11/12/2012 10:43AM

Trip Notes: Long Island Handicap, Cardinal Handicap


Saturday, November 10, 2012

Long Island (race 8)

Snow had threatened to have this moved off the turf – it even had to be raked off the course – but the race remained on, and despite the course being listed as soft, Starformer flourished as the filly led all the way to post the upset. She grabbed the lead early without much urging and made a crucial move – after breaking from the rail she moved off the fence to firmer footing about 4 or 5 lanes out. She then set slow splits while keeping just ahead of Hit It Rich and Kissable early, saw those gals fall away turning for home, was immediately confronted by Mystical Star to her inside but stayed on gamely to fend off that rival all the way to the wire. Mystical Star, who this summer would not have been considered out of place in the Grade 1 BC F&M Turf, stalked the pace, moved up turning for home, gamely went after the winner while to her inside but couldn’t get past. Can’t take anything away from the winner but the move to the inside – reportedly the deepest, most tiring part of the course and thus not the place to be – may have cost her the win judging by the narrow margin. Aigue Marine was last early and finished well to just get up for 3rd, a real good effort considering the French import could not have been helped by the race shape. Tannery sat back, made a threatening run into the lane but couldn’t sustain it. Hit It Rich and Kissable, the favorite, dogged the winner but both fell away when it mattered. They may not have cared for the footing and Kissable was on the inside, which didn’t help.

Cardinal (race 9)

Daisy Devine was the lone Grade 1 stakes winner in the field and her class showed – but it wasn’t easy. The filly bounded out of the gate to open up a long lead (6 lengths) by the time they headed down the backstretch, saw the field close the gap turning for home, appeared in trouble when Julie’s Love loomed up alongside, but gamely kept her head in front to get the win. Julie’s Love sat 4th early, closed the gap quickly on the lead turning for home, moved up alongside and looked as though she would go right past – but she was unable to do so. Still, it was a fine run and she was much the best of the rest (3 1/4 lengths). Last Full Measure chased the winner early, moved closer on the turn, but didn’t pack the necessary punch. Bizzy Caroline, the favorite as she was 3 for 4 on this course coming into this, seemed in a good spot sitting with Last Full Measure and Julie’s Love early, moved with those rivals to get closer to Daisy Devine but then came up empty. La Cloche, a New York invader coming off a smart win in the Grade 3 Athenia at Belmont and kin to top-class turfer Winter Memories, broke slowly, was last early and never picked up a foot in a disappointing effort.