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Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Slop Is Not Super Duper

- Sloppy and sealed at Gulfstream on Wednesday, and won't you be happy not to see that anymore once synthetic tracks take over the universe. I've maintained all along that, all other things being equal, a switch to synthetics would be worthwhile just to ensure that the track is fast. When the drainage works anyway.

The late Tom Ainslie wrote in his Complete Guide to Thoroughbred Racing:

Several times in every season, the Weather Bureau touts everyone onto a loser. "Fair and warmer," the forecast says. But the morning sun gives way to clouds and the rain begins to fall at noon. By post-time for the first race the running surface is a mess. What to do? Some players go home. Others hunt for spots.
I definitely fell into the 'go home' category, but not anymore. Like so much one reads in classic handicapping books these days, this passage is obsolete now. Many of those like myself who once headed home now simply turn to the simulcast tracks.

The 7th was a maiden grass event for 3yo fillies taken off the grass. The bettors made Distorted Lady, 4-1 in the morning line, sporting a fancy 402 Tomlinson, and making her debut for Pletcher, as the 2-1 choice. She could however only manage a distant third, in a typically ugly sloppy track race - 16 lengths separating the first three finishers. Forest Trail won by 4 1/2 of those lengths at 5-1 for Shug; and here's one of those facts that it might have been more helpful to know before the race. This daughter of Forest Wildcat was the last filly to run back from the 4th race at Aqueduct on Nov 18. Out of the six horses in that field, four won their next race, one ran third by 2 1/2, and the winner, Carolyn's Cat, ran second in the Ruthless Stakes. That qualifies that Big A event as a super duper key race. Just thought you'd like to know.