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Thursday, May 22, 2008

Belmont Notes

- We're getting a steady diet of maiden claiming races on the grass at Belmont, both in open and state-bred company. In the last couple of days, I've seen a couple of horses with some pretty bad form in maiden specials drop and win, at odds that I'd expect to be higher. It seems to be quite a drastic drop in class. On Wednesday, the blazing hot Tom Bush took the finale with Imperial River, dropping from a state-bred maiden special in which he ran dead last virtually all the way around at 68-1. It was a virtually identical performance to his debut last winter, when he managed to beat one horse at 71-1. But here, he was 8-1 morning line, and paid $20. Bush is 17-6-1-2 at Belmont thus far.

Then, on Thursday, Baystreet Bully dropped into open maiden claimers for trainer Leroy Jolley. He had one third to show from eight career starts (two on grass), beaten a total of 76 lengths. This three-year old son of Red Bullet, purchased as a two-year old in training for $115,000, was now going first time for a tag, for 45K. He did show a little life his last grass try, so maybe that's why he was a modest 11-1 with Sameeen on the Greeen. Baystreet Bully was checked along the inside on the turn, swung wide for the drive, bore in when he switched back to his left lead midstretch, got bumped and pushed out pretty solidly by second place finisher Veritable - there could have been a DQ here - and then held that one off for the win. Pretty amazing performance for a horse who'd hadn't previously shown much life at all in the stretch.

Edgar Prado and Richard Dutrow combined to take the 6th, though I don't know if Prado has earned back the 'babe' designation. Sayitisn'tso Joe was making his debut in a 35K maiden claimer. It may be worth noting that Dutrow is doing pretty well with these; it's his third debut winner in a maiden claimer (and a 4th was DQ'd to 2nd) out of 12 such runners this year. He'd had only three in 27 starts over the past five years.

And trainer Bruce Brown added a second winner on the day in addition to Rap Tale, and it was also off a claim. He took the 8th when Sly ($21.80) dominated the field after moving way up in class from restricted claimers. Brown is a former assistant to Timothy Hills who is now 12 for 52 (23%) since starting out on his own this year, including three wins in six tries after the claim; so nice job there!


Anonymous said...

Sayitaintso is one of Say Florida Sandy's few winners so far in his first crop.

Really would like to see the old war horse succeed at stud, this is the kind of horse they should be breeding to, a Grade 2 winner and Grade 1 performer that made every dance.

Of course instead, all the good mares will go to twice winning sons of Storm Cat that were on the Derby trail for five minutes before breaking down.

SFS did get fairly large crops, and they never figured to be early types, so perhaps we will see a bunch of winners this year so he can earn a full stud career producing hard knockers for the NY Bred program.

Alan Mann said...

Thanks for that note on Say Florida Sandy. He'd had just four winners from his first crop before this according to Stallion Register. Check out this one's lifetime race record! How many sires do we see these days who raced until they were nine!?

Anonymous said...

Bruce Brown is a good horseman and a good guy. You should be happy to have your horses with him.

Anonymous said...

Brown also rubbed Tale of the Cat when he worked for John Forbes.