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Monday, July 28, 2008

Monday Morning Quarterback

The Jim Dandy unfolded pretty much as projected in many a blog and website as Mint Lane and Da’Tara hooked up in a speed dual in the opening fractions. I thought my main choice Tale of Ekati and second choice Tiz Now Tiz Then would strike exacta gold for me when Ekati made his move on the far turn to take the lead with Tiz Now Tiz Then right there with him. Alas, it was all set up for Macho Again, the Preakness runnerup, and Pyro to pick up the pieces when Ekati tired in the stretch. TNTT ran a dynamite race in his first G2 effort. Sets up an interesting Travers scenario, wherein the past three Dandy winners have finished off the double winning the midsummer’s Derby (Flower Alley, Bernardini and Street Sense). Should Big Brown win on Saturday, he looms as a potential starter as well.

The 11th was a 5 ½ furlong sprint on the softened turf and ended up playing out the route to sprint angle I recently read about in Best of the Bets – Longshots 2 in the chapter on trainer angles. The 16-1 winner Come Close ($33.80) had come off five or six route races shortening up to a turf sprint and appeared to be a closer based on his running lines. Running second was my man Javier Castellano, who continues to ride longshot horses on the turf into the money running on 16-1 Chief Operator to complete a $435 exacta. It goes to show that if you search hard enough you can find value.

Tip of the cap to fellow TBA'er Power Cap who had a nice call on his play of the day, Loaves and Dishes in the 1st yesterday, I played a little W/P on him and he cashed nicely finishing second and paying $13.20 for place. He has been sniffing it with his picks over the past month, keep an eye on his site.

In today’s 5th at the Spa, one of my NYC clients who is part of a Dogwood syndicate, has Barbarillo running in a maiden special weight turf sprint for 2yo fillies. Barbarillo by Rahy (out of Barbed Wire) was purchased at the September Keeneland sale for $160K and has Javier in the irons on the turf (hmmm) and a morning line of 8-1. The favorite is the Unbridled firster Sally’s Song (4-1ML) with the everpresent Pletcher/Johnny V combo.

Hopefully the Spa will go rain-free today as the first week comes to an end. Johnny V leads the jockey colony with 7 wins and $758K in earnings followed closely by Eibar Coa with 6. Steve Asmussen, bolstered by his three opening day winners has the trainer lead with 4, followed by Rick Dutrow and Bobby Frankel with 3 each.

My Bills in Toronto tickets are to arrive this week. I have to admit I bought them with the thoughts of possibly reselling them if demand grows high. But I am also very curious as to the reaction and setting up there in the great white north. I bought the full series (nosebleed seats for $85 each) of eight games over the next five years which includes five regular season games (Miami this year) figuring if I can’t make it up there I should be able to get out pretty reasonably. The Buffalo News reported that the high ticket prices (I had a chance for 50 yd line seats for $400/each (yikes) but passed) and the requirement to buy all eight games has softened sales, with almost 14,000 seats still available (capacity 55,000). I’m not one of those locals who fears the team moving (although it may be inevitable), I’m hoping that they just split the games between Buffalo and Toronto (ala Green Bay/Milwaukee in the 70’s) so we retain some identity.

On the same front, my Brett Favre to Buffalo campaign has not gained much steam.

My pirate horse Arrrrr goes in the 2nd today and is actually at 9-2 in the 6 furlong $35K maiden claimer. Maybe his 13th try will be a lucky one. Mike Luzzi is in the irons. He just missed breaking his maiden on June 26th at Belmont losing by a half length to Yankee Chief, but besting Slick Wheelie (who we saw on opening day) by 8 ½ lengths. I wore my pirate shirt out on opening night eve at Gaffney’s for good luck, maybe today’s the day.

If you haven’t seen the blog site Gathering the Wind yet, it should be added to your favorites, as it is one of my daily reads. Always eloquent, he hits the nail on the head when it comes to the racing fan’s perspective and has me enjoying a daily belly laugh.


Winston said...

My hat is off to you sir. Thank you kindly.

I thought Pyro would swoop by in the lane but then he hung, no excuses for him. You had me worried about ToE but he didn't really fire. Mint Lane got burned up in the speed duel but he and Da'Tara faded badly.

Is this three year old crop really that mediocre?

Geno said...

Winston: My pleasure.

It is embarrassing to this 3yo crop that Mambo in Seattle's time in the preceding non-graded Henry Walton bested Macho Again's time. We should see a big field for the Travers and maybe even a filly (see Power Cap'S post today) and as projected by Foolish Pleasure in my Toga Party contest...

I really thought ToE would be there based on his Wood with the speed duel that ensued in that race between War Pass and Inner Light...he just flattened out in the stretch...oh well..that's why they call it gambling.


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