Happy Mother's Day to my Mom (who's become a regular reader) and to all mothers out there! You know how much you are loved and appreciated every day of every year, but today we say it aloud, and thank you for all that you do. I love you!
I hate it when I forget to bet horses I’ve had in my Virtual Stable. Case in point, in the 5th at Belmont on Saturday, Unbridled’s Heart made his maiden start for Tom Albertrani over 8.5 furlongs. A $1 million Keeneland purchase for Darley, he’s out of the Farma Way mare Wild Heart Dancing, a multiple graded stakes turf winner. My interest, of course, derives from the Foolish Pleasure bloodline. Well, needless to say, he went off at nearly 14-1—and leading the entire way, romped by 10 lengths. Urgh! I’ll never get that price again.
Another one I forgot about was Stones River. Okay, I’ll be honest; I’d just about given up on him after three mid-pack, never-threatening finishes at the Fair Grounds and Keeneland. Well, all it took was a jockey change (from Gabriel Saez to Abel Castellano, Jr.) and a return to Larry Jones’ home track to see him definitively break his maiden over 1 mile 70 yards in race 7 at Delaware. Of course, this was the site of his big half-sister Unbridled Belle’s victory in last year’s G2 Delaware Handicap. She recently posted her first work, after finishing fifth in the BC Distaff.
Casino Drive looked monstrous (albeit a little green) in winning the G2 Peter Pan—and, no, Dana, I didn’t have the exacta ($66.50). I did have a nice PS payout on Mint Lane, though ($13.40 and $7.40). Instead of being smart, I got greedy and boxed 1-2-3 for the trifecta—and Tomcito failed me again. Not five seconds after I placed that bet I thought “gee, Ready’s Echo…Todd Pletcher usually at least has them in the money.” Shoulda, woulda, coulda…didn’t! I hope someone else out there read “Mint Lane” here and made some money, though (you can send my cut via PayPal at…just kidding!)
The tenth race at Belmont on Sunday—a 6 furlong turf sprint for maiden fillies and mares—peaks my attention. The very aptly named Throw to Home (Grand Slam-Slide, by Smarten) tries turf for the first time with Kent Desormeaux up. However, I'm loving Wonderifiamspecial who ran evenly to finish fourth of nine going 7 furlongs at Gulfstream first out for Stanley Hough. The winner of that race, Hamsa, won an allowance race over Belmont dirt on May 2 (defeating, among others, Backseat Rhythm), while the third-place filly Poised by Design came back on May 3 to win a maiden special weight going 8.5 furlongs at Pimlico. Wonderifiamspecial has put in three sharp works since that race, loses three pounds, and looks sharp with Javier Castellano up. The other one is Viva La View whose first start was in a dirt allowance race at Tampa; she finished sixth of nine. Since then she’s put in two nice turf workouts, and trainer Reynaldo Abreu (who hits 18% in 2nd career races) adds blinkers—and Jean-Luc Samyn “on the green” gets the ride. 'Nuff said.