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Monday, February 02, 2009

Rap Tale Romps

Remember when Super Bowls used to be boring?

Rap Tale led every step of the way in a facile win at Philly Park on Saturday, earning the $25,800 first place share, thus bringing her career earnings to $188,000; most of that for Kasey K. For those of you who said she needed a rest, I'm not saying I told ya so, because I didn't. With the race just 13 days after the Affectionately, and a lot of racing under her belt, I have to admit that I had some doubts myself; that despite the word from Bruce Brown that she bounded out of the Affectionately absolutely fine and ready to go.

Rap Tale earned a Beyer of 76, not the figure breakthrough that was hoped for. But she was a running fool left to her own devices on the lead, affirming the sharp early zip she displayed while putting away favored Spritely in the Affectionately. Perhaps Mike Luzzi is a bit vindicated now; I do think this is her natural running style. Bruce Brown, looking ahead as always, has his eye on a minor stakes at Laurel four weeks hence.

- In the 4th at the Big A on Sunday, Hatfield ($11.40) was a prime example of a horse getting bet disproportionately heavy in the win pool as compared to the show pool (the theory being that the "smart" money is betting the horse on the nose). This three-year old son of Proud Citizen was making his debut, for a 40K tag, for Asmussen. 6-1 morning line, he wasn't bet too far below that at 9-2; but it was the way he got bet that attracted my attention, accounting for just around 8% of the show pool as opposed to some 14% to win. Hatfield battled with Geno Green to the top of the stretch, and when Jorge Chavez started looking behind him at that point, that smart money was looking smart indeed, and he drew off to win by ten. For Steve Asmussen, it was his 15th winner in 38 starters at the winter meet, but his last one, for now, with Hatfield; he was claimed by Gary Contessa for owner John Moirano.

Pletcher pulled one over with Sunday Elegance late last year when he dropped her to 15K, collected the winners share when she romped by seven, and didn't see her get claimed away. The sale was over in Sunday's 5th, as she was moved up to 30K. Opened up daylight again, and managed to last despite an agonizing final quarter of 27.38.

The Toddster also took Saturday's feature, and scored a winner at Gulfstream on Saturday as well. But in Sunday's 9th at GP, his first-timer June Day got pounded to 2-1 favoritism and weakened to third. This son of Gone West has some highly unusual breeding, incestuously inbred 2x3 to Mr. Prospector as he is. He's out of the stakes winning Love That Jazz (Dixieland Band), the dam of G1 winner Society Selection, and a half-sister herself to the G2 winner Sea of Secrets. It was another debut runner, Gatorette (Distorted Humor) ($18.20), who took the money for trainer David Fawkes. This barn had a glaring 0-for-39 mark in the Form in the first-timer category. But a closer look in Formulator shows an 11% winning percentage in the category over five years; so it's not like this is barn that can't win with them. We've recently seen guys like Mott and Shug endure long first-timer losing streaks, and you gotta figure it's going to even out at some point.


steve in nc said...

I'm not saying that horses can't run well with little spacing. I played the two horses that ran big in Saturday's stakes after racing just a week earlier in the Sunshine Millions (ah, if only that 35-1 shot had been able to hold off Albertus!).

And form pattern analysis only gives probabilities, not certainties. So I sure hope your filly can do well again in that stakes, but then maybe a little rest during the summer so she can return fresh when the competition thins out again?

Did you see the Oaklawn stewards scratching a Larry Jones horse because of a race-day chiropractic adjustment? How backwards is that? Will they ban jocks who do yoga so they don't have an unfair advantage?

El Angelo said...

In fairness, the Super Bowl was pretty boring until about 2/3 of the way through the third quarter.

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