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Sat Sep 17
2011
Marcus Hersh
Opening odds in the upcoming 14-horse G3 Pucker Up, for 3-year-old turf fillies, has Marketing Mix the 6-5 favorite. She won't go off at a price that low, but she figured to be the chalk off a good-looking victory over Ontario-breds last out at Woodbine in the $250K Wonder Where S. Summer Savory, the 3-1 morning-line choice, opened at 8-1, and though she'll go down in price in coming minutes, it would not surprise me if she didn't even get bet down to 2nd choice.
Sat Sep 10
2011
Marcus Hersh
Tajaaweed might actually have run a competitive race in the Arlington Million had the sky not opened earlier in the afternoon. The admirable 6yo horse just can't show his best on wet turf, and he spun his wheels for the second straight Million. His previous race had produced a good closing win in the Arlington Handicap, and bettors looked past the modest 87 speed figure in that race and, wisely, made Tajaaweed a 4-5 favorite in race 7, a high-end 9-furlong turf allowance with a $100K claiming optoin.
Sat Sep 10
2011
Marcus Hersh
The big news coming out of today's Arlington program: A horse trained by Jim DiVito finished second. That was Silky Sami in race 4, and she ended a streak of four straight winners sent out by DiVito, including 2yo filly Blue Forty, who had cruised to an easy win, making her 2-2, in the previous race. But the DiVito barn quickly picked itself up, dusted itself off, and won race 7, an N2X alw. / $40K claiming turf sprint with Tellme All Aboutit. DiVito's record with his last six starters here? That would be five wins, one second. Over the last week, he's gone 6-11.
Sat Sep 10
2011
Marcus Hersh
It's kind of humid, close to 80 degrees, cloudy, chance of rain, but I'd not expect much, if any, precipitation the rest of this card. The Polytrack is producing times in about an average range. For Polytrack. Which means a really fast horse would crack 1:12 for six furlongs. I see no evidence of any kind of bias -- inside or outside, front or back. Forty-five minutes till the Arl - Wash Lassie, the first of two G3s for 2yos on the program.
Fri Sep 9
2011
Marcus Hersh
Trainer Jim DiVito has live contenders in the Arlington-Washington Lassie and Arlington-Washington Futurity tomorrow, but DiVito is not waiting for Saturday to start rolling. Sunshine Express, under crafty piloting by E.T. Baird, just won race 6 on Friday at Arlington, giving DiVito three winners on the program. DiVito scored in the opener, a $10K Poly-sprint claimer, with bet-down Xpectation, then took race 2, a $40K 2yo maiden-claimer, with Silver Menace, who absolutely romped.
Sat Sep 3
2011
Marcus Hersh
Bizarre. After inside speed won three of five Polytrack races Thursday (and held well at odds in two others), and won all four Polytrack races Friday (including last-race price horse),  when the only closers making any headway came up the fence, you absolutely, positively, do not want to be inside and on the lead racing on Polytrack so far Saturday. Just watched favored Amazing Bud in race 5 become the latest rail speed to get totally swallowed up. Magic Man won at 6-1 after being shifted, oh, about six paths wide for the stretch run.
Fri Sep 2
2011
Marcus Hersh
Three grass horses in two turf races have caught my eye today. The first, and potentially most meaningless, was race 4 winner Tilden Lane, a third-time-starting (second going long on turf) 3-year-old Cactus Ridge gelding trained by one Keith Chudzik, the trainer of 12 starters so far this calendar year. Considering how Where's the Baby was getting hammered at the windows for most of the betting, Tilden Lane was quite live on the board at 7-2 with a few minutes to post, and he took a great deal of late action to go off at 5-2. And one can see why.
Fri Sep 2
2011
Marcus Hersh
Halfway through a Friday card on a really sweltering afternoon/evening. There's a west wind (headwind stretch) about 10 mph. Mid 90s. Turf very firm.