My first response to news that War Pass has been retired—“duh.” Was there any real indication that he would be returning? Still, the Bloodhorse article does offer a chuckle: “The colt is scheduled to arrive in Kentucky Sept. 6 from New York on a van that also includes trainer Nick Zito.” Is Nick going to stand stud too? Woohoo!
Bloodhorse must, like the Daily Racing Form, be laying off staff because the proofreader also let slip “Sliver Deputy Pensioned in Kentucky.” That would be Silver Deputy, whose influence as a son of Deputy Minister I discussed previously.
I must apologize. Late last night I handicapped today’s Belmont race 4, had a nice analysis typed up, and then deleted it in my sleep-deprived delirium. In between class and meetings, I did get a $2 show bet in on my longshot flyer, which I had failed to publish. I didn’t even get to watch the race live, but in between meetings I caught the results—and my pick Elusive Bluff WON, paying $67.50, $32.00 and $13.40. So, let me explain (after the fact) why I had liked this 2-year-old. Although the half-brother to Majestic Warrior—Evolutionist—looked tough, I liked the first-time starter Elusive Bluff due to his three straight 6f workouts (including two on turf), preceded by a sharp 4f work, but the defining factor was his dam Megan’s Bluff who was a G2 turf stakes winner, with tons of good turf form. Plus, although Elusive Quality isn’t in the same realm as Giant’s Causeway, Dynaformer or Sadler’s Wells in terms of turf progeny, he has produced some impressive grass winners in Australia including G1 Sires’ Produce winner Camarilla. So, that's my explanation. Sorry for being a dork and keeping my "hot" pick to myself :)
With heavy rains forecasted in NY on Saturday, I hesitate to put much effort into handicapping tomorrow’s races at Belmont. However, if the track is muddy, toss Tough Tiz’s Sis in the G1 Ruffian—she hated the BC Distaff surface last October at Monmouth. If the track is miraculously dry, I’m looking for a big effort out of this daughter of Tiznow, given her excellent form against Zenyatta this year. If slop as predicted, Indian Blessing is probably a no-brainer.
I'll be looking at Woodbine's Sunday stakes tomorrow, but time now to attack the past performances for tonight's fantastic cards at Randwick and Flemington in Australia. May make a few predictions before racing starts there 9:50 p.m. EDT.