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Sunday, July 26, 2009

Handicapping Overload

Feeling consumed with racing, I took the week off from posting to relax and hopefully tame the numbers bouncing around my brain from handicapping overload. Besides, little outside the norm occurred—Sheikh Mo bought another promising horse (Atomic Rain), and made a trainer switch (from Kelly Breen to newcomer Rachel Dore), while Mine That Bird hopped aboard his much-travelled van, this time headed to (in)glorious Mountaineer. The break didn't help, as I fried myself with the Bris handicapping contest, Claiming Crown races and a host of other good racing this weekend.

Ironic, isn’t it, that two prominent horses recently removed from quality trainers suffered disappointing performances on Saturday? First, Edward Evans’ Casanova Move—removed from the tutelage of Jimmy Jerkens—fails to hit the board in the G1 Coaching Club American Oaks for new trainer Todd Pletcher. Then, in probably what will go down as the greatest example of a training faux pas (or, at the very least, second-guessing the previous trainer), Zayat’s Thorn Song bolted to the outside rail in the G1 Eddie Read, after new handler Mike Mitchell changed his blinkers. Thankfully, the horse is absolutely fine, but you have to think Dale Romans got a chuckle seeing his former trainee pull off that stunt. Ah, karma...

It’s frustrating as a gambler to consistently bet a horse only for it to come up short, but when you give up on it, that’s when it gets a big win. That’s me and Global Hunter. Enough said.

Woodbine looked awful soggy this weekend, much like it’s been here most of the summer. Still, the Medaglia d’Oro filly Tasty Temptation—fourth in the Queen’s Plate—made a visually-impressive late run to win the Wonder Where Stakes. Gotta love those Medaglia girls!

On Saturday, 4-year-old filly Ballynoe earned black-type finishing third in the Gaily Gaily going 12 furlongs over the Arlington turf. On Sunday, her 3-year-old full-brother Round About made his maiden effort going 7 furlongs over the Polytrack, and I was all over him at nearly 14-1. He rallied from last to get second, so watch for him going longer—he’s by Distorted Humor out of the stakes-winning Dynaformer mare Dynasharp.

Flipping channels very early Sunday morning, I stumbled across the Disney movie “Ready to Run” (2000) which I had never seen, and following that it was the Marx Brothers’ classic “A Day at the Races” (1937) on Turner Classic Movies. Astonishing that not one, but two horse racing-themed movies were viewable this weekend—albeit in the middle of the night.


Keith - Triple Dead Heat said...

I took some nice photos of Tasty Temptation on Saturday. I'll have them posted tomorrow at some point - she was very impressive winning the Wonder Where.

It's hard to imagine taking a horse from Jerkens could ever be a positive move.