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Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Pride of the Sheikhees

Godolphin sends out National Pride today in the 3rd at Belmont (ML 5-2). I've been keeping an eye on this one since he stumbled out of the gate in his Saratoga debut as the favorite and finished next to last. In his maiden win last November at Aqueduct he beat two notables, Saratoga Russell and Mint Lane. He bounced back on the Sunday of Alabama weekend to win a $67K allowance nipping Posse Cat (a cat nip?) at the wire by a head. He was entered Sunday in the $75K Step Nicely Stakes, but scratched so he's back today in this $50K N2X Optional Claimer for 3yos. The Macho Uno colt stretches out to a mile tomorrow against some pretty tough competition. Bobby Frankel challenges the Sheikh with On Board Again (ML 3-1) and regular rider Javier Castellano, who returns to a longer distance after two sprints against some tough competition (and adds blinkers). He finished fourth in his last, the opener on the Travers Day card to Aquino and West Express (winner of the race in which the Pride stumbled). The other main challenger should be Solemn Promise (ML 7/2), who has only raced once at the mile distance, and that was with a wide post position (#11) at Gulfstream Park, and we all know what that means, unless you are Big Brown, of course. I look for the Pride and Promise to hook up for a nice duel in the stretch.

Bella Cavello's La Chica Rica returns on Saturday night at Mountaineer (8th race), to try and recover from the tough beat last out versus nemesis All Giving. She shortens up to 5 1/2 furlongs under the lights. More to follow later this week as we approach racenight.

I learned via an email from the manager at the Sunset Station Casino, that I actually finished in the top 25 percent (meaning top 15) in the NHC qualifying contest, wherein the winner had a total of $125 and the top ten moved on to a December qualifier. Oh, how I wish I had that one race back. I'm going to give it another shot or two before the end of the year. It was a gas and I learned enough to have some confidence to give it another go....why not?

Ok, I lied. I won't be sitting out the Breeders Cup races. Trying to convince some of my Toga pals to head west (and then north) to spend the day at Casino Niagara in Niagara Falls, Ontario, in the sports book for the action at Santa Anita. They have a nice little race book in there, with plenty of adult beverages and things to bet on. Plus it's super cool to walk over the Rainbow Bridge between the two countries and walk right smack into the casino. Not to mention the presence of one of the eight wonders of the world in plain view. That's the plan, if you're in the neighborhood.

15 Comments:

Winston...not really said...

Man!

I'll be in Lewiston the prior weekend. We had plans to go out there the 24-26 but I quickly crushed that idea when I remembered it was the BC.

My friend could give a rats ass about the horses but he loves the tables...

Oh well.

dana said...

I've got my eye on National Pride too... I had the pleasure of seeing his maiden race and he's been a GbG horse of interest ever since!

Great minds think a like...

EquiSpace said...

National Pride outlasted a game On the Board in the stretch (huge $1EX$7.20)...but a win is a win. I played a hurried and typically awful $1 ex box with 3 horses (per Mr. Crist's book anyways)....those two plus Solemn Promise.

GbG..more good things to come from this horse.

Thanks both of you for reading!

James Bond's Prominent up next in Race 4!

dana said...

thanks for the update (and congrats, I'd take it!)... can't wait to see the replay when I get home + am super curious about why they brought him back here and what they have in mind for him.

Valerie said...

I have National Pride in my virtual stable for the Godolphin Seven Stars competition: http://www.godolphin.com/sevenstars.aspx

Did you know that Brisnet.com has a FREE online handicapping challenge for THREE spots in the big DRF/NTRA tournament? The next contest is this Saturday. Information here: http://www.brisnet.com/cgi-bin/challenge.cgi

Did I mention it's FREE?

I haven't put effort into it yet this year, but in the DRF Public Handicapper competition last year I finished #29 (was 12th until the BC races killed me with the slop). The top three there get free entries into the big tourney also, and you can still win it (I think) if you play all four races from now until the BC: http://www.publichandicapper.com/

Just so you don't have to travel to(and pay to enter) the qualifiers.

EquiSpace said...

GbG: You're welcome!

Val: Thanks so much! I didn't know about either one, but saw TVG has two on the subsequent consecutive Saturdays...free is for me!!

Update: Prominent (grey horse) for Bond won the 4th...played $3EX with Spiritual Spirits to win $9.60...haha...i'm on fire...ok I really have to get back to work...

Valerie said...

Come on, I'm avoiding work at the office too! Play Belmont some more. I'm counting on first-timer Weather Watcher in the 5th...

Valerie said...

Damn! Thought I had it around the final turn. Figures an art historian doesn't play a horse called Artistic Talent?! Duh!

Winston...not really said...

Hawthorne has this
Let's see if this works

Free.

EquiSpace said...

Val: Missed that race..but now I'm watching again between billing...gonna go with an $2 ex keybox the 1 w/ 2,6 in the 5th.
LOL on Artistic Talent...

Winston: Thanks...looks playable. Where is Hawthorne..in Chitown?

Winston...not really said...

Yes. South side.

They host the Illinois Derby and the Hawthorne Gold Cup. Makes Aqueduct look like Saratoga but you hold a special place in your heart for your first time...

EquiSpace said...

Shoulda quit while I was ahead...i liked that 2...missed Seventeen love...speaking of first loves..

Winston: So I take it you shouldn't wear your Cubs hat on the Southside?

Winston...not really said...

Not unless you like to smell like beer.

Keith said...

I hate it when people plan things on the day of big sporting events!
My best friend decided to get married on the first saturday in may...and then made me the best man. Arhghghggh! (Of course, we got our advance bets in and then watched on a mini tv but it just wasnt the same.)

That Hawthorne contest looks great. I've signed up as well.

Keith TripleDeadHeat

Valerie said...

Keith, I totally sympathize with you. The past two years my university as had graduation on, you guessed it, the first Saturday in May, and I HAD to be in the procession. As incoming faculty senate president, I have to be there this year too, but at least they are contemplating moving graduation to a week earlier! I mean, it's DERBY DAY, people!

 

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