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Monday, July 16, 2007

Sunriver Helps Even Things Out for Todd

- I saw Pletcher on ESPN2 before the Delaware Handicap; he was talking about Indian Vale's ability to run at a steady clip of 12 second furlongs throughout her races. Thus he expressed confidence that she'd be able to handle a mile and a quarter in her first race longer than nine furlongs. And she did run at a steady clip stalking leader Peak Maria's Way - but only for about a mile. When you saw John Velazquez going to the whip before they even entered the stretch, you knew it wasn't going to be her day.

But at Belmont, Sunriver did for Pletcher exactly what Indian Vale could not. He ran at a virtually even pace for 11 furlongs, taking the Grade 2 Bowling Green. In front every step of the way with Gomez, Ashado's baby brother went along at a steady pace of 24.51, 23.60, 23.86, 23.80, 23.96, and a final furlong of 11.97 seconds.

Back to Delaware, Pletcher won the race anyway, with Unbridled Belle, for Team Valor. And here's another *REDBOARDING ALERT* She loves this track, check it out. She was two-for-two there last year, including a stakes win; and had run second in the Obeah to Peak Maria's Way last month in her first start since September. Looks like a horse for the course for sure.

Pletcher is the only guy in the business who can get beat in stakes races with a 3-5 shot (King of the Roxy), a 6-5 (Cotton Blossom), an even money shot (Safari Queen), and a 5-2 favorite (Host) and still end up having a great weekend. I mean, two Grade 2 wins (with Sunriver and Unbridled Belle) has to count as a great weekend for anyone, right?

- Asi Siempre was a nowhere 6th at 2-1 for Patrick Biancone. Time to get her back on the grass? Or time to get her back on....something else? Well? Having a trainer under such a cloud of suspicion running his horses anyway is always going to generate skepticism. Hopefully, the folks in Kentucky haven't lost the split sample of whatever it was that was found in the trainer's barn.

- King of the Roxy was a shocking underlay at 3-5. Hank Goldberg, on ESPN2, told everyone before the race how the Barbaro was merely a prep for sprint stakes, and how the connections had already come to the realization that the horse is better suited for one turn. But I guess nobody was listening to him. He ran pretty well, and the race should set him up well for the turnback in distance.


Anonymous said...

A two-turn race @ Delaware being used as a prep for a sprint? Ummm, no. Only Hank Goldberg (and a few select others) can use that kind of logic. Just because he'll run next in the King's Bishop doesn't mean he was prepping for it here. The Delaware race was simply a cash-grab, and he wasn't out for the exercise. Besides, 1 1/16th miles is clearly within King of the Roxy's scope. He proved that in the Santa Anita Derby.

Btw, THREE divisions of the Oceanside this year??? I don't believe i've ever seen that before. The rest of Wednesday's Del Mar card is pretty strong also. Maybe the best Opening Day card i've seen there. Btw, i'm wondering if the Oceanside drew a zillion entries because trainers aren't crazy about the new Polytrack? Hmmm. I haven't seen the pp's yet, so i'm not sure how many dirt-to-turf (or cushion-to-turf) entries there are. Just something that crossed my mind...

Alan Mann said...

Hank didn't sound so good, I hope he's OK. Sounded a bit like Howard Cosell that night on Monday Night Football from fffffil-a-delll-phia.