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Sunday, April 06, 2008

Nightmare Start for Jade Dreamer

- I caught a little of TVG's coverage at Keeneland, and they were doing a great job, particularly on the visual side. They have a lot of camera angles going on, and were quick to provide the timely replays. Todd Schrrmppff was in sharp form, giving out Jade Dreamer, the 9-1 winner of the second race, as the FOX Sports pick of the day, or something like that; Simon Bray was there, and Jill Byrne was paddock-side, doing interviews and providing handicapping insights. They were heavily promoting their coverage of Blue Grass day next week, and were touting what they said will be extra special attention to detail. Schrrmppff said that in the nine years that TVG is on the air, this will be the most resources they've ever put into one broadcast (he's writing a blog too; I think it's at Bray spoke about innovative ways in which they're going to present the coverage, calling it "must see TV." They'll also have an edition of The Works on Friday evening. I still don't understand why they are calling their coverage exclusive, but based on what I saw today, it should be well worth checking out if you're lucky enough to have TVG.

This was an extraordinary effort by Jade Dreamer, and an example of TVG doing a good job. This filly, a four-year old first-time starter from Ken McPeek, took a jump in the start and landed badly; absolutely stone cold left at the gate, she spotted several lengths to the field, and Desormeaux just eased her over to the rail once she got back on track. After making a little progress on the backstretch, the filly took off while a good 3-4 wide on the turn, and was fifth at the top of the stretch. And after all that, she still had to dig down to get past a stubborn Light Showers. TVG went right to a close-up replay of the stretch run, and picked up Kent D. giving the filly several affectionate pats after the finish. Then they showed a replay of the botched start - twice; followed by a live shot of a the filly coming back, seemingly ready to run around the track again. Then a super slow-mo close-up shot of those pats by Desormeaux.

Jill Byrne then spoke to the jockey, who said that after the break, he figured he'd give the filly some schooling; the chart comment says that she was unhurried while training for nearly a half. I bet you've never seen that in a race chart for a winner before...or any other horse for that matter. "Auspicious debut I'd say, to say the least," Desormeaux told Jill Byrne. "I got lucky. They went easy down the backside; you're going to see me improve position down the backside, but I didn't pick up speed; they came back to me. By the time we turned for home, we took off, and she has some turn of foot......I was gonna just school her, and next I knew I was a length off the lead." Kent D. seemed as pleasantly stunned as he did after Big Brown's Florida Derby win.

Jade Dreamer is by Jade Hunter, now standing in NY for $5,000, out of Sky Ninski, a veteran Nijinski mare who's produced several winners including stakes winner Vinista.

Shortly afterwards, we saw another impressive performance when Lieutenant Ron dominated the third at Aqueduct, getting the seven furlongs in 1.22.13; final furlong in 12.20. This three-year old son of Graeme Hall won his only prior start at the Big A last November, earning a spectacular 102 Beyer in an 8 length win on a sealed muddy track. Here, he was challenged down the backstretch by 19-1 D'Wild Affair, but he was going easily under Garcia. When asked after turning for home, he was gone. Here's yet another potential star from the McLaughlin barn, and I certainly wouldn't be surprised to see him turn up in a stakes - the Peter Pan? - some time soon.


Anonymous said...

I'll bet that's a typo.

Chartcaller Cliff Guilliams probably meant to type "trailed for a half"

Anonymous said...

Regarding TVG and "exclusive" they alone have the draw on Wednesday morning. Also TVG will alone air the race on Saturday *live*.

The official Bluegrass Stakes website says ESPN will be airing it on a tape delay.