horses on Memorial Day. I guess he only comes out for the holidays. That was a pretty sluggish field though; I'd be quite surprised if he made a big impact here, and I guess we'll see him next on Labor Day.

The Tom Fool is another star-studded stakes, and if his return to the races was any indication, Commentator should be able to win his first graded stakes since the 2005 Whitney. He was in hand in his return in what was essentially a public workout against overmatched state-bred foes. High Finance looks like the main threat to me. Though he was able to gallop away from a mediocre allowance field in earning a huge Beyer in his last, he has two excellent races over this track aside from his Belmont Stakes fiasco last year.

Between my travel and my catching-up day yesterday, I unfortunately wasn't really able to get much into this holiday card. The Head Chef and I will be seeing some music late this afternoon (weather permitting) - The New Pornographers, playing down in Battery Park. The tickets were free, but you still had to go online to make a reservation, and then go during designated times to pick them up. I can't say I'm really a big fan - they're a bit too much on the wimpy pop tip for my taste; but they're red hot right now with a highly anticipated new album due out next month. So I figured I'd get the tickets anyway, because then I could at least feel cool for having them, and I could make someone happy by giving them away to go to Belmont. The Head Chef was like, who cares, until she started reading all the articles about the show and how hot the tickets are. Now, we're going, and I wasn't able to dissuade her at all, even though her ears pricked up just a bit at the mention of Nobiz Like Shobiz and Any Given Saturday, the latter which she recognized as my latest Derby loser. She's just a slave to trends I guess. (I hope she doesn't read this).

Well, there always the early double on TV. Have a fantastic holiday, and be safe.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

You expressed some enthusiasm for High Finance, and of course, AGS is a LATG staple. Hope you made a few bucks -- it'll help with next season's Ranger invoice!

I went to one of those Battery Park concerts a few years back -- Ryan Adams was the headliner, but I actually enjoyed the opening act, Jesse Malin, more. Hope you had a good time today.