Some random thoughts rattling around my head the past couple of days, along with a look at (what should be) some interesting coverage in the near future:
-I've been trying excessively hard to dump some money into a bevy of Pick 4 pools the last two weeks and every time something comes up that prevents me from accomplishing that mission. It's like the racing gods don't want me to bet. I'm down $8 for the year, so I got that going for me.
-Looking at the PPs for Saturday's San Fernando at Santa Anita got me thinking a bit more about Sidney's Candy and which races his connections will spot him in during the 2011 season.
Saturday's race will be the son of Candy Ride's second consecutive on dirt after proving that he's versatile enough to run competently on pretty much any surface (which has got to be a good thing if you're trying to sell some Candy Ride's right now at auction).
Should the connections keep Sidney's Candy on dirt, where he's shown he can run but (in my opinion) is unlikely to be a mile and a quarter horse? Or do you focus more on the turf races, which probably means a rendevouz with Goldikova (IRE) back at the Breeders' Cup Mile next fall? Or do you blend the best of both worlds and run in the top stakes action that you can find - whether dirt or turf - that matches up with the colt's preferred distance?
I'm guessing that the best of both worlds is what we're going to see with this colt, something of a throwback to the days of John Henry taking on all comers on both turf and dirt. The only issue I see, assuming that Sidney's Candy doesn't want to go much past nine furlongs, is that he ends up a horse that will either have to travel a bunch (in order to find some of the big Grade 1 middle distance races), or he's going to end up running in some races that really don't suit him (like the Big Cap).
What would you do with Sidney's Candy if you were training him?
-I finally entered the 21st century and upgraded to a "Smart Phone"; I had been resisting for years but finally gave in over the last month. It's not that I don't like technology - I actually love it - I just never wanted to be tethered to my phone, email, internet, etc. But, alas, the idea of being able to go to the track and and have the power of the internet right at my fingertips became too much. "Like the siren's song: never what it seems to be, but who among us can resist?"
Anyway, on a serious note, the new "phone"....is it really a phone? I mean, 90% of what I'm doing with the damn thing has nothing to do with talking to another human being over the phone?...the new phone will allow me to update the site a bit better when I'm not physically at home in front of my laptop. And by "update" I mean posting comments that I can't pick a winner to save my life or complaining that I once again flushed money down the drain betting on a horse ridden by Coa...so that should be nice.
-Jay Hovdey at the Daily Racing Form has an excellent article on the surface at Santa Anita and the continued issues that they've been facing this meet, mainly due to the high amount of rain the area has received in the last couple of months. Also, Brad Free takes a look at the huge number of favorites that are winning cheap claiming races in SoCal. Good thoughts to have in your back pocket when attacking a multi-race sequence that has a cheap race or two.
-I have a bit of exciting news to share regarding some some extra coverage that will be coming to the site this spring. I am heading to England in the middle of April for a three-week "holiday" specifically designed to immerse myself in the country's horse racing. The grand finale of the trip will be two days at Newmarket on April 30th and May 1st for the 2000 and 1000 Guineas.
Among the courses I have already targeted on my itinerary are:
- Windsor on the evening of April 18th
- Epsom on April 20th
- Ascot on April 27th
- Guineas Festival @ Newmarket on May 30th/April 1st.
I'm also going to try and attend a day of jump racing at some point, time permitting, as well as catch a couple of football matches...and partake in some pints of ale. All in all, it should shape up to be a pretty good trip. At very least, it should be good for a laugh as I try to navigate the world of bookmakers, Timeform and Racing Post Ratings, and wall-to-wall turf races. (What am I going to do without fractional spits and interactive results charts?) Or maybe I'll just take some really nice pictures.