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Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Notes - April 2

- Racing moves to the main track at the Big A on Wednesday, and right away, if you look at the first horse in the first race, you can see the kind of opportunities I like to look for during this transitional period (for which the Form zero's out all of its trainer and jockey stats, my all-time number two Form Pet Peeve, behind only when they don't have the more relevant tracks in the print edition sold on or off track. I mean, what's the point of going back to zero, compiling stats for the three weeks of the main track meeting, and then starting all over again when they go to Belmont? Arghh!). Capote's Princess is the 5-2 second choice in the morning line. She shows some pretty good recent form, which would be good enough in this field, with a win two back against cheaper.

The problem with her is that, though her last three races were at the same mile distance as this race, those were at two turns around the inner track; that of course is quite different from the one-turn mile she'll face today, especially from the unfavorable rail post. While these are the kinds of horses I would look to oppose at short prices, I wish I could come up with something brilliant to beat this particular one with. The best I could do is Laura's Fury (3-1), who has a couple of off-the-pace wins at this one turn mile route last spring. She showed life in her last, and makes the third start of the current form cycle, after nearly seven months away. Not thrilled about her, so I'm not making this an "official pick;" but just pointing out the kinds of opportunities one might look for now.

- WinStar and Bill Mott plan to enter Inner Light in the Wood, and the Form's David Grening speculates that the horse has enough natural speed to where he may be able to entertain War Pass on the lead. That would benefit the chances of those connections' Court Vision, as they try to build on his third place finish in the Fountain of Youth. Looking at the horse's form, he did show some speed last year, but his recent allowance win at Gulfstream was accomplished off the pace. And again, the notion that this horse could run with War Pass anyway shows how much luster the juvenile champ has lost since his Tampa Bay Derby fiasco.

- Tomcito rallied for third in the Florida Derby, but he didn't gain any ground late; in fact he lost five lengths from the stretch call. Of course, nobody gained against Big Brown. However, Tomcito had the benefit of being far off the hot early pace. Looking at the chart, I have to express disappointment that Tomcito wasn't able to make more gains late. Big Brown wasn't exactly flying through the stretch, coming home in a decent 13 seconds flat. (I say "decent" as a relative term, acknowledging that it was pretty fast for a horse that ran less than 46 to the half). Tomcito saved all the ground on the first turn, and though he made a pretty nice move three wide around the second, he could manage a final furlong of only 13.80, that according to Formulator. So, with all due respect to all of those who I know still like the horse after that race, I don't think that I'm going to go the Peruvian route come Derby time.


Anonymous said...

I'd agree about Tomcito, except that I think it's important to remember that this was his first start back in quite a while. His connections claimed they were looking to have him at about 90% for the FD.

Also, his connections claimed he bled a bit (through Lasix, which is troubling), which also gives him a bit of an excuse.

All in all, it's probably a unfair to have expected any more, given the seasoning Smooth Air and BB had in comparison.


Anonymous said...

They will need to get Tomcito another race before the big one. Maybe the Holy Bull at 9.5 panels or the Sexy Lexy?

He can't go into the derby off an 85 beyer and expect to win.

Then again, ya never know!

Anonymous said...

I read a while back that Tomcito's major goal was the Belmont.