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Thursday, May 3, 2007

Update for Friday's Kentucky Oaks

The Churchill track was sloppy today, and with light showers plus 60% probability of thunderstorms, it now looks to be a pretty sure bet that the Kentucky Oaks will be run on an off-track. Looking more carefully at the past performance charts, I may have to place more favor on Rags to Riches than I once thought. Even though she has not yet run on an off track, her Tomlinson number (for off-track success based on statistical success of sire and dam's progeny) is 434, the highest of any filly in the field (followed by Autobahn Girl at 421). However, I also ran across this on Tough Tiz’s Sis, in a Thursday blog entry by Claire Novak (“Morning Line…Goes to the Kentucky Derby”) on

See the guy with the white hair who is climbing the stairs to the clockers’ stand. Could that be Bob Baffert? Bob Who? According to Baffert, that’s been the general reaction he’s getting this weekend, with no Derby contender and 10-1 shot Tough Tiz’s Sis in the Oaks…“Let me tell you about this filly,” he says. “She loves the mud. She loves the mud, you can put that down, and she handles it like a monster. Now if she runs up the track tomorrow, it’ll be ‘she hates the mud, she hates the mud, the jock had her too far back and when she got to the top of the lane the track was all chewed up and she couldn’t handle it.’ But right now, she’s a big filly who can run all day…with the right kind of horses.” Tough Tiz’s Sis gallops by. To use the racetrack cliché, she works “perfect.”

Apparently, Dreaming of Anna’s trainer Wayne Catalano is not so pleased:

"I really don't like the track right now," he says. "It's too muddy, it's horrible. I thought it would be muddy, but I didn't think it would be that bad." Catalano saddles Dreaming of Anna in the Oaks tomorrow. The filly is good. He hopes the track is better. "Everything's good with the filly, fine, couldn't be better," he says. "But the track? Now that's a different story."

Definitely some food for (betting) thought...