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Weekend thoughts, Beyers
Here are the winning Beyer Speed Figures for last week's stakes races:
*Bold Ruler (Bel): Lucky Island - Arg (K. McLaughlin/A. Garcia) - 106
*Brandywine (Del): Barcola (M. Hennig/K. Carmouche) - 105
*Los Angeles (Hol): Street Boss (B. Headley/D. Flores) - 103
*Peter Pan (Bel): Casino Drive (K. Fujisawa/K. Desormeaux) - 101
*Jim Murray Memorial (Hol): On the Acorn - GB (M. Mitchell/B. Blanc) - 100
*Volponi (Bel): Parading (C. McGaughey III/J. Velazquez) - 99
*New Providence (WO): Main Executive (R. Loney/E. Da Silva) - 98
*Kingston (Bel): Banrock (T. Bush/K. Desormeaux) - 96
*Lone Star Derby (LS): El Gato Malo (C. Dollase/R. Bejarano) - 97
*Screenland (Bel): Groomedforvictory (B. Tagg/J. Castellano) - 97
*Railbird (Hol): Million Dollar Run (M. Polanco/J. Rosario) - 96
*Mother's Day (BM): Wild Promises (G. Gilchrist/D. Lopez) - 95
*Hendrie (WO): My List (N. Gonzalez/E. Da Silva) - 93
*Gaviola (Bel): My Princess Jess (R. Barbara/C. Velasquez) - 93
*Decathlon (Mth): Ravalo (D. Barr/M. Luzzi) - 92
*Tall Ships (PID): Repenting (J. Ness/R. Allen Jr.) - 92
*Sabin (Bel): Flawless Treasure (B. Tagg/J. Castellano) - 91
*Auburn (EmD): Fear No Evil (F. Lucarelli/L. Mawing) - 89
*Shecky Greene (AP): Meal Penalty (T. Pletcher/R. Douglas) - 89
*Texas Stallion (Fillies) (LS): Formal Flyer (D. Pish/Q. Hamilton) - 88
*Red Cross (Mth): Casino Transaction (G. Sacco/W. McCauley) - 87
*Senorita (Hol): Sweeter Still - Ire (J. Mullins/M. Garcia) - 86
*Inaugural (PID): Ride Em Cowgirl (T. Amoss/W. Martinez) - 85
*Texas Stallion (Colts) (LS): Snug (J. Hudson/J. Shepherd) - 85
*Lyman Sprint (Pha): Whistle Pig (A. Carter/J. Hampshire Jr.) - 85
*Brighouse Belles (Hst): Holy Nova (T. Taylor/M. Gutierrez) - 84
*Wonders Delight (Pen): Reata's Quick Punch (J. Orseno/J. Bravo) - 84
*Lawndale (Hol): Bahama Mama - Ire (J. Cassidy/D. Flores) - 83
*Danzig (Pen): Balian (S. Klesaris/A. Napravnik) - 81
*Hilltop (Pim): Hartigan (R. Small/L. Garcia) - 79
*U. S. Bank (EmD): Enumclaw Girl (R. Simkins/G. Mitchell) - 78
*Princess (Lnn): Deputy's Whirl (B. Rising/C. Fackler) - 39
Here are the lifetime past performances for Lucky Island:
Back with Handicappers of the Week, and tons of things to discuss in tomorrow's blog.
7 over 9,10,11
VanSavant, Very eloquent description of a stunning horse indeed. I know my all-time crush may not have beaten some of the best ever... But my teenage soul was absolutely captive to the ever inspiring Alysheba. There he was stumbling to his knees down the stretch in the Derby, only to rise up with haste and mow down his hapless rivals. And here was our Triple Crown winner for the 80's asked just a few moments too soon by a legendary jockey and coming up just short to Bet Twice in the Belmont. I never lived to see Alydar and Affirmed, but I watched what to this day was the greatest equine rivalry I've ever seen. The Shoe riding the stubborn Ferdinand against my hero Alysheba. Two consecutive Derby winners challenging each other time and time again, from the Land of the Lakes and Flowers, to a rainy Louisville night at Churchill Downs, when Championships were decided on a single night. Something like a Battle of Legends for everyone to witness, in all of its glorious beauty. I feel now that I got all the education I needed on the maturing process of racehorses those two years. I saw a four year-old Ferdinand coming into his own sometimes bully the young upstart. I watched with all the concentration I could how a four year-old Sheba started to assert himself more and come to dominate Ferdinand once he reached his peak in the early part of his five year-old season. I cashed bigger win bets than I'd ever thought I could make on him.. And occasionally a heavy Straight Sheba-Ferdinand exacta (never the other way!) And I watched a Champion go out, on that awesome Breeder's Cup night in 1988 the way that I dream one should. With rain, sweat, and mud covering his inscrutible face, basking in praise, and retiring as the highest money winner in history.
There seems to be the perception that this is a bad crop of three year olds. I'm not so sure - I think there is a lack of precocious three year olds, but there seem to be a substantial number of late developers. It really reminds me of 2000 when the late bloomers just took over in the second half of the year. I think there is some significant talent out there: Colonel John - had a rough trip in the Derby but will certainly be heard from again. Gayego - will surprise a number of people in the Preakness. Casino Drive - got to love the breeding and the story, but he ran very well in only his second start. Georgie Boy - when he comes back off the shelf, he could be a force to be reckoned with. War Pass - could be a dominant force as a miler. Lieutenant Ron - could definitely be a future killer. Dancing in Silks - another Lieutenant Ron. Harlem Rocker - would not be surprised to see him take the Canadian Triple Crown. Sanquine - I think will become a serious force on turf. Cowboy Cal - another who will be a turf force. Bob Black Jack - no one wants any part of him in a sprint. This is probably one of the finest crops of fillies in the last 20 years. Big Brown is a nice horse, but he is beatable - as was Secretariat, Man 'O War, Seattle Slew. He could very well run into one that has been maturing at an accelerated rate - someone like Behindatthebar. And there are many more hot three year olds. I think the issue really is the disappointment in how few crossed the chasm from two to three. We are always looking to crown the next superhorse, and any disappointment and we start looking at the next batch. I am withholding judgment until we get to the BC, but I don't think this is as bad a year as some think.
I have a bomber at Belmont for tomorrow who I put on my watch list after his last race at Aqueduct on 4-17. Corvo, in race 5. Last time he was 3w first turn and 4w on the 2nd turn, ran up after a slow start to move up to 3rd early, dropped back to 7th on the turn, and re-rallied in the final furlong, and ran his last quarter in 23 seconds. The winner went wire-to-wire and Corvo was 67-1. Haven't seen the morning line for tomorrow but Corvo is on the AE list so he needs a scratch to get in. I'm not the same Greg who posted at 11:16, and I'll say while Casino Drive might, might, be better than anyone in the Derby or Preakness, I'm not convinced. I know it was his 2nd start and first in this country, but man did he have a perfect trip. Saved ground around the turn behind a speed duel. It couldn't have been a better trip and he "only" got a 101. Certainly he will improve from there but if he is as good as some are saying he should have, to me, run a little faster than that considering his trip.
Steve T., Loved Formal Gold, I believe he debuted with a 111 beyer which made me follow his career, but you have to admit that ghostzapper had the great speed and could carry it far which I think makes him the fastest horse I have seen. Honorable mention goes to commentator who when he is on and left alone has run some fast times, i think he is a true freak.
G or G The book is called 'The Body Language of Horses' and it's by Tom Ainslie.
Casino Drive beat the same mediocre group that BB did. This years 3 year old crop stinks thus far. What makes you think BB 5 lifetime races make him any better prepared then Casino Drive's 2??? They are both lightly raced and far superior to anything else out there.
Alan, Being fully cognizant my last Horse to Watch ran up the track, undaunted, and persevering to persevere, I have yet another. Running Thursday in the 9th race at AP; #7 Char's Valentine. I have been waiting several months now for her re-emergence, and she is coming back with a drop from Maiden Special Weight ranks. The drop is a concern but she is getting a positive jockey change and her works look good. Her last running line looks like a disaster, but I saw the race, and it was much better than it looks. The morning line is 10-1. I am hoping to get at least 5-1. Hopefully I can get back in time on Thursday to make a play. I am hoping that one of the also eligibles gets in because, although it may reduce her chances to win, it would improve the odds. In any event, that's my pitch case for Char's Valentine and I'm sticking to it.
Dan, I've won my fair share of dough by ignoring speed figures and sheet numbers. I thought Big Brown beat nothing in the derby. A horse is measured by when their looked in the eye, ask Bernardini, and this horse has yet to be. Don't get me wrong he is a beautiful mover but Ky. Bear, Harlem Rocker and Casino Drive have impressed me as much as BB at one point or another. Tell me honestly what you think of BB, don't be afraid to trash what everyone seems to think is another Secretariat. Thanks!
Devastating piece on Real Sports last night. That was brutal. The momentum is building against the sport, and the ones fanning the flames are very loud. The powers that be better do something about this, I don't think keeping their head down and waiting it out is going to work this time. I don't know what the solution is, perhaps limiting the number of foals produced each year, perhaps setting aside a percentage of purse money to go to rescue operations, there is a bill in Congress right now that bans the transport of horses across the boarder for purpose of slaughter maybe support that, I don't know, there are a lot of options here. But we can not stand by and hope that this story goes away. Last night, I watched in horror as a horse was shot in the face, and another stabbed in the spinal chord. It's HBO, not everyone has it, but if the American people ever see these images, there will be widespread support for banning our sport outright. Somebody needs to do something, and we all need to get on board and support the effort.