07/15/2013 9:30AM

Marketing Mix, Emollient, Boisterous, and Other Stuff


A few quick notes:

You had to love Marketing Mix’s victory in Sunday’s Sunset Handicap at Betfair Hollywood Park. She didn’t beat the best males around, although she did turn away a useful and sharp one in Dhaamer. But the point is, Marketing Mix did beat males, she did so going 12 furlongs, and she did so while clearly not fully extended. The Beverly D. on Aug. 17 looks like the next logical spot for Marketing Mix. It will be interesting to see how she handles the cut back in distance from 12 to 9.5 furlongs. When she just missed in last year’s Beverly D., Marketing Mix was coming off a nine furlong stakes victory.

No matter how good you think Emollient really is, you have to give her her due. Emollient’s win in Saturday’s American Oaks at Hollywood was her second Grade 1 score of the year; she earlier romped in the Ashland at Keeneland. Emollient and Beholder, last year’s champion 2-year-old filly, are the only multiple Grade 1 winning females so far this year, with “so far” being the operative phrase.

It’s easy to forget that sometimes trainers, even the big guys, have horses they root a little bit harder for. This came to mind reading Shug McGaughey’s comments after Boisterous won Saturday’s Man o’ War at Belmont Park. This win could have been about justice being served, because it looked like the Man o’ War just had to be the property of Boisterous’s stablemate, Point of Entry, until Point of Entry was sidelined by injury. But this felt like it was about more than that. McGaughey seemed to be especially pleased that Boisterous, a hard knocker his whole life, finally got a Grade 1 win, which might well translate to better opportunities at stud for this 6-year-old.

Someone at the track Saturday called Boisterous “Point of Entry – lite.” I get the point. But Boisterous was already flattered before the Man o’ War when Big Blue Kitten, who he comfortably handled winning last month’s Monmouth Stakes, came back to win the Grade 1 United Nations. And with quality distance turf performers being at a premium right now, Boisterous will have a chance to win a few more big ones.

As seems the case every year, the Oceanside Stakes, the opening day feature Wednesday at Del Mar, split into two divisions. In the first division, with a couple of speedballs breaking from outside posts, it looks like the pace could get hot. Undrafted and Gervinho are logical as they look solid on paper and project to fall into good trips. But I’m interested in Freakin Rocket, who was just that winning his first two starts. Yes, Freakin Rocket is stepping up, but I like the switch to turf for him.

In the second division of the Oceanside, Den’s Legacy might just be simply much better than everyone else. But Den’s Legacy also has three times as many second place finishes as wins, and perhaps that will leave the door open for Gabriel Charles. I’m not crazy about him being away seven months, but Gabriel Charles looked like a lawn mower when he won the Breeders’ Cup Juvenile Turf Sprint Preview in his only start on grass, beating Den’s Legacy. Maybe the layoff will help inflate Gabriel Charles’s odds.

Saratoga, of course, opens on Friday. Looking at the condition book for opening day, it’s interesting to note that the purse for maidens going long on turf is $85,000, and a first-level allowance race going long on turf has a purse of $87,000. I know Steven Crist has written about this before, but it seems like it bears repeating. While it’s fantastic that these overnight purses are at the levels they are, it seems almost unfair that the purse for the Grade 3 James Marvin Stakes, also to be run opening day, is only $100,000.