07/13/2008 2:04PM

Saturday thoughts, etc.


Dan -
Thoughts on what Zaskar may have been able to do if she hadn't had to check so badly on the second turn in the American Oaks?

We'll never know because David Flores wrapped up on her immediately after the trouble, and didn't ask her for any run for the last three furlongs of the race.  The race is a total toss-out.  Like most European invaders, Zaskar was very rank and headstrong during the early part of the race, and she was completely eliminated on the turn.  Whether she would have hit the board without the trouble is impossible to gauge.


Can someone watch Aaron Gryder's ride aboard #3 Tropic Storm in Sat's Triple Bend and tell me if I'm totally off base in saying that it was awful? The horse looked ready to run every step of the way, but Gryder restrained him for almost the whole race. I was totally puzzled by this. It's a Grade 1 sprint, obviously there's going to be fast fractions. Isn't it better to just let the horse run than to strangle him to keep him a few lengths back?

I don't think the ride cost Tropic Storm the race, but it certainly didn't help.  The horse wanted to run from the gate, and Gryder was intent on rating.  I could understand if the first quarter went up in 22 flat of something, but they went 23 and change, and by the time Gryder asked Tropic Storm to run, he was heads-up with Street Boss turning for home instead of having a lead to play with.  On paper, there looked to be a swift pace, but Gryder probably should have adapted considering his horse's willingness to run early and the soft first fraction.


Its nice to know you will be in Del Mar for opening weekend. I will be making the trip from Anaheim either Saturday or Sunday, so I hope to get to greet you in person.

I will be at DelMar opening week and I look forward to saying hello.  Where will you be camping out? 
Ray Manley

...Perhaps you and Uncle Steve can race each other on the DMR-POLY??...

Looking forward to it although Wednesday through Saturday would probably be better for me.  I have to catch a flight out of town on Sunday, and will be running around.  For anyone that's going to be at the track, I'll be hanging out by the paddock for most of the day where the horses leave the walking ring and head out to the track. 

I doubt I could walk around the track once without getting winded.  How about Uncle Steve and I race for the corn dog stand?


If you could find the up-to-date PPs for KnowTheGame (or any horse from that race), I'd be curious if it is actually labeled as "Clm15000B", because the DRF (paper version) abbreviated it as "Clm15000n3L" in the condition header last week. Thanks.

Here they are:

Download know_the_game.pdf


What did we learn about Baffert's 2yos? Thanks, Dan, keep up the great work.

Didn't learn much.  Apparently, Bob had granted a similar interview about his summer babies the day before, and wasn't too interested in going over it again.  I can understand that completely.  These guys are so busy with their horses and owners that there isn't much time for anything else.  I think Baffert is great for the game, and he's going to have lots of 2yo winners this year.  Most of the SoCal trainers I talked to for the Del Mar Player's Guide piece were very forthcoming with information about their two-year-olds.  Christopher Paasch mentioned Stardom Bound and Lahcotah as potential good ones while John Sadler talked up Bellingham and Awesome Rich.  Dan Hendricks likes Dreamalong, Mr. Rod, Imforeal, and Sense of Honor while Richard Mandella thinks Exile, Circle Diamond, and Meteore may have some ability.


Does anyone know where Hollywood Herb McCauley is?  He had a strong start to the Monmouth meet but seems to have disappeared.  Im sure 50+ y.o. riders have lots of aches and pains so I'm guessing he's hurt, but I don't remember reading anything about an injury.

McCauley rode Foreverness at Monmouth on Saturday.


Okay, me this is a dumb question, but since I'm more of a fan than a handicapper, I figured I'd ask.  Is there anyway to know Red Rock's splits in the Man O' War.

According to the splits in Formulator 4.1, Red Rocks ran his race like this:

(24.07, 25.37, 24,30, 22.44, 36.43)

Curlin's splits look like this:

(24.53, 25.64, 24.03, 22.16, 36.61)

Interestingly enough, Better Talk Now ran his fourth quarter in 21.96, and finished up his final three-eighths in 36.16


Dan, would you know Castellano's ROI on GRASS at the CURRENT Belmont meeting?
Have fun on the road.

Castellano's ROI on the Belmont turf this meet is $2.03.


And don't forget your pick today in the Delaware Handicap, LONGSHOT DAN...

Unfortunately, no longshot for me today.  I like Unbridled Belle, and think she can be an important horse in the division this year.

monmouthisajoke More than 1 year ago
Some picks for Saturdays better races.. Kittens Joy. BALLAST runs well fresh but can make no mistakes. BASTILLE looks to be coming in for a big one, my top pick in this one. MIDWATCH likes the track and can make noise at a price. Virginia Oaks. I LOST MY CHOO was 6 lengths best in last but had a horrible trip. CHEROKEE QUEEN has a ton of upside. ATHENA'S GIFT will be coming fast and may be coming best at the end. VIRGINA DERBY. Everyone will be on the SAILOR'S CAP bandwagon here, not me, unless we get another monsoon between races. He moves way up on the soft, but unless thats the condition tomorrow, he's out. GIO PONTI , to me, comes up a bit short in getting the 1 1/4 mi. EL SULTRY SUN will relish the distance, my top pick. COURT VISION , hopefully, will get a firm track this time as well. Look out for YOUR ROUND, he has some good form hidden in his grass races against some top 2 yr olds last year. SAN DIEGO HCP. WELL ARMED will be going from the get go, but can he make it after Dubai? REBELLION is a use but will he get the diatance. SURF CAT, a bad underlay. MOSTACOLLI MORT gets it done here flying from the back . He loves the wires n' tires and unless Tyler screws it up, he will mow them down in the lane.
finski More than 1 year ago
as per DRF..midnight lute at DEL MAR scheduled to work today or tamale'..as per bob b "he should be ready by the end of the meet...looking at the sept 3 85k pirates bounty hc...ahoy there capt
Turn Back The Alarm More than 1 year ago
Blue Horseshoe, Hahaha....I was discussing one of your posts with my movie loving, poker playing husband and he picked up on it! Wish I could take the credit.....Many moons ago,I was married to a heavy weight Wall Streeter and have tried to forget as much as possible about that whole era! :) I'll never forget taking some of my students up to the trading floor and one of the first things out of one of my boy's mouth as he stood there in awe was "GREED IS GOOD!"
Maggie More than 1 year ago
Ugh! Excuse my really bad typos, everyone! It is passed midnight here in Virginia, and I have been getting less and less sleep due to very active dreams. In fact, I actually had a dream last Thursday night that Curlin would lose the Man o'War, but it was in a bizarre manner that still has me baffled even to this day. The race was run somewhere (God knows where!) and with dirt just thrown down on some thick, lush grass in the shape of a racing oval to the likes in the movie of Ben Hur, except to a much smaller size. In fact, the dirt looked like mulch…Anyway, Curlin was making this big move on the far turn…and slipped in the process because of the too-sharp turn. Therefore, he lost the race. I woke up extremely confused, needless to say, and my day was quite off from that perplexing experience.
Hillbilly More than 1 year ago
Regarding: Curlin-Arc I watched the Haskell from last year again last night and then the Man O war again. The races where run very similar by Curlin a bold strong middle move and then flattened out, also his work pattern going into both where slow maintenance types. He was muscled up way to much to go long in both. I really think Asmussen will go back tighten him up with a couple quick works the way he did after the Haskell last year and you'll see a leaner meaner Curlin next out on either surface. I know all that muscle is impressive in the paddock but it sometimes works against horses. This horse is capable of some quick works I still remember seeing he worked 46 flat from the gate right before he broke his maiden. If anyone doubts he was fat. If you can find it compare him to Poncho at Dubai vs the man'O War. At the Haskell and Man O War he's as wide as Poncho but in Dubai he was considerably slimmer. I know I sound like a nut but I'm an engineer who focuses alot on the post parade and bio mechanics of the horses. I know a fit Curlin and without making excuses for him that wasn't the fittest Curlin you will ever see. I think Asmussen sometimes gets a little over confident in the Big boy. I've got a dollar he wins his next one on any surface.
philip More than 1 year ago
Hello Mike S., Slew's Tizzy and Slew's Tiznow are both with Doug O'Neill. As I said previously Slew's Tiznow is doing well.
Steve T More than 1 year ago
C, I absolutely agree with you on Benny the Bull. Whoever named him got it right - he runs like a bull, cause once he cranks it up ain't nobody going to stop him. He reminds me a lot of Artax. Probably the only one's with a chance to beat him are Midnight Lute (if they can find him) or Fabulous Strike. And I don't think anyone will beat him at 7F.
Mike S More than 1 year ago
Hi Phillip...Sorry about that, I didn't realize that Slew's Tiznow is out here in California, I thought he was still in Kentucky. I'm glad he's with a good trainer. Looks like the handicap ranks in California will get more than its share of Tiznow runners: WELL ARMED, COLONEL JOHN, LIQUIDITY, SLEW'S TIZNOW and SLEW'S TIZZY!
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
Thank you, Calvin, you're an asset to this forum/blog. I was watching the HBO documentary on the 1960 US Open, and Arnold Palmer makes the point that there's no reason a person can't do whatever it is they do, and be nice, too (this was about Ben Hogan, who made an unkind remark about Palmer's "game" prior to the Open Championship and shortly after they played a practice round together, a round where Palmer played poorly). Thanks for the kind words and for accepting my words as they were intended. -slew
Hillbilly More than 1 year ago
O'k Hear is the Question of the day! Casino Drive just went into Quarantine. If he comes here wins a prep and the B.C. Classic is that a greater accomplishment than BB win the derby under his circumstances. I think so because he would've beaten older to do it.