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Thursday, July 10, 2008

Belmont Notes - July 10

- That was a determined win by Buffalo Man in the Inside the Beltway Stakes at Belmont on Wednesday, rallying against the pace grain to get up in the final stride. He loomed midstretch, but didn't look like a winner until the very end of the spirited six furlong affair. One thing about these turf sprints, particularly with the better horses as in this race - they start out fast and they finish even faster. Racing the way it oughta be. They may be a bitch to handicap, but you gotta love the races. Buffalo Man ran each quarter faster than the prior one - 23.51, 22.60, and a final quarter of 21.95 (last eighth in 10.77): this all according to Formulator. I don't know if you ever see that in a dirt race.

Tough to come up with this one however I think, considering the way he really floundered in his last two turf tries, both in graded stakes. He did get bet though; 10-1 morning line before a couple of scratches, he paid $11.

Buffalo Man is a four-year old son of El Prado, standing for Frank Stronach at Adena, now for $75,000. The sire commanded as much as $125,000 in 2006. The pages from the Stallion Register that I often link sires to here is full of great information if you dig around. The Thoroughbred Times' stallion directory as fine as well; and, in fact, the healthy competition between the two has led to free features such as hypomating and nick reports. If you scroll down the Stallion Register to, in this case, El Prado's Current Top Performers, and click on Buffalo Man, you get a recap of the Appleton Handicap, which he won in January - these are the summaries that appear for all graded stakes winners in the stakes winners section at the back of the print editions of Bloodhorse.

Here, you'll often find interesting background information on the horse and its owners, as well as on its dam. I find the info on the latter to be particularly interesting, as you'll often read about specific examples of the ups and downs of the business of buying, breeding, and selling broodmares. In this case, we learn that Buffalo Man's dam, Perfect Six, a stakes winning daughter of Saratoga Six (Alydar), was purchased by Stronach for $450,000 at Keeneland November in 2000. A little further research shows that Frank sold the Forestry colt she was carrying at the time for $6,500; an inauspicious start. But in subsequent years, he sold a Running Stag filly for 37K, a Touch Gold filly (the stakes placed Ada's Dream) for 75K, Buffalo Man for 190K, an Awesome Again filly for 75K, and an Olmodavor colt for 125K. In 2007, after Perfect Six produced a Ghostzapper filly, Stronach sold the mare, in foal to El Prado, for 260K at the same Keeneland sale. So he lost 190K on the purchase and sale of the mare; but collected around 500K on the sale of her foals, which were produced by matings with his own stallions; so he didn't have to pay stud fees. So, while certainly not producing any home runs, the dam developed into a decently reliable money maker over the years, and I wouldn't mind having a few of those. Stronach does know how to make money in this business in one way, at least.


Anonymous said...

Someone please help me understand what's going on with the stewards at Belmont. I understand that they were given new guidelines to lighten up on DQ's if the incident didn't have a significant impact on the outcome but this latest news is puzzling.

In Sunday's ninth, the eventual winner, Catty Madeline, wiped out several horses making her move in the stretch. The stewards took a look and decided to leave her number up. Then they just announced a three-day suspension for the CM's jockey, Maragh, for careless riding.

I remember at least two other recent incidents where I was sure the winner was coming down - the second race last Wednesday where the odds-on favorite was banged several times in the stretch and the under stakes race on Saturday where the winner also seemingly impeded other horses.

I sure hope things get straightened out by saratoga.

Anonymous said...

A written report on each race would be helpful, but of course that would mean that someone would actually have to lift a finger and work.