09/21/2009 3:18PM

Beyers, etc.


It doesn't get much closer than this:


(photo courtesy racereplays.com)

That's Rutherienne on the inside at the only point of the Grade 3 Noble Damsel at Belmont on Saturday in which she was in front.  Not exactly how you want a 2-5 shot to win, to be sure, but trainer Christophe Clement still was pleased with his filly's performance. 
"The bottom line," Clement said, "it was a very tight race, a very good race.  They both opened up on the rest of the field, but I'm delighted with my filly.  It's been a long time since she's won a race and, as I said, she ran a very good race.  They were flying that last quarter.  She's been so consistent.  Look at her career - she's never run a bad race.  I know she only won by a nose today, but she's a very good filly."
Jockey Alan Garcia, who eschewed an inviting opening in the three path in upper stretch to dive in between horses, was understandably relieved. 
"It was a good race," Garcia said. "She got a little timid between horses, but then she really dug in."

Rutherienne's form is rather out of the ordinary.  She's now won a remarkable 11 of 22 starts, but has only reached the triple-digit Beyer plateau twice (she lost both of those races).

Rutherienne's Noble Damsel was one of three graded races on Saturday's Belmont card.  D'Funnybone, a juvenile colt trained by Richard Dutrow Jr., ran away and hid from his rivals in the Futurity for his second straight open-length score.  "I'd rather run him here [Champagne] and then just stop on him for the year," Dutrow said after the race.  "I'm not crazy about California and the Polytracks, but there's a lot of excitement that goes with [the Breeders' Cup], and how can you turn it down?"

I'm not sure how far D'Funnybone will eventually go as he's by sprint stallion D'wildcat, but the one-turn route of the Champagne may be within his scope.

While D'Funnybone rewarded the chalkplayers in the Futurity, odd-on favorite Worstcasescenario blew them all up with a dull performance in the Matron for juvenile fillies.  Worstcasescenario finished eighth, but Stanley Hough's winner, Awesome Maria, looks like a comer.  A daughter of Maria's Mon out of a half-sister to Discreet Cat, Awesome Maria showed the same stretch burst in the Matron that earned her a blowout maiden win at Saratoga.  If all goes right, Hough will enter Awesome Maria in the Grade 1 Frizette at Belmont on August 10.  "I like the filly," said winning rider Cornelio Velasquez.  "She doesn't stop, she'll run all day."

Jonathan Sheppard had to be disappointed that he didn't get the big money when champion mare Forever Together was beaten a dirty nose in Sunday's Canadian at Woodbine, but the sharp trainer was the beneficiary of a somewhat-controversial disqualification in the Northern Dancer Turf.  Sheppard's Just as Well proved that he could handle 12 furlongs, and will now likely be pointed for the Breeders' Cup Turf. 
Perhaps more impressively, Sheppard's ageless nine-year-old Cloudy's Knight returned from an injury-induced two-year layoff to win the Grade 3 Kentucky Cup Turf.

Ventura, albeit on her wrong lead through the stretch, rallied powerfully to become the first female to win the Woodbine Mile.  Don't expect her to tackle Goldikova and the boys at the Breeders' Cup, however, as she will look to defend her Filly and Mare Sprint title.

Here are the winning Beyer Speed Figures from last week's stakes races (scroll over for Beyers):

Here are the lifetime past performances of the highest and lowest Beyer Stakes performers of the week:

Download HighLow


Finally, I would be extremely grateful if you could find a minute to assess the potential of Border Patrol, who you saw win the Group 3 Solonaway Stakes at the Curragh.  I am part of a large racing syndicate and own a couple of horse-hairs of Border Patrol, and given his very light campaign to date we have high hopes that he will eventually make up into a Group 1 horse (especially on Good to Soft ground).  Did he give you that impression?
Regards - Bernard

First of all, congratulations on your Group triumph with Border Patrol.  Secondly, I'd like to commend the connections for being so patient with this talented son of Selkirk.  After winning the listed race in May at Sandown, you must have been tempted to run against some tough competition at Royal Ascot.  I'd certainly compare him favorably to other recent three-year-old winners of the Solonaway, most notably Ivan Denisovich, a Danehill runner that eventually shipped to the U. S. to finish third in the Grade 1 Hollywood Derby at 10 furlongs. 
Border Patrol's versatility seems to be his greatest asset as he seems just as comfortable sprinting as he is at a mile.  Turning him back to seven furlongs for the Prix Daniel Wildenstein at Lonchamp looks like a cozy option, especially if you are looking forward to further development next season as a four-year-old.  If you're really aggressive, you could tackle Goldikova and company in the Prix du Moulin. 
I think he has Group 1 possibilities as he continues to progress and mature.  He's so lightly-raced that he could be the proverbial "any kind" runner.
Best of luck in the future.


Why doesn't the DRF post vet sratches in the PP's, would have never picked Fast Million in the HG if I'd have known.
Mike A

Vet scratches are listed on the selector pages in the print version of DRF, and they are can also be found on the "Scratch Board" link on the PDF past performance page online.


Dan can you post the lifetime PPs for the two BC Juvenile Turf winners, Nownownow and Donativum?  Thanks in advance.  
Terry F

Here's what I have for Nownownow and Donativum:

Download BC Juvenile Turf


Can anyone post a link to the past performance for the Woodbine Mile run on Sunday?  It may have been the race of the day, but I missed printing it out.

Here they are:

Download Woodbine Mile 2009


HG 152: Chance of rain at BEL on Wednesday, so let's go to the fair for some rare real dirt racing in California.  FPX 11, Governor's Cup, Wednesday September 23.  Thanks for the opportunity and good luck to all.
Uncle B

Congrats to Uncle B for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  Here are the past performances for HG 152:

Download HG152

Remember that you have a mythical $100 with which to wager on the race, and the entrant with the highest money total will receive a "Monthly Enhanced 60-Card Past Performance Plan."   Anyone going over the $100 limit will be disqualified.  In the event of a tie, the earliest post gets first preference. 

I know that there is a time issue for some of you, but let's remember why we began the HandiGambling races in the first place.  The goal was to share ideas on why we like these horses, and why we're betting them the way we are.  I'm not asking for a novel, but if you could spare a sentence or two outlining your handicapping angles, and thought processes about wagering, it would be appreciated.