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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Derby Top Ten

- Here's the LATG Derby Top Ten, of horses, people, and things that I think will be in the news on or around the first Saturday in May:

1) Well, I suppose that Country Star isn't really going to run in the Derby. However, I wanted to make the point that she was my favorite two-year old of 2007 based on her two scintillating rally-from-behind Grade 1 wins. She was sick and missed some training time, and now Frankel doesn't even sound certain about the SA Oaks on March 8. "If she misses the Santa Anita Oaks, she'll definitely be running in Kentucky," he said, referring to the Kentucky Oaks," [DRF] Not sure what he means by that. He's not going to train her up to the race, is he? But regardless of whether she preps in California or Kentucky, the Oaks (or Derby) would be her first race on natural dirt.

2) Tale of Ekati's win in the Futurity was my top juvenile race for the boys last year; and though he failed his two-turn test in the Juvenile, he gets the automatic track condition excuse that all the BC runners have available. Personally, I think he should love two turns; he's by Tale of the Cat out of a Sunday Silence mare who's a daughter of the Alabama winner Maplejinsky, and a half-sister to the versatile champion Sky Beauty. We're still waiting for this one to make his three-year old debut too. I noticed that a couple of weeks ago, Tagg said that the colt wasn't quite there yet. But more recently, he told the Form that he's "doing super", and will race at Fair Grounds.

3) Dr. Rodney Stewart, the former vet for Patrick Biancone, produces used vials, syringes, and gauze, and claims that tests will prove that he indeed injected Biancone in the butt with cobra venom at least 12 times between 2004 and 2007. The two are called to testify before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, along with the trainer's Juvenile Turf winner Whywhywhy, who will take a seat between them.

4) Having prevailed in New York, NYRA says that it owns the land beneath Churchill Downs, and asserts it has the right to move the Derby to Aqueduct unless it is paid fair value for its use. The association also claims to own The Concord, the North Pole, 337 Magna Drive in Aurora, Ontario, and several plots of farmland in Venezuela.

5) Having wallowed in despair while his close buddy and mentor Curlin was in Dubai, Pyro celebrates the champ's return by winning the Wood Memorial going away after spotting the field a lead half the length of the Belt Parkway, which NYRA earlier claimed to own.

6) Denis of Cork is a nice looking closer who is undefeated and progressing nicely; he improved to a 96 Beyer in his Southwest win. (The Form's Derby futures pool past performances are now updated with races from the last two weekends.)

7) The stock of Magna Entertainment (MECA) trades below zero, becoming the first public company ever to trade in negative territory. New shareholders receive a case of Frank's Energy Drink as compensation, and consolation, for owning the battered shares.

8) The well-bred Alaazo is my top yet-to-be-tested prospect off his very nice allowance win at Gulfstream which I posted about here.

9) The Polytrack at Del Mar takes on a life of its own and picks up and walks away, taking two assistant trainers and a terrified stable dog as hostages. Its demands include getting watered every day, an apology from the press for what it perceives as unfair treatment, a dialogue with Ahmad Zayat, and a repudiation of the claim that it is owned by NYRA.

10) I bet a few bucks on Z Fortune in the futures pool; I don't really know if 37-1 is really fair value, probably not. He had no real excuse for getting blown away by Pyro as decisively as he did; but it was a professional effort in which he was wide both turns. A wildcard on pedigree, but he's done little wrong thus far.


Anonymous said...

If Del Mar's Polytrack really did that, law enforcement should use lethal force to put it out of our misery. Tapeta could then claim the body for burial and take its rightful place where the turf meets the surf. (Though Cushion Track would then sue for the rights, since NYRA claims ownership, no court in the land would choose them; Cushion is Anna Nicole's birth mother in this saga.)

Anonymous said...

I took 68-1 on Blackberry Road, had a horror trip stuck on the Bo Rail and Z still only beat him a couple of lengths.