07/31/2009 7:57PM

Huge Racing Weekend

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What a weekend!  Let's take a look at some of the stakes races:

Diana (Saratoga - Race 9)

I'm going to go for a bomb.  While FOREVER TOGETHER and MY PRINCESS JESS are both extremely logical, and are must-uses for me in the Pick 4, I'm going to take my chances with INDESCRIBABLE, a mare that won the Grade 3 Cardinal Handicap at this distance over yielding going last November.  She's mostly known for her synthetic track skills, but I'm expecting the turf course to be wet tomorrow, and it's interesting that Bill Mott wheels Indescribable back in this contentious Grade 1 after an indescribably poor performance in the Grade 3 All Along on June 20.  In that race, she made a middle move while in between horses, but had no pop on the turn.  A big hole opened up for her in midstretch, but Kent D. never seemed interested in asking Indescribable in the stretch.  I'm assuming that something went amiss in that race.  She has to run her "A++" race to win this, but at 15 to 20-1, she's worth a shot.

Selections:  Indescribable, Forever Together, My Princess Jess

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Jim Dandy (Saratoga - Race 10)

A very contentious prep for the Travers.  KENSEI received the best trip in the Dwyer at Belmont as WARRIOR'S REWARD missed the break badly, but I really like the way Kensei turned it on in the stretch.  He rated behind the solid pace, cruised up to the distance-challenged pacesetter on the turn, and blew them away in upper stretch.  There isn't a ton of speed in the Jim Dandy, and Kensei should be forwardly-placed.  He has questions to answer as this is his first start around two turns, but he's in career form for Steve Asmussen.

Selections:  Kensei, Saratoga Sinner, Charitable Man

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West Virginia Derby (Mountaineer - Race 8)

I think MINE THAT BIRD is a better racehorse than BIG DRAMA, but the latter has a decided pace advantage, and that could spell doom for the Kentucky Derby hero.  Eibar Coa can't get cute.  He has to send Big Drama to the top, and make Mine That Bird come and get him.  Big Drama can be his own worst enemy so make sure you take a look at him in the paddock and post parade before you get down.  He washed out badly prior to the Preakness, and then unseated John Velazquez in the starting gate.  He reportedly got cast in his stall the morning of the Preakness, and was caught up in a duel with Rachel Alexandra during the race.  Plus, I'm still trying to figure out why David Fawkes took the blinkers off that day (after seven straight first-place finishes!).  All in all, the Preakness was a disaster from start to finish, and he still was only beaten five and change.  If he gets loose here, he may be long gone.

Selections:  Big Drama, Mine That Bird, Monty's Best
 
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Quick and dirty picks (with quick and dirty thoughts):

*Pennsylvania Governor's Cup (Penn National - Race 5): 
Blue Sailor, Euroears, Smart Enough
(Blue Sailor has won five of his last six, and went his last eighth in 10.60 last time out)

*San Clemente (Del Mar - Race 8): 
Strawberry Tart, Carlsbad, Acting Lady
(Too much speed so I'll go with an in-form closer on top)

*Haskell (Monmouth - Race 13 - Sunday):
Munnings, Rachel Alexandra, Summer Bird
(Must admit that I don't have a strong opinion, and am not very confident in the top pick)

More importantly, who do you like this weekend?  I want to know.

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Dan, how would you rate is chances in the BC Turf Mile?
DMAC

It's obviously too early to tell, but you have to wonder how he'll stack up with the European contingent.  Rahy's Attorney tried tough international competition in the Mile Championship at Kyoto Racecourse last year, and was a flat ninth.  Granted, a trip to Santa Anita is much easier on the old bones than a journey to Japan, but I wonder if Rahy's Attorney really appreciates his home turf course at Woodbine more than anywhere else.  I love his tactical speed, but believe that he must continue improving before we start talking Breeders' Cup Mile. 
Although he won the Woodbine Mile last year, his speed may play tougher in races like the BC Turf.  He's won at ten furlongs, and owns a good second at 1 1/2 miles. 

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Would you be kind enough to post the highest Beyered Turf race-races?  I'm gonna get that American Racing Manual soon.  Seems awesome.  BTW what was that book on European racing you said was a must have?
Captain Bodgit

Alan Shuback's "Global Racing" is a must-have for the library.  As for the highest Beyer pars for turf stakes races, we have:

Breeders' Cup Turf - 112.47
Breeder's Cup Mile - 110.63
Joe Hirsch Turf Classic Invitational - 109.84
Man O'War Stakes - 109.78
Arlington Million - 109.12
Manhattan Handicap - 108.94
Eddie Read Handicap - 108.78
Canadian International - 108.53
Shoemaker Mile Stakes - 108.39
Woodbine Mile Stakes - 108.00
Kelso Handicap - 107.63
Breeders' Cup Filly and Mare Turf - 107.40
Clement L. Hirsch Memorial Turf Championship - 107.37
Frank E. Kilroe Mile Handicap - 107.33
United Nations Stakes - 107.33
Sword Dancer - 107,28
Woodford Reserve Turf Classic Stakes - 107.21
Poker Handicap - 107.00
Fourstardave Handicap - 106.82
Charles Whittingham Memorial Handicap - 106.74
Hollywood Turf Cup - 106.59
Inglewood Handicap - 106.42
Del Mar Mile Handicap - 106.41
Bernard Baruch Handicap - 106.11
Citation Handicap - 106.05
Oak Tree Mile Stakes - 105.89
Bowling Green Handicap - 105.83
San Marcos Stakes - 105.67
Shadwell Turf Mile - 105.44
San Luis Rey Handicap - 105.32
Arcadia Handicap - 105.26
Beverly D Stakes - 105.25
San Juan Capistrano Invitational Handicap - 105.16
San Francisco Mile Stakes - 105.13
American Handicap - 105.11

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Is Easy goer the last/only horse to win the Whitney, Woodward, and JC Gold Cup in the same year?
Silver Charm

Yes, he is.  Colonial Affair came close in 1994.  He won the Whitney and Jockey Club Gold Cup, but finished third to Holy Bull in the Woodward.

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Does anyone have any information regarding the recovery of Bob Black Jack and The Pamplemousse out west?  I'd like to know if and or when we might anticipate seeing them again.  Bob Black Jack has Breeder's Cup Sprint talent, but he'd better emerge soon to get ready in time.  The Pamplemousse I remember there were conflicting estimates, 6 months to a year or more, so any update would be welcome.  Thanks
wilson

Both horses are considered doubtful for the Breeders' Cup.  Bob Black Jack is targeting a return to the races at the end of this year while The Pamplemousse won't start until 2010.  They are both listed on the FormBlog Disabled List on the right hand side of the blog.  You can follow their progress (recent workouts, condition updates) over there.

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few more PP's if you will. A filly named Your Out who I think won the Delaware Handicap a few years back. Haygetoutofmyway who was a pretty good runner who I think became a jumper and It's a Monster. What's going on with Elusive Heat? Probably the most talented runner my fave Xtra Heat was produced. Have any of her other offspring ran lately? Oh and whatever happened to Belly Rub?
Thanks a lot!
Mike Mc
Baltimore, MD

Here are the pp's you requested:

Download Foalsof1999

Elusive Heat has had some problems, and is now with Angel Penna Jr.'s string.  The Test at Saratoga is still a possibility.  Xtra Heat's juvenile filly, Don't U Baby Me, had her first workout at Belmont on July 25.  She went three furlongs in 38.69 breezing.  Don't U Baby Me is a gray daughter of Unbridled's Song.

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On a different topic, anybody know who Richard Schosberg is?
Dan,
A quick question about the Inside Post blog. What has happened to the posts from Arlington Park? Do they only do a certain number of tracks per day and AP does not make the cut?
Midwest Ed

Schosberg has been a solid trainer on the New York circuit for many years. Among his graded stakes winners are Giant Moon (Excelsior Handicap), Sunshine for Life (Athenia Handicap), Attila's Storm and Affirmed Success (Toboggan Handicap), and Mossflower (Hempstead Handicap, Grade 1).
I really don't know much about the Inside Post Blog, but I'll try to find out for you.

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Dan,
Two horses I have followed alot are running this Saturday at the Spa.Blackberry Road and The Roundhouse.Both look like they are going to have very attractive odds.Do you think either horse is capable of winning their respective races ?
terry

Have never really been a fan of Blackberry Road.  He's 1-21 with 6 seconds and 7 thirds, and just hasn't shown that necessary will to win.  Plus, he added front wraps for his most recent start (off a layoff) at Churchill Downs.  He has to be a price in order to be played to win, and it looks like he caught a decent field.  I'm usually against horses like him (now, watch him romp by 20!).  The Roundhouse needs plenty of pace in front of him as he doesn't have much early speed.  This race may be rained off the grass, and he has a decent shot on the main track.  I'm more inclined to watch one before I play him on the lawn.

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Congrats to SpartanTom for finishing first in last week's HandiGambling exercise.  He gets to pick the next race.

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Enjoy this action-packed weekend.

Cheers!

Dan