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Thursday, April 10, 2008

Thursday Night Notes - April 10

- Third place for Just Zip It, who may have run into a buzzsaw in Salt Water Reign ($13.20). The winner's final time of 1:23.39 was over a second and a half faster than that state-bred stakes that trainer Bill Turner passed on last Sunday. Of course, we'll have to wait and see the figs to see how the track played each day in comparison; but Salt Water Reign was tough, setting an honest pace and then rambling home in 12.90.

Just Zip It broke well this time and then dropped back to 4th, about three lengths behind. She took off three wide entering the turn, perhaps a bit prematurely. She got within a half length or so of the winner turning for home, but it was quickly apparent that she was no going to be match for her on this day. When Contessa's filly What's Your Point, who saved ground all the way, drew alongside a tiring Just Zip It, she gamely tried to hold second. She failed to do so by a half length, but I thought she showed a lot of grit there.

Whatsmore, she lost a shoe somewhere down the backstretch. So I'm going to say that she was definitely second best, and that she should certainly compete in this company, with its $48,000 purse. The 10% third place share should pay for her expenses....for what, about a month and a half?

Back to Salt Water Reign, the owner was standing amidst our group during the race, and at first I thought he was with us. I couldn't understand though why he was calling our filly 'Salty.' I can be a real idiot sometimes. "I TOLD you seven furlongs," he said to a companion after the finish. This filly was really hit or miss in 2007, but this was her third race off a nearly eight month layoff, and she shows a really nice pattern of improvement since returning in January. She's by Salt Lake, out of a mare by Ruhlmann; remember him? Trained by Charles Whittingham, he won seven graded stakes, including the Big Cap, for his owner Jerry Moss. He was not named after any Police albums.

I'm putting this filly on my DRF Watch List, which I've finally now re-enabled. I set up a Gmail address, and I had to also register with a different password on the Form site. Apparently, they were all getting blocked by Yahoo - BRIS too. Weird.

Pletcher won with two first time starters at Keeneland on Thursday. Garden District took the baby race with, as described in the race chart, a sharp debut. It actually was a perfect, ground saving trip behind dueling speed until Mine All Mine came in on Corbina, causing the latter to bump Garden District as she was rallying up the rail. The daughter of Unbridled's Song was undaunted by what was pretty severe contact and went on to win easily with Johnny V at 6-1.

Then, as mentioned by reader Brett, Charming, a $3.2 million daughter of Seeking the Gold, out of the multiple graded stakes winner Take Charge Lady, made her debut in the 6th. Sent off as the 3-2 favorite, this filly also had an adventurous debut, exchanging, and in my view, initiating some contact with runner up Spring Illusion. This was a great finish, with Charming hanging game after leading every step of the way on the Poly, the only horse to do so on the day (and who knows, perhaps the entire meeting as well).

Frankel took the stakes race for the second day in a row. Ariege rallied down the center of the track to win the Beaumont, her second graded stakes win in row. This three-year old is by the Seattle Slew sire Doneraile Court, out of Grade 1 winner (Beverly D, Yellow Ribbon) Kostroma (Caerleon), and this is the female family of Nashoba's Key (the third dam of Nashoba's Key is the second dam of Ariege).


Harl said...

I'm braving the rather cool and overcast weather expected this Saturday at Keeneland to catch the Bluegrass in person and get a live view of my boy, PYRO. Always a fun card and, if I get a chance, will post my picks for the Premier Pick 4, which includes both the Bluegrass and Arkansas Derby (unless I find a more logical play in one of the Keeneland .50 cent pick fours).

Of course, I guess this means I'll miss TVGs extreme coverage of THE ONLY DERBY PREP THAT MATTERS!!!!

Warstone said...

Don't know if you saw the retraction on the report that was issued regarding the announcement that dirt tracks are just as safe as artificial surfaces. Now they are claiming that they got the data wrong! They are saying that synthetic are safer afterall...

Anonymous said...

Comment from warstone "They are saying that synthetic are safer afterall..."

I don't think any report makes such a blanket statement as that. The data flip-flopped such that there were fewer breakdowns per 1,000 starts. So deaths for the measured period are lower. It didn't speak to non-fatal injuries also the results likely will have cycles to it. e.g., Saratoga's meet (if historial results hold true) will favor dirt statistics as being "less fatal".

One has to be suspect now of the methodology when a report is presented with the two surfaces being at parity then - with total silence and lack of public refute until disclosure 30-days later of the results being different. What the heck?

As for TVG going all out for the Bluegrass that is fine by me. If they want to mic the jocks during their ride and have every camera shot possible it at least advances the Keeneland held notion this is an event by itself and not just one more prep race.

ESPN certainly isn't adding much value in their racing production value, NBC does the KY Derby very well but is blah for the prep coverage and Preakness. CBS's Virginia Derby coverage was rusty if not outright bland last yea and ABC didn't even attempt to rise to meet NBC's level of KYD coverage for the Belmont.

That said I appreciate the point another reader made yesterday in that TVG - from the punter's perspective - is there to cover all races for the tracks it takes wagering and a signal from.

Alan Mann said...

>>That said I appreciate the point another reader made yesterday in that TVG - from the punter's perspective - is there to cover all races for the tracks it takes wagering and a signal from.

That's true, but I suppose it wouldn't kill them to shortchange the other races for one day in exchange for some in depth coverage. I'm rather looking forward to it...if nothing else then at least have some stuff to make fun of them for here! :-)