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Weekend Stakes Results (Updated 2x)

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UPDATE #2 -  Even more thoughts on the weekend's racing action:

  • I mentioned this yesterday in the FanShot on Sidney's Candy but what's the deal with scratching him out of the Oak Tree Mile due to a sale?  I'm curious to learn who the new potential owners are and what their intentions are for this colt.  

    By scratching out of the Mile, and still being pointed towards the Breeders' Cup (according to trainer John Sadler), there isn't a whole lot of opportunities left for him to get another prep race under his belt.  The Oak Tree Derby at a mile and an eighth on the lawn is next Saturday and if they new owners still want to head toward the Breeders' Cup Mile then that would be the most logical spot for a final prep (although the race is restricted to three-year-olds and drives Sidney's Candy of the chance to face older before running in the Breeders' Cup).  Other than thatm any prep races on the grass would involve shipping Sidney's Candy some to another track.
  • If you were lucky enough to cash a ticket on today's Grade 1 Juddmonte Spinster at Keeneland you walked home with some serious cash in your wallet.  24/1 long shot Acoma powered past the field at the top of the stretch to win by a 1/2 length over 17/1 Milwaukee Appeal, keying a $550 exacta payout and a $3,100 trifecta.  The $2 Pick 3 came back a cool $1,300.
  • Weren't we just talking about Julien Leparoux on the grass the other day?  A nice, patient ride by Julien in the Bourbon Stakes today at Keeneland helped 7/2 favorite Rogue Romance come home strongly for the score.  The victory in the race for two-year-old colts on the grass puts Rogue Romance squarely in the contender category for the Breeders' Cup Juvenile Turf next month at Churchill.  

    Beyond the nice ride by Leparoux, the Bourbon was a perfect example of how a player can get value out of a race where the favorites come home in front.  Winner Rogue Romance and runner-up Cozy Kitten were the first and second betting choices on the board yet the $2 exacta paid an absurd $41.60 (chart via DRF.com).  A 19/1 return on the top two horses in the exacta?  Nice.  Very nice.

 

UPDATE #1 - Some quick thoughts on Saturday's results:

  • While there is still a question of "what was he running against" with Uncle Mo there is no question that this colt has got some serious ability after easily winning the Champagne at Belmont Park.  He's the real deal and he's headed to the Breeders' Cup Juvenile where it would be a shock if he's not, at a minimum, the second betting choice behind Boys At Tosconova.  He's won his first two races so easily that you start to wonder how much more he's got in the tank should Johnny V. actually ask him to run hard.  

    According to DRF.com, Uncle Mo earned a 94 BSF for his win in the Champagne.
  • If you watched the Shadwell Turf Mile you saw Gio Ponti win about as easily as a horse can win at a mile.  Go back and watch the replay and watch Ramon Dominguez in the stretch with Gio - he doesn't ask him to run until the very, very end after Gio had passed much of the field on his own accord.  

    I had serious doubts about Gio Ponti cutting back to a mile but I think it's safe to say that I was way off on that assessment; I don't think he could have won while exerting less effort in the stretch.
  • I'm starting to really feel sorry for Ice Box, the runner-up in this year's Kentucky Derby who finished 5th of 6 in the Grade 3 Monmouth Cup on Saturday.  Ice Box just can't seem to catch a field that will give him the pace he needs up front to make a hard charge down the lane.  In the Monmouth Cup the leaders went the opening six furlongs in the 1 1/8 mile race in 1:14+, a fraction that just isn't going to give Ice Box enough to run at.  

    I'm not sure what Zito's plans are for this horse but if he could ever find a race with a good amount of front-end speed, he'd have a much better chance for success.
  • The Oak Tree Mile lost a bit of luster with the scratch of Sidney's Candy prior to post but that didn't prevent the race from providing an absolutely wide-open and thrilling finish.  Long shot Liberian Freighter made a furious late rally down the lane to nose out Colgan's Chip under the wire and score the Grade 1 win at odds of 22/1.  
  • I was flipping the channel back and forth between TVG and HRTV yesterday in order to watch Keeneland and Belmont.  Prior to the first race at Oak Tree, TVG averaged about 1 -2 live races per hour and they were only the ones from Keeneland.  A Grade 1 could be going off three minutes before a race at Keeneland and they would wait 5 - 10 minutes to show it.  Really, really bad coverage, in my opinion.  I know they have their "exclusivity agreements" and what not, and I'm sure they have a standard corporate response as to why they can't show races live, but I really think it's a disservice to the viewer to show so few live races.  With the proliferation of the internet into today's game, a tape delayed race replay is a day late and a dollar short.

    As a horse player I'm very grateful that we even have TV networks that exclusively cover horse racing.  At the same time, sometimes I get the feeling that the coverage is less about horse racing and more about self-promotion, and that's too bad.

    I'm going to try a little experiment today by setting up my dual tuner DVR to record both TVG and HRTV during the same three-hour block (11am to 2pm PDT).  Later on tonight I'm going to re-watch (on FF-speed) each three hour block to see how many live races and total races each network shows during that time frame.  We'll see how it breaks down in real numbers.