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Friday, July 25, 2008

Saratoga Notes

- Not a very fortuitous US debut for Mousse Au Chocolat on Friday to say the least! She lingered in the gate before finally lurching out several lengths behind the field in the G2 Lake George. She was the 9-5 favorite in this field, but was done once a brief three wide move on the turn flattened out. Then, in the stretch, Receipt came out under left handed whipping by Alan Garcia, and Mousse Au Chocolat stumbled badly over her heels. Backers of My Princess Jess ($6.10) got a premium on that win price due to the heavy action on the French favorite, and Eibar Coa got a narrow seam up the rail.

Here's another nice three-year old grass filly; that's three consecutive stakes wins, and she's never been worse than second in seven tries for Barclay Tagg, and owners Roy and Gretchan Jackson, who purchased the filly privately after she won an overnight stakes at Belmnt in May. My Princess Jess is by Stormy Atlantic, out of a Pleasant Colony mare who's a half-sister to the champion multiple G1 winner Jewel Princess. She's a bit similarly bred to I Lost My Choo, another exciting three-year old grass filly, in that both are out of mares from the Ribot sire line; probably no coincidence then that they both like the turf. We'll probably see those two hook up before too long.

Yes, that was the Toddster in the winner's circle after the second with his 4th runner of the meeting: Join in the Dance (Sky Mesa) was making his third career start. This was another morning line favorite that may have surprised its supporters with a generous win price ($8.40); the bettors pounded the Mott entry of first-timers from 4-1 morning line to 8-5 favoritism. Well, I was at least right about that even as Into My Soul was dead on the board (22-1) and on the track.

First-timer Stomp was second at 11-1 for trainer John Terranova, who won the fifth with Jump It. Note that Terranova, an under the radar guy in NY having a productive year at 18% (64 starters), has now been in the money with eight consecutive runners in NY and NJ (2-3-3), at odds ranging from 4-1 to 12-1. On Saturday, Terranova starts Tiz It (9-2) in the 6th. He was second by a head to Sixthirteen, who moved up to beat winners by four with a Beyer of 96 in his next start; the race has also produced two seconds and a third.

Two close seconds at long odds for Kiaran McLaughlin. Aquino, a Team Valor import from Uruguay, was likely best in the 6th at his 10-1 odds, battling to the end in a blanket three horse finish after being floated four wide turning for home. (Laysh Laysh Laysh a couple lengths back in 4th.) Alwajeeha was second to My Princess Jess at 8-1 in the feature. After I noted in June that the barn was in a mini-slump at 0 for 25, it went on a streak of 12-6-3-3. Only two wins in 15 starts since that, but McLaughlin has been consistently knocking at the door, and he could be poised to have a huge meeting here. He may not have any divisional leaders this year, but he does have a barn full of two-year olds with stellar pedigrees that we'll certainly be keeping an eye out for.

And he has sharp veterans like Abraaj, his five-year old son of Carson City, who has stepped up to the next level in his two starts this year with a change to rating tactics. He looks like the main threat to Bustin Stones in the Vanderbilt. McLaughlin also starts White Tie (4-1) in the abovementioned 6th race, and note that he comes off a troubled, close 4th in the same productive race as Tiz It.


Anonymous said...

Notes on today's Saratoga 2yo race:

This on #3 Munnings (from a consigner at the Fasig-Tipton sale, via

"He's a lovely colt, and he's done everything right from the beginning," Mulligan said. "We've thought he was a special horse for three or four months. It's pretty well known he went out (after working an eighth in :10) the fastest of anything in the sale. I got him in :33 flat and some people got him in :33 1/5. Going into the turn, he switched to his left lead and just hit another gear and kept on rolling. He's a big, good-looking colt. They say he looks just like his father."

This on #6 Just a Coincidence (from

2yo Zito firster comes out of a gate drill where he seems to have out-worked Brave Victory, and Brave Victory came out that drill to run a close second behind Cognito on Wednesday. Looks like Just a Coincidence is probably the better of the two, and it's definitely worth noting that Zito debuted War Pass on the first Saturday of the Saratoga meet last year. In fact, he's using the same rider today (Nakatani) that he used aboard War Pass last year, and Just a Coincidence is owned by the same guy who owned War Pass.

Anonymous said...

Here's some video footage of Munnings at the sale: