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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Obscure Betting Angle Pays Off

How fitting that, on the very day Calder hosted the $75k Foolish Pleasure Stakes, two of his damline descendents win over that very track? In race 4, Pound Foolish (Exchange Rate, out of Mecke mare Kobella Bean) paid $15.40 win, while in race 12, Pender’s Tune (Montbrook, out of Mecke mare Sea Mist) paid $21.80 win. Both geldings are trained and co-owned by Manny Tortora (with his wife Jacqueline) who also trained Mecke, as well as his son Supah Blitz before the latter was sold and moved to Doug O’Neill.

Speaking of Supah Blitz, you’ll recall he only sired 1 crop (of 13 foals) before being placed back in training in 2008. I don’t know how I missed it, but his first winner, 2-year-old Indiana-bred You Already Know, recently placed second in the Hillsdale Stakes at Hoosier (September 13).

In addition to Pound Foolish and Pender’s Tune, it was a prosperous day for bettors who bet the “Foolish Pleasure damline descendent” angle (and don’t we all look for that?—yes, I’m being facetious), as Pinstripe Kid (Skimming, out of Norma Bee, by Cobra King) took race 10 at Fairplex ($25.80 win), and R B Applause (Closing Argument, out of Lisa’s Approval, by Farma Way) broke his maiden in race 7 at Delaware ($22.20 win).

On the other side of the globe in Australia on Saturday, I’d like to point out that the “Foolish Pleasure damline descendent” angle was also fulfilled in the AUS-G1 Manikato Stakes, with Phelan Ready and Nicconi finishing second and third, respectively, behind Danleigh. Phelan Ready is next aimed for the G1 Caulfield Guineas on October 10, while Nicconi’s future includes an invasion of Dubai and England next year.

Xtra Heat’s second daughter to race, Don’t U Baby Me (Unbridled Song) made her debut at Monmouth on Friday, finishing second in race 2, a 5.5f MSW event where the winner was the only non-first-time-starter. The gray filly didn’t start well, made a strong move to get up to challenge the wire-to-wire winner, but did not have enough to get past her. All in all, not bad, but she also didn’t show the explosive gate speed her siblings have thus far displayed. Her half-sister Elusive Heat worked at Belmont on Friday, a bullet 3f in 36:74 (1/4). Since her stablemate Diamondrella (sold to IEAH recently) will be switching back to turf rather than pursue the Breeders’ Cup Filly & Mare Sprint, it will be interesting to see where Elusive Heat ends up next—maybe the G2 Thoroughbred Club of America at Keeneland on October 10? Nominations close on Wednesday, September 30, so we’ll see. I’d still love to see her at the BC.

I don’t know if Indian Blessing is heading back to the Breeders’ Cup, but, boy, it was good to see her back to her gutsy self in winning the G2 Gallant Bloom over a game Sara Louise.

A tragic but striking phenomenon—the recent deaths of high-profile older champions, beginning with Gone West, followed by El Prado, and then Summer Squall. The latest: Cryptoclearance and Kona Gold. It’s like a blow to the gut each time you read of these losses, and why is it, much like their human celebrity counterparts, they always seem to occur one right after another? Geldings like Kona Gold can only be remembered for the races they ran, and I will forever remember him for outlasting the late-closing Honest Lady in the 2000 Breeders’ Cup Sprint:

As for the others, what better way to be memorialized than through their descendents? Thus, on Saturday, Summer Squall was represented by two winners, Mark the Bench at Golden Gate, Race 3 (broodmare sire), and Gold Rush Casey at Thistledown, Race 3 (broodmare sire); as was Cryptoclearance, by Undaunted One at Arlington, Race 1 (sire), and Kim’s Gold at Charles Town, Race 4 (broodmare sire).