03/07/2009 2:17PM

Big 'Cap Day


It's the biggest day of racing so far this year, with three Grade 1's at Santa Anita and an unusually strong Gotham Stakes as part of a double-carryover in New York:

Some thoughts on the local events:

The Carryover: Much as I hate to pass up a double-carry into a Saturday, this one's too tough for me and I think there's a reasonable chance of a triple-carry into Sunday. The two stakes are wide open and intriguing but I'd have to go 3-to-5 deep in both, and it's further complicated by a buried, firster-loaded maiden race as the third leg. If I have a change of heart and play, I'd take my shot largely singling Mike From Queens in leg 2, where he turns back to a sprint off two good tries behind Haynesfield.

The Aqu Pick-4: This pool has been groing every week since a $250k guarantee was instituted three weeks ago, and it could top $400k today with additional interest from Gotham-watchers. The pick-4 suits me better than the Pick-6 today since that maiden race is the first leg here and we'll get to see the board in a race where there are unusually expensive firsters from big outfits for a statebred race -- like a $220k Not For Love filly from the McLaughlin barn and a $450k Distorted Humor filly making her debut for Shug McGaughey.

The Toboggan: West Coast Flyer and Saint Damon are my only complete throwouts in a field of nine where any of the other seven's best effort could win it. Questions of current form and fitness surround almost every leading contender. Lucky Island, Grand Champion, Joey P. and Ah Day are all making their 2009 debuts and may not be cranked or ready for a peak effort in this prep for the G1 Carter four weeks from today. Driven By Success has run two giant figures in his last two but both times he got clear against statebred allowance fields.

The Gotham: We'll find out how good Haynesfield really is, as he faces some quality shippers after whomping the locals by a combined 15 lengths winning the Damon Runyon, Count Fleet and Whirlaway. I've been an Imperial Council fan since his debut at Saratoga, but he's no bargain as the 5-2 favorite trying two turns off a ship. I think three others have to be used: Masala, off his good second to subsequent Sham runner-up Take The Points; Mr. Fantasy, who has done nothing wrong in two big-fig victories; and I Want Revenge, who's been running well on Pro-Ride and makes his dirt debut.

It's a shocking 65 degrees in New York today, just five days after we got blanketed with a foot of snow. Nice timing for the year's first really meaningful races at Aqueduct.

in the barn More than 1 year ago
...Will Churchill Downs have an enlightened thought and offer 10 cent superfectas at the Derby? It is time for the racing industry to leave 1909 behind and step into 2009.
Hammer More than 1 year ago
Einstein proved he's a good horse on any surface. I felt good for Helen Pitts to win the race.
gofor broke More than 1 year ago
Andy, you do a great job. It's a big improvement having you on before the card and before each race. I remember when they 1st put in replay booths in 1987. I liked them, but there's not enough time to watch every horse break from the gate and their trip. Having someone on tv who does watch, and understands trips, is a big advantage. I think most serious players appreciate what you do.
Andy Serling More than 1 year ago
To Jeff39, While I appreciate you listening to our pre-race comments, I should clarify that I did NOT give Ah Day " no chance " as you suggested. I said pretty much anyone could win, save the eventual fourth place finisher. I said I would not bet Ah Day, as he was making his fourth start in almost two years, with substantial layoffs between each of his last recent starts. I will always pick a lot more losers than winners. I assume the same can be said for most, and probably all, of us.
dan c More than 1 year ago
I want revenge is the reason that garbage out west needs to be a 3rd surface. There are many horse like him that want dirt. Pioneer is no way going to be able to run the same on dirt he is obviously a fake astro turf horse. I tihnk the KY derby people should only allow grade stake money for races run on dirt. Grass money are Astro turf money should not count. This way we have the 20 best DIRT horses in the world. Last yr we wasted a few spots in the starting gate on astro turf horses that didnt belong. Dirt graded earnings only.!!!
arcstats More than 1 year ago
Well here we are, less than two months away from the time when racing gets to have it's "cup of coffee" on the national sports front and what do we have developing - based on the way I Want Revenge ran on Saturday, another individual with an extremely questionable background, Jeff Mullins, may well become the 2009 face of racing similar to the way Dutrow was last year. Won't that be just great for the sport when the mainstream media starts sifting through this guy's resume. Can it get any worse?
jeff39 More than 1 year ago
I want to send out a HUGE Thank You to King T Leatherbury...he had AH Day cranked up for that one yesterday. I saw the back class and all those bullet workouts and I ran to the window with 3 minutes to post when I saw I was getting 7-1 in a race loaded with speed. Even better was Andy Serling gave him no chance....That was enough for me. I didn't bet him....but why was Haynesfield so far back in the Gotham....He looks like an on or near the lead type of runner. The pace was not so fast that he should have been in 7th place when they ran the first half mile in 48.2...I bet the Pletcher horse...but if I had bet Haynesfield I would have been more than a little upset....seems like the ride gave him no chance of winning. Is CC his regular rider?
callmetony More than 1 year ago
Guys if I want revenge looked this good how good must Pioneer of the nile be ? I know it was poly but he beat this horse twice . As good as racing was Sat @ the big A . Today was back to garbage , Just an awful card .....Chalk city , small fields and horses that shouldn't be racing at all !!!!!
grasslover More than 1 year ago
Rich P- I know how you feel. All week long, TVG was bragging about the Gotham being the "Saturday Spotlight Race", and then just as the horses are being loaded for a start, they quickly cut away to a race from TB Downs! Thanks, TVG. I guess contractual obligations called for not showing the race until it had been declared official, but what are those contractual obligations, and why couldn't they just say this was the way things were going to happen?
HoofprintsandHorseplay More than 1 year ago
Haynesfield missed his last scheduled work because of weather. He might get another chance from me. I Want Revenge is the real deal. You gotta love plain old DIRT !!