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Saturday, July 11, 2009

On a Day of Stars, Recognizing the Less Heralded

Sure, I could talk about Gio Ponti’s third straight G1 victory in today’s Man O’War, or Game Face getting back on track (fortuitously, with Indian Blessing scratched) in the G1 Princess Rooney. And how about Atomic Rain powering to a five-length victory in the Long Branch, or Benny the Bull getting upset by 14-1 longshot Eaton’s Gift in the G2 Smile Sprint? And while the filly Life Is Sweet managed a third-place finish in the G1 Hollywood Gold Cup, how about the new track record set by Rail Trip who, along with second place finisher Tres Borrachos, fleshed out a $1 trifecta that paid $1,596.90 (and would have been a whole lot more if Life Is Sweet hadn't gone off as second favorite at 3-1)?

Instead, it’s the less heralded horses that interested me today.

The prodigious achievements of Medaglia D’Oro’s offspring continue to amaze me, particularly his fillies. Honestly, regardless of where they’re entered, from a handicapping point of view, they are almost a “sure thing.”

The latest: Dashing Debby, a first-time starter who thrashed a more experienced field in the J J’s Dream Stakes at Calder on Saturday—winning by over 10 lengths! Her dam Marquet Rent (Marquetry-Fantasy Cat, by Cougar) has also produced another winner, Hopeful Image (Gulch) who finished third behind Justwhistledixie in this year’s G2 Bonnie Miss, and most recently scratched from Rachel Alexandra’s G1 Mother Goose due to lingering effects from recent bout with colic. With all that going for her—a hot sire and proven stakes-quality sibling—Dashing Debby went off at 13-1, paying a very generous $28.20 win for those wise enough to back her (which, unfortunately, did not include moi).

Have I mentioned before how much I love Jose Lezcano? I’m totally serious. I love the way this guy rides. In the American Dreamer Stakes at Calder today he rode 23-1 Pound Foolish to an ever-closing second place finish behind 2-1 favorite Grand Cash. What’s amazing about this finish is, with no equipment or trainer change, just Lezcano up for the first time, Pound Foolish placed for the first time in five turf efforts; there were plenty of reasons this 3-year-old gelding went off so long in a field of eleven. By Exchange Rate, out of the Mecke mare Kobella Bean (thus a Foolish Pleasure damline connection), homebred/owned/raced Pound Foolish broke his maiden on December 29, in his tenth start at age 2.

And speaking of jockeys who never fail to impress, Julien Leparoux is a magic man on turf. At Arlington today in the G2 American Derby, he rode a gem on Reb who was stuck behind literally a wall of horses, pulled him back and around them to close and nip No Inflation on the wire by a short head. Breathtaking! It was his second stakes victory of the day, as he also powered odds-on favorite Pure Clan to win the G3 Modesty.

Also among those horses whose achievements may get overlooked today is Goosey Moose, an 8-year-old Texas-bred gelding who won the Assault Stakes at Lone Star Park for the fourth time—in six years! As a 3-year-old, he first won this 8.5f race in 2004, and repeated in 2005, before a third-place finish in 2006 and another victory in 2007. He was unplaced last year, but swept to an impressive win today. Way to go, geezer! Let's hear it for the geldings!


Kevin Stafford said...

The march of Medags' offspring continues to move an unstoppable rebel force! :-)

John said...

Yes Julien is amazing; I had No Inflation and was sure I had it 50 yds out.

Anonymous said...

What do you know!? Mr. Jess Jackson has purchased Dashing Debbie. It will be interesting to see if he invests in any more Medaglia d'Oro offspring.