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Sunday Quick Hits

Some thoughts on yesterday's action and what's coming up today and on Monday:

  • We are a week away from the first scoring race for this year's Road to the Roses Fantasy Challenge contest.  If you are interested in joining the And Down The Stretch They Come public league, follow this link to sign up and select your stable.  Once your stable is set you can "Join a League" using the information below.  

    League Name: And Down The Stretch They Come
    League Number: 272695426
    Activation Code: 2393559094

    Next Saturday's Fountain of Youth at Gulfstream Park is the first chance to accumulate points.
  • A nice win by the undefeated Caracortado in the G2-Robert B. Lewis (chart) yesterday but I thought the second place horse, Dave in Dixie, ran the best race of the field and has the most upside going forward.  This son of Dixie Union was striding out nicely in the final furlong and finished up the last 3/16 of a mile in 29.93, the fastest of the field.  

    Dave in Dixie's challenge going forward is the challenge that every closer faces in race after race: he's a slave to pace and traffic.  In the G1-Norfolk, Dave in Dixie got a decent pace to run at but had some trip troubles as he tried to maneuver from the back of the pack to the front.  Yesterday, the field was small which provided for a clean trip, however, the pace was somewhat light which compromised his ability to pass tiring rivals in the stretch.  On the plus side, it's pretty apparent that his colt has a very nice closing kick when he's able to unleash it.
  • Rule was assigned a preliminary Beyer figure of 98 for his win in the G3-Sam F. Davis (chart) at Tampa Bay Downs yesterday.  The Todd Pletcher trainee was able to control the pace, put away his rivals at the top of the stretch, and run the final 3/16 of a mile in 31.79 to draw off to win by three lengths.  

    The local sensation, Uptowncharlybrown, closed to finish third and was certainly hindered by both the slow pace and the speed favoring nature of route races on the Tampa surface yesterday.  Still, I think my initial apprehensions about this horse were correct - he's a step below in terms of class.  Uptowncharlybrown will have another chance to make a statement in the G3-Tampa Bay Derby on March 13th, should his connections decide to go that direction.
  • Oaklawn Park will run the one mile G3-Southwest Stakes tomorrow as part of their President's Day card.  The Southwest is a major local prep for the G1-Arkansas Derby and will feature several promising Kentucky Derby contenders, including: Dublin, Dryflly, and Conveyance.

    PP

    Horse

    Jockey

    Trainer

    ML

    1

    Kitty's Turn

    Albarado R J

    Thomas Gary A

    12-1

    2

    Conveyance

    Gomez G K

    Baffert Bob

    5-2

    3

    Cardiff Giant

    Santiago Reyes C

    Periban Jorge

    12-1

    4

    Mission Impazible

    Velazquez J R

    Pletcher Todd A

    6-1

    5

    Domonation

    Nakatani C S

    Sadler John W

    8-1

    6

    Dryfly

    Borel C H

    Whiting Lynn S

    3-1

    7

    Crider

    Quinonez L S

    Asmussen Steven M

    20-1

    8

    Cool Bullet

    Hernandez B J Jr

    Margolis Steve

    12-1

    9

    Pleasant Storm

    McNeil B

    Petalino Joe

    8-1

    10

    Dublin

    Thompson T J

    Lukas D Wayne

    9-2

  • The G2-La Canada Stakes at Santa Anita is the only graded stake on the calendar for today.  A full field of 14 fillies will go a mile and an eighth on the ProRide surface.  Former Breeders' Cup Juvenile Filly champion Stardom Bound is the ML favorite at 3/1.

    PP

    Horse

    Jockey

    Trainer

    ML

    1

    Unrivaled Belle

    Desormeaux K J

    Mott William I

    7-2

    2

    Dream Empress

    Flores D R

    McPeek Kenneth G

    20-1

    3

    Dave's Revenge

    Blanc B

    Hess R B Jr

    30-1

    4

    Striking Dancer

    Solis A

    McPeek Kenneth G

    30-1

    5

    Freedom Star

    Garcia M

    Baffert Bob

    8-1

    6

    Pretty Katherine

    Rosario J

    Hollendorfer Jerry

    30-1

    7

    Gripsholm Castle

    Espinoza V

    Cecil B D A

    12-1

    8

    Stardom Bound

    Leparoux J R

    Dutrow, Jr. R E

    3-1

    9

    Gumption

    Smith M E

    Headley Bruce

    30-1

    10

    Miss Silver Brook

    Gomez G K

    Canani Julio C

    6-1

    11

    Applause (IRE)

    Ahern E

    Callaghan Simon

    20-1

    12

    Spirit Seeker

    Bejarano R

    Hollendorfer Jerry

    12-1

    13

    Floating Heart

    Talamo J

    Pletcher Todd A

    8-1

    14

    Pretty Unusual

    Sutherland C

    Abrams Barry

    8-1