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Friday, May 16, 2008

Friday Round-Up

The sloppy track at Pimlico today led to some minor upsets, including Student Council ($16.40) taking the G1 Pimlico Special. Actually, I wasn’t surprised as he’s done well on off-tracks before and has been training nicely after that ill-advised turf try last out. He passed Gottcha Gold just before the wire, while Sir Whimsey got up for third. In his first try above G3 company, Maggi Moss’s Temporary Saint didn’t embarrass himself, finishing just 1 length back of Sir Whimsey in fourth—ahead of Grasshopper who was a complete non-factor. For the second race in a row, Xchanger finished dead-last; time to face reality there—he’s a miler who should do well in non-graded or G3 stakes company. He also hates slop.

I had a nice win bet on All Giving ($7.60) who cruised to victory in The Very One, and then Channing Hill won the G2 Black-Eyed Susan on Sweet Vendetta ($17.40). A hearty congratulations to this fine young jockey! Bsharpsonata looked exhausted before and during the race, showing just a bit of early speed, but shortly faded to last. She looks like she needs a rest. Maren’s Meadow, who is supposedly being aimed for the June 8 Woodbine Oaks, finished just a nose ahead of Bsharpsonata; I don’t think she’ll like anything over 8 furlongs so good luck with that.

Jeremy Rose finished in the money in 5 of 6 races at Pimlico today—just saying…

I put some money on Earlie Fires’ only ride at Arlington today, 11-1 longshot Rooville who paid $4.60 show in race 7.

At Penn National on Wednesday night, the 2-year-old filly Winning Brew (Milwaukee Brew out of Winning Kiss, by Grand Slam) was a nice first-out winner for Francis Vitale. The 2 furlong race looked more like a quarter horse event with the youngsters all over the track, but she was clearly best. Curious, I looked up her pedigree on Pedigree Query, and, interestingly, she is a direct descendent, all through the female members of her damline, of Prince John (aforementioned carrier of the Blue Larkspur X gene), so I’ll put Winning Brew in my Virtual Stable.

Another interesting Prince John descendent, Tempo Five (Five Star Day out of Lively Tempo, by Lively One) is undefeated after winning his fifth lifetime race at Presque Isle for Tom Amoss last Sunday. Not that I could view or bet on the race, as PID is withholding its signal to ADWs like Twinspires. Oh well, just shoot yourselves in the foot, PA horsemen, because the product there hasn’t been that attractive this year, with small fields and empty stalls.

Watching racing as I do at various tracks on a regular basis, I have become more convinced than ever over the past year that we field too many races at too many tracks in the U.S., thus depleting the quality of our product—both from a sporting and betting point-of-view. I’ve given up entirely on betting Delaware and Laurel, as most fields are under 6 horses, and now the same is often true of Presque Isle. Honestly, I’ve bet more in Australia than anywhere else thus far in 2008—not because I know the product intimately, but because they typically offer huge, competitive fields with big payouts. Until all parties get together for the betterment of the sport, U.S. horse racing will continue to suffer, I’m sorry to say.

Speaking of Australia, big races tonight at Morphettville and Doomben, including the G1 Doomben Cup where one of the favorites Viewed could give trainer Bart Cummings his 250th group 1 victory. On April 30, Viewed won the G4 Japan Trophy over Musket and Nuclear Sky, over 10 furlongs (the same distance as this race), and he gets a good track and perfect post position (4) tonight. His chief competition may be Sarrera, last out winner of the G1 Queen Elizabeth at Randwick, but that one appears to like softer going. Again, you can watch Australia racing for free here.