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Saturday, January 31, 2009

Saturday Morning Notes - Jan 31

I bet and picked Break Water Edison in the Hutcheson, and he checked in dead last. Sometimes I feel stupid in retrospect for a bet gone bad; but other times, like this one, I figure the logic was sound and the horse just ran bad. So we just move on.

With West Side Bernie (3-1) and Beethoven (4-1) stuck on the outside, a couple of longshots drawn inside of them piqued my interest in Saturday's Holy Bull. El Crespo (12-1) had a sluggish debut, but turned things around with a narrow loss and a win after switching to turf. Or maybe it was because of adding blinkers; or stretching out in distance. Plenty of grass pedigree here for this half brother to grassy stakes winners Rey De Cafe and Tricky Causeway, out of a half-sister to the likewise King Cugat. But his third dam is Con Game, the dam of Seeking the Gold and Fast Play, and you'd expect a son of AP Indy out of a Private Account mare to handle dirt.

Stately Character (20-1) beat This Ones For Phil in winning the Foolish Pleasure in December, before that one became the fastest horse in the world. This son of Pleasant Tap came back off a subsequent freshening with a solid third over the track, not far behind Remsen runner up Atomic Rain and McPeek's impressive Free Country. I think he can outrun his odds here for trainer Gerald Procino.

Danger to Society (5-1) is another hyped McPeek horse, and I think he'll likely go off at lower odds than indicated. Son of Harlans Holiday out of a half-sister to Silver Charm handled winners and two turns just fine in winning his second race in as many tries. Looks like the logical choice inside of the favorites.

- I hate Einstein as the 5-2 ML favorite in the Donn. Hate him. I do get myself in trouble at times when pick against specific horses here, but don't bother writing to mock me if he wins this time. Not saying he can't do so. But I do think he would be a poor wagering proposition as the favorite breaking from the ten post. I'm still not convinced he's a top stakes horse on dirt; for one thing, he's benefited from a series of beneficial post draws. In fact, his weakest effort of the last year was the last time he drew poorly - the eight post in the Donn last year. Bad luck of the draw again here, and I think it's worth a stand against. Similarly, Albertus Maximus (4-1), who figures to take money on the strength of his BC Mile win, has been running strictly on synthetics (though he did break his maiden on dirt), and has to be considered a question mark as he preps for Dubai.

I'll go with Arson Squad (3-1), another example of a horse turning it around after switching to Rick Dutrow. Six-year old gelded son of Brahms really floundered for trainer Bruce Headley after winning the Strub in 2007. However, after switching to Dutrow, he improved his Beyer 13 points in winning the Meadowlands Cup - thus contributing to the astounding 34% of first-time Dutrow runners which have won over the last two years - and then ran a close 4th in the Cigar Mile last November, his most recent race to this point. Back to two turns and to the winners circle (he says brashly) here. Babe.


Anonymous said...

Rail Trip made it 3-for-3 yesterday with a win in his route debut. What an animal.

Anonymous said...

Kimmel is batting ZERO over the past two years in the 61-120 day layoff, according to the DRF. It is something like 0-24.

Break Water Edison was bumped hard near the eighth pole. Hello Broadway got exactly what he needed. Tagg may have to decide to put him on the lawn for a Derby prep and forgo anything on the synthetics.

How about this for a way to promote racing? Well, it would have been good for this year --- NBC should have been "forced" to allow an airing of a Derby prep in the pre-Super Bowl coverage, say during the 5 to 5:30 p.m. hour. Pre-entries would have been taken months in advance, allowing a sponsor, say Budwesier to print labels or inside caps of those entered. The horsemen would have been encouraged to then actually run in the race with the connections being able to pick their starting gate position in the Derby according to finish AND the purse value being DOUBLED or TRIPLED
as far as Derby eligible earnings go.

You would have millions of eyeballs on racing. Other labels on bottles or some product could have had free admission to Saratoga, Keeneland, and winning tickets to the Breeders' Cup. Or a share in one of the horses! Yes, someone could have the opportunity of being a part of the Triple Crown. This is what racing needs to consider -- something unique, something new, and something that will promote the sport to millions of eyeballs.

El Angelo said...

I'm not sure how much I'd credit Arson Squad's turnaround to Dutrow; he appears to just be a much better dirt horse than a synthetics horse.

Alan Mann said...

>>How about this for a way to promote racing?

Excellent suggestions, though imagine the whining about 'oh, that's not fair that they get to pick a post position for the sacred Derby, wah wah wah.' I've always thought that the sport should think of ways to embrace the Super Bowl, instead, of scooting away like a little scaredy cat. Thanks for the comment.

Alan Mann said...

>>Kimmel is batting ZERO over the past two years in the 61-120 day layoff, according to the DRF. It is something like 0-24.

Ya, good point there. Interestingly though, he's six for 26 (23%) with 180+ layoffs over the same time period.

steve in nc said...

I agree with your stand against Einstein & Albertus. I'd like to spread with lots of longshots but surrounded the stakes at GP with damned maiden crapshoots. Same in the Cro-Magnum-Man 5.

This is a good day to also take a stand against Ventura at S.A.

But the big race (for Alan) is the 8th at Philly.

I gotta say I agree with the poster urging you to rest the filly. I think she'll likely be off the board today.

On her Ragozin sheet, it looks like she had a set-back point where her development stalled for more than 2 months, right after her first race (with #22).

Most horses don't get more than 10 points faster than that first set-back point, and she ran a 13-1/2 then a 13 in the race she was claimed out of and her first race for Brown. So she probably won't get much faster if at all.

She ran another 13-1/2 winning in the slop 3 back, then bounced, and then, on Ragozin, ran a secondary effort, a 14-3/4 last race. Beyer has this much slower because he uses the final time. Rag gave her a "quit fig," based upon the time up to the head of the stretch where she quit, to better measure the true effort, so the # is faster.

This pattern, especially with the next race coming so close to the secondary effort, usually produces another bounce.

She looks pretty healthy and doesn't have too many clinkers. But unless she gets a break soon, I'd expect her to tail off more before too long.

Anonymous said...

Break Water Edison absolutely hates the rail. All three of his poor races have come with the #1 post. His other three efforts: A smashing debut win, a solid runner-up effort in the Saratoga Special, and the Nashua triumph at AQU.

Anonymous said...

Donn Handicap

I'm betting On Board Again, across the board, doubling up the place bet.\

Bank Check

Anonymous said...

Rap Tale by 4

Every pole a winning one.

steve in nc said...

Happy to be so wrong, Alan~! Congrats. A lot of the field had form question marks on the sheets. I wonder if she'll end up with a backward figure. As long as the #s on the check ain't backwards, who cares?!