07/29/2007 8:20PM

Dandy Enough

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Commenter El Angelo writes: "Jim Dandy---a big step forward for CP West, or an utterly blah victory for Street Sense?"

How about a little of both and a little of neither? I'd call the Jim Dandy a perfect Travers prep for the victorious Street Sense, a very nice effort for runner-up C P West, and reserve "big step forward" for third-place Sightseeing.

Street Sense's workmanlike 1 1/2-length Jim Dandy earned a 104 Beyer on a day when there was nothing ambiguous about the clockings or the speed of the track. It was a few lengths slower than Saturday's track but consistent from race 1 to 10 and everything fell neatly into place. The 104 was lowest winning Jim Dandy figure since Favorite Trick's 103 a decade ago and well below the last five -- Medaglia d'Oro's 120 in 2002, Strong Hope's 110 in 2003, Purge's 109 in 2004, Flower Alley's 112 in 2005 and Bernardini's 114 last year. But I think it would be a huge mistake to view the effort unfavorably, given his trainer's history of using preps as preps and Street Sense's history of rising to major occasions. Street Sense ran an 87 in the Breeders' Futurity before winning the Breeders' Cup Juvenile with a 110, and a 102 in the Tampa Bay Derby and a 93 in the Blue Grass before winning the Derby with a 110 and just missing in the Preakness with a 111.

He was fresh off a 10-week layoff and closer to the pace than usual, only 3 1/2 lengths behind Flashstorm and C P West after a quarter in 23.48 and a half in 47.13, and within a length after six furlongs in 1:11.70. C P West surged clear on the far turn as Calvin Borel found himself briefly trapped and unable to make his favorite rail move with the favorite, but then found a seam to the outside and took up the chase. Street Sense gradually wore down C P West, who hung in well while drifting late. C P West ran a gutsy race but seems (at least for now) up against it going any further angainst the division's leaders, and might benefit from a turnback to seven furlongs in a race like the King's Bishop.

Sightseeing, five lengths behind Street Sense early, finished with a flourish to be beaten 2 1/4 lengths at the wire. Patiently handled by Shug McGaughey, Sightseeing is improving with age and distance, and while he'd have to take another big -- or massive -- step forward to beat Street Sense or Curlin at the top of their games, he looks like a colt who will relish another furlong and whose best days are ahead of him.

The announced crowd was 46,876 but that included people spinning for baseball caps. Street Sense got a throng of picture-taking visitors in the paddock, polite applause when he stepped on to the track, and rousing cheers when he returned to the winner's circle.

The Sunday card was otherwise unremarkable, with six of the nine other races being sprints for fillies, perhaps in anticipation of predicted weekend storms that amounted only to a half-hour downpour Saturday morning. J Z Warrior's 10-length victory discussed in the previous post was easily the best race of the day besides the Jim Dandy, earning the Bill Mott-trained daughter of Harlan's Holiday an 88 Beyer and probably propelling her to graded-stakes action next time out.

And finally, on Day Five, we have a carryover! A meet-high pool of $143k went unhit despite Street Sense winning at $2.70, so there's $92,503 in the kitty for Monday's card. After the HBO Sunday lineup, it will be time to burn the midnight oil.

Aaron in NY More than 1 year ago
Steve, I've been blown away so far by the depth of coverage and the seriousness with which your approaching this blog. I think you're making us all sharper horse players. Thanks. Last year, mid-Spa meet, you wrote an article detailing a number of winning 1st timers by relatively cheap sires that had sold for huge sums as 2YOs in training. The angle keyed up more than one score for me, and for a while there, I thought I had found the Holy Grail in MSW races. These types don't seem to be flashing the same immediate, win-early tendencies that they seemed to last year. Has anything changed to dilute the angle as a positive signal in the past year, or does a high sale price relative to stud fee remain a strong indicator of precocity?
Bridgejumper More than 1 year ago
How/Why did CPW and Sightseeing Pay $3.40 and $3 to show, when SS had $600K in Show pool ???? And why wouldnt everyone just bet Sightseeing to show if he is going to Pay $3 and was at worst 95% lock to hit the board and if SS ever finished out of money (highly unlikely) show prices would have been $50 +
Green Mtn Punter More than 1 year ago
I don't get it- best card of the season- 4 stakes races incl Whitney- on Saturday draws 29 thou and Street Sense, 1 Gr II stakes race, and a giveaway on Sunday draws 47,000? Huh?! Street Sense, just another so-so 3 YO I predict, will soon be forgotten but the old pro handicappers in the Whitney will hopefully be around for another season or 2, and the other 3 BC stakes race fields as well. Anyway, the 47,000 thousand on Sunday shoots the "it isn't August" theory as an excuse for the low Whitney turn-out so it must be the giveaway? I checked out the racino on Sunday around noon and the joint was packed to the rafters on a beautiful Sunday. At least a good cut of the take there comes back to NYRA purses! As a marketing person, however, I am greatly disappointed in the turnout for the BC Challenge so the NYRA marketing dept needs to go back to the drawing boards!
EJXD2 More than 1 year ago
Saying a horse who won the Breeders' Cup Juvenile and Kentucky Derby "still has a lot to prove" is probably one of the most ignorant things I've ever read on the Internet.
toddsincharge More than 1 year ago
I would say winning 2 classic races doesn't make you an alltime great. Funny Cide won the derby and Preakness. Anyway, if you believe trips matter, coming up a wide open gold rail after a very fast pace was set is a pretty good trip. Street Sense had that twice at Churchill.
Christine R. More than 1 year ago
Steve...been reading your blog here since it first started but this is the first time I have posted. I have really enjoyed all of your writings and enjoy your Siro's and UBET/DRF audio/video work as well. We did make the best of the race and had the tri with CPWest and Sightseeing - how else you gonna play the race? I am finding the SPA extra challenging and appreciate all of your insight - thanks a whole bunch - your the BEST ! Christine in Sacto
PEM More than 1 year ago
What's with the tardy break by Sightseeing? A new strategy? A tangle? What kind of plan is this-a gambit that lets him spot about 10 to the leader--5 to the grinder Street Sense? Nice late move-like to see the Rag number on this one-but I thought this was as vulnerable a strip Street Sense had seen so far-do not understand the new tactics..
toddsincharge More than 1 year ago
Street Sense has 3 high Beyers. They were all races with fast paces where he was far back and had a great closing trip. That's how closers get phony high Beyers. Street Sense hasn't run huge in a race with a normal or slow pace. Curlin just lost to a filly who stumbled at the start and was wide both turns. And he was nowhere in the derby and beat a weak field in Arkansas. This 3 year old division isn't clear cut. In today's field, Street Sense was a single. But he still has a lot to prove.