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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Saturday Wrap-up

Well, in the 5th at Keeneland, first-time starter Pure Prize (19-1) did in fact end up in the money, leading practically the entire race and finishing up third when passed in the stretch by the more experienced Mini Sermon (the 8-5 favorite) and Marquee Delivery. Street ‘Em Sheila finished fourth, so the 4-6-5-7 10 cent superfecta paid a respectable $121.97.

At Santa Anita, Moujane (10-1) went to the lead early and got a perfect rail ride, but finished third in a photo finish to Ingrid the Gambler (12-1), and behind winning even money favorite Into Reality. Divina went off at 17-1, was off slowly and never a factor.

Curlin proved something to me today—he’s a legitimate contender, despite the weak competition he’s faced. A very impressive Arkansas Derby win going away by 10 lengths, and it didn’t seem to take anything out of him. Storm in May (who is apparently being pointed towards a turf career) and Deadly Dealer were significantly back at the end, for second and third respectively, and Delightful Kiss wrapped up the superfecta. I was most disappointed in Officer Rocket’s performance.

I don’t know what race Daily Racing Form writer Jay Privman saw , but I hardly think the Blue Grass was a “thrilling” race. Yawn! It was like watching a turf race, with no early pace, as they loped almost the whole first mile. Finally, about mid-stretch the real race began. At the end, it was a free-for-all between Dominican, Street Sense, Zanjero, Teuflesburg and Great Hunter, and that’s how they finished in a photo—a nose, a head and a neck ahead of each other. But what did this race tell us that will be helpful on the dirt track at Churchill Downs on May 5 with 20 horses jostling for position and plenty of early speed? For some contenders, the picture is more muddling than before, and more questions than answers. What’s with Street Sense running erratically down the stretch? And Great Hunter having no response when jostled? At least Love Dubai did not breakdown during the race. He did trail the entire way, finishing last.

Finally, word is that Notional is out of the Kentucky Derby, after fracturing his cannon bone in his left front leg after a routine gallop at Keeneland on Saturday morning [drf].