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Sunday, September 16, 2012

Sunday Morning Notes

At Belmont on Saturday, this year's Irish 1000 Guineas winner Samitar ($3.70) won the G1 Garden City for trainer Chad Brown and the irrepressible Ramon Dominguez, atoning for her narrow loss in her US debut up at Saratoga. If you look at the chart and the running lines, you'd think that she held off a furious rally by runnerup Somali Lemonade. And she did I suppose. But I had a cold exacta with the latter on top; and once Ramon put the stick away inside the sixteenth pole, it was clear there was no catching the winner. Somali Lemonade was not gaining any ground at the end, and probably wouldn't have passed the winner in the proverbial going around the track again. Next up for Samitar, who earned a Beyer of 90, is the G1 Queen Elizabeth at Keeneland.

While that was the first winner of the meet for Saratoga runner-up Chad Brown, Bruce Brown (no relation) has been on a roll. Hope Still Springs ($8.60) was his 4th winner from ten starters on the meet. This gelded three-year old NY-bred son of Corinthian graduated in his 8th start, and his third since coming back from the least in the NY Times database, which presumably lumped him into the same category as the deceased when he was vanned off after pulling up on the 4th of July. This is a half-brother to Sabellina, a nice NY-bred filly from a few years ago who won a graded stakes in open company at Churchill (speaking of the dead, that link from the Thoroughbred Times).

Perhaps the most impressive winner of the day was another NY-bred, Saratoga Snacks ($10.60), who dominated the one mile 7th race allowance in his debut against open company and first try beyond 6 1/2 furlongs. This ridgling three-year old son of Tale of the Cat has been an interesting story from the start. I remember his career debut last summer, when he was something like 10-1 or maybe 15-1 morning line or whatever one would expect from a Gary Sciacca first-time starter at Saratoga (still wish we'd see the morning line and 3 MTP odds in the running lines as during Sports Eye's brief foray into thoroughbred pp's before the Form paid them to stop). Opened as the favorite before drifting up to 5-2; ran second that day, but came back to win his next start on closing weekend there at even money. Didn't see him again until May; but now he's undefeated in three starts this year. Easily disposed of fellow NY-bred B Shanny on the lead, and then drew away from the field, getting the final quarter in an eye-catching 23.92. Could be interesting to follow the progress of this horse if Sciacca can keep him on the track.