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Monday, May 11, 2009

La Chica Attempts to Fend Off Seconditis

Bella Cavello Stables' La Chica Rica (9-5 ML favorite) will try for the repeat tomorrow night at the Mountain in the $75K Hancock County Stakes in a 5 furlong sprint in Race 9. The Western New York based stable sends her out for her third start off the layoff, after two straight placings, one at Mountaineer in her 2008 debut and then at Charles Town, both under the lights. Mike Farrell has a nice piece up at, so she's starting to garner the respect she deserves in her 6yo season. She'll face some tough foes as Michael Trombetta (23% w/shippers) ships in What Time It Is (2-1) and Daniel Smithwick ships in Hadavision (8-1) after two strong showings on the poly at Keeneland with Julien Leparoux and Shaun Bridgmohan aboard. Chica looks to top the half million mark in career earnings, currently sitting on $482,682. The race is scheduled to go off at 10:20pm. Good luck Chica.

When I wrote on Derby Night that "I have to believe Garret Gomez was completely shocked when Borel breezed by his inside in the stretch..." I didn't know he would use almost the same description in his well-written and must-read blog entry On to Pimlico at Gomez wrote:

"Yeah, I got a little butterfly in my stomach on that one, but then I took a peek to the inside just to kind of check and see what was going on around me and I caught a glimpse of a horse to the inside of me and went to riding. I knew by the body position that it was Calvin and the first thing that flashed through my mind was, "Who's he on again?" and then I was like, "Mine That Bird or whatever his name was… how is that horse coming by me?!" It just didn't make sense. He went by me so fast that it was unbelievable, almost unexplainable. It was just a shock."

Maybe lost in all this hyperbole and collusion stuff surrounding the filly, is the fact that Pioneerof the Nile handled the dirt pretty well (much better than I expected) and he could be very difficult to beat come Saturday. On Derby day, I singled him in second in the exotics and underneath in third on several tri tickets, but come this weekend, I'm thinking he has what it takes after that showing. Gomez is hungry for a Classic win, this may be his best chance yet.

Horse Racing Nation, a site I happened upon last month and frequent often, has some early Preakness morning line odds posted here. Check it out.



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