01/15/2011 7:33PM

Fair Grounds: Roman Forest more like dad than mom


I'm not a devout student of pedigrees, and so have no business formulating opinions on deep pedigree questions, such as which parent exerts more influence on a horse, the sire or the dam. Long ago I read as gospel that the sire was the parent of import, but more recently I have heard told that the dam should be of principal concern. I suppose I would wonder why we didn't start with a 50-50 possibility and then adapt to each individual case, but that would involve firsthand knowledge of a given animal, which, as mere handicappers, we mostly don't get.

All this is apropos of a 3yo gelding named Roman Forest, who just cruised to a front-running victory in race 10, a $50K maiden-claimer at six furlongs on dirt. Roman Forest is out of Lady of Peace, who loved running middle-distance routes on the Fair Grounds turf course. That's where trainer Mike Burgess started Roman Forest out, but the gelding could do no more than finish a fading sixth back on Nov. 20. But Roman Forest's sire is Forestry, and when I flash-think of his offspring, I think of fast dirt horses. So, second time out, Burgess tried a minor class drop and a dirt sprint. Like father, like son, apparently. Sorry, Mom.

By the way, how in the world did second-time starting MSW-dropper Schlossed get crushed down to even money in this spot? Is this desperate late-afternoon simulcast money, chasing popular rider Rosie Napravnik on a morning-line favorite? Schlossed a fading third, and for sure, no one got out for the day on him.