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Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Jersey Bound

- Taking the day off today, and going to Monmouth. Barring an unforeseen freak storm, it will be nice to see a fast track there for a change after four days of rain at the Breeders' Cup last fall. The heck with gas prices; I have some new CD's, including Beck's retro Modern Guilt, so I'm gonna crank it up and head down the Garden State Parkway (if I ever make it off the BQE, which, these days, features rubbernecking for the way-cool New York City Waterfalls; actually worth the time waiting, for a change.)

In the second, Lit de Edwardo (10-1) goes for trainer Willard Thompson, a barn which is not exactly burning up the track with just three wins from 73 starters at the meeting. Nonetheless, this gelding was a close and wide second two back against significantly better, in a race that produced three subsequent winners and a second. Dropping in class for his last effort, he was severely checked and taken up approaching the turn while making a threatening move on the rail. Additional drop in class here could do the trick. Devil's Zone (3-1) set the pace and lasted for second as the favorite in the top choice's last race; trainer Bruce Levine hasn't slowed down here - he's 33 for 73 - 45%! He's 8-3-3-1 in his last seven at the shore. Devil's Zone races with Lasix, front bandages, and blinkers, but without EPO.

In the third, Apt to Succeed (3-1) has found her game - all three of her sprint efforts have been very good, and she's displayed a powerful late kick in his last two. Will try to turn the tables here on Angel Veloz (5-2), who resisted her late surge in his last.

Here's our friend Christophe Clement, unveiling first-timer For Free (7-2), on the grass in the 4th. The barn is 0 for 8 at Monmouth thus far, and, in this case, I'll take that as meaning that he's due. This filly is by Forestry, 13% with first-time turf runners. Fever's Gone (5-2) is the logical favorite for the Toddster off a game second in her debut, in which she was challenged on the lead by Realgoodlookin (5-1) every step of the way.

If you've been visiting here, you've read about the recent exploits of trainer George Weaver at Belmont, where he's won three of his last four, all at generous odds. This barn's runners have been doing well out of town too - it's like he flipped a switch to make all his horses run well. He's 4-1-1-1 at Monmouth, has recent wins at Philly and Colonial, and a narrow miss at Finger Lakes. Amazing. He sends Manitoba Miss in the 5th; but at 6-5 morning line, perhaps I'll try to beat him, though I'm not sure with whom. Perhaps Bi Rose (3-1), stretching out for trainer Richard Small. She put up some very fast internal fractions after breaking slowly in her debut, which has produced two next-out winners; and the daughter of Include, out of a half-sister to Private Terms winner Etude, may like the stretch to two turns.

Sway (8-5) looks like a solid favorite in the 7th; set the pace this level in his last, succumbing to Dyna's Lassie, who went on to win the Miss Liberty Stakes.

In the 9th, Southcote Road (4-1) drops to conditioned claimers for trainer Bruce Alexander, 21% on the meeting, and 4-4-3 with his last 14 runners. This filly managed to be four wide going into the first turn from the three post, and continued three wide on the final turn before finishing second. Looking for a more favorable trip from the rail today. Good luck and have a great day!

[DiscreetCat checks in with his thoughts on the opener at Del Mar, a race which I'll definitely be sticking around for outside at the Lady's Secret bar after the live races. If you're at the track, stop by box 58 and say hi!)


Anonymous said...

Del Mar - Race 1

#7 Plan For Fun (3/1 ml)

I know, a play in the first race of the meet goes against what i just said. Lots to like here though. First off, this horse has a terrific foundation with 5 straight route races since coming off the break, and that's the kind of horse you wanted early in the Del Mar meet last year. He also comes from off the pace, another criteria that was crucial to success in Del Mar routes last year. It also seems he won (or at least ran well) over the Del Mar poly last year, as the last race showing at the bottom of his PP's lists him as the 2/1 favorite in a Del Mar race similar to this one (meaning he probably either won or ran close in his previous race, which almost certainly came over the Del Mar poly). Going further, this horse was claimed out of his last start by 28% first-off-the-claim trainer Jeff Mullins, and Mullins is listed as one of the owners here, so apparently he claimed this horse for himself. Right before the Del Mar meet, where he's entered on Opening Day. Looks like Mullins claimed this horse specifically for Del Mar, which bodes well because Mullins won with an outstanding 24% of his Del Mar polytrack starters last year. Mullins knows (or knew) what it took to win here, apparently right from the start. Also of note here is that Plan For Fun has previously been in the Mullins barn. The last time Mullins claimed this horse, he won first time off the claim, just as he's trying to do today. The rider that day? Tyler Baze. Today's rider? Tyler Baze.

ljk said...

Since you mentioned the '07 BC, I was wondering what the ticket prices were? I just got confirmation for my '08 seats, in the grandstand near the eighth pole, for $400 each ($200/day). What would a comparable seat have cost last year?