ascot aug08
This is a single article. Click HERE to go to the main page.

Thursday, February 28, 2008

IN THE MINUS

SmileyCentral.com


Today's news :

Gadzooks, the BREEDERS' CUP is tinkering again. Not going to beat thisn thing to death but opinions across the blogging nation (see our TBA list on the sidebar at right, clink on RSS Feed to see everyone's latest posts).
LADIE'S DAY?
They changed the name of the Breeders' Cup Distaff to the Ladie's Classic?
Well, no one in racing likes change but the game has to change to get folks out to the races.
This corner does not like 2 days of Breeders' Cup races, too many Breeders' Cup races or the new names, but hopefully it gets more folks out to the races.

One reader sent in a comment about yestersday's FOAL OF THE DAY, the Silver Train filly. The comment was not printed however the reader should know the foal and her mum appear on the cover of CANADIAN THOROUGHBRED magazine this month.

CURLIN is up this morning, post time could be 11:15 not 12:15 as I reported yesterday, these time changes are too confusing.


QUEEN’S PLATE ACTION STARTS -return of the GATOR

COOL GATOR, stakes places but considered an early favourite for this year’s Queen’s Plate, makes his 2008 debut at Gulfstream on Saturday in a 9 furlong allowance race.

Edgar Prado rides the 3yo son of Macho Uno-It’s a Ruby from post 1 in the 8th race.

Cool Gator, whose best Beyer Figure is a 76 is meeting a good field – that’s an UNDERSTATMENT, the name of the horse to beat.

The latter is a $1.05 million Distorted Humor colt ran a 97 Beyer Figure first time out when he won his maiden.

COOL GATOR is owned and was bred by Garland Williamson's HILLSBROOK FARM and is trained by Danny Vella.


MORE LOCAL STUFF

Many runners from the GUS SCHICKEDANZ stable worked at Aiken yesterday including Queen’s Plate eligibles ZARROC, CHEERS MATE, D.FLUTIE and MARLANG. All but Marlang breezed easy 2 furlongs.

At Gulfstream, Plate eligible NIAGARA THUNDER (Hussonet) worked in 1:01 3/5 for Centennial Farms Niagara.

Also, champion LEONNATUS ANTEAS is #5 in a 5-horse field in the day’s GULFSTREAM PARK HANDICAP, Grade 2. The Stormy Atlantic 5yo will be ridden by Eibar Coa.

 
JAMBALAYA UPDATE
 A reader asked about Arlington Million winner JAMBALAYA.
A quick call to Catherine Day Phillips reveals some good news.
 Jambalaya (Langfuhr) has healed from his injury last year
and will begin shed-rowing soon.
Phillips also reports that Horse of the Year A BIT O’ GOLD
is enjoying his new career as a pony!



BREEDERS' CUP FRIDAY TO BE ALL-FEMALE 5 RACES FOR FILLIES SET FOR BC'S FIRST DAY

From sSpecial dDispatches

The 2008 Breeders' Cup World Championships will hold all five of the two-day event's races for female horses on the first day, Friday, Oct. 24, at Santa Anita Park in Arcadia, Calif., the Lexington-based Breeders' Cup announced.

It's the first time a major thoroughbred event in North America has focused an entire day on female championship racing. Nine other Breeders' Cup races will be contested on Saturday, Oct. 25. Seven are open to both male and female thoroughbreds, including the marquee event, the $5 million Classic.

The Breeders' Cup will total a record $25.5 million in purses for 14 races, including $8 million on Friday's card, more than doubling last year's Friday program.

In another change, the Breeders' Cup also announced that it has renamed the $2 million Distaff to the Breeders' Cup Ladies Classic, which will be the premier race on the Friday program.

The $2 million Filly & Mare Turf, $2 million Juvenile Fillies, the second-year $1 million Filly & Mare Sprint and the new $1 million Juvenile Fillies Turf also will be Friday.

The Breeders' Cup said it is developing a series of championship festivities designed to promote the new Friday format, including programs focused on women's health.

"By shifting some of our traditional Saturday races to Friday, we ensure that Friday stands on its own as an international competition of the highest level," Breeders' Cup president Greg Avioli said in a release.

The 2007 Breeders' Cup at Monmouth Park marked the first time the event was conducted as a two-day format. It consisted of 11 races and $23 million in purses, with three new races Friday.

Added for this year are the Juvenile Fillies Turf, $1 million Turf Sprint and $500,000 Marathon. The second-year Juvenile Turf and Dirt Mile have been shifted from Friday to Saturday.


SANTA ANITA HANDICAP preview (from Whittier Daily News)

DOLLASE COULD HAVE UPPER HAND

AWESOME GEM, MONTEREY JAZZ TOP PICKS IN SATURDAY'S BIG 'CAP

By Art Wilson, Staff Writer


ARCADIA - By his own admission, trainer Craig Dollase is not a good poker player. But he thinks his fortunes may change Saturday in the 71st running of the Santa Anita Handicap.

"I think I've got a good hand," Dollase said Wednesday during the post-position draw for the $1 million Grade I race at 1 1/4 miles over Santa Anita's renovated synthetic surface.

Dollase is not bluffing. He's got the ultra-consistent Awesome Gem, the 4-1 morning-line favorite, and also will saddle Monterey Jazz, who comes in off a 4 1/2-length victory in the Strub Stakes on Feb. 2 and has won his past three starts in gate-to-wire fashion.

David Flores had been riding both horses, but he sticks with Awesome Gem on Saturday. The 5-year-old gelded son of Awesome Again, owned by West Point Thoroughbreds, finished third in his last start, the San Antonio Handicap on Feb. 9. It was his first race since a distant third-place finish behind reigning Horse of the Year Curlin and Hard Spun in the Breeders' Cup Classic on Oct. 27.

"We left it up to David and his agent, Brad Pegram," Dollase said. "I'm sure it was a tough decision. For all I know, they flipped a coin."

Said Pegram: "David and I spoke about it a little bit, but basically he left it up to me. To be honest, I don't want to say a whole lot. I can only say it was a very hard decision to make. I hope to be able to ride both of them again."


Kentucky Derby hopeful that also is owned by West Point Thoroughbreds and will be running in Saturday's Sham Stakes in a final prep for the Santa Anita Derby on April 5.

"That was definitely a factor for sure," Pegram said of the decision to stick with Awesome Gem.

"It's a hard decision for us to be in, but it's also a good spot to be in."

Awesome Gem is proven at 1 1/4 miles by finishing second and third in three starts, including a nose loss to Student Council in the $1 million Pacific Classic at Del Mar last summer.

"I think the San Antonio was a good race, it was a good comeback for him," Dollase said. "He hasn't won at a mile and a quarter yet, but he's been knocking on the door."

Monterey Jazz, second choice on the morning line at 5-1, has been knocking down the door with his gate-to-wire efforts. The 4-year-old colt, exclusively a sprinter in his first eight starts, is 3-0 since Dollase stretched him out to two turns. He's won the three races by a combined 7 3/4 lengths.

Russell Baze, who became the first North American jockey to win 10,000 races on Feb. 1, takes the mount on Monterey Jazz and will be riding in his first Big 'Cap while shooting for his first victory in a million-dollar race. He was aboard the son of Thunderello for his three-length maiden score at Golden Gate Fields on June 9.

"He has one way of going," Dollase said of Monterey Jazz, 5 for 11 lifetime.

"He puts himself right in the race and says come and catch me."

For only the second time in the past 25 years, the Big 'Cap drew a field of 14. A like number went postward in 2002 when Milwaukee Brew won his first of two consecutive Big 'Caps. Seventeen horses ran in the 1983 running when Bates Motel came from far back to win.

Tiago, who won the Santa Anita Derby, Swaps Stakes and Goodwood Breeders' Cup Handicap in 2007, is co-high weight with Monterey Jazz at 119 pounds. He's the third choice at 6-1.

The meet's leading riders, Garrett Gomez and Rafael Bejarano, stick with their mounts.

Gomez, who at one time has ridden seven of the 14 horses, will be aboard Sunshine Millions Classic winner Go Between, who will be trainer Bill Mott's first Big 'Cap starter. Bejarano will ride Heatseeker for trainer Jerry Hollendorfer.

Gomez said knowing half of the horses in the field is an advantage.

"I know their tendencies, where they should be positioned in the race," he said.



FROM CRISTBLOG.COM

STEVE CRIST EXAMINES THE ‘YOUTH, REAL TIME

Fountain of Truth

Fountain of Youth will go down in the past performances and the record books as 1:50.07, and there is no reason to believe that isn't within a blink of the truth. Still, it was a tortured and ultimately unsatisfying process that got it to that point.

It was obvious that the Gulfstream teletimer had malfunctioned as soon as the opening quarter-mile of the race was posted as having been run in 25.78 seconds. The entire field was not under a stiff hold; on the contrary, horses were being pushed to gain tactical position. Nothing about the subsequent fractions of the race seemed amiss, but the slow first quarter inflated the posted final time to an unusually slow 1:51.85.

Shortly after the race, DRF reporter Mike Welsch manually retimed the first quarter of the race several times and came up with a far more plausible 24.10. Clearly, something had caused the timer to begin 1.68 seconds earlier than it should have, and it was later found that an outrider's pony 20 feet from the starting gate may have tripped the beam. That premature start explained the slow first quarter, and there was and is no reason to think any other segment of the race is in error. So Welsch substituted the posted 25.78 with the 24.10, used all the other posted splits, and DRF published a final time of 1:50.17.

It could and should have stopped there. Instead, Equibase then manually retimed the entire race and all the fractions off a tape and came up with completely different times that were grossly different from the perfectly good electronically-timed final seven furlongs of the race. In this version, which became the official chart published Sunday evening, the first quarter became a quick 23.56 and, most erroneously, a fourth quarter of 26.10 followed by an incongruously quick final furlong in 12.53, a full second faster than the original.

On Monday, Gulfstream officials understandably wanted to revise that "official" clocking. What they should have done was to retime the opening quarter and used the correct electronic timing of the rest of the race, as Welsch had originally done, but instead they chose to substitute their own manual retiming of the entire race. At least, as the chart above shows, it was pretty close to the electronic times.

So maybe it should be 1:50.17 instead of 1:50.07, but that's the extent of the remaining uncertainty.


TRACKMAN NICK SENDS US A LIST! - A DERBY LIST

DERBY DOZEN ROSES

As we near completion of the first two months of 2008, mostly minor prep races have been run up to this point. There are certainly are more minor preps lurking, but, over the next two months of March/April on the Derby Trail, the BIG preps still lie ahead. So, i guess this would be the half-way point and a good spot to unveil my Derby Dozen.

1) WAR PASS ---All speed & All class. You cant beat what you can't catch, and no opponent has been able to catch him.......and they may never......Absolutely deserves top billing.

2) PYRO---Finished 2nd twice to the top one as a 2 yr old. Finds himself again in the customary 2nd spot as a 3 yr old despite a scintillating stretch run in the RISEN STAR.

3) COURT VISION-- Wasn't expected to be cranked up for his first outing of the year. The FOY prep served it purpose nicely. WIll progress and move forward, thats what preps are used for.

4) EL GATO MALO--- Unbeaten colt is 3 for 3 and each win more impressive than the previous. Hugely impressive win at Santa Anita. No dirt track experience, but this one appears to be the real deal.

5) DENNIS OF CORK--- Another unbeaten horse, and is all the buzz at Oaklawn. Handled the SOUTHWEST like a seasoned pro. High cruising speed. No telling how good this colt is.

6) COOL COAL MAN---Enjoyed a nice ground saving trip from post one in winning the FOY, and now has won 4 of 5. Beat a good field in FOY and any winner of that prep deserves a spot.

7) ELYSIUM FIELDS---Despite a huge class rise, coupled with inexperience, this maiden winner almost got the job done in FOY. Post position and 5 wide run thru first turn hurt as he lost by half length.

8) GEORGIE BOY---Synthetic track specialist has been handled superbly by trainer Walsh. Unleashed an explosive run in SAN VINCENTE. Can battle on lead and come from well off-the-pace. Very talented.

9) COLONEL JOHN---Has been training sharply in the A.M. getting ready for 3 yr old debut in SHAM STAKES this weekend. Pedigree and running style suggest he will be a major force on the Derby trail.

10) TALE OF EKATI---Displayed high class as a 2 yr old. Last seen finishing 4th over a sloppy track in Breeders Cup Juvenile. Expect this horse to return to a high level and will be a major force among 3 yr olds.

11) MAJESTIC WARRIOR--- Winning the HOPEFUL impressively as 2 yr old propelled him to the front of the juvenile division. Hoof issues then kept him out of the B.C. Juvenile. Based on 2 yr old form....definately. Possesses all the tools to be an outstanding 3 yr old.

12) BLACKBERRY ROAD---Tough luck horse. Significant traffic problems cost him 2nd place in the RISEN STAR. Should enjoy added ground. Eligible to improve.Solid one-run horse who kicks in late , and is a threat to put it all together


FRESHMAN SIRE CONTEST ENTRY

From Karen N.

Candy Ride (stallion star)

Toccet

Smarty Jones

Pleasantly Perfect

Birdstone

Glitter Code

Ocean Terrace

Tomahawk

City Place

Perfect Soul


8 Comments:

  • At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    I've said enough on this already, but it doesn't hurt to say it again; BC changes = ridiculous. Ladies' Classic? If that were the only change, it might not be so bad. This is fast becoming a multi-millior dollar embarrassment. I agree that some changes can and should have been made to the BC program, but they have completely and utterly lost the plot.

     
  • At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    THERE REALLY MESSING WITH THE B.C!!!! THROWING IN ALL THESE NEW CATIGORIES, HAVING 2 DAYS, TAKEN THE THRILL OUT OF THAT 1 SPECIAL DAY WHICH WE HAVE BIN USED TO THRU OUT THE YEARS, NOW I CA REALLY TAKE IT OR LEAVE IT, ITS A SHAME.

     
  • At 2:57 PM, Blogger Trackman said…

    After watching Court Vision win the Remsen Stakes as a 2 yr old last year, i announced to a good friend that Court Vision was the horse i would be following on the '08 Derby Trail. I was eagearly awaiting
    for his return in the F.O.Y and although i knew he wasnt going to be fully cranked, i wanted to see something from him....and i did!! Yes, he was last early, which was a surprise, dont know if this was by design or not because he was more forwardly placed in the Remsen, but other than the first two finishers, Court Vision was the ONLY horse doing anything at the end of the race.He trailed a slow pace, began his drive on the turn for home moving 7 wide and finishing evenly. A horse doesn't have to win a prep, but, a horse needs to run well and move forward to its next prep, THATS what prep races are designed for, and with that in mind, the F.O.Y served its purpose well for Court Vision. Now, let me back up to the Remsen(click the link below)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLBtEnJtGCs

    Court Vision had a trip from hell, but displayed toughness and determination in winning that race. He has ALREADY experienced from that race alone what most of these Derby prospects haven't...and wont until Derby day, that is: SEVERE shoving and bumping, COMPLETELY bottled up in traffic. An average horse would have quit, but, Court Vision bullied his way thru and then closed relentlessly to make up 4 lengths to win. The ultimate goal is still 2 months away, but, barring any injury, i am sticking with Court Vision. I dont know if he will have one more or two more preps, but, one thing i do know, his trainer, Bill Mott, will have this horse primed for a peak effort on Derby Day.......trackman

     
  • At 2:57 PM, Blogger Trackman said…

    After watching Court Vision win the Remsen Stakes as a 2 yr old last year, i announced to a good friend that Court Vision was the horse i would be following on the '08 Derby Trail. I was eagearly awaiting
    for his return in the F.O.Y and although i knew he wasnt going to be fully cranked, i wanted to see something from him....and i did!! Yes, he was last early, which was a surprise, dont know if this was by design or not because he was more forwardly placed in the Remsen, but other than the first two finishers, Court Vision was the ONLY horse doing anything at the end of the race.He trailed a slow pace, began his drive on the turn for home moving 7 wide and finishing evenly. A horse doesn't have to win a prep, but, a horse needs to run well and move forward to its next prep, THATS what prep races are designed for, and with that in mind, the F.O.Y served its purpose well for Court Vision. Now, let me back up to the Remsen(click the link below)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cLBtEnJtGCs

    Court Vision had a trip from hell, but displayed toughness and determination in winning that race. He has ALREADY experienced from that race alone what most of these Derby prospects haven't...and wont until Derby day, that is: SEVERE shoving and bumping, COMPLETELY bottled up in traffic. An average horse would have quit, but, Court Vision bullied his way thru and then closed relentlessly to make up 4 lengths to win. The ultimate goal is still 2 months away, but, barring any injury, i am sticking with Court Vision. I dont know if he will have one more or two more preps, but, one thing i do know, his trainer, Bill Mott, will have this horse primed for a peak effort on Derby Day.......trackman

     
  • At 6:47 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Ladies day is usually the biggest day of the Royal Ascot and Cheltenham Gold Cup meetings in the UK, I think is also very big during the Aussie Spring Carnaval, so why not try it for the BC? It's better then doing nothing and the sport dying a slow death.

     
  • At 3:03 PM, Blogger Trackman said…

    As fans and followers of thoroughbred racing, we are well aware that fillies and colts are kept separated, the girls (fillies) race against their own sex, and the boys (colts) do the same. Rarely, if ever will a filly race against the boys, and if she does, its usually at the highest level. Now the Breeders Cup has separated them even further.......24 hours further. These animals will still race against their own sex, but, they now have to do it on separate days., Friday Oct 24th for the girls, Saturday Oct 25th for the boys. The LADIES CLASSIC????...What's this, a new race?? No, im told its a name change. Okay, but why wasnt' the change tied in to reflect the original name of the race? Why couldn't it simply be re-named "The Breeders Cup DISTAFF CLASSIC? ...We have already had to adjust for change in '07 with the inclusion of new B.C races, now in '08, the onslaught continues with more new races, name change, gender only days. Ladies, i have no issues with "LADIES DAY" as long as the B.C doesnt suggest that females are allowed in on Friday, while the males have to wait until Saturday. I'd like to see a LADIES DAY as it pertains to horses embraced on a local level at the local tracks, maybe tracks all across the country can decide on a day and simultaneaously promote it, but, on the grand stage of the Breeders Cup, leave the traditon alone!!!...Thoroughbred racing is and has been all about tradition, but tradition is slowly being let go, not only at the Breeders Cup, but, it seems its being phased out thru the whole country for that matter, and of course, all for the almighty dollar. What can we do to make more money?..Please don't let the B.C get there hoofs locked around controlling the Kentucky Derby, because im sure in there infamous mercy they would find a "reason" to move it from its traditional spot. What will next years 2009 Breeders Cup, held again at Santa Anita(the surface to be determined) bring? Maybe the Breeders Cup will install a 3rd day........KIDS DAY......yes, only 2 yr olds allowed on Thursday........trackman......

     
  • At 12:05 AM, Anonymous TerriR said…

    I am not in favour of separating the Breeders' Cup races into two days, much less separating the fillies/mares races to a day where there will be little chance for the majority of horse racing fans to watch (Friday).

    I am an avid fan, but, I have a full-time job, and I watch almost exclusively on weekends and holidays.

    Putting the fillies/mares races on a Friday implies that the "Ladies" races are less important than the "Boys" races. The Saturday races will get the most television coverage and higher viewing audience. That sounds like discrimination to me.

    I heard a commentary on the radio the other day that pointed out that Rags to Riches' connections would not be very happy about the fact that most of her fan base would not be able to see her run in the Breeders' Cup "Ladies Classic."

    It seems to me to be quite archaic to assume that a female fan base can be built from women who are housewives who don't also hold down a job, or who are so wealthy that they don't have to work. Most women AND men who are likely to be attracted to horse racing hold down full time jobs.

    If the Breeders' Cup has to be on two days, then let it be on weekend days.

     
  • At 6:35 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    You guys just don't understand it. The Breeders Cup is actually trying to do something to bring a new fan base in. I would say 98% of the population wouldn't have a clue what the word "Distaff" means. Is it so terrible that the Breeders Cup executives are trying to explain the Distaff is the ladies equivalent of the Classic?

     

Post a Comment