12/30/2010 5:14PM

Fair Grounds: Slow Thursday

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Fast and off the turf. Just second off-turf day this meet.
Cloudy, 73 degrees, south (cross) wind 12-16 mph

Gosh, what happened to the main track? Let me list splits and final times for the first five races today. All are quarter, half, and final:

25.43, 50.51, 1:48.21 for one mile 70 yards
22.28, 46.67 1:13.29 for 6 furlongs
25, 49, 1:49.03 for one and one-sixteenth miles
24.98, 50.67, 1:49.23 for one and one-sixteenth miles
22.36, 47.19, 1:13.89 for 6 furlongs

None of these were high-class races, but that last 6fs came in a 2yo La-bred MSW. No opening fraction save the race 1's is radically slow for Fair Grounds.  The final times are, relatively speaking, slower than the first fractions, which suggests two things: 1) The crosswind from the south is blowing curling around as at least a mild headwind, and 2) the dirt is dull and TIRING.

Onda Fast Track's one-step-slow break might have cost her race 5 -- and served as another reminder of why taking 6-5 on a first-time starter is, well, a little iffy? Fast works for Bret Calhoun-trained filly (but, then, most Calhoun firsters have at least a quick drill or two), but after slow start she got embroiled in pace war and was no match late for logical and more experienced Show Elle the Stage.