08/30/2008 10:33AM

Curlin Invades the Spa!


We'll probably find out if Vacare has lost a step after this race.  She was one of the better filly and mare turf runners last year, but hasn't returned to form in two starts in 2008.  True, she was facing better horses in those races, and the drop in class may be just what the doctor ordered.  Plus, she'll received a fabulous pace scenario as the likely fast fractions should play into her hooves.  Kris's Sis didn't have an easy time of it from a tough outside post in her last race at Del Mar, but draws better here, and is another that should benefit from fast splits up front.  She gets a rider switch to Rafael Bejarano, and shouldn't be ignored.  America's Friend has blossomed at this meet, and should receive a similar pace setup as her most recent win 13 days ago.  She draws a tough post so Alex Solis may just take her to the hedge at the back of the pack, and hope everything works out for the best tripwise.  Gotta Have Her's best races have come off layoffs, and she hasn't started since the Beverly Hills at Hollywood.  She has tactical speed, and was compromised by a wide trip last time out.
Selections:  Vacare, Kris's Sis, America's Friend

Quick and Dirty Picks:

Luck Money, Wesley, Deal Making

Red Bank: 
Fagedaboutit Sal, Wheels Up At Noon, Giant Wrecker

Del Mar Derby:
Blue Chagall, Gio Ponti

Del Mar Debutante:
Trifecta King, Empressive Lady, Palacio de Amor

More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I'd like to know


Again, I want to thank everyone for bearing with my sporadic postings during the Saratoga meet.  Once, they return to Belmont, I can really concentrate the majority of my energy to the Blog, Disabled List, and all of your comments and questions.

Thanks again, and best of luck this weekend.


tony kelso More than 1 year ago
I'm starting to use the BRIS Class Ratings to identify contenders, especially if there are some EURO horses. This was today's Quick Call Stakes at Saratoga: HORSE Typical BRISnet Class Ratings, recent races (Low-High) SALUTE THE COUNT 120-120 ENGLISH COLONY 119-121 (long layoff) HELLVELYN 119-120 (long layoff) POST TIME ODDS Salute the Count 9/1 English Colony 7/2 Hellvelyn 5/2 Originally I had English Colony on top, but the BRISnet class ratings showed that Salute the Count was the "value" horse in the race, and he certainly wasn't outclassed by Euro shipper Hellvelyn. When I saw that Salute the Count scratched out of the toughter Philly spot to run at Saratoga, it made for an easy betting decision.
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
James Mc What a nice analogy of PCS to PMS...he-he-he I got a good chuckle out of that. Enjoyed your stories, and the “imbecilic troglodyte moron @#$*%!” is Classic! SR Vegas
SR Vegas More than 1 year ago
Annie May ALL your Dreams come true, and keep us posted when you have your next Horse Dream... Way to go with Stardom Bound! SR Vegas
Annie More than 1 year ago
Alan, Well at least you got place money, thanks to Acai. Just a neck short of all of it. During the discussion about Alan Garcia, someone had mentioned that he may have a good two year old running that day. That appears to be the case with Vineyard Haven in the Hopeful. I suppose they hate to lose a promising two year old. Annie
Hillbilly More than 1 year ago
Regarding The Woodward: I played every race at Saratoga Fri. Sat. Sun. and Mon. and almost every horse who got seperation on dirt after the turn went on to win, so initially after watching Curlin in the Woodward, I thought that wasn't the best Curlin I've ever seen, but after two more days of races I started to be more impressed. I knew the BB fans would have a field day regardless after the flack BB got for his Haskell, I'm a Curlin guy personally and it looks that maybe (Fingers Crossed) ole Jesse may go to the B.C. after all. So all of us know it alls are gonna get what we want. I want Curlin by 3.
svhill More than 1 year ago
Since vicstu is going into a slow burn over this (and his real name is not vicstu, anyhow), I am going to say this one time in order to clear the air and any misconceptions that may be going around on this Blog. My initial reaction was just to ignore you. Sheesh. You guys are great, but a few of you remind me of a bunch of little old ladies with too much time on your hands. So, sorry to break your little conspriracy theory to pieces, but vicstu and I are not the same person. Also, can we stop the crying over Curlin? Curlin, like BB, has controversial owners and a drug suspended trainer. Deal with it. But note that none of Big Brown's connections are doing time in the pokey. I would prefer to discuss Curlin and BB without bringing the connections into it, but every single post that I see that is critical of BB manages to dredge up Dutrow or IEAH. Never a word about Paul Pompa, Jr. So, I like to remind everyone that Curlin's connections are every bit, if not more, tainted. I have gone back and read my posts as well as vicstu's very well thought out and sometimes passionate posts, and have concluded that the only way anyone with half a brain could conclude we are the same person is someone who is putting way too much stock in the similarities of posting names or who are assuming that two or more people cannot like Hard Spun and Big Brown, or attend the same OTB without a greyhound track attached to it, in the 13th largest city in the U.S. Not that it is anyone's business-because it is not-but when I was going through my seperation a year and a half or so ago, vicstu (and his wife) were kind enough to let me crash at their place in their spare bedroom for a few weeks. During that time, I discovered the Illman FormBlog and started posting under the second internet service provider under the name svhill. Vicstu had already been posting for about a month or so before that. Although my first initial is S, and my last name has the word hill within it, my last name is NOT Hill, I used vicstu's email post name at that time because my wife had use of our personal internet service, and I was loathe to use my business service account email. After I found my own place, I continued to use the "svhill" name and figured (wrongly) that doing so would save me money and trouble changing it over, and that people on this blog cared more about the issues that trying to ID certain individuals. As it turns out, this is an entire Blog where people assume the names of horses, the first initial of their first name, and some kind of Lawduck name (who asserts she is a lawyer from Oregon who now lives in Maryland). Yet despite this strong inclination for privacy or being anonymous, I am supposed to bare my soul and name my name in order to straighten out a few confused bloggers. Yeah, right. And my name is Johnny Unitas. However, I continue to use the svhill tag name, although the only Hills I know are Stuart (vicstu) and his wife. I am on my way out of town today, as the home office of my law firm is in New Orleans and we are heading there to help residents and business come back to the city when the curfew lifts after midnight Wednesday the 3rd. I am not stating my full name because its nobody's business. I am letting everyone know I am a seperate individual and to stop it with the far-fetched assumptions. You have no idea what you are talking about. I am posting this at the request of vicstu, and am leaving now after I post this-from his PC- to drive to my Jacksonville office, and later to New Orleans. And for those who keep beating this dead issue, try addressing the message and leaving the messenger attacks out of it, ok? There are some very hyper-sensative people here. This give and take is supposed to be how a sports blog is run. This is not the Lifetime cable network blog.
larryk More than 1 year ago
Sought After, who is closely related to 2006 Belmont Stakes (gr. I) Jazil, has been moved to Tom and Nancy Clark’s Rancho San Miguel near San Miguel, Calif. He formerly stood at Daehling Farm near Elk Grove, Calif. An 8-year-old son of Seeking the Gold, Sought After has sired several winners. His 2-year-olds this year include stakes-placed Control Seeker and Golden Gate Fields’ track-record setter Cross Fire. His earlier crops include stakes-placed Bean Who. Sought After’s dam, French group winner Smolensk (by Danzig), is a half-sister to 2007 Kentucky Broodmare of the Year Better Than Honour, whose offspring include Jazil (by Seeking the Gold) and 2007 Belmont winner and champion 3-year-old filly winner Rags to Riches.
vicstu More than 1 year ago
BTW, sorry for the double-post, but wanted to say this apart from my previous comment. I would think that given what is going in in the New Orleans-gulf area at this time that we should be concentrating on finding out the welfare of our New Orleans area bloggers. Here's hoping that BigEasy BigChok is ok and either weathered it through Gustav alright, or evacuated and is waiting to return to the Big Easy. I hope any other blogger I did not name offhand is doing ok as well. At least Gustav seems to be no Katrina...So, BigEasy or anyone else from New Orleans, let us know when you get a chance that you made it thru alright.
vicstu More than 1 year ago
Lawduck, I was slightly taken back by your post(s) essentially questioning my integrity, stating that there is no way you will ever believe that svhill and I are not the same person, and expressing indignation that anyone would knock Curlin's last race (considering his career) and on and on... For starters, I have already addressed the issue of whether svhill and I are the same person, and I have stated unquestionably that we are not. I have even disclosed my actual first name and last name-as well as my wife's name, to attempt to clarify any confusion. I can not and will not disclose what svhill's actual name is but I can assure you that he is not me, and his last name is NOT "Hill". I have stated this all before. If svhill wants to disclose his actual name its up to him. He is a friend of mine and I know for certain that his anonymity is important to him. It allows him to post without anyone connectiong his pasttime with his profession. Many people post here under false names. Lawduck07 is obviously not your real name, and its very ironic that someone who posts as "lawduck" is demanding full disclosure of people's names. It is also easier to raise the tired, old svhill and vicstu are the same person line than to actually respond on point. Lastly, I cannot disprove a negative. You, as a law school graduate, know this fully well. I can no more "prove" I am not svhill than the proverbial witness on the stand can answer the loaded question, "so, when did you stop beating your wife?" If you want to believe we are one in the same, your mind is already made up and shut. Like Van Savaant has said, if you closely read what I post and what svhill posts, its pretty evident we may agree on alot but are not the same person. By the way, I post here very often, while svhill posts irregularly at best. I was working during Curlin's race, without access to my PC, so that would be one neat trick to post something between 6PM to 1AM when I a working. Also, I do not recall svhill posting anything (as did I) about losing a child to Trisomy 18, about the LH-X heart gene or numerous other subjects that I post frequently about.... And, if you think I dislike Curlin (as you stated), you are wrong about that as well. I have tremendous respect for Curlin (although his last race was not impressive in the last furlong). I have posted numerous posts praising Curlin or at least giving the horse his due. Obviously, you have not read those posts either, seeking to only attribute that which svhill posts to me. Both in August and July, I posted that Curlin was clearly the top dirt horse in the world. Here is a snip from a July 6th post (3:13 AM): "I think it would be a huge mistake to race Zenyatta against Curlin at this juncture. Curlin would eat her up and smile. He has far more races under his belt, is very seasoned, and knows he is the champion. Z needs more seasoning. Maybe then, who knows? Remember, Curlin has been in wars against horses that would have whipped that field that Z raced against Saturday. I say, give Z some more time..." That is hardly the words of someone who does not like or respect Curlin. And keep in mind, Lawduck, I have been posting here for almost 2 years. How long have you been posting? Obviously not long enough to know exactly who I am. Although I must admit I did find "Lawduck" "Ducklaw" point-counterpoint rather amusing. Here is a suggestion, however: You might not want to make such a big deal out of Curlin being far off that torrid pace in the Woodward. The further off that pace he was, the less excuse Curlin has for running the final furlong in 14 seconds, considering the pacesetter was gallantly fighting to keep the lead but obviously tiring. So Curlin ran an off race. Big deal. I would appreciate if you would not lash out ad hominem next time out when you are upset at what someone said. And I do consider the insinuation that I am svhill when I have flat out denied that before as an ad hominem attack because you are calling me out as a liar based on what? You instinct? You are wrong. I am not going to discuss this issue or respond to this issue again. I have been completely forthcoming in the past concerning this. I also question why you would wish to lump me with svhill given that the last post I made on Friday or Saturday was when I shared a part of my life concerning a painful loss. At the very least, I would think it would give you great pause to link me to svhill's post so soon after that. But, then again, I doubt you understand what it is like to lose a child or what Trisomy 18 is. You cannot possibly understand what that takes out of a person to disclose the above and what a slap in the face it is to have to turn around and address your once amusing conjecture concerning myself and svhill. I am sure he is probably laughing and could care less what you think. But I have been the one who has already denied this and put my name out on the line. But, like I said, I am not discussing this again with you. You can (wrongly) assume anything you want. Its quite easy to assume that svhill and I are one and the same at first blush. Until you look deeper and actually read what is written. Then, that assumption seems specious. Blue Horseshoe, I am glad you enjoy what I have posted in the past. However, in trying to draw inferences concerning what you see as coiencidences, you have falsely presumed things, or omitted certain facts that would tend to undermine your inferences. 1. You claim that I said my wife was named "Victoria". I did not. I said her full name was Vicki. Her name is not Victoria. The full name is Vicki. You obviously have presumed (wrongly) that since I said her name was Vicki, her name is Victoria. That is one of many presumptions that is false. BTW, my wife HATES the name Victoria. "Vicky" is short for Victoria, not "Vicki". 2. You claim that I said that the accidental post of "hillstuvic" was something my wife and I posted under sometimes. Actually, I said hillstuvic was my email address at netzero.com for most of the time that I have posted here, although I no longer have a netzero account. At the time, I accidentally misposted my email address in both the name and email address sections. Despite the fact that I have posted here over a hundred times as "vicstu" at "hillstuvic@netzero.com", no one caught the double post and attributed it to victstu, although the @netzero.com was missing from the name part when it was posted. 3. You also stated that svhill and I post at the same time(s). Blue, I post here dozens of times each week. Sometimes I post 2-3 times in one day. At the most svhill posts here 4-6 times a month. Most of my posts are after 2 AM and before 7 AM, because I work very late and am busy during the days. Svhill, however, has posted at all hours-the few times he does post. You are confused about him posting the same times I do. 4. My wife has no idea the person who is posting as svhill is using the moniker svhill. I can assure you she would not find that amusing, nor does she find my posting here as particulary funny. Its been the source of several arguments, to tell the truth. I should point out that I did at one time express my concerns with svhill over him using svhill, especially since his last name is not "Hill". That was several months ago. Since these posts are supposed to be anonymous unless otherwise stated, he convinced me that I was making a big deal over nothing and that no one would notice but us... And BTW, I agree with Horse Blue that your posts are typically very well written! However, I have said all I am saying on the svhill issue to anyone. Think what you want, but if you would stop skipping over parts of my posts (as you have admitted doing in the past) you might discover I am a seperate individual from svhill. van savaant, I think it is actually silly and a waste of time that I am even having to discuss this, but, for what it is worth, thanks for at least noticing I am not the infrequent svhill. I also agree with James Mc 100 percent about the male pissing contest, and how the back and forth between Curlin and BB factions are just business as usual for men at about every single racing blog I have been to. I am very angry that this stupid issue is still being raised. I may agree with much of what svhill says, but I do not approve of his out-of-the-blue in your face methods (at times) in which he shakes things up, disappears from the blog for days, and I am left having to disprove the false assumptions of people who obviously do not pay attention to what I am saying in the first place.
Blue Horseshoe More than 1 year ago
Jim Tully, I use a strategy similar to what Tinky outlined. The key is discipline and discernment. You just have to get comfortable sitting races out, especially when the horse you like is overbet or you don't feel like you can figure the race out. If you don't have a strong opinion supported by the right price, either don't bet or if you must for entertainment action, then bet just a token amount for fun. Unfortunately for me, when it came to the recently ended Saratoga meet, I got sloppy and bet way too frequently and much when I shouldn't have (I played nearly every race). I felt like I was there, it was Saratoga and I wanted to play the game. For example, if I had better discipline I would have avoided most of the early meet races that were effected by the weather. As it was, I was just throwing darts in the face of a large take out and not getting lucky... I did have my confident strong plays and on the whole these worked out okay for me, but my lack of discipline for most of the action led to an overall meet loss. I'm smart enough to write this and I suspect that I'll be foolish enough to disregard it in the future...LOL...