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Weekend Stakes Review

Date

Race

Grade

Track

Dist.

Surf.

Winner

 $2 Win

5-Feb

Donn Hcp.

1

GP

9

Dirt

Giant Oak

$16.80

5-Feb

GP Turf Hcp.

1

GP

9

Turf

Teaks North

$52.60

5-Feb

Las Virgenes

1

SA

8

Dirt

Zazu

$10.00

5-Feb

Strub Stakes

2

SA

9

Dirt

Twirling Candy

$3.00

5-Feb

ThunderRoad Hcp.

3

SA

8

Turf

Fluke

$8.60

5-Feb

Suwannee River

3

GP

9

Turf

Cherokee Queen

 $11.00

5-Feb

Whirlaway

Listed

AQU

8.5

Dirt

Toby's Corner

$11.60

6-Feb

San Antonio

2

SA

9

Dirt

Gladding

$5.20

6-Feb

Hallandale Beach

Listed

GP

8.5

Turf

Master Dunker

$26.80

-I re-watched the Strub a couple of times since Saturday and I'm still impressed with the ease Twirling Candy put away that field coming off the far turn.  Just a thing of beauty.  

-I'm going to take a guess that Morning Line won't be making the trip to Dubai for the World Cup following his performance in the Donn.  

The final 1/8th of a mile in the Donn wasn't exactly a thing of beauty:

Giant Oak

12.70

Morning Line

13.33

Rule

13.30

I Want Revenge

13.41

Fly Down

13.18

Ron the Greek

13.35

Hear Ye Hear Ye

14.28

Eldaafer

13.90

Square Eddie

15.00


The pace was certainly honest upfront (half-mile in 46.73, six furlongs in 1:10.50) but if horses like Morning Line and Rule are going to make their living on the front end of the pace, and they want to compete at the highest level of racing, then surviving brisk fractions with something left in the tank is a necessity.  The final eighth of a mile for every horse in the Donn, except for Giant Oak, was pretty brutal.

-And finally, a bit of OT note: While horseplayers seems to have an endless list of gripes when it comes to betting their money (post-posting, poor rides, stewards inquiries, biased tracks, etc., etc., etc.) it can't be much worse than the Super Bowl National Anthem betting prop controversy.

In case you missed it, BoDog set the over/under Christina Aguilera's rendition of our National Anthem at 1:54.  Christina begins innocently enough until she messed up/repeated a few lines along the way (sadly a somewhat common occurring with live performances of the National Anthem).  The missed/wrong lyrics generated the first controversy as many bettors believed the bet should be cancelled and all dollars returned if the lyrics are incorrect.  This is a logical argument since the time it takes to sing the National Anthem is dependent on which words are included; if a singer adds (or leaves out) certain lyrics the song would end up shorter or longer than if it were sung correctly.  So that's controversy number one. (This becomes a moot point if Christina get's it right the first time.  Next time: tape it!)

The second controversy is with the timing of the song itself because it was really, really close.  My buddy and I each had the stopwatches out on our phones and we timed it right at 1:54.  It was difficult to get an accurate time because Miss Aguilera drug out that final note and it was tough to know exactly when she ended given the crowd reaction.  She also added an extra lyric as the end of the Anthem, throwing in a spontaneous "oh" after "Brave", which, of course, is not part of the Anthem.  

In the end, nobody really cares that much about it, unless you had dropped a bunch of cash on the prop bet...then it becomes personal. 

A summary of the Anthem controversy from CNBC (link)