Too bad I have not made the plunge into online wagering. Officer Cherrie ($28.20) beat Dancing Allstar ($2.20) in the Ontario Debutante Stakes at a nice price, and I liked her work recently (as noted before).
Southwestern Heat…what can I say? I’m not sure what happened here. First, the race was taken off the turf, but the distance still should have been perfect. However, after what the Equibase caller deemed a “bobble” at the break (I only caught a partial replay on Youbet.net, and Calracing.com doesn’t show Monmouth races, so I missed viewing the race in its entirety), Southwestern Heat “stalked the pace.” What the heck!? Either the break cost him dearly or they attempted to rate him, but it didn’t work. He could only manage a third place showing (out of four horse field), finishing nearly six lengths behind winner Cherokee Country and beaten by nearly two lengths by Heezafrequentflyer. I’m very disappointed. I hope that he has come out of the race well.
In the Iselin, Brother Bobby ($8.60) did a fine job finishing well ahead of the rest of the field…all except Gottcha Gold ($32.20) who won going away. Indy Wind ($5.60) finished third while favorite Master Command could only muster fourth. Nice payouts there, with a $1 exacta paying $154.40, and $1 tri returning $705.40. I am shocked that Gottcha Gold went off at 15-1, especially considering last time out he beat Lawyer Ron who just smashed the Saratoga track record in winning the G1 Whitney. Chuck Lopez gave him the absolute perfect ride along the rail…sweet!
In the Alabama, Tough Tiz’s Sis went for the lead early, but didn’t have enough to hold on. Calvin Borel beat the hell out of Lady Joanne coming down the stretch, and looked to squeeze Octave out of position, thus a stewards’ inquiry. The finish, however, remained unchanged as Lady Joanne ($11.00) nudged out Lear’s Princess ($5.30) while Octave ($2.60) came in third. Tough Tiz’s Sis did well, especially considering this field, her relative lack of graded stakes experience and the long layoff. Still, Bob Baffert’s mojo couldn’t aid her enough. The one here that really impressed me was Lear's Princess. She's coming along quickly, has already won on all-weather surface and turf, and now two narrow back-to-back second place finishes in grade 1 stakes. She looks mighty good. And, notice that the winner Lady Joanne came off the shortest time between races, having won here in a minor stakes race on July 30, just 20 days ago—and she still had two workouts between then and now. Impressive. And, while I can appreciate Calvin Borel’s enthusiasm, I hardly think Lady Joanne (along with Street Sense) are “the best horses right now.” She’s nice, but there’s this other filly…Rags to Riches…ever hear of her? No contest.
I wish I had gone with my first impression in the Arlington Oaks, which was Marietta ($8.80) who beat out Humble Janet ($5.80) and Marquee Delivery ($4.20). Kiss With a Twist moved well into the turn, but couldn’t hold, finishing fifth, while Mini Sermon started well, but faded to sixth. Todd Pletcher’s day just sucked.
In the Del Mar Oaks, I discounted Rutherienne solely because she was shipping in from the East Coast. Big mistake as she whipped this field, paying $9.20 for the win. Valbenny ($3.40) placed, while Super Freaky ($4.80) survived a photo finish with Supposition for third. I should be happy, though, because Rutherienne’s win enhances Bit of Whimsy who shared a deadheat victory with her in the June 2 G3 Sands Point Stakes at Belmont.
Finally, nice to see three-year-old Ravel working again. He posted a three furlong work (38:40b) last Sunday at Arlington, and today went same distance in 36.60.