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Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tuesday Morning Notes - Jan 20

Gallant Again ($3.40) took Monday's opener, and he is the third winner at the Big A for Michael Maker/Ken Ramsey; still no value to be found with these guys however. El Chile Dog was way dead on the board for Jacobson, and was claimed by Contessa for Winning Move after losing by 20 lengths.

In the second, Monastir took some late action on the nose, but was flat footed at the start and didn't show much after that. Inger Management ($11.40), shipping in from Philly Park, is the first winner in New York for trainer John Servis since Round Pond won the Acorn in June, 2005. He'd only, however, run 11 horses here since then, so he's a rare presence here indeed. Nice spot for this NY-bred three-year old gelded son of Kafwain; a half-brother to the state-bred stakes winner Gold Like U.

Around 25-30 years ago, at a point when I was still blissfully ignorant of the finer points of the game, I would have had this horse for sure, no question. His last race was much improved with blinkers on, and he had, by far, the highest last-out 'speed rating plus track variant' total. Basic stuff, easy game. I could have handicapped that in five minutes, and under ample influence. Why is it so damn complicated now?

Jimmy Winkfield winner Taqarub is now unbeaten in three, and I wrote about his pedigree and his exiled stallion in this post.

Contessa took the 5th with class dropper Indy's Forum ($4.70), who was taken by Randi Persaud for 10K. Persaud has had trouble making it to the winner's circle thus far at this meet, but he's shown the ability to move horses up. This filly has done better than this, and I'll be curious to see where her new barn places her next. One horse in the Persaud barn which I've been following with particular fascination is More Than A Reason, who he claimed out of a restricted 15K claimer on Nov 8. He turned around and won against open 50K claimers eight days later, and has since run two close seconds in 75K optional claimers, including in the 5th on Saturday, in what was already his third start of the year!

Mentioned Kafwain above, and he is also the sire of The Pamplemousse, the rather easy winner of the San Rafael on Saturday. The third year stallion is standing in Kentucky for $6500, down from $10,000 last year. The Pamplemousse is out of a Rubiano mare who's a half sister to the dam of 2007 Derby pretender Stormello (himself standing at Vinery for $7500.)

Another stakes winner for Speightstown, already his third of the year; Congor Bay won the San Pedro at Santa Anita on Sunday. Congor Bay is out of Pico Teneriffe, a stakes winning Red Ransom mare; and he's a half brother to the graded stakes (Can) winning Marchfield.

And quite a weekend for the third-year stallion Whywhywhy, standing at Gainsway for $7500, who scored with two graded stakes winners on Saturday. Nownownow upset the G2 San Fernando Stakes for his first win since he took the inaugural BC Juvenile Turf; and Ikigai won the G2 Mr. Prospector at Gulfstream. Since the BC race was not graded at the time, these are actually the first two graded stakes winners for the stallion son of Mr. Greeley.