On Tuesday at Philadelphia Park, race 9—an 8.5f Alw 42000n2x—was off the turf, and it worked out extremely well for the winner Summer of Summers ($8.00 win). This former $32k claimer, picked up by the notorious Michael Gill during one of his buying sprees last October at Delaware, has now posted three nice allowance wins over fast tracks in Pennsylvania. What’s so notable about this four-year-old chestnut colt? Well, you might have recently heard of his half-brother, Summer Bird...
I like the new catch-phrase over at Gainesway: “Two Birds, One Stone.” Cute. I’m hoping both Mine That Bird and Summer Bird end up at the August 29 G1 Travers, trying to repeat Birdstone’s victory. From what trainer Tim Ice has said in the press, it sounds like Saratoga is definitely on their agenda. Here's how I'd like to see it play out: Summer Bird runs in the August 1 Jim Dandy at Saratoga, while Mine That Bird goes to the August 2 Haskell at Monmouth, and then both in the Travers, followed by the October 3 Jockey Club Gold Cup and November 7 Breeders' Cup Classic. Dream schedule, I know.
At Santa Anita on Tuesday, Indian Blessing worked a bullet 4f (:46.80)—how many does this make since she returned from Dubai? And when are we going to see her again? Honestly, I’m a little concerned something is niggling wrong. They skipped the G1 Humana Distaff because Baffert didn’t think she had the “energy.” If I were (conservatively) managing her future races, this would be my “wish list”:
• July 11—G1 Princess Rooney (6f, Calder)
• August 29—G1 Ballerina (7f, Saratoga)
• October 3—G1 Vosburgh (6f, Belmont)
• November 7—G1 Breeders’ Cup Sprint (6f, Santa Anita)
The Vosburgh, of course, would be a blockbuster because she would likely knock heads with Fabulous Strike and Benny the Bull. Whew, wouldn’t that be one helluva race?
As for Rachel Alexandra, if she’s ready to get back in the game, here’s my ideal (and somewhat aggressive) schedule for her:
• June 27—G1 Mother Goose (9f, Belmont)
• July 25—G1 Coaching Club American Oaks (10f, Belmont)
• August 29—G1 Travers (10f, Saratoga)
• September 12—G1 Ruffian (8.5f, Belmont)
• October 3—G1 Jockey Club Gold Cup (10f, Belmont) $750,000
• November 7—G1 Breeders’ Cup Classic (10f, Santa Anita)
If the Mosses and John Shirreffs are content to play conservative and not run Zenyatta against males, then Jess Jackson and Steve Asmussen should put Rachel Alexandra on a path that simply outdoes Zenyatta.