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Around the Backstretch - Super Sunday Edition

Like most of the country, I'll spend most of my day huddled around the TV watching the pomp and circumstance of this year's Super Bowl.  Prior to the game, however, I'll spend my time with some action on the track.

In the 5th race at Gulfstream today is a filly, 12-Kate's Holiday (6/1), who comes back to the track after a tough luck 2nd in her last start on January 21st.  She was "bumped and steadied" soon after leaving the gate, was wide coming of the turn and rallied strong to finish a clear 2nd.  The race was an "off'-the-turf", so it needs to be taken with a grain of salt, but Kate's Holiday looks to be in decent form, which could be a big advantage in an N2L affair that has a whole lotta' confirmed losers in the field.

Yesterday's stakes results were pretty surprising, at least at Gulfstream.  Giant Oak made a lot of sense to me as a horse that would run well but I didn't foresee the top contenders throwing in the towel in deep stretch the way they did.  As for Teaks North and his win in the Gulfstream Park Handicap...well, you could have given me a year with the form and I wouldn't have come up with him.  

A quick look at the Beyers from yesterday (via

Donn: Giant Oak - 105
Strub: Twirling Candy  - 101
Thunder Road: Fluke (BRZ) - 100
GP Turf Handicap: Teaks North - 96
Suwannee River: Cherokee Queen - 94
Las Virgenes: Zazu - 88
Whirlaway: Toby's Corner - 88

Below is a look at some of the other items making news around the world or horse racing:

Zazu sensational in breakthrough Las Virgenes win - Thoroughbred Times
Jerry and Ann Moss’ Zazu joined 2-to-5 favorite Turbulent Descent for a testing stretch duel with a furlong remaining in Saturday’s $250,000 Las Virgenes Stakes (G1) at Santa Anita Park, and their three-year-old Tapit filly responded with a breakthrough performance.

Best horse in America - Brad Free - Daily Racing Form
The dominating victory by Twirling Candy was not the only thing that happened Saturday at Santa Anita.

Jessica Chapel / Railbird v2 - Digging In
Jessica Chapel takes a more in-depth look at the continuing NEHBPA/Suffolk Downs dispute. As usual, horseplayers end up on the losing end.

J P's Gusto confirmed for Oaklawn prep series - Handicappers' Edge
The lucrative and prolific series for three-year-olds at Oaklawn Park has lured the connections of Grade 1 winner J P'S GUSTO (Successful Appeal) to Hot Springs, Arkansas, where the ridgling will make his 2011 debut in the $250,000 Southwest S. (G3) at one mile on February 21.