07/10/2009 4:30PM

Weekend thoughts, etc.

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Let's take a look at the graded stakes races on the Summit of Speed card:

Azalea (Race 7 - Calder)
I'll go with KAYS AND JAYS to take down the Azalea for Mike Mitchell.  The daughter of Macho Uno earned a huge Beyer Speed Figure going six panels on dirt two back at Lone Star before being stretched beyond her capabilities in the Grade 2 Hollywood Oaks around two turns over cushion track.  She may be the quickest of a fast group, but Jose Lezcano has a comfortable outside post with which to oversee things, and a tracking trip isn't out of the question..
UNDERGROUND and ROYAL CARD wouldn't surprise, and will also be used on Pick 4 tickets.  The former freaked in her career debut, but was the dreaded "vet" scratch on June 28.  It will be interesting to see how she handles dirt.  I like that Royal Card can sit from just off the pace, but she was really geared down for the final furlong of her most recent win, and didn't get a strong gallop-out.  It's hard to toss any Marty Wolfson-trained runner, however.
Selections:  Kays and Jays, Underground, Royal Card

Carry Back (Race 8 - Calder)
YOU LUCKIE MANN had to work very hard for a 1-20 shot in winning the Unbridled last time out, and he was drifting out during the stretch drive.  While it wasn't the most visually impressive win, my feeling is that Wolfson has been pointing his fleet son of Exchange Rate to this race all along, and he can work out a trip tracking TRUEST LEGEND and WALL STREET WONDER. 
Truest Legend has high early speed, and looms the one to catch, but must prove that he can handle dirt as well as polytrack.  One must note that his lone career defeat came at 53-1 at Fairplex.  NOT FOR SILVER would benefit from a quick pace up front, but he has a tendency to wander during the stretch run as well.  He saved ground for most of the Hirsch Jacobs before being angled to the five path in the final furlong.  He rallied well, galloped out nicely, and can certainly win this.  PRINCE JOSHUA adds Prado after just missing to You Luckie Mann in the Unbridled, but he was coming out pretty badly in the final quarter-mile of that race.
Selections:  You Luckie Mann, Truest Legend, Not for Silver

Princess Rooney (Race 9 - Calder)
An absolute puzzler with Indian Blessing out of the lineup.  GAME FACE returns to six furlongs, and should get the proper pace setup, but her last two races were very discouraging, and she probably won't offer much value.  KEEP THE PEACE hasn't shown the same brilliance that she exhibited as a three-year-old, and may get caught up early with the fleet DUBAI MAJESTY. 
Those three are the class of the field, but perhaps the local horses-for-course can upend them.  I don't buy the 103 Beyer given to the U Can Do It Stakes at Calder on January 13, but MARINA BALLERINA has really blossomed since returning to Calder.  She's a perfect 3-3 over this surface, and may track the front-runners while in the clear.  JESSICA IS BACK and B R'S GIRL are Wolfson-trainees with improving form, and a proven affinity for the track.
Selections:  Marina Ballerina, Jessica Is Back, B R's Girl

Smile Sprint Handicap (Race 10 - Calder)
BENNY THE BULL looks tough to overhaul at a short price as he defends his Smile Sprint title.  He had every right to be short off the long, long layoff in the True North, and gets speed to attack with EATON'S GIFT and IKIGAI likely to force the issue. 
YESBYJIMMINY and HOW'S YOUR HALO are solid horses with proven records over this surface.
Selections:  Benny the Bull, Yesbyjimminy, How's Your Halo

Quick and dirty picks:

Hollywood Gold Cup 
Parading, Tres Borrachos, Bullsbay

Royal Heroine Mile
Zardana, Tuscan Evening, Gotta Have Her

Man o'War
Quijano, Chinchon, Marsh Side

American Derby
Giant Oak, No Inflation, Reb


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sorry but what is a "Blue Hen" when it comes to horseracing?  How does a horse become a blue hen?  Who are some "blue hens"?
Captain Bodgit

The horse breeding term "Blue Hen," meaning a mare who has proved herself exceptional in producing high quality foals, almost regardless of which stallion might be the sire. These sons and daughters would also have an impact on the breed. An example of the highest sort of Blue Hen mare would be La Troienne.
SR Vegas

Better Than Honour, the dam of Jazil, Rags to Riches, and Casino Drive, might be considered an emerging Blue Hen.. 
So would Toussaud, the dam of Empire Maker, Honest Lady, Chester House, Decarchy, Chiselling, and other stakes horses.
How about the great Courtly Dee or Weekend Surprise?

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Dan,
The 3-year Best Times for Speed Ratings list does not include 6/6.5f turf sprints due to the paucity of tracks running these. May I have the times for the following?
BEL Inner - 6f
HOL - 6f
WO - 6f
WO - 6.5f
SA - a6.5f
Thank you.
Tejano Run

Here they are:

Belmont: 
Weigelia - 1:07.04

Hollywood:
Scottsbluff - 1:07.54

Woodbine:
Starticus - 1:07.39

Woodbine (6.5F):
Raw Power - 1:14.21

Santa Anita: 
California  Flag - 1:11.10

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P.S.  Anyone have an update on The Pamplemousse?  Connections mentioned at the time that he was out 6 months when scratched from the SA Derby.  Haven't heard much since...thanks.
baltimore_brian

The Pamplemousse isn't scheduled to return to the races until next year.

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Congrats to Chaazz for finishing first in this week's HandiGambling exercise.  He gets to select next week's race.

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Enjoy the weekend.

Dan