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Friday, May 09, 2008

Peter Pan

- I'd read just a little about Casino Drive, preferring not to get too far ahead of myself. But I knew that he's a half-brother to the last two Belmont winners. What I didn't know, until I read Bill Finley's article in the Times and looked at his past performances, is that he's only run once, a dominating win at a mile and an eighth on the dirt (not on the grass, as the abovementioned reporter reported).

So let me get this straight: Running a filly in the Derby, a big one, and one who'd run nine times, earning speed figs superior to the large majority of the field, was reckless and arrogant (in hindsight, for the most part), but running a colt with one start against non-winners some 2 1/2 months ago, in a Grade 2 stakes (albeit a mediocre one) with the intention of then running a mile and a half against, perhaps, a dominant Big Brown, is a historic quest?

Well, maybe we'll find that he belongs and has no ill-effects of the 13 hour flight and subsequent quarantine. He did romp in his debut at 1-5, and worked five furlongs in 59 4/5. He's 2-1 morning line based on that, and who knows, we've seen Japanese horses get a lot of money sometimes. I wouldn't be shocked to see him closer to 6-5. Either way, he's the type I'm naturally inclined to stand against until proven unwise.

I don't like Tomcito at all, and I know a lot of you do. I think he has a better shot in the Belmont. He's lagged far behind since coming over here, and actually went backwards in terms of lengths behind in the Fountain of Youth Florida Derby. He made more progress in the Lexington, but did so saving ground after the pace slowed significantly after a lightning start. I don't think the one turn nine furlong route helps him here based on those efforts.

Ready's Echo(6-1) should certainly get the kind of pace he needs to make his move from far behind. I'd certainly consider him at his morning line, but I'm getting the feeling that he's a possible Belmont wise-guy horse, and may be overbet for the Toddster. He is still eligible for entry level allowance after all.

Shug starts Cosmic (8-1), and this colt shows the kind of slow but steady improvement that I love from this barn. He is stepping up from a narrow entry level allowance win (in his first try at the level) against a less than stellar field. But that was off a freshening, and he improved sharply second off a similar recent layoff. This is a full brother, by El Prado, to the Grade 1 winner Good Reward, who won a Grade 1, on grass at three. Not sure if the time has come for Cosmic. But I think he'll at least give a good account of himself, and seems worth a bet at around his 8-1 morning line.

Keep in mind that it's still raining here, and there's a chance of an off track.
OK, gonna check out a couple from Hollywood.


ballyfager said...

This Japanese horse looks like a "wise guy" horse to me. In New York that almost guarantees he'll be overbet.

I don't know how fast the tracks in Japan are but here, a mile and an eighth in 1:54 & 2 isn't fast enough to beat the fat lady in the circus.

So, in this $200,000 allowance race, I'll take a position against him. New York racing has become a disgrace. I hope the Mid-Atlantic tracks didn't cave to their demands for a premium because this product isn't worth it.

dana said...

Great point about Casino Drive and Eight Belles, one that I'm sure almost one else put together. Typical!