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Friday, January 30, 2009

Warming Up For The Big Debut

Wow, Michael Matz did it again, scoring in the finale at Gulfstream with 17-1 Princess Haya....and completing the trifecta with 20-1 Dress Parade; that's three longshot winners for the barn since Saturday.

Matz will, as you might have heard by now, start Nicanor in the 8th at Gulfstream on Saturday; smack dab between the Holy Bull and the Donn. Barbaro's brother is listed at 4-1 in the morning line, and you gotta be kidding me. I was thinking he'd be more like 2-5, seriously. I was going to root against him just to be annoying to the weirdo FOB types. However, I of course only have the good of the sport in mind, and a successful debut would certainly generate some coverage and interest, as we've already seen.

So, I'll just root against him because he's a mandatory bet-against....assuming, that is, if he is far closer to 4-5 than 4-1, which I'd bet will be the case; especially in this less than inspiring field in which all but one of the horses who have started have hardly distinguished themselves. Dubinsky (7-2) threw in a clunker in his second start, but, reunited with Castellano, stretched out to a mile over the track successfully, with a much-the-second-best placing behind Alma D'Or. That one was graduating by five, going first-time for Dutrow, and earning him the #37 spot on Haskin's Derby list (good grief), but not a column by Beyer. Dubinsky is the morning line favorite with Castellano again aboard, and deservedly so. But I'd be shocked if he's favored come post time. Seems like fair value at his morning line for Patrick Reynolds and owner Paul Pompa.

In the Hutcheson on Friday (?), Break Water Edison (3-1) doesn't have the best post, starting from the rail at seven furlongs. But he's trained solidly for his first start since winning the Nashua in November, and gets Alan Garcia, for whom he's run well each time. He faltered in the Hopeful on short rest, and had little to offer in the Champagne. But, with Garcia back aboard, he showed class circling the Nashua field four wide on the turn, holding off Hello Broadway (5-2) while finishing up in race horse time of 23 4/5, and earning a field high Beyer of 99 (with LeComte winner Friesan Fire finishing 4th).


Anonymous said...

Michael Matz also has Rockland, a promising son of Smarty Jones, in his care.
Rockland has run on dirt, grass and synthetic tracks in his brief career and has shown a lot of versatility as well as heart.
His speed figures are not that great but he is worth watching.
I'd like to know when his next start is scheduled. I'm pretty sure he is in Florida at the moment.

Superfecta said...

Rockland is up next in the Holy Bull - should be interesting to see how he stacks up.

steve in nc said...

At AQ today in race 7, Boss Zach is now a gelding. He has a back fig that could do it. Does anyone have any experience with B. Levine and the ultimate equipment change?

Alan Mann said...

'first time gelded' is one stat you won't find in Formulator. no clue!

Anonymous said...

I'm still trying to figure out how Haskin has The Pamplemousse ranked in the twenties on his Derby list, behind a horse like Checklist who has one career start (at 6 furlongs, no less).

Anonymous said...

Santa Anita - Race 3

#2 Snow Fighter (8/1 ml)

Very quick horse for Art Sherman had been training quite well into his last race, which was his first start in over a year. He was really up against it from a situational aspect however, stuck down on the rail with loads of speed in the race to challenge him. Predictably, he was on the lead through some very fast fractions, and hung on quite well to miss by a few lengths at the wire in fast time. Strong effort, but even more impressive when you consider that he was probably a bit short on conditioning coming off the year-long layoff. Figures to have gotten a lot out of that race, and has had ample time to recover. Best of all though, he now meets a field very different from last time, meaning there's not much early speed in here to challenge him. Would expect Snow Fighter to jump out on the lead here thru relatively soft fractions, and have a nice head-start turning for home. Think he may be tough to catch here.

Anonymous said...

Snow Fighter (off @ 4/1 odds )opened up a bit of a lead turning for home, but couldn't hang on and ended up finishing out of the money. Truth be told, he never got the kind of lead i was hoping for down the backstretch. The eventual winner All Man was lapped right on him pretty much the whole way.