Monthly Archives: September 2007

Welcome to the New Site!

To be honest I didn’t think it would take me so long to get this site up and running. Once I started fiddling with it I found more and more things I wanted to fiddle with… and believe me, there are still things to fiddle with.

I’ve ported about half of my old content over (manually, one post at a time!) and still have a couple of months worth of posts to bring over. These will show up as newly published pieces in the RSS feed when I add them.

One of the reasons it took so long, besides the fiddling, was that with each post I was creating the somewhat (read: borderline ridiculously) “extensive” category structure (marked as tags). One of the things on the fiddling list is to add collapse/expand capabilities to the parent categories. That ‘Horse’ catagory is already pretty outrageous so it would be good to be able have that load with the catagory rolled up but easily expanded.

If you see anything weird please let me know, by way of the handy About/Contact page… yes, you can now easily email me, not to mention comment!

What a Weekend!

Wow, that was one action packed weekend! Fabulous Strike’s fabulous front-running first G1 win, English Channel’s last minute daring push through a hole that he had to make big enough, Unbridled Belle’s unabashed upset and last but not least Curlin & Lawyer Ron’s stretch battle. And that was just today, on one track!

Todd Pletcher’s back and so am I! After unsuccessfully trying my hand at Pick 4’s and 6’s all last weekend, I hit the Hard Spun/Street Sense straight Exacta, the Unbridled Belle/Indian Vale/Ginger Punch Trifecta, the Curlin/Lawyer Ron/Political Force Trifecta and today’s late Pick 4! Finally, a comeback… something I’m sure Todd Pletcher thought today too with his 3 wins.

Dale Romans and Stanely Hough also had two wins apiece today. Ramon Dominguez scored three wins while Johnny V, Robby Albarado & Eibar Coa all had two wins. Last but not least, Smart Strike sired three of today’s winners: Fabulous Strike, English Channel & Curlin!

Two other sire notes on today’s Belmont card… Invasor’s sire, Candy Stripes is the dam’s sire of Tomorrow’s Nano, winner of the 11th. I had never noticed his sire noted anywhere else. The last place finisher of the 5th, a state bred $35000 claiming race was sired by Dubai Millennium. He only had one crop of offspring before he tragically died of grass sickness. I noticed that another one of his offspring, Noble Duty, ran in a low level claimer last weekend and didn’t do so well either. I’m interested to find out how the rest of his cropped has fared.

Since I don’t really wanna to end on such a bummer, I’ll be interested to read all the speculation about what this weekend’s performances might mean for BC performances. I agree with those who think Street Sense didn’t knock himself out to try catch Hard Spun (i.e., Calvin Borel didn’t beat the crap out him the way did in the Travers), not that I think he could have anyway. Since he couldn’t catch him it was a smarter move to save it for the Classic. As for Hard Spun, I wish they would run him in the Dirt Mile instead of the Classic, he won’t get such favorable circumstances in the Classic, and no matter how much I love him I don’t think he can win the Classic. I want to watch the Jockey Gold Cup again to see if Lawyer Ron was all out or saved a little. It’s exciting that it seems somewhat wide open but a bit of a bummer that it’s stacked so heavily towards 3 year olds. Maybe if 3 year olds couldn’t run in the Classic there would be more incentive for them to run as 4 year olds.


Rick Violette gets his first win of the meet in the second at Belmont with a wire to wire romp by Globalization (I’m still alive in the early pick 4!). I was starting to wonder when he’d get a win. My note on Globalization was that he had a jock change + his last work was an endurance builder… I thought both were encouraging.

On a bias note, both wins so far were from the 5th post position and wire to wire.

Two Bullets and a 2nd

I was just procrastinating handicapping the 6th – 11th at Belmont today when I noticed a few nice workouts.

Belgravia 5f @ 58.4 H (1/14) @ Santa Anita (wow!)

The Green Monkey 5f @ 1.00.8 B (1/43) @ Belmont

Ravel 4f @ 47.60 B (2/21) @ Keeneland

Ravel was previously training at Arlington, I wonder if this means an entry is imminent?

Back to handicapping…

Upset Bowl Invitational!

Wow! Sadly, I had the wrong upset winner… Rosinka, but for a moment there it looked it really good for her!

Lahudood, how about it! That’s the last time you’ll get her at 21-1. What a great inside move… I have to admit I dismissed her totally. My only note was that her last race was too big of a jump in class… not this time!

On a bias note, Alan Garcia/Kiaran McLaughlin have now won 2 today. Also it’s Alan Garcia’s first G1, congrats to him, it was a great ride!

Guess Who I Met…

The Hennegan Brothers! Well, virtually speaking that is, on Facebook. Who knew that site could actually be used for things other than getting bitten by zombies and sending people virtual drinks! If you don’t already know, they’re the film making brothers who directed the genius and yet to be released First Saturday in May. Swifty and I were lucky enough to see it at the Tribeca Film Festival.

I mentioned it here as part of a larger point that there are plenty of things that could be done to bring casual fans into the fold, such as play their film on TV every year around Derby time to make the connection to casual fans that the Derby doesn’t “just happen” in hopes getting them engaged the following year.

Steve Crist also wrote a really great article on the film (within a week of my blog post, Coincidence? More than likely).

They also have a collection of nice clips, some outtakes and some from the film, of Barbaro. I’m gonna ask them to post some Lawyer Ron clips as well… he and Jazil were also featured in the film.

At any rate… go to their site and register so you can find out when there’s a screening in your area. They also have a film blog.

Catching Up…

All my unsuccessful attempts to hit the pick 4’s and pick 6’s this past weekend, especially the carryover, have kept me from a few posts. First off, I have to thank Steve Crist for his I, Idiot post. It made me feel so much less idiotic about my multi-race exotic follies. Mind you, I was out of Sunday’s Pick 6 in the first (5th) race and didn’t have any picks in the 2nd (6th), but I did have Giveityourbestshot! Mia blew my chances at the meager Pick 4. I should have gone with her instead of The Ag, solely based on Pletcher’s cold streak.

Speaking of which, my favorite handicapping god Steve Davidowitz, has a DRF+ article with a lot of great insights, such as when to avoid a horse based on a good trainer with a cold streak. Other salient points include the fine points of subtle class drops & class relief + when to bet a bridesmaid to win. All points that could have helped this past weekend, but I can’t wait to put to use this coming weekend!

Published late on friday was a little article about NYRA agreeing to “try” to keep the track soft.

Hopefully they really will try. [DRF]

And, one of my favs from early in this year’s Derby trail, Belgravia is back on the work tab! He was a promising 2 year old last year who won the Hollywood Prevue and seemed well on his way to the Derby trail. Here’s a profile of him at Thoroughbred Times’ Road to the Triple Crown. A quote from his trainer caught my eye…

“He doesn’t need it (Lasix),” Biancone said. “Simple as that. I will not judge other people. So far, so good, he hasn’t needed it. We never used it with Lion Heart. I mean, if a person trained with aspirin every day, and did not need it, eventually it loses its effectiveness and does not work.”

Who needs Lasix when you could have cobra venom!

Old “Fast Track”, Still at It

Dick Powell has an article at Handicapper’s Edge about the unnecessarily over sealed track at Belmont and all the injuries, including Rags to Riches.

Rags to Riches’ injury is one of numerous ones, some catastrophic, that have occurred since racing returned to Belmont. Despite what track superintendent John Passero says, the track is too hard from the constant sealing. I know that this time of year, it is hard to maintain Belmont since the angle of the sun becomes more severe and some spots dry out differently than others. But based on the running times of Saturday’s early races and the account of how the track was groomed Friday after the last race, we lost a racing superstar to an injury that could have been avoided.

It’s not like this is first time this has been pointed out (and in this case, directly to NYRA) … but clearly it’s waaaaayyyyyyyy more important to have a FAST track.

[Handicapper’s Edge]