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Sunday, December 28, 2008

Random Thoughts

Excuse the lack of cohesive thought, but lots of little things on my mind today.

I’m glad to hear that Garrett Gomez escaped with only some missing teeth, cuts and bruises when 2-year-old Back at You attempted to jump the inner rail in the Eddie Logan at Santa Anita on Saturday. Unfortunately, that meant he missed his ride on Bsharpsonata in the G1 La Brea and, even though she acquired the talented Rafael Bejarano, it was a hard-ask for Bsharpsonata to adjust to him on such short notice—she finished third behind Indian Blessing and Ginger Pop. The bad news about his ride was that Bejarano took her three-wide around the final turn and she has shown a preference for riding the rail; the good news was he took her wide because if she had been inside she may have fallen over Indyanne as that one broke down on the rail in the stretch. Fortunately, it appears Indyanne will survive to become a broodmare—fingers crossed for her and her connections.

Indian Blessing’s win—her fifth lifetime G1, and third this year—not only solidifies her position as top female sprinter this year, but also her potential for the 3-year-old filly Eclipse. If the TBA rankings-by-points mean anything, then Indian Blessing not only was the top 3-year-old filly, but finishes runner-up to Zenyatta for horse of the year. Hey, she danced every dance this year, never finishing worse than second in 9 races, with six wins from 6f to 8.5f. Following the La Brea, according to trainer Bob Baffert, Indian Blessing will be pointed to the six-furlong Dubai Golden Shaheen, in which she will face males. And he said his main goal for her in 2009 will be the Breeders' Cup Sprint. Not the Filly and Mare Sprint, at seven furlongs, but the six-furlong Sprint, against males. I, for one, can’t wait!

Back to the Eddie Logan, I did have a nice win bet on Flashmans Papers ($14.20). Question: is he the first U.S. stakes-winner by young Aussie sire Exceed and Excel? I believe so.

On HRTV on Saturday, why was it necessary for Laffit Pincay to say it was “good” to see Patrick Biancone back on the Santa Anita backstretch? There is nothing good about a trainer like Biancone who has been blackballed in France and Hong Kong, and is now coming back from, what was in essence, a one-year suspension here for the discovery of cobra venom in his barn. This is most definitely not a trainer that has been missed. Unfortunately, until the sport takes drug misuse seriously, we are stuck with him. That doesn’t mean prominent announcers need to go out of their way to suggest everything is just peachy-keen, though. However you look at it, Biancone is bad for the sport.

Mountaineer’s New Year’s Eve Stakes is going to be run on...December 30. Okay, so they don’t normally run on Wednesdays, and it falls on that day this year, but still it seems odd. Looking over the entries, I’ll be rooting hard for 8-year-old mare Afleet Angel (a Foolish Pleasure descendent, of course) who has enjoyed a banner year, with four wins and only one out-of-the-money finish in eight tries. For a hunch bet, though, it might be wise to put some money on All Giving whose last two races were close up finishes in the Witches Brew on Halloween and the Cornucopia just before Thanksgiving—love the holiday theme there.

Also on Tuesday, at Philadelphia Park, race 3 is a MC $25k which features 3-year-old Persuasion who hasn’t won yet in eight tries. However, his breeding (Cherokee Run, out of the A.P. Indy mare Alluring—daughter of multiple G1 winner Educated Risk) just screams turf to me, or at least an all-weather surface try. This is his lowest level yet so if he can’t win’ll probably see him at Penn National next. The real odd-ball in this race, though, is 7-year-old Big Silverman who comes in off more than a year break, and has yet to win in 31 starts. In fact, he’s only finished third twice, and that was at least three years ago. Actually, I’m really concerned about this horse (yes, he’s not a gelding) running. He’s worked out six times since October, slow and very slow each time, plus in the three races he ran last year, he lost by a combine total of 52 lengths! Whether he loves to run or not, some horses are just not cut out to be racehorses—and he is obviously one of them.


Amateurcapper said...

I am sorry if my comment to you on Mary's blog was sharp. Please read my blog ( to explain my emotion.
Again, sorry.

Sharon Crute said...

RE: Biancone

These types have a way of coming back smelling like roses. In short order, he'll have a barn full of nice horses, if not already. One has to wonder about the owner/clients who provide such loyal support when there are so many talented trainers who honestly play by the rules.

Geno said...

I like All Giving (should be a good price in the Day Before New Years Eve Stakes) as she is Chica's nemesis.

I see you went with BBJ in the contest too...we are neck and neck and both in striking range (top 350).

Happy New Year from down the road..

Celeste said...

Could not agree with you more regarding Biancone. It is a shame that the owners are so generous in his case. If I were ever so lucky as to own a horse, he would not be allowed near it.

Anonymous said...

you have never spent a day training in your life and no nothing about Biancone, other than what you read.

The owners no more than you.

Winston...not really said...


I thought the very same thing when Laffitt said it. I do NO that.

Mary Forney's Blog said...

Garrett Gomez was back in the saddle today, and even had two winners. I spoke to him in the winners circle after the 3rd race, and he looked great! Amazing how resilient those guys are, and gutsy. I enjoy your blog and look forward to more great reading in 2009. Happy New Year!! Mary.

Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

You've persuaded me to keep an eye on today's's hoping Persuasion won't need a further drop to win.

I missed out on several blogs during the holiday rush and am gutted that i missed out on the signed triple dead heat photo! nooooo!

Happy Holidays!

Valerie said...

Happy New Year, everyone!!

Unfortunately, one of the owners that placed their horse back with Biancone is the new owner of Baroness Thatcher, Thomas Van Meter II; the DRF says she'll run twice more before retiring to broodmare status.

Geno, unfortunately All Giving gave her all early, and petered out. I put her in an exacta box with Afleet Angel, to no avail. Humbug!

Mary, that's fantastic news about Garrett! Jockeys must be the toughest athletes out there, hands-down.

Keith, I can't believe you missed the signed triple dead heat photo, but, damn, it went for over $86!

Teresa said...

Jockeys the toughest athletes? Coming from you, Val, a hockey fan? Hmmm...might have to disagree with you on this one, with all and MUCH due respect to the jockeys--the hockey player would have played the rest of his shifts after picking up his teeth off the ice...

Winston...not really said...

Teresa-Don't forget soccer players.

Having played both soccer and hockey, I can say that the soccer player would have jumped off Indyanne at the 5.5f pole, when she brushed with Indian Blessing. After rolling around in agony for two minutes, he would have stood back up, avoided the loss of teeth and proceeded to the winner's circle, ripping off his shirt and pretending to rock a baby.

Valerie said...

Hockey players definitely rank above the other professional team sports players, but why I think jockeys get the edge is the unpredictablity factor. With maybe only minor differences in ice consistencies, hockey players are on a surface that is far more challenging than baseball, football or basketball. However, in addition to variations in track surface, jockeys ride animals with widely-varying personalities and habits. Given that, along with the possibility of being thrown and/or crushed by a weight of a horse, I give jockeys (pound for pound) the toughness edge--physically and mentally.

Hockey players get up and continue to play because they are too dumb to know better (and I say that with love).

Takeahold said...

To Anonymous:
I know Sharon and if you took the time to read about her you would realize she has been involved in the racing business for over 30 years starting as a hot walker and working her way up to owner, trainer, racing official and more. And she was one of the first women to get her exercise riders license in the country. And she "nos" how to spell. Buy some horses give them to Patrick and ride P Val and you will fit right in.