At Belmont, I totally bombed out in the Flower Bowl, as longshot Lahudood ($44.40 win) took it over Rosinka ($14.20 place); Wait a While ($2.90 show) completed the $1,080.50 $1 trifecta. My Typhoon seems to have had a terrible trip, while Argentina was within two lengths of the winner to finish fifth, just a neck behind longest-shot Hostess who was only a neck behind Wait a While. In the Kelso, I nailed Trippi’s Storm ($12.60 win) who beat After Market ($3.20 place) for a nice $1 exacta that paid $21.00. Woodlander finished fourth.
At Turfway, Piratesonthelake ($6.00 win) and Base Commander ($4.40 place) paid $10.80 for $1 exacta in the KY Cup Sprint. Pauillac had a terrible start, never got going and finished deadlast, while Elite Squadron was on the lead, but tired to finish fifth with Calvin Borel up. Danzon($6.40 win) took the KY Distaff over Delicate Dynamite ($9.60 place) and Kettleoneup ($3.60 show). Pleasant Hill was used up early as was India. In the KY Classic, Mario Pino did a masterful job rating Hard Spun ($3.80 win) early, slowing down the pace and having plenty of horse left to defeat Street Sense ($2.10 place)—nicely done!! Stream Cat was third.
At Santa Anita, Nashoba’s Key ($5.40 win) and Citronnade ($2.40 place) paid all of $5.00 for $1 exacta in the Yellow Ribbon, while Black Mamba ($2.60 show) closed strongly for third. Imagine was ridden wide by Corey Nakatani the entire race which crushed her chances of winning; she finished fifth, just ahead of Mauralakana. In the Oak Leaf, Cry and Catch Me ($4.80 win) beat Izarra ($5.60 place), with my longshot pick Runforthemoneybaby ($9.00 show) paying a nice show bet. I wish I’d taken a closer look at Izarra, granddaughter of champion Bayakoa.
Far and away the best race of the day, in my opinion, was the Goodwood Stakes where Tiago ($6.60 win) showed his total class, staying on to defeat Awesome Gem ($3.40 place), with Big Booster ($6.00 show) rounding out the trifecta. I’m not jumping on any bandwagons here—Tiago was my Derby horse, and I’m sticking with him for the BC Classic. Of all the three-year-olds, he appears to be the only one to physically and mentally mature since May—by avoiding Street Sense, Hard Spun, Curlin, Any Given Saturday, et al in the East since the Belmont, can he have established himself as a legitimate three-year-old colt champion?
At Presque Isle, Sok Sok ($6.20 win) won as the favorite in the Juvenile Stakes, while Little Nick ($3.00 show) could only manage third; P. Bass never got going, finshing fifth while High Appeal was a disappointing seventh after vying for the lead early. In the J.B.P.A. Stakes, Rasta Farian ($13.80 win) surprised Victory Pool ($4.60 place) and Plaid ($2.40 show); Ever and Anon faded to sixth after leading most of the way, as did Dixie Marrone who brought up the rear. Anura scratched.
In a final note, Southwestern Heat (par usual) set blazing early fractions, but was passed by Musician’s Pride ($13.60 win) and Carl’s Smart ($4.80 place) to finish third in an AOC for NW3x at Laurel. Watching the replay at CalRacing.com supports the Equibase comment on Southwestern Heat: “drifted out final 1/16." So maybe it’s time to freshen him, don’t you think?