02/15/2009 4:40PM

Sunday Notes

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Halfway-through-the-holiday-weekend notes:

--Four of Saturday's six graded stakes were won by runners who started at 10-1 or higher: How's Your Halo ($96.60), General Quarters ($29.00), Santa Teresita ($28.80) and Royal Michele ($22.20). Ballymore Lady paid $14.80 in the Endeavour, and the lone winning favorite was Chocolate Candy ($3.00) in the El Camino Real Derby.

--Saturday's Santa Maria was the fifth Grade 1 race of the year and all of them have been won by horses who ran in last year's Breeders' Cup. Santa Teresita (7th in Zenyatta's F&M Classic) joined Albertus Maximus (Donn/1st in BC Dirt Mile), Ventura (Santa Monica/1st in F&M Sprint), Kip Deville (GP Turf/2nd in BC Mile) and Stardom Bound (Las Virgenes/1st in BC Juvenile Fillies.)

No more Grade 1's for three weeks, when Santa Anita presents a trio on March 7: the Santa Anita Handicap, Santa Anita Oaks and Kilroe Mile. March's two other Grade 1's are the Santa Margarita March 14 and the Florida Derby March 28; only 10 of 2009's 115 Grade 1's are run in the first quarter of the year.

Paseana --Looking at the history of the Santa Maria, first run in 1934, Paseana's name popped out, not just for winning it in 1992 but for finishing second in the race the next three years in a row: She lost by 2 1/4 lengths to Race the Wind in 1993, by a nose to Supah Gem in 1994 and by 4 1/2 lengths to Queens Court Queen as an 8-year-old in 1995, conceding 9, 8 and 5 pounds to those winners respectively.

Paseana won 19 of 36 career starts and finished second 10 times. In addition to those Santa Marias, she ran second in five other Grade 1 races she won in other years -- the BC Distaff, Santa Margarita, Vanity, Milady and Spinster. In all, she started in 22 American G1's, and her record in them was 10 victories, nine seconds and a third.

--At Aqueduct Saturday, the late pick-4 pool was guaranteed at $250,000 for the first time, and maybe that's what attracted a pool of $339,634, up from $281,542 the previous Saturday and $220,237 the Saturday before that.

The winning payoff of $2,373 for $2 for combining Spa Princess ($12.80), First Degree ($5.90), Understatement ($9.60) and Wirebuster ($10.00) was nearly triple the $892 parlay.

Meanwhile, Saturday's Magna 5 attracted a pool of $415,292 and returned $19,888 for $2 for the sequence of Royal Michele ($22.20), Menzendeekron ($7.20), Duke of Homberg ($8.00), Mutak Gold ($6.20) and G's Heavenly Union ($24.80), about 50 percent over the $12,288 parlay.

 --General Quarters' 3 1/2-length victory over Sumo in the newly-G3 Sam F. Davis at Tampa Saturday earned a Beyer of 100, the year's first triple-digit Beyer by a 3-year-old of either gender in a race around two turns or longer than seven furlongs. General Quarters, who had lost seven in a row since being claimed for $20k out of his debut at Churchill Downs last May 30, raced without blinkers Saturday for the first time in his career.

--Several tracks usually dark on Mondays are open tomorrow because of the Presidents Day holiday, including Aqueduct, Golden Gate, Laurel, Oaklawn, Santa Anita and Turfway.

92LNeck More than 1 year ago
Steven: My online wagering account is with Xpressbet. Should I be worried about my balance given Magna's downward spiral (debt payments due and stock price plunge)? I'd hate to end up in the same boat as those folks up north (can't recall exactly which New England state/track) who lost their money a few months ago. Do I have any protection? Do you think Churchill might step in and take over MEC? I can't go and read all the fine print right now, but plan to this weekend. Any immediate advice or thoughts on the situation would be appreciated.
Matt Harper More than 1 year ago
KYL Syndicate: Try Gallop Racer...It's a horse racing game for the Wii.
markc More than 1 year ago
Another unappealing card in New York today.Let's give NYRA a 100 year extension! All hail NY breds! about as appetizing as 3 day old bread
KYL Syndicate More than 1 year ago
Steve... one more note to add on creating a wii horse racing game... One of the nice features of wii is allowing you to compete against other people both within your home and across the net. Imagine if you had 3 friends play against one another or friends via the web competing as each has a horse to ride, a different style. It could be a 'mii' jockey colony.
KYL Syndicate More than 1 year ago
Steve, (I will post the same to Dan as I do want to see this happen) Any chance you have contacts who can make a wii game for horse racing? I firmly believe the game would do great and can be broken down into 3 phases. (1) Training to be a jockey whereby the player can simulate the same workout jockeys do on those exercise 'horses' they have in the jockeys room. This would teach the gamer how to steer the horse, ride the horse and put the horse down for the drive. (2) After the gamer learns the techniques, they can practice by playing the role of jockeys above past Triple Crown riders. With technology the way it is, we can take past races and make it into a video and have the gamer take the role of the jockey as they sit aboard Secretariat in the Belmont Stakes, Big Brown in the Kentucky Derby, etc. The screen would mark how the gamer should use the controls, such as moving it right to move Big Brown to the outside, pumping hard to make his move in the stretch, etc. (3) Gamers can then take their skills and apply it to races where they encounter the same decisions jockeys confront on a daily basis. Steady behind horses, block in traffic, asking for run, etc. All of this would prove to be a great workout as it works out the entire upper body AND equally important perhaps help bring new fans to the sport we all love. I'll be more than glad to spec out the designs, etc. Just want to see this become a reality as this has massive potential given the technological advancement and the wonders of wii. KYL Syndicate
Phil B More than 1 year ago
Quite a pick 4 payoff at Laurel on Monday. The sequence of winners paid $5.00, $8.20, $9.80, and $34.40. The pick 4 paid a healthy $16,416.60 for $2. Looks like it may have been just 2 winners for a buck each. Most probably got knocked out when Fabulous Strike ran 2nd in the General George. There's always value somewhere.
The_Knight_Sky More than 1 year ago
walt says: From the last thread concerning the futures pool: If CD insists on offering this on Presidents Day weekend, why not do it Friday-Monday instead of Thursday-Sunday? ___________________ Good point. Things that make you go: "huh?". While we're on that subject why not close the pools until after the races are run out in California? 9pm ET and 6pm PT is ideal. What's the rush? really??
The_Knight_Sky More than 1 year ago
...As for Imperial Council, I'm taking a wait and see attitude as he has no graded stakes earnings yet and March is around the corner. The Travers might be the ticket for him.
TK Lawless More than 1 year ago
Steve, As an aside, how can the Graded Stakes committee justify Grade II status and not Grade I for the Arkansas Derby after Smarty Jones, Afleet Alex & Curlin, etc.?
gofor broke More than 1 year ago
I guess it's understandable that most people, just there for the event, would throw away a free admission coupon. How else can you get some of them back? Maybe hand out fliers to people leaving, that next Saturday is free parking and free admission? 95% would drop those as fast as they were given out. How about a Saturday-Sunday double where they pick can the Belmont winner and the Sunday feature winner? They might keep a few thousand people alive if one of the favorites wins the Belmont.