I wondered what happened to Tomcito, and it was finally revealed today—that he badly displaced his palate in the Peter Pan and underwent a myectomy at the New Bolton Center on May 13. Apparently, he’s back in training and is possible for the Belmont if everything continues to go well. Holy cow! Talk about keeping a secret, or is it that “real” journalists who cover horse racing have to have everything handed to them and don’t bother to dig out a story. Didn’t anyone interview his trainer Dante Zanelli after the race to ask what went wrong? We don't find out that something went wrong until a week after he underwent surgery.
Hopefully he'll be back in fighting form soon. I’d really like to see Edgar Prado up on Tomcito; it just seems to be a natural fit. That would leave Garrett Gomez on Casino Drive, which is perfect considering he missed his ride on Rags to Riches in last year’s Belmont. (I’m a big believer in karma).
Now that X Rated Cat has made his seasonal debut, I’m anxious to see where Southwestern Heat turns up. Some possibilities:
• $60K Wolf Hill Stakes (Monmouth, 5.5f T, June 1)
• $70K Longfellow Stakes (Monmouth, 6f, June 8)
• $75K Vincent Moscarelli Stakes (Delaware, 6f, June 21)
• $200K Donald LeVine Memorial Handicap (Philadelphia, 7f, June 28)
• $75K Mr. Prospector Stakes (Monmouth, 6f, July 5)
• G2 $250K Vanderbilt Handicap (Saratoga, July 26)
Since he’s been training at the Pha, odds are that the LeVine may be the next goal for him (and you can’t beat the slots-fueled prize money in PA).
While hunting around online for the above, I visited several track websites that have undergone a revamp over the winter months. It’s on my list of future blog posts to put forth a more comprehensive evaluation of track websites—the good, the bad, and the really ugly—but I encourage you to check out the new look for Suffolk Downs…very nice, with great historical context and on-track handicapping. For all the money Pennsylvania is funneling into horse racing, it’s a damn shame that the tracks here (Philadelphia Park, Penn National, and Presque Isle) have the ugliest, most bare-bones, pathetically-dull racing websites anywhere. Sorry, not pathetically-dull—that would imply that there was relevant information on there to evaluate, but there isn’t. Presque Isle’s is particularly useless…but that's a topic for another post.