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Saturday, June 14, 2008

Belmont Saturday

- In the first, Bill Place (3-1) drops in claiming price off a win, for trainer David Jacobson. There was a time I'd consider this an automatic throwout. But these days, with the economics of high purses and with limited opportunities in the condition book, I think you have to examine each situation on its own merits. Jacobson claimed this horse for 30K, freshened him, and moved him up confidently in class to unrestricted 35K claimers. In winning that race, Bill Place earned 60% of the outsized $45,000 purse, or $27,000; nearly paying for the claim in one try.

Jacobson has shown that he'll spot horses where they can win, and today's race, for a 25K tag, carries a purse of $39,000. So, another win here would be worth over $23,000, and if the horse is claimed, the connections will have earned a gross of $75,000. Even after two months expenses, jockey fees, etc., they would likely have doubled their investment. Cornelio Velasquez, whose only prior ride on Bill Place was in his Bay Shore win in '07, jumps back on board. Acclimate (7-2), just a half length back of Bill Place in that 35K affair, also drops down and the cut back to six would appear to help his chances. Holy Canyon (2-1) takes a drastic drop for Allen Jerkens; this one of the suspicious variety off some horrible form.

In the second, Pasketty (8-1) returns off a layoff, and drops to a suitable level for trainer Alan Goldberg; the barn won recently with two long layoff horses at Monmouth (Seeking an Angel $6.60, and Social Queen $16.40). Goldberg also missed by a half length here with Strike a Deal, later a close 4th in the Manhattan. Pasketty, making his eight-year old debut, has run well off layoffs himself, with a couple of strong closes at shorter distances in his last two efforts after respites. The seven furlong distance figures to help today. The win by Caesar Beware (5-2) over Nacascolo (7-2) in the most recent try for both was far more decisive than it appears on paper; Coa had this one eased up well before the wire. However, neither is likely to enjoy the ground saving trips they did that day with their outside posts today.

No pick in the 5th, but a couple of interesting first-timers to mention. Swanky (Swain) (6-1) is out of a mare by the late Derby winner Ferdinand, and we don't see that too often. His second dam is a half sister to the multiple G1 winner and successful sire Broad Brush. This three-year old debuts for Bobby Frankel. And Shug has a first timer in Olympus (6-1), the 17th horse with that name, at least in the Pedigree Query database. This barn finally got off the first-timer schneid when Tourism won last week; it was Shug's first debut winner since Pine Island in March 2006. Like this race, that contest was on the grass, and you know how percentages can even out sometimes. This Phipps-bred is by Kingmambo, out of a Storm Cat mare who's a half-sister to their Grade 1 winners Inside Information and Educated Risk, and he's inbred 5x4 to Graustark.

Speaking of Phipps, the 9th is the G1 Ogden Phipps. I'm not a big Ginger Punch fan, and she hasn't been at all impressive this year. But Spring Waltz, who I see as the main threat, is the champ's stablemate, so I'll pass.

And in the 10th, a reader wrote in to call our attention to a horse owned and trained by his brother; Cactus Cat (30-1) makes her debut, on the grass and at the age of four for David Cannizzo, who has a 14-1 winner and a couple of thirds out of eight starters at the meet thus far. Cactus Cat is by Freud, 9 for 68 with debut grass runners, out of Commadore's Gold (Commadore C). That makes her a half sister to the highly popular and successful NY-turfer Dave, as well as the 12-time winner Cabin Boy. I'm told she's worth a few bucks debuting on a surface that she's certainly bred to like. So good luck to her and her connections, and to the rest of you as well. Have a great day!


Anonymous said...

I picks just plain SUCK

Anonymous said...

YOUR picks just plain SUCK

yea my picks suck also,but I don't give out my suck picks like you do Alan