02/16/2008 3:19PM

The Lineup 2/16/08


Only three graded stakes on the Saturday calendar, but one of them kicks off a Magna 5 with a $265k carry and another is the centerpiece of an interesting all-stakes pick-three at Tampa Bay Downs.

3:46 pm ET, Tam race 8: $75k Suncoast S., 3F 1m+40y
The Suncoast looked to me like the trickiest of the three Tampa stakes. Sunday Holiday is the 8-5 ML favorite dropping off three graded-stakes efforts including a third in the G1 Frizette, but her career-best Beyer of 75 gives her no edge in this field and she was in no danger of actually winning in those classier spots. The problem is that the second and third choices, Vaulcluse and My Baby Baby, have done all their running on slop or turf. A longshot to consider is 15-1 No Use Denying, who earned a lowly 53 Beyer in her lone start but that was over a very muddy Laurel track in a race where 6 of the 8 who have run back improved their figure sharply in their next start. Formal Arrangement at 15-1 also is useable stretching out off two stakes sprints over the track. I'm going five deep.

4:14 pm ET, Tam race 9: G3 $150k Endeavour S., 4+F, 1 1/16m-T
Grade 1 dirt winners Dreaming of Anna ('06 BC Juvenile Fillies) and Lear's Princess ('07 Gazelle) make their season debuts on the turf. Dreaming of Anna is more accomplished on grass and her speed gives her a tactical advantage, but Lear's Princess has every right to turn into one of the nation's best grass fillies this year. Her two grass starts before hitting the dirt last year were exhilirating last-to-first efforts. Late-running Meribel is the only other entrant in the favorites' league. Take the Ribbon and Lil's Lassie are scratched.

4:39 pm ET, Lrl race 10: G2 $300k Barbara Fritchie H., 4+F, 7f
The Magna 5 starts here with a field of 8 following the early scratches of longshots Take a Check and Devil House. Can't argue with those who will single Control Panel, the 8-5 ML choice off two straight Aqueduct stakes romps and a 5-for-7 record, but I'd like some insurance since she's trying 7f and graded-stakes company for the first time. So I'll back up with Rick Dutrow's uncoupled pair of Baby Bird and Oprah Winney, who have spotty form but would be competitive on their best days.

The rest of the Magna 5 sequence:

Leg B, race 4, SA: 3yo, N1x, a6.5f-T
Leg C, race 9, GP: 3F, N1x, 1m
Leg D, race 5, SA: OM, Cl $12.5k, 1 1/16m
Leg E, race 10, GP: 3yo, MdCl $25k, 6f

4:46 pm ET, Tam race 10: $200k Sam F. Davis, 3yo, 1 1/6m
With Bluegrass Cat and Any Given Saturday emerging from the last two runnings, and graded winners Z Humor and Smooth Air in this year's field, the ungraded Davis deserves a long look for upgrading next year. Z Humor, third to War Pass and Pyro in the Champagne and the (dead-heat) winner of the Delta Jackpot, may simply lay over this field. I'm against Smooth Air, who got a perfect meltdown setup winning the G2 Hutcheson in the slop, so will back up primarily with Wise Answer and just a dash of Big Truck.

7:07 pm ET, SA race 8: G2 $150k San Carlos H., 4+M, 7f
This field of seven older sprinters has four contenders grouped between 5-2 and 4-1 and three double-digit longshots it's hard to make a case for. Of the four bunched favorites, I'll play against Circular Quay, who will be coming from the clouds off a six-month layoff in a field without much speed, and against Johnny Eves, whose speed makes him dangerous but will be overbet off two gritty but slow efforts. Instead I'll go with Surf Cat, who should improve sharply second off a layoff, and Greg's Gold, who should be stalking Johnny Eves and may be at his best going 7f.

Tim More than 1 year ago
Steve: Nice job picking Surf Cat and Gregs Gold. And thanks for actually being man enough to post it before the race, thats the kicker. I wont comment on the very idiotic post of the guy whose wife shops at Lane Bryant. Typical. Very nice to see Surf Cat back in the winner's circle. Hes a very talented piece of horse flesh. Hard knocker, game old campaigner.
Lane More than 1 year ago
Sorry Teresa, I missed the sign at the door. For some reason I mistook this for a blog in America. Perhaps Mr.Crist should be shown a little more respect than the post that prompted my response if this is the Turf Club of horse racing blogs. I know many horseplayers who consider Mr.Crist one of the best voices for our sport and would not disrespect him on his own blog. Also, you may want to look up the word; sexist. My comment was nothing of the sort. Besides,I'm sure there are nice ladies that shop at Lane Bryant. I'm just glad my wife isn't one of them.
Lane More than 1 year ago
Desormeaux rides Riley Tucker for Mott today. Thank you ejxd2 !!! I thought the same thing upon reading his post. A guy like that probably has a wife that shops at Lane Bryant anyway and anyone can throw a lucky "dart." Didn't Watchmaker put it best with," It's fun to win by accident, picking a lucky number or color, but far more gratifying to win by design."
C More than 1 year ago
John, Great pick, but with a $160 winner on top, I hope you walked away with more than the $700 you mentioned. I'd be crying if I didn't. The $1 super was $30k, man. ------------------------------ Also, I understand the idea that less is more, but we are a much larger country than anything in Europe. If we only had 20 or so tracks, handle would drop because there would be less outlets for people to play. I believe tracks have to conduct at least 1 live race card per year to carry simulcast signals. I'm not sure if that varies from state to state. Eliminating every track except those in Kentucky, California, New York, Maryland and Florida might not be such a good thing.
deep1558 More than 1 year ago
What happened to the Desormeaux/Mott combo? They were almost unbeatable ten days ago, and it appears now that they've split.
Jim Pino More than 1 year ago
A Beyer record?? Is this a record...Saturday at Aqueduct a winner in NY obtained a whopping 15 beyer A day when there was a track record. Is this a record for NY winning a race with this low a Beyer...NY racing hitting rock bottom? Jim
Teresa More than 1 year ago
Lane: really necessary to make a gratuitously sexist remark in response to a post you don't like? Such comments lower the generally high level of discourse on this board, and would seem to be beneath its regular posters.
mark c. More than 1 year ago
If I can find someone to be the "back end of a 2 men in a horse" costume we'ed probably win a a'a NY bred nw of 1" at aqueduct
Bearcatbob More than 1 year ago
I think Alan Shubach's column this weekend hits the nail on the head and should be a real eye opener to all. Of course it wont. New York racing is becoming a joke and American racing as a whole is. A serious question. Why do the American tracks allow the medications that they do when other countries do not and have enjoyed growth and success that the US racing industry is looking for. The quality of racing is deteriorating. Maybe too slowly for people to realize but will come back to bite us in the years to come. Unfortunately, I see nothing changing.
Tom_R More than 1 year ago
How much longer is Magna going to stick with this Super High 5 madness? It is getting barely 1/2 the pool the last race super got and is never carrying over. I would LOVE to see the winning ticket yesterday. 52-1 on top of chalk with 9-2 third rounded out by 21-1 and 14-1 shots...how anyone has that defies me.