Just a few notes on Friday’s races, as doubtlessly everyone has viewed and picked them apart already.
Bobby Frankel’s confidence in Ventura was well-founded—boy, didn’t she look sharp defeating Indian Blessing with ease in the F&M Sprint? Coming back off that long layoff, Zaftig did extremely well getting third, and wasn’t Miraculous Miss under the radar? Of course, it may just be that, beyond the first three, the quality of the rest of the field was mediocre at best. Or the 7f distance did in many of the true sprinters.
The Juvenile Filly Turf proved that, while breeding can be a good indication of performance—Consequence was sixth, Saucey Evening fourth—sometimes you just have to bet the wily jockey. Too bad I didn’t take my own advice and single Maram ($24.20 win). Long live Jose Lezcano!
Considering how closers performed today (and frontrunners had no success), I am definitely going to consider that in my handicapping for Saturday. Poor Be Smart and Palacio de Amor were two of the three early leaders in the Juvenile, but faded badly to finish last. Stardom Bound looked awesome, though! Interesting to see if her current owners will go through with their plans to sell her at auction. Does her elderly owner need the money or would the joy of watching her win next year be a greater thrill?
Sorry to see Mauralakana finish so poorly in the F&M Turf—perhaps the long season got to her, or the rock-hard turf. It was her career finale, as she’s off to Australia to enter broodmare duty. At nearly 49-1, Sealy Hill had a far more successful last start, though, surprising everyone for second. Jen Morrison reports that the Point Given 4-year-old is booked to Distorted Humor next spring.
In the F&M Classic, the Godolphin pair of Cocoa Beach and Music Note fleshed out the trifecta, and, if I had played my fourth selection Carriage Trail, the $1 superfecta paid $116.80. It was Zenyatta who proved herself again to be a great filly—one who we may talk about among the all-time greats if, as her owners suggest, we see her race again next year: “She’s too good not to run again,” Jerry Moss said, “But we’ll have to discuss that. Obviously, she deserves a rest.”
That may be the best news possible to come out of this day. However, if you can’t wait for next year, be forewarned that Zenyatta’s 2-year-old baby half-sister Treasure Trail (Pulpit) will debut on Sunday at Belmont race 6 for Shug McGaughey with John Velazquez up.