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Saturday, January 17, 2009

The Affectionately Story: Searching For Black Type, Part IV

- Rap Tale starts from the three post in Sunday's Affectionately Handicap, and she's 12-1 in the morning line to finish third, and thus earn the black type that we've been advised would double her value as a broodmare.

Well, of course, that's 12-1 to actually win the race; but that seems like an underlay to me. I'd rate her fair chance for third at half to three-quarters that. Just six in the field, so she only has to beat three; problem is that there are three fillies in here who are clearly faster based on Beyers, and she has to somehow beat one of them. Ramon Dominguez, who may have cost Rap Tale third in the Ladies Handicap with his extraneous late whip which caused her to duck into the rail, hops off for favored Spritely, 9-5 for the Toddster, six for 27 (22%) at the winter meeting (as Mike Luzzi, bumped from that one, ends up on Rap Tale). She took a stumble at the start of the Restored Hope, though I don't know that that was the cause of her fading to second at 1-2. Her best race was in the slop, and I think she's questionable value at her morning line here.

I prefer Are We Dreamin (3-1), a winner, in her only two turn race, in the You B Surprised, by a nose over Weathered. The latter didn't exactly distinguish herself in that stakes last week against Awesome Ashley (5th in the You B Surprised). But Are We Dreamin already had her bounce race, a no-shot 4th in the six furlong Interborough against Zada Belle, and the stretch out should help in this spot.

But, whatever. It gets more interesting as far as we're concerned when you get to Successful Sarah (7-2). This four-year old daughter of Successful Appeal was claimed for a mere 8K by IEAH at Calder. Since then, in allowance company there, she's a nose short of being unbeaten in three; and she won her last two while climbing the class ladder by a combined 12 lengths. The 97 Beyer she earned two back is easily the best fast track number in the field. The question is how legit those numbers will be up here; she certainly beat nobody special down there.

So herein lies the key I think, and it could actually go a couple of different ways. If Successful Sarah isn't really that good, then maybe she will fade enough late that Rap Tale can overtake her. On the other hand, if she's legit, then maybe she can harass Spritely and they'll both weaken. I expect Are We Dreamin to run well in any event. If either of these scenarios does unfold, then I think Rap Tale probably has as good a chance as the other two to grab the show spot - and that includes Contessa's Point Me To It (7-2).

This of course is all under the assumption that Rap Tale is not going to find herself on the lead against these as she did in the longer Ladies. (Interestingly, her Moss pace numbers for that race match up against anyone's here.) Since Bruce Brown will be out of town, Bob will be giving instructions to Luzzi, and I just may get my three cents in too! We'll be up in Equestris, as I'm told there's free food for us stakes horse owners. I'll be the guy periodically checking out the Rangers game.

While this is going on, the Head Chef will be preparing a patriotic meal of baked ham and sausages for a pre-inauguration celebration we're hosting here tomorrow evening. President-Soon-To-Be Obama will be in search of some black type too - on the Fed's balance sheet! I highly suggest that we all wish him well. Have a great Saturday.


Anonymous said...

Alan good luck with Luzzi on your Horse. you'll need it. I would be shocked to see your horse get any closer than 5th. run her where she belongs, stop putting her over her head. What poor management.

Anonymous said...

We are all pawns. Roger Clemens' trainer testifies in court. Will he ever be indicted? And what is with Barry Bonds? Meanwhile, let's not forget the slithering Patrick Biancone. Integrity? If NYRA bans trainer Ralph Nicks (earlier this decade) for injectibles, will they prohibit Biancone coming east for Belmont or Saratoga if he wants to? Not lost in the story below is that another horse apparently suffered an injury during a Santa Anita Pro-Ride trip. And one last thing, Mike Gill is back and BIG; he's leading owner nationwide, isn't he?

Nownownow gives Biancone first comeback win
By Steve Andersen

ARCADIA, Calif. - Nownownow was one of the more promising members of Patrick Biancone's stable when he began a one-year suspension for possession of an illegal substance in October 2007.

Nearly 15 months later, Biancone is back in training, and Nownownow remains at the top of that list.

Saturday, Nownownow gave Biancone his first winner since he returned from suspension last fall in the $150,000 San Fernando Stakes at Santa Anita. The victory was a surprise to bettors, who sent off Nownownow as an 18-1 outsider.

The race was marred when Madeo was pulled up on the backstretch. The winner of the Grade 2 Del Mar Derby last August, Madeo was vanned off with a possible injury to his right foreleg, according to track stewards. Further details of his condition were not immediately known.

Nownownow ($38.40) ran 1 1/16 miles in 1:41.45, rallying from ninth in a field of 11 to win by 2 3/4 lengths over 17-1 Dakota Phone. Wishful Tomcat, a three-time stakes winner in New York last fall, finished third. Slew's Tiznow, the 9-5 favorite, closed from eighth to finish fourth.

The Grade 2 San Fernando Stakes was Nownownow's first stakes win since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf at Monmouth Park in October 2007. At the time, Biancone was days into his suspension for possession of cobra venom, and Nownownow was being trained by Francois Parisel. In 2008, Nownownow was trained by David Wachman in Ireland and Jason Orman in California. He was winless in five starts for those trainers.

Nownownow rejoined Biancone's stable in December, prior to finishing sixth in the Grade 1 Malibu Stakes here on Dec. 26.

"Fortunately, the people that trained him while I was away took good care of him," Biancone said.

For the San Fernando, Nownownow added blinkers. Biancone considered the San Fernando a prep for the $250,000 Strub Stakes for 4-year-olds at 1 1/8 miles here Feb. 7.

"I think the little blinkers helped," Biancone said. "The plan was to have him ready for the Strub. We'll see how he comes out of that."

Owned by Fab Oak Stable, Nownownow has won 3 of 13 starts and $781,024.

Anonymous said...

I am aghast that NYRA has carded the Jimmy Winfield Stakes as the third race. Am I over reacting?

This race was renamed from the Best Turn to honor the African American Hall of Fame jockey Winkfield, whose life is legendary. It is specifically carded on MLK Day, one of the few things NYRA has gotten totally right in recent memory. It DESERVES to be treated like any other FEATURE race, run in the traditional feature spot, the 8th race.

But NYRA instead takes a very competitive renewal and cards it in the third slot in a misguided blatant attempt to creat a carry over. This is insulting to the man, the cause (I am caucasion and a moderate, for the record) and the history of this great race.

Arguably, it is one of the toughest puzzles on the card despite having only six betting interest, at first glance I would need to go five deep to feel confident, so its placement is unlikely to have the desired effect.

I hate this current trend of placing stakes based on P6 sequence. They are essentially putting revenue ahead of the sport.

In truth, I find it misguided as Stakes races are usually no more formful than the maiden claimers they constantly card as the 4th and 6th races.

But I digress, this is insulting and NYRA should be embarrassed.

Anonymous said...

anon 5:34

I agree 100% this trainer just keeps running this horse where she doesn't belong, but Alan will tell u he picked up a check for 4th money..... what a joke

Sean said...

Eeeek. At least you got lunch out of the deal today. Did Luzzi have a reservation to make? Let Dominguez walk the dog, man.

Anonymous said...

Rap Tale got 4th place money

wooooo hooooooo Alan

talk it up Alan u got a check for running last. Can't beat that ehh

this horse won't make it to the summer the way u run her