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Tuesday, July 01, 2008

Free Agent Seasons Are On

- I was listening to the FAN 590 in Toronto online earlier today. Not only was it Canada Day, but it was the opening of the NHL free agent signing season. So they were very excited up there, seeing which players would defect from Canadian teams to those south of the border; as was the case with Wade Redden, now a New York Ranger. I was surprised how bitter the Leafs fans sounded about Mats Sundin, who had performed loyally for the team since 1994. The Rangers are interested in Sundin too, but the Canucks have made an outrageous offer.

The free agency period for horses is already under way. I guess it's really on all year, but especially so as the new two-year olds come out to play. A lucky owner of any particularly impressive maiden winner can feel like an unrestricted free agent him/herself, as the lucrative offers come in unsolicited. And you can bet that even the turf races will be drawing attention now.

The juvenile season has been quite slow thus far here in New York. The open maiden specials have consistently had trouble filling. Perhaps owners are starting to take all that talk about not racing them too young to heart.

The Tremont drew only five colts on Sunday; the Astoria had a bigger field, and was a far faster race. Bold Union got an 89 Beyer for running 5 1/2 furlongs in 1:05 4/5, as opposed to the 76 for Dagnabit (1:06 3/5). Kelly Breen is the trainer of Bold Union, who has now romped in her two starts by a combined 20 1/2 lengths. She's by Dixie Union, standing for a career high $50,000 at Lane's End, out of Bold World, a graded stakes winning Fortunate Prospect mare.

Dixie Union is also the sire of another juvenile filly who won a stakes last weekend; Garden District took the G3 Debutante Stakes at Churchill Downs for the Toddster (who discussed his slow season with David Grening of the Form). She's out of Brisquette, a stakes placed mare by Unbridled's Song; so she's actually bred quite similarly to Bold Union, both being out of a Mr. Prospector line mare, and inbred to that sire as well as to Northern Dancer. The fillies were the 4th and 5th stakes winners of the year for Dixie Union; he's also the sire of Grasshopper and Fierce Wind, but ranks just 58th on the national sires list.

- Third place for Foolish Bid in the 7th at Philly Park today. At seven furlongs, I don't really think it suited him at all; in fact, all of his prior one turn races were pretty awful. He did finish third, and picked up another check; he's earned over $45,000 this year, well enough to cover expenses at Philadelphia Park for Kasey K. Now, with a couple of mediocre, though explainable, running lines in his pp's, let's hope for a nice price next time he runs two turns on the dirt. He's a durable hard-tryer who is due for a win.


Anonymous said...

Curlin is nominated to the Caesar Rodney (turf) at delpark 7/13.

Anonymous said...

Curlin also nominated to the Man O War and the Arlington 'Cap on 7/12

Anonymous said...

The Rangers overpaid for Redden.