At Tampa Bay, Hemingway’s Key was flat, flat, flat…and Bushmill’s Best was very much bested by just about everyone (except Hemingway’s Key). Same thing with Boca Grande at Gulfstream…she showed nothing, and it was a relatively easy win for Together Forever. Awsugahnow was nosed out for third.
In the Gotham, Cowtown Cat showed good speed moving through traffic at final turn and won by three lengths. Photo for second showed Wafi City a head in front of Summer Doldrums. Sir Whimsey finished fourth. I’m not too disappointed in Summer Doldrums, as he is coming off two very fast races, and was due for somewhat of a letdown. Let’s see how he comes back in the Wood.
High Again beat even money favorite Christmas Kid in the Bonnie Miss, with two Giant’s Causeway fillies finishing three-four.
At the Fair Grounds, Smitty’s Sunshine won the Bienville Stakes, Somethinaboutbetty finished third (paid $2.80), but the big story was Miss Penny Fortune finishing second and paying $45.80!
In the New Orleans Handicap, Liquor Cabinet was scratched, and Sandburr obviously wasn’t up for the challenge. Give Pletcher another win with Master Command.
In the Mervyn Muniz Jr. Memorial Handicap, King’s Drama was pulled up and finished dead last, but my other two picks, Cloudy’s Knight and the filly Naissance Royale finished two-third behind Einstein.
In the Fair Grounds Oaks, Mistical Plan and Octave finished one-two, while Appealing Zophie, while battling from the get-go finished dead-last, eight lengths behind the winner. Damn, I should have bet on this race, as Mistical Plan paid $16.40 for the win!
And, finally, in the Louisiana Derby Circular Quay did it, dominantly take the lead in the stretch and winning by 2 ½ lengths. Ketchikan and Zanjero finished two-three, with Imawildandcrazyguy out of the money in fourth. Ketchikan led most of the way, but just couldn’t sustain that against driving Circular Quay in the stretch. Zanjero was gaining late, always a good sign. Liquidity was the biggest disappointment, battling with Ketchikan for the lead until the final furlong when he totally lost his kick, and faded to fifth. If he is going to make a run for the Triple Crown races, maybe they better keep him on the East Coast and race him again rather than shipping back to California, just to see if he doesn’t ship well or if he just can’t run outside of California.
Bottom line: Pletcher only took two of five big races at the Fair Grounds, and took only the Gotham among the others I handicapped.
My results: 4 wins-3 places-4 shows