11/11/2007 1:38PM

Stallion Sunday


The national stakes schedule shows no graded stakes in North America Sunday, and the day's richest races being for New Mexico-breds at Zia Park, but there's an added starter: The G3 Long Island Handicap, rescheduled from last Saturday's wind-cancelled card at Aqueduct.

The Long Island picked up a key added starter when it was redrawn: Barancella, for whom the original date would have been too quick a comeback from her third in the E.P. Taylor Oct. 21. In the original Long Island field of seven, Beverly D. winner Royal Highness was 1-1 on the morning line, followed by Green Girl at 4-1, Dalvina at 5-1 and Miracle Moment at 6-1. In the new field of eight, Royal Highness is 7-5 on the ML, with the entry of Barancella and Rising Cross(originally 12-1 on her own) at 5-2 and everyone else a bit higher than their original prices.

2:48 pm EST, Aqueduct race 6, G3 $150k Long Island H., 3+f, 1 1/2m-T(good)
It's tough to look past the two favorites. Royal Highness and Barancella have been right there in G1 races and appear fully capable of handling 12 furlongs, while most of their largely European opposition has already been shown lacking at that level in one or two American starts. The stranger, and most plausible alternative to the top pair, is first-time U.S. Dalvina, a 3-year-old who was beaten only two lengths in a G2 at the Curragh in September.

--Aqueduct's Sunday card has eight stakes races, six of them New York Stallion Stakes events. While the races are reminiscent of many of the statebred stakes races run throughout the year, these are a little different in that they are open only to offspring of New York stallions rather than all statebreds. So some of the familar faces are missing and there's a smattering of non-statebreds as well.

The net effect, though, is a lot of heavy favorites. A race like the Perfect Arc for older filly turfers would be a competitive event among the usual suspects who met in races like the Yaddo and Mt. Vernon, but the likes of Rewrite, Latitude Forty and Half Heaven are absent, leaving Factual Contender an odds-on choice. Red Zipper usually has to tangle with the Mohawk-West Point-A.T. Cole crew of Al Basha and Dave and Spurred but is a stickout today in their absence.

--Speaking of Dave, thanks for asking but his victory at 14-1 in Saturday's Red Smith cost me and a busload of others yesterday's otherwise numbingly chalky pick six, where 6-of-6 including Dave paid $21k and consos paid a whopping $54.50. I was pretty baffled by the Red Smith and didn't have clever ideas in the other obvious-looking races, so I just made a rare little caveman play -- 1x2x1x5x4x3 for $240. Felt pretty smart after getting through the 1x2x1 part and when that pick-three paid $59, it occurred to me that if I'd spent the $240 on a pair of $120 pick-3's, I'd already have $3500, but the pick-six had to pay more if I got through it. I felt a lot less smart when the 9-5 favorite won the fourth leg in a romp where I'd gone five-deep, and then along came Dave to spoil everything. So I got four of those juicy $54.50 consos, a return of $218 for my $240.

Trainer Barclay Tagg won both of Saturday's graded stakes, sending out Dave to win the G2 Red Smith and then Bit of Whimsy to take the G2 Mrs. Revere at Churchill. If we had divisional championships for grass 3-year-olds, Tagg might have won one last year with Showing Up and would be in contention for two more this year with Nobiz Like Shobiz and Bit of Whimsy.

--Here's a weird one: On Wednesday, a two-day Aqueduct carryover of $154,615 attracted $598,558 in new money. Yesterday, a Saturday when you'd think more people were playing the races, a $118.054 two-day carryover drew $388,168. Why would a carryover only $36k smaller draw $200,000 less on a weekend?

Christine More than 1 year ago
Wow...just read that Micheal Dickinson will abandon all for Tepeta fame. Tough call...any thoughts on this one and how long he stays away ? I suppose many would offer "who really cares" and others would offer "$$$$" but it makes for an interesting quick conversation. He's been a real clever one and "rather different" one to follow over the years....Christine in Sacramento
jcp More than 1 year ago
DAVE plus five favorites pays $21K?
EJXD2 More than 1 year ago
Hollywood had a six-figure carryover, and Churchill had a $50k carryover on Saturday, so both surely attracted some money away from Aqueduct, which on Wednesday was the only big carryover game in town after a two-day hiatus. Also, Aqueduct and Hollywood have seemingly had quite a few carryovers during their meets, so maybe some bettors' wells are going dry?
Mike D More than 1 year ago
My guess on less added pick six handle Saturday: On Wednesday the track was fast and dry, on Saturday it was muddy and sealed to begin the pick six ... and then "good." Just as the Breeders' Cup handle was down in the wet at Monmouth this year, Saturday's handle perhaps was hurt by track condition. Just a guess. But I'm definitely more cautious when I have to factor in muddy tracks and soft turf.
mike sawyer More than 1 year ago
must see documentary the first saturday in may,follows 4 horses to 2006 kyderby,including barbaro.film was made by 2 brothers hennegan,dont miss.
Brian More than 1 year ago
Steve- Do you think the rail @ AQU on the turf course this weekend was dead? I do. . . - Brian
Arazi More than 1 year ago
The news in DRF on 11/9 read as follows: "Owner/trainer Donna Wormser was suspended 30 days and fined $1,000 after one of her horses tested positive following a victory at Saratoga on Aug. 25. Wormser has appealed the penalties. Wormser won the 11th race on Travers Day with Starforaday, who took an allowance race by three lengths at 27-1. The horse tested positive for clenbuterol, a bronchodilator that is banned for use on race day." In your post after the Travers day card, if I recall it correctly, you mentioned that Starforaday was her first starter in five years and she's your new "favorite" trainer. I belive you hit some multi-race ticket with this winner as well. Any thoughts? And do you think 30-day suspension and $1000 fine is harsh enough for this act of cheating which must've cost a lot of money to bettors who were robbed as a result of this heinous act? Why this kind of totally reprehensible act can't constitute criminal charges of fraud, conspiracy to fraud or misdemeanor?
John More than 1 year ago
The only logical answer for to your pick 4 carryover question is the horseplayers had two dark days sitting on the sidelines with nothing to do but handicap the Wednesday Big A card. I'm glad I had other things to do on Saturday otherwise I would have left an in form proven grass horse trained by Barclay Tagg going a distance off my tickets too.
AlHattab More than 1 year ago
I was watching the Sat AQU pick 6 handle and thought the seemingly low number was probably influenced by AQU track conditions and existence of larger HOL carryover that was sure to attract lots of attention.
tbone More than 1 year ago
possible answer to weird one- hollywood park had a 2 day carryover that same day of about 350k. the pool ended up 1.2m . that action probably hurt aqueducts pool a little.