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Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Thinking Out Loud - Part 1

- Here's who I don't like to win: Big Truck, Anak Nakal, Court Vision, Z Humor, Smooth Air, Adriano, Bob Black Jack, Denis of Cork, Cowboy Cal, Cool Coal Man, Recapturetheglory.

I'm going to think out loud here about the ones I'm still considering.

I'll start with Pyro (Pulpit), who, as I'd mentioned in the last post, was a horse I liked quite a lot until his Blue Grass. I still believe that his dynamic rush to victory in the Risen Star is the most impressive prep race of the year, Big Brown's Florida Derby included. A lot of people, including myself I must add (if you scroll down to the bottom here), struck a skeptical pose, postulating, for one thing, that the pace of the race was so slow that you could downgrade Pyro's rally. But perhaps that's over-analyzing. When a horse is far back in a slowly run race, and rallies to win (in this case getting the last quarter in 22.3, according to Randy Moss' digital timer), that's a good thing, a very good thing. So why venture beyond that?

I think it may have been the fact that so many people were pointing at his speed figures and saying he was too slow that got me riled up enough to jump on his bandwagon. The 90 he earned in the Risen Star is meaningless because of the pace; just forget about it!! The Louisiana Derby number, while a bit disappointing, could have been better had Shaun Bridgmohan not had to wait for room.

But whether we can just forget his Blue Grass, no one knows for sure. It's just a guess. Those who have seen him work out at Churchill are now telling us to throw it out. I wrote before that race that I hoped he'd lose, so I could get a good price. Well, he lost. He'll be a good price. I think one could do a lot worse than betting him if he's in the vicinity of 10-1.

- Monba is another puzzling entry given the fact that his best races have come on synthetics, and his career high dirt Beyer is 86. Whatsmore, he's been training at Keeneland, and didn't ship to Churchill until today, so we haven't read any impressions of his training. But in only his third career start, he closed with a huge rush to finish 4th [won by Into Mischief] in the G1 Cash Call in December on the Cushion Track, only a length behind Colonel John, and ahead of some decent horses in Sierra Sunset, Indian Sun, Eaton's Gift and Into Mischief. He made up much ground into quick closing fractions; but in his Blue Grass win, he showed some versatility, and was able to track a slower pace. Nice pedigree, by Maria's Mon, sire of Derby winner Monarchos, out of a mare by Belmont winner Easy Goer; and I like the 4x4 inbreeding to Buckpasser and the tidy dosage index of 2.0

On the negative side, since his Fountain of Youth was more or less a non-race, he's essentially coming into this race off one prep. And perhaps worse in my opinion is the fact that Prado turned down the mount. Still, he's obviously a horse with a lot of potential, and the fact that he's trained by Pletcher is a positive, at least to me! Talented colt may very well see better days down the road, but he seems to have enough potential to step up and get at least a minor share.

Be back with more later on.


Anonymous said...

Monba did not beat Into Mishief in the Cash Call Futurity. I only know this because Into Mishief won the race.

Alan Mann said...

Thanks for the correction. Sorry, getting a little scatterbrained and sloppy here...

Anonymous said...

Talk about sloppy - look at my spelling of Mischief (twice).
Anyways, any horse with Gomez up has a shot.