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Thursday, May 8, 2008

On to Neverland

The big race this weekend is the G2 Peter Pan Stakes, to be run Saturday at venerable Belmont Park. It's shaping up to be quite the race and a prep for the final jewel of the Triple Crown, the Belmont Stakes in early June. Tomcito, the Peruvian wonderhorse, will be running from post 2 for the first time back on dirt since he finished 3rd behind Big Brown in the Florida Derby and after failing to qualify for the Kentucky Derby with his showing in the Coolmore Lexington. I've said in previous posts that he is more suited for the longer races and his connections now have him heavily pointed towards the Belmont. Also pointed in that direction is the Japanese horse, Casino Drive. One of the threats to steal Big Brown's Crown away from him in four weeks (with an extra week's rest). The Drive was shipped over last month from Japan all eyes pointed to June 7th. He is a three-quarter brother to Rags to Riches and half brother to Jazil, the past two winners of the Belmont. His sire is Mineshaft, also the sire to Derby starter Cool Coal Man and his dam is Better than Honour. Other interesting starters on Saturday are Deputyville, a Contessa trainee, who comes out of the Federico Tesio stakes, third to Ichabad Crane and behind Mint Lane (who is in post 3) and Todd Pletcher's Ready's Echo, who lost his first two year old race at the Spa last summer to Derby starter Z Humor and then broke his maiden at Gulfstream in March. The other major horse who I like a lot is Golden Spikes, who ran second to Recapturetheglory in the Illinois Derby after finishing fifth in the Fountain of Youth. This race is loaded with talent and the top contenders should be looking at being the spoilers come June.

ESPN is reporting today that the Jockey Club announced the formation of a new safety committee to study equine health, including track safety and the rules of racing. Dr. Larry Bramlage, the vet on the scene at the Derby, will be one of the committee members. Here's another interesting article from, of all places, the Winnepeg Sun, with some special quotes from the illustrious Dick Dutrow. Geez, Dick if he wins the Triple Crown, are you saying you won't be running him at Santa Anita on Breeder's Cup Day? Really?



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