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Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Aqueduct Wednesday

Slow start at the Big A for trainer Michael Maker; yet to hit the winner's circle in 11 starts, mostly for owner Ken Ramsey. He has three seconds and four thirds, but considering that six of them have gone off at 5-2 or less, that's not what the bettors were counting on.

However, Maker is a 30% guy, and he won't be winless forever. In the first on Wednesday, he starts Casino Kay (5-1), stepping up confidently in class after a solid third at Churchill in November. This four-year old daughter of Proud Citizen always puts forth an effort, comes off a steady stream of works, and cuts back to a distance I think she'll prefer. Needs to step up her Beyers here, and handle what will surely be an off track; she's gotten overbet of late, so I would insist on at least her morning line in this spot. Yankee Victoria (2-1) looks like a solid favorite and the likeliest winner, for Anthony Dutrow. $75,000 optional claiming tag makes her eligible for this; she drops an allowance condition from two excellent efforts out of town.

In the third, Trophy Road, scratched on New Year's Eve, is back in the third, once again at a sharply reduced level for David Jacobson. But if you think that's a suspicious looking drop, have a gander at Mulligatawny (2-1) in the 5th. Jacobson claimed her for $75,000 from Asmussen last March. She raced three times, with just a second to show, since then, the last time in June. And here, she returns with a $10,000 tag. That's whack, man. I mean, I'm all for the fun and games of the claiming game, but this is ridiculous. A reader recently suggested that the stewards should investigate and issue some kind of statement regarding a horse like this. That will never happen of course, but it would surely serve the betting public well and fairly. Not to mention the horse. Here's hoping she makes it safely if she goes.

I feel like I just gotta stand against this horse just on principle. Trainer Daniel Conway, Jr (5-2-1-0) has an entry, and I think the 12-1 morning line is a bad one here. Zip of Fools won in this class last time out on a muddy track; she's four for five in the slop with a 402 Tomlinson. Stablemate Louise the Tease, shipping in from Finger Lakes from where we're seeing horses run well, also likes wet tracks (six wins from 11 starts), and comes off two wins against company similar to what Zip Of Fools had faced there before winning here. Lucky if you see half of that morning line. (Hailey Keen ships in from FL as well.)

The 6th is a state-bred maiden claimer in which the smallest lengths-beaten amount amongst the ten entries in their last races is 10 1/4. Good luck with this one....on a pick six carryover day no less.

In the 9th, here's a class dropper I can believe in. Counting House (4-1) raced well on turf and on a 'good' track at Belmont against better in the fall. He's struggled in his last three, and this sharp drop in class against a painfully slow field could be just what he needs. Not much in the way of speed in this field, and he could be tough to catch if he can jump out in front as he did in the aforementioned race at Belmont. Trainer Bernardo Callejas got off the schneid for the inner track meet with Personal Good ($71) last week.

1 Comment:

Anonymous said...

In my perfect world Jacobsen would be allowed to run this filly only if she passed a true pre-race vet exam (not the perfuctory exam now given), with all joints x-rayed and posted in a repository like is done at an auction with cost borne by owner.

This rule would apply for all horses entered at more than one level below their prior race level.

I believe Harness racing uses a rule where the stewards determine just how low you can go.

Would have to make these stewards and track vets actually work for their salaries, of course, but if that is the price to be paid for saner and safer racing so be it.