01/07/2009 12:48PM

Wintry Mix


It's an ugly day and an ugly card but there's a $39,873.37 pick-6 carryover at Aqueduct Wednesday if you're feeling brave and ambitious.

The weather is what the forecasters keep calling a "wintry mix," which means steady rain that keeps morphing into ice pellets or snowflakes as the tempertaure hovers right around freezing. The pick-six sequence has three maiden-claimers in the first four legs, the first two for statebreds with such sterling form that horses beaten 9 and 14 lengths in their only starts are the morning-line favorites. The track is labelled "sloppy." Good luck.

For the most part, though, this Aqueduct winter meet has been a bit stronger and more playable than usual, with relatively hefty fields and a largely bias-free track. Bettors who insist on playing every stone-cold quitter because early speed supposedly dominates the inner have been thwacked with one off-the-pace winner after another, and there have been carryovers three of the first four days of the new year.

115 --The 115 Beyer Speed Figure earned by Notonthesamepage in Saturday's Spectacular Bid Stakes at Gulfstream confirmed the freakish (and that's a compliment) talent this Catienus colt showed last year when he received what looked like an impossibly high 104 winning an April 2-year-old race at Churchill Downs.

The 115 looks entirely legit.completely legit. Notonthesamepage won by 8 1/4 lengths and his time of 1:08.48 was nearly two full seconds faster than the impressive-looking debut winner Checklist ($400k Gone West/Starlight/Pletcher colt) ran an hour later. Checklist scored by four lengths over More Than willing, a McPeek second-timer who ran a 78 in his debut at Churchill in November. More Than Willing got a 79 for Saturday's effort.

Notonthesamepage will make his next start in the G2 Fountain of Youth Feb. 28, a race that has been shortened to a mile this year, a point of dismay in some quarters but not this one. Given that Gulfstream can't run races at a mile and a sixteenth, it made little sense to offer one 3-year-old stakes race after another at nine furlongs -- the Holy Bull in January, the FOY in February and the Florida Derby in March. At least this way, there's some progression available to a colt like Notonthesamepage, and the one-turn FOY works better as a season debut for other colts than it did at two turns and 8.5f.

Everything about Notonthesamepage screams sprinter, but you never know.

Matt Harper More than 1 year ago
Turfway's December racing fatalities double over '07 1/7/2009 By Jeffrey McMurray Associated Press LEXINGTON -- Officials at a Kentucky horse track are trying to determine if their ban on a certain type of shoe aimed at making racing safer actually had the opposite effect after fatalities doubled in December compared to the previous year. Turfway Park in Florence reported that eight horses died from racing injuries during its 21-day holiday meet that ended Dec. 31. During the same meet in 2007, which included six additional race days, four horses died on the track and another in the paddock. Chief veterinarian Bryce Peckham of the Kentucky Horse Racing Commission disclosed the figures Tuesday during the commission's first meeting of the year. He said Turfway's synthetic track has been reconfigured once in the last two years. Racing officials are focusing their review on Turfway's September ban on rear "toe grabs" -- shoes that contain metal spikes intended to aid in traction. While many states have banned front toe grabs, which have been identified as possibly contributing to breakdowns when they latch onto the surface, Turfway and Keeneland were the only tracks in Kentucky that banned rear toe grabs last year. Turfway rescinded its ban Jan. 2. Peckham said there is some sentiment in the medical community that back toe grabs might actually help reduce injuries by reducing the stress on the front legs. At least six of the eight fatalities during the holiday meet were caused by injuries to left front limbs, Peckham said. Public attention about fatal breakdowns at thoroughbred tracks has grown since the high-profile deaths of 2006 Kentucky Derby winner Barbaro, who was injured in the Preakness, and last year's Derby runner-up Eight Belles. An investigation by The Associated Press found equine fatalities are a daily occurrence at America's racetracks, with more than 5,000 reported at thoroughbred tracks between 2003 and 2007. Countless others have gone unreported. Turfway, one of the first North American tracks to replace its dirt oval with synthetic Polytrack, has now run three meets on the surface and overall fatalities have dropped significantly, Turfway president Bob Elliston said. A rubberized substance was added to the track in summer 2007 after jockeys complained of kickback from the synthetic material, but Elliston said there had been no other significant changes to the way races there are run. "We don't believe the surface is unsafe, and we're going to endeavor to make sure that's the case," he said. Mary Scollay, Kentucky's equine medical director who also is compiling a national database on fatal horse breakdowns, warned that it's difficult to identify a trend with such a small sample size. However, she said the issue of rear toe grabs is worth further study. --------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Matt More than 1 year ago
I second that. That P6 payoff was huge... Congrats if you hit that late xmas gift.
peewee More than 1 year ago
I'll play against that 115 number horse. If memory serves, there were a mess of fast works in a short period of time and trained by wesley ward for ramseys'. Ramsey also had 1 or 2 more winners on opening day and had , the grandkids ??? or some young relations hand walk the horses into the winners circle for photos. So,it seems that the connections were motivated opening day. The final time was freakish and there should be more speed on hand for the FOY, so I look forward to bet against.
slewofdamascus More than 1 year ago
He looks like a sprinter, blocky up front, big chest, but I think a one turn mile is within his grasp, hell, even a two turn mile. Think King Glorious. Were he to win the one mile prep, that sets up a Florida Derby where he's well supported, and very vulnerable. Go Notonthesamepage! Don't get me wrong. I love the owner(s). No horse in my career has gone to post carrying more of my confidence (or money) than his 3yo turf sensation. He was the "surest" thing I ever saw on the track. The one thing about greatness is, it's hard to hide from the astute observer.
Super D More than 1 year ago
The good thing about NOTSP, is that we should be able to evaluate him and his distance ability in the prep races and he should be a known quantity by the last Derby preps. I'm a fan though, he could be a runner.
Mordicai More than 1 year ago
Steve, Just a note on some the pool sizes from Gulfstream yesterday, don't know if this is a trend, they are smaller than Aq. The weather and quality of the racing apparently has no effect. Not a good sign for FLA racing. Also, I though NYRA was bad not offering live streaming video or audio, at least racereplays is free. Not at GS, you pay for everything. When will they learn you make money by offering these services for free. I understand there is an issue with OTB in NY, don't know what's going on in Florida. I don't get TVG here and the only tracks I have noticed who offer live streaming video are Keenland and Philadelphia.
Tom D. More than 1 year ago
Thanks , Rudy Rodriguez. Aqueduct 5th race Wed. he stands up at the end of the race BUT! The race isn't over sharp guy. I didn't see the payout for my 9-2 exacta so I don't know how much he cost me. I was complaining to a buddy last night about what Rudy did and he put it all in perspective. " You bet Rudy Rodriguez?!"
Carl Spackler More than 1 year ago
Can't believe what that pick6 paid at AQU today!!! I mistakenly thought something was bound to finish quirky with the weather... Aqueduct seems to be playing so fairly this winter. Any thoughts on why?
EJXD2 More than 1 year ago
Handride: None. You could maybe make a case that War Emblem, Smarty Jones, and Funny Cide were more milers or nine-furlong horses rather than classic horses, but I don't think "sprinter" was a word associated with any Derby winner in the past ten years.
handride More than 1 year ago
I'm feeling pretty good about Notonthesamepage. how many derby winners have we had over the past 10 years who when they first won a race impressively were met w/ "He's a sprinter"? Hopefully he takes his running from his damsires a few gen's ago. Native Charger & Damascus