I had fantastic luck yesterday… with the subway. Every time I arrived on the platform the train was arriving. I even hopped across the platform to catch the arriving express train after one stop, making my normal 30+ minute door to door to the office 15 minutes. This luck was with me for each of my four subway rides, the subway equivalent of a Pick 6 given it a was a Saturday. This was where the luck ended.
I had the right selections in the Tiffany Lass but didn’t bet it right. I chose an exacta of Tizaqueena over Jolie The Cat & Highest Class and put a little bit on Highest Class to win. I had a nagging feeling that I should select Jolie The Cat to win but stuck with my choice. I was surprised to see her set the pace but someone had to do it. I thought it might be Syriana’s Song or Timely Reflection. She looked great on the lead and got the job done when asked after setting a nice slow pace. I still like Tizaqueena as well and will be keeping an eye on both her Jolie the Cat.
The LeComte was the subway luck equivalent of being stuck in a train that’s not moving in a car where the PA doesn’t work. I dismissed Z Fortune altogether, I’m not sure if it’s because his prior races were for state breds or that his last speed figure was 16 points lower the prior one but he looked really strong and is clearly one to keep an eye on. Lesson of the day: don’t mess with Asmussen at Fairgrounds! I’m also interested to see Smooth Air’s next out given that He’s Eze came in 4th here. I’m wondering if he could be a one surface wonder in the slop, like one of my sentimental favorites, Slew’s Tizzy. I really, really wish they’d send him to California or just run him on synthetic surfaces, isn’t it clear by now he doesn’t like the dirt?
Swifty was lamenting that the LeComte was where he fell in love last year. While I haven’t fallen in love yet (I have trust issues), I’m definitely looking forward to a second date with El Galo Mato! I didn’t bet this one correctly either, which is extra annoying due to my pre-office selections including the winning exacta. Nevertheless, that bad cat is the first 3yo colt that I think I could I really fall for… it was, however, love at first sight with Mushka, but I don’t want to digress too much.
In the San Pasqual Zappa looked really good to me in the parade and my note about him was that he could be ready to jump in class. I boxed him with Thousand Words and ran back to the window to get a win bet on him but just missed it. He looked really great as well sitting perfectly off the pace. I always love to see a claimer jump up in class.
And finally, in the subway luck equivalent of trudging to the station in the pouring rain to find your train not running at all, only to have walk several blocks to another line that doesn’t even put you within 4 four blocks of your final destination, we have Air Commander in the San Fernando! Jessica at Railbird points out the Dan Illman nailed Air Commander in the OTB channel’s live handicapping show… naturally one of the only times I didn’t watch it. Well done though! My long shot across the board was Big Bad Leroy Brown, who came in last! But what’s interesting to me is that of the remaining crop of last year’s 3yos, the ones that are improving are surprising. Take Pink Viper’s 107 Beyer in the Brush Up at Aqueduct. While not the same class of horses as the San Fernando, the speed figure is still quite an improvement.
Both Pink Viper and Air Commander were on the Derby Trail last year. Who else is out there improving greatly I wonder, and are horses like Ravel and Great Hunter going to improve? Time will tell. Dominican was back on the work tab this morning breezing 3F in :38:80 and Sedgefield is entered in the 7th at Gulfstream today, a 62K allowance optional claimer at 1 mile on the turf (not entered for a tag). Dawn after Dawn is running in the El Encino today at Santa Anita… I can’t wait to see her return, she’s been training nicely and I’ve got my fingers crossed for a stellar 4yo campaign… stand clear of the closing doors!