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Saturday, March 29, 2008

Curlin—The Best Horse in the World

Okay, I had my doubts, but no more. Curlin decimated the Dubai World Cup field—congratulations (begrudgingly) to his current connections, but particularly to his former trainer Helen Pitts who nurtured this colt and prepared him to become the monster he is today. Wow, what else can you say? It’s official—he is THE BEST HORSE IN THE WORLD. No doubt. So, where next for our hero? And, more importantly, who is going to want to run against him?

As for the others in the World Cup field, Jalil was a big disappointment (which obviously dragged down even further my longshot Gloria de Campeao). Asiatic Boy bested early leader Well-Armed for second, and AP Arrow (who I threw a last-minute $2 wp bet on) finished just back in fourth.

Overall, the US continent did us proud, with three winners in six races, including Edgar Prado winning on Diamond Stripes in the Godolphin Mile and on Benny the Bull in the Golden Shaheen. Congratulations, Edgar!

In the Godolphin Mile, Elusive Warning got second while my longshot choice Don Renato (at 35-1) rounded out a $1 trifecta that paid $401. My $2 wp bet on Don Renato paid $16.00! In the Golden Shaheen, I went with Idiot Proof who finished second, but my $2 wp bet earned me only a whopping 20 cents for the $4.20 payout.

In the UAE Derby, I correctly selected the rather chalky trifecta with Honour Devil spurting clear from Royal Vintage and Cocoa Beach just nosing out the other filly in the race Light Green (upon which I placed a last minute $2 wp bet, to no avail)

As suspected the Duty Free was impossible to handicap, as South African 35-1 longshot Jay Peg took it nearly win-to-win; my $2 wp bet horse Lord Admiral had beaten the winner twice this spring, but I should have noticed that they added blinkers on Jay Peg today, which obviously made the difference. The filly Darjina impressively got up for a close second in her first attempt over 1 mile. Archipenko (who beat Lord Admiral in the G2 Al Fahidi Fort in February) took third, with the Japanese filly Vodka fourth. The $1 superfecta paid $22,949.20, with all the longshots here. Even the $1 tri paid well ($8,329.40)—best of the evening.

Finally, South Africa won its second race, with 7-1 Sun Classique taking the Sheema Classic over Viva Pataca and 6-1 Doctor Dino. I changed my mind at the very last minute and placed a $2 wp bet on Doctor Dino over Youmzain (who finished 5th)—and made a whopping 80 cents profit ($4.80).

Now, to handicap this afternoon’s big races…