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Friday, July 11, 2008


- Some big races coming up this weekend on a professional and personal level, with Rap Tale slated to go at Colonial tomorrow. And I'll see none of them. I have functions to attend on both Saturday and Sunday afternoons, ugh. If I'm lucky, I'll make it out to a few twilight races today, and that's only if I STOP WRITING THIS POST NOW and get back to work. So please don't expect much activity at this particular site for the next couple of days.

I've downgraded my 'WOO-HOO' over the prospect of betting against Curlin in the Man O'War to an simple and deemphasized 'woo.' Not that I've wavered one bit from my belief that betting against accomplished dirt horses on the grass is one of the best wagering opportunities one can find. But I find it hard to get excited about any of the particular participants in the race, based on their recent form. There are two BC Turf winners in the race, but neither are in top form, and it seems as if the malaise in the Grade 1 dirt handicap division has carried over to the grass, at least for this race. So I'll likely pass (like I have a choice anyway since I won't be able to watch).

Also of local interest is the eliminations for the Meadowlands Pace, which attracted 26 three-year olds to compete in three heats. Somebeachsomewhere will start from the five post in his heat, and driver Paul MacDonell sounded a bit like a certain thoroughbred trainer when he said: "I would be surprised if he got beat anytime soon." His main competition could come from Badlands Nitro, who won the Rooney Pace at the Yonk last weekend. Tonight at the Big M, the trotter Deweycheatumnhowe goes in the Stanley Dancer Memorial final on his way to the Hambletonian. OK, gotta go..


Anonymous said...

I am a thoroughbred fan, and don't usually follow harness racing but with all the talk about the two undefeated horses, I've watched a few of their races. Can someone explain if Deweycheatumnhowe and
Somebeachsomewhere ever will race against each other? Deweycheatumnhowe is pointed toward the Hambletonian but what about Somebeachsomewhere? I'm sure there is a legitimate reason, but I'm too lazy to look into it.

Alan Mann said...

JPK - Somebeachsomewhere is a pacer, while Deweycheatumnhowe is a trotter. They're different gaits - pacers stride with their legs on each side moving forward together; while trotters - referred to as the 'diagonal gait' move their right front leg simultaneously with their left rear; and left front with right rear. So it's almost like two different sports, and they don't race against each other. Pacers are several seconds faster than the trotters. Hope this clears it up for you.

Anonymous said...

Better Talk Now seemed to return to form in his last, would have been right there is his hole didnt close.

Horse to beat, and there seems to be enough pace to set him up, with Curlin presumably first to take on the "speed" at the top of the stretch, then having to hold off the rest.

Been a long time since Red Rocks BC win, but he has always been an "in and out" type, could jump up and be competitive.

Agree the rest seem outclassed, although Ribaudo's horse seems ready to run a big one.

Anonymous said...

As an aside ... while I'll get to see the race on tv via either HRTV, TVG or even by the mere luck that I and ten other humans on this earth get ESPNews I do wonder why this sport blows chances like this to at least air the race live on the NTRA website if not NYRAs.

It won't hurt the wagering for TVG or HRTV to also have it aired live - via the direct NYRA feed - on a non wagering site like the NTRA for fans.

I'm sure there are legal agreements that would have to be worked out but this wasn't exactly an overnight written race.

Curlin will try hard I'm sure but I'll wager against him on this one. If he doesn't win this solidly I'd be rather apprensive about shipping him to the Arc. The quality of solid career turf runners there would put even my beloved Better Talk now to shame. If only Shake the Bank was there too!

Anonymous said...

I think the best opportunity to bet against Curlin would be in the Arc. If Curlin does indeed run there, the race will be offered by virtually every American wagering outlet, i would think. And as i know from betting the Arc over the last several years, the American money wagered on the Arc is conducted in an American-only pool (thru Arlington, i think). And who do you think all those American racing fans will be betting on? Hmmm? The name they know, obviously. I would expect there to be some pretty serious overlays on the European contenders, who quite frankly figure to win the race. I mean, as of this writing, as good as Curlin is, you're talking about a horse who has never run on turf before, and who lost in his only previous attempt at 1 1/2 miles. Now put him on a European-style righthanded course (which may well be soft on raceday) vs. top-level European turf monsters, the majority of whom are quite comfortable with 1 1/2 miles (not to mention the surface conditions). As i mentioned to a friend recently, even Deep Impact couldn't ship over and win that race, and his credentials for winning the Arc were far superior to Curlin's.

All this being said, i think Asmussen is very smart by planning to ship Curlin to Europe early in order to give him a course-and-distance prep (i'm guessing the Prix Foy). A win there would clearly strengthen his credentials for winning the Arc, and perhaps render a lot of what i just said moot. Here's hoping he doesn't do that, and ships him right over on top of the race.

Anonymous said...

LA Times has an article on Delmar with some great photos.

Michael said...

I like Grand Courtier and Sudan as possible spoilers today... while I think Curlin will probably win, he is by no means a lock in my eyes.