09/22/2007 9:19PM

An Undazzling Brooklyn


After watching Fairbanks lose the Mass 'Cap at 3-to-5 and Octave lose the Cotillion at 3-to-10, Todd Pletcher had to be relieved when Any Given Saturday won the Brooklyn at 3-to-20. But Any Given Saturday is going to have to run a lot better five weeks from now than he did in the Brooklyn to have any impact on the Breeders' Cup Classic.

Granted, Any Given Saturday's 2 1/2-length victory over Tasteyville in a weak renewal of the Brooklyn was merely a maintenance race, a bridge between the Haskell seven weeks ago and the Classic five weeks hence. But the race was significantly slower than his romp over the same track in the Dwyer off a similar layoff, and was visually unimpressive. In the Dwyer, Any Given Saturday beat Nobiz Like Shobiz by four widening lengths with a mile and a sixteenth in 1:40.69, good for a Beyer of 110. In the Brooklyn, he needed 1:48.31 for nine furlongs around one turn, which translated to a Beyer of 103. Tasteyville, who had been off the board in his only two previous stakes tries, had just three-quarters of a length at the finish on Helsinki, who was coming off a 10 3/4-length defeat at 49-1 in the Travers.

Even with the victory by Any Given Saturday, who attracted over $1.2 million in show bets, nobody picked six at Belmont Saturday, so there's a two-day, $223k carryover into Sunday. The bad news: While Friday's and Saturday's pick-sixes went unhit largely because of implausible results in the lone turf sprint in both sequences, Sunday's pick-six embraces not one, not two, but three six-furlong races on the turf. Good luck.

Other notes on an overcast Brooklyn card:

*Race 1: In the first steeplechase race at the meet, the inaugural running of the "Grade 1" Lonesome Glory, second choice Good Night Shirt won in his first start since taking the Iroquois in May while favored Mixed Up, also the beaten favorite in the NY Turf Writers last month, was a dull fifth. Good Night Shirt, who stumbled over the first and last fences, will try to wrap up an Eclipse Award in the Breeders' Cup Steeplechase at Far Hills, N.J. Oct. 20.

*Race 2: Darley firster Smoke'n Coal won his debut by three lengths in 1:04.64, good for an 84 Beyer. The Smoke Glacken-Cherrokeefrolicflash colt feched $550k at a February 2-year-old sale.

*Race 3: Les Grands Trois, sidelined since running third at 3-5 in the Bay Shore April 7, made a strong and successful return in this N2x sprint, nailing Silver Source by a neck in 1:09.82 and earning a 102 Beyer. Les Grands Trois, an Officer colt trained by Bobby Frankel, won his debut last summer at Belmont by 9, then was off eight months before winning at Santa Anita and then suffering his lone defeat in the Bay Shore.

*Race 6: The pick six kicked off with this 2-year-old statebred maiden race, and West Point firster Pygmalion probably sunk a lot of tickets. The Freud colt opened at 3-5, drifted only as high as 9-10, but tired badly after chasing quick fractions. Scott Schwartz firster Be Bullish bulled his way past the favorite in upper stretch and then ran down Rule Seventy Six to win by a length. The stewards looked at the completely inconsequential bump between Bullish Luck and Pygmalion for almost 10 minutes before properly leaving the result alone.

*Race 7: Today's turf-sprint lottery winner was Dontess ($47.00), a 1-for-22 chronic stopper on the dirt who sailed to a two-length victory in 1:09.80 in his grass debut. Next.

*Race 9: The G2 Gallant Bloom for older filly sprinters was as puzzling a five-horse race as you'll ever see, with a toteboard to reflect it: there were three 5-2 shots, a 3-1 and a 5-1. The likely complexion of the race changed at the start when Princess Janie stumbled badly, leaving Great Intentions alone on the lead and Pussycat Doll, usually a one-run closer, chasing her in second. Great Intentions, who hadn't been out since the Barbara Fritchie Feb. 17, began to tire in upper stretch and Pussycat Doll, a ghost of her former G1 self, had nothing left. So along came Jazzy, the Argentine-bred and South African-raced daughter of Mutakddim who was making her dirt debut in her 10th career start. Jazzy, a Team Valor purchase trained by Mark Hennig, held off favored Cuaba by three-quarters of a length and stopped the timer in 1:16.71 for 6 1/2 furlongs, which earned her a 96 Beyer.

*Race 10: Any Given Saturday hit the gate at the start, and Tasteyville came over on him slightly before sprinting clear to a six-length lead in 46.12 and 1:10.24. Any Given Saturday, racing alone on the rail in second, moved out on the turn and eventually reeled in the leader, getting half a length in front after a mile in 1:35.30 and then running his final furlong in 13.01. Helsinki cut his deficit from 6 at the furlong pole to 3 1/4 at the wire. Awesome Twist flattened out to be fourth and Sightseeing trailed in a dull effort.

*Race 11: There was one live pick-six ticket going into the finale (not mine, I think I was alive for 3-of-6) and only to Logic Way for what would have been a $223,832 payoff. Alas for whoever made it that far, which was no small feat, Logic Way struggled home fourth behind Hammock, who made an excellent grass debut stepping up off a Saratoga maiden victory. Hammock disposed of second choice Striking Rizzi through fast fractions and still drew away by 3 3/4 lengths in 1:35.75 as if he may have a future in the statebred grass ranks.

Better make some strong coffee if you're going to attack that double carryover tomorrow. The three turf sprints in the sequence are an 11-horse conditioned claimer, a 12-horse maiden claimer, and a 16-horse statebred filly maiden race. Sadly, the overnight forecast calls for sunny skies tomorrow and a 0 percent chance of precipitation that might have washed the races onto the main track.

Texy More than 1 year ago
I would like to know if you have any info as to when Patrick Valenzuela would be returning to riding..?
the5thflr More than 1 year ago
and in response to ponyman stating that Kent D is a Hall of Famer....Kent is one of the worst jockey in the HOF ...he cant even ride...his horses win the races and not his riding ability...now did you see the ride JohnV gave Kenneth Ramsey horse to pay almost $40?...Kent cant ride at all..he is a BUM!! i say... A BUM!!!!
the5thflr More than 1 year ago
i agree with K mac about Kent D,and i think NYRA needs to have a talk with him cause he does this every bout that he rides that gets beat he stop riding and thats why i never give up on JOhnny V ...he rides past the wire
Mike D More than 1 year ago
Steve: Sorry but I must disagree with your take on Any Given Saturday's Brooklyn Handicap victory. It was visually impressive to me -- he sat well off a lone pacesetter, moved readily toward the lead on the turn, flew by the leader, and galloped to the wire completely unthreatened by any of the closers. If, say, you needed an Any Given Saturday victory to close out a huge pick-six score, you must admit there was never a tense moment. He looked like a winner every step. Agree? As for raw time, and thus the 103 Beyer, I believe AGS could have run faster -- perhaps much faster -- had he needed to. I can't fault him for the quality of his opposition. For a heavy favorite whose race last weekend was unimpressive visually and on every other level, I give you Grasshopper.
Kenny Mac More than 1 year ago
Kent D. is a very controversial rider. You either love him or hate him. I personally can't stand him. Does anyone notice that when Kent D. believes he's lost the battle to win a race, HE STOPS RIDING!!!. I'm primarily a tri, super player and he's cost me a number of bets by not riding out his mounts. Kent - THE PLACE AND SHOW POSITIONS MATTER TOO. I understand that he was fined in California earlier in his career for not riding out his mounts. He should be fined again!.
Richie More than 1 year ago
Steve, Port Bonheur's final time in race 2 on Sept. 16th in your blog and in Simulcast Weekly is listed as 1:10.54. My notes and the replay show the race run in 1:12.20 which explains why my speed figures for that race were so far off. If you know, could you please explain what happened with that race?
aparagon4u More than 1 year ago
Steve, I totally disagree with the non DQ of Bullish. The results did not effect me but I and everyone watching the race thought for sure he would be Dq'd. Is it fair to say the favorite would have not run fourth or fifth had he not been bumped? He finished sixth, one spot out of the money and if that was my horse I would have torn down the stewards door. I guess you have to knock the rider off the horse in NY nowadays to get Dq'd. Of course non other then Kent D. was involved in the controversy above. I am beginning to despise him. Since he moved to NY he has done nothing right for me. He single handely cost me the early pick 4 and the late double. In both races the horses I needed ran second. I made Les Grands Trois a "B" and when Jelly Roll Bump ("C") won the 5th I ended up having all four winners on different tickets. I really wish Kent D. would go back to California. Lenny
E_S More than 1 year ago
Steve, I certainly share your interpretation of the Brooklyn is visually unimpressive. By contrast, a week earlier, Lear's Princess' victory was quite impressive. Given that these are the only 9F races run all week, and that the Gazelle time was a half a second faster, why is there a 4 point difference in the BSF? I realize track variability comes into play, but without a sufficient population of races upon which to base a comparison, how were the two numbers calculated?
ponyman More than 1 year ago
Steve--Love Kent D--Expect him to be in Winners Circle BC day. H=of=F is a winner. Only one on NY circut.
steven_crist More than 1 year ago
Art: Great post. I'm all for safety and the stewards telling guys to cut it out, but does anyone really want the stewards using the wagering pools and unfairly redistributing the public's money in order to send messages to riders? If they have a problem with the way Desormeaux's riding, they should call him in, fine him, suspend him, holler at him, whatever. But why change the proper result of the parimutuel contest?