WALE OF A WEEKEND
YOU GOT THAT ONE?
It is being called a 'race for the ages",today's MAN O' WAR STAKES (fitting that this race is the event).
At left CURLIN is pumped up and ready for his grass debut against RED ROCKS, BETTER TALK NOW, etc. He's by Canadian-bred Smart Strike, out of a mare by Canadian-bred Silver Deputy.
Below, a columnist compares Curlin's grass debut to Secretariat's grass debut.
(photo, Vanessa Ng, www.horse-races.net)
PRINCE OF WALES STAKES - FORT ERIE
Tomorrow, 4:49 p.m.
FROM THE WEATHER NETWORK..Fort Erie..
"From Saturday Afternoon to Sunday Morning we expect close to 20 mm of rain"
NOT BOURBON went for a spin on the Fort Erie main track yesterday (he shipped down Thursday as reported in Daily Racing Form) with Jono Jones up and Roger Attfield, his trainer watching.
All signs point to the flashy chestnut to simply be the boss tomorrow in the 1 3/16 mile race - unless HARLEM ROCKER can bounce back to his previous undefeated magic.
Harlem Rocker is reportedly not due to arrive at hot and sticky Fort Erie until later today.
But track condition could surely throw a wrench into anything (see yesterday's post on wet track breeding for 'Wales contenders) as there is a lot of rain expected today and through the night.
By 5 tomorrow, perhaps the main track will have dried out.
Trainer MIKE DEPAULO said yesterday that he doubts anyone will be able to keep up with PRONGER (Stormin Fever) in the early stages of the race. The recent maiden winner has Fort Erie jockey CHAD BECKON on board, surely a thrill for that young man.
PEWTER is fast but perhaps they will let Pronger go to the lead by himself, with Not Bourbon and the Rocker close by.
PRESS NOTES: There are press notes out and about regarding the Prince of Wales but statistics provided by the track only regard the Prince of Wales as being run since 1959.
Thus ROGER ATTFIELD, a 5-time 'Wales winner is not the record holder for the most Wales wins.
PETE MCCANN, who trained for Windfields Farm won in 1951, 52, 54 before 59 with New Providence. He later added 3 more Wales wins.
Often tracks will only do statistics for big races for a certain number of recent years due to availability on information, etc.
But the first Wales was run in 1929 (see yesterday's post for more Wales info)
P.P. Horse Jockey Trainer Odds
1 Deputiformer Jerry Baird Mike DePaulo 4-1
2 Pronger Chad Beckon Mike DePaulo 20-1
3 Took the Time Patrick Husbands Mark Casse 8-1
4 Harlem Rocker Eibar Coa Todd Pletcher2-1
5 East End Tap Elvis Trujillo Reade Baker 20-1
6 Pewter Richard Dos Ramos James Bond 20-1
7 Not Bourbon Jono Jones Roger Attfield 7-5
8 Sebastian's Song David Clark Alec Fehr 20-1
HAPPY HANDICAPPER TALKS 'WALES'
(and New York Derby)
By RobertJ. Summers
Fast times could mean fast money
Racetrackers love trite expressions. Some are true. Some are, well, just things people say.
“Time only counts when you’re in jail” is one of the Happy Handicapper’s favorites. Only he doesn’t necessarily believe it.
In recent years, he’s learned to rely on another old saying: “Fast horses work fast.”
Which brings up this weekend’s major handicapping challenges — today’s New York Derby at Finger Lakes and Sunday’s Prince of Wales Stakes at Fort Erie.
The H. H. thinks both of these races can be solved by studying the speed of the workouts of the leading contenders.
Take a look at the past performances of the Derby, a $150,000 race at 1 1/16 miles that has attracted six New Yorkbred 3-year-olds.
The probable favorite is No. 3 Tin Cup Chalice, an undefeated (5 for 5) gelding that has never raced farther than 7 furlongs. Since his last race June 22, trainer Michael Lecesse has breezed him just once, at 5 furlongs in a so-so 1:01 2/5.
Now consider the No. 1 horse, Almighty Silver. He’s already won twice at today’s distance and since his last race June 1, trainer Charlton Baker has drilled him pretty strongly.
He worked twice over the Belmont Park training track and, in a nice final sharpener, breezed a half-mile at Finger Lakes in 48 seconds flat.
That time — equal to 24 seconds per quarter mile or 12 seconds per furlong (eighth of a mile) — is what is called “racehorse time.” This colt looks like he is ready to go and will get the
H. H.’s money this afternoon. Shift to Fort Erie for Sunday’s $500,000 Prince of Wales Stakes, Canada’s version of the Preakness at 1 3/16 miles.
Eight Canadian-bred 3-yearolds are running but only three show workouts in such fast times.
First is Deputiformer, the second-richest ($272,720) horse in the Prince of Wales after favored Not Bourbon ($961,160).
Deputiformer (No. 1) has had only one workout since the June 22 Queen’s Plate, but it was a dandy — 5 furlongs over the Woodbine dirt training track in 59 3/5 last Monday.
The time could indicate that Deputiformer is on his toes and ready to do battle again. Don’t forget, he made a nice move on the last turn and led the Plate after a mile.
Pewter (No. 6), a surprise entrant from Saratoga-based trainer H. James Bond, worked a half mile over the Spa’s training track — a deep, tiring surface nicknamed “Oklahoma” — in 48 seconds on June 26.
This work earned a “bullet” for being the fastest of the 70 half-mile workouts recorded that day. Think about that for a second. The best at Saratoga.
Six days later, on July 2, Bond sent the gelding a mile over the Saratoga main track in a pedestrian 1:43 3/5. But last Monday, Bond cranked him up again on the main track for another bullet — 5 furlongs in a minute flat.
Pewter may be 20-1 on the morning line, but heed what Bond told Daryl Wells Jr., the Fort’s publicity director: “He worked very, very well and did everything the right way.”
But the most impressive workout times and performances of the Prince of Wales field belong to the favorite, Not Bourbon (No. 7).
On July 2, 10 days after his Plate victory, trainer Roger Attfield watched him breeze 5 furlongs over the Woodbine training track in 59 1/5. Then last Wednesday morning Not Bourbon breezed again in 47 1/5 seconds.
That was the fastest of 37 at the distance and surface that day and the move was reminiscent of the zippy 46 3/5 half-mile Attfield put into the colt four days before the Plate.
“This horse thrives on work,” Attfield said in his post-Plate news conference. “. . . He loves to train and those kind of horses, I will work them. . . . This horse will gallop horses to death.”
Wednesday’s work also made Not Bourbon the only Prince of Wales horse to have two fast workouts since the Plate.
Later in the day, the H. H. asked Attfield why he so often drilled Not Bourbon in “racehorse time.”
His answer will send the Handicapper to the window to bet Not Bourbon. “He’s a racehorse,” Attfield said. “That’s why.”
YESTERDAY AT WOODBINE
PICK 7 NOT HIT AGAIN - CARRYOVER TODAY HITS $62,000
There seems to be a bit of a speed-oriented taste to races at Woodbine these days...not every race is won by a front runner but there is not a lot of movement in the stretch run.
RACE 1- GREENBACKHASVALUE kickd off the day at 4 to 1 with a fornt running score and 3 to 5 shot Smartest Anna was not in the top three and did not look too happy coming back to unsaddle.
Stanley Baresich owns and trains the Kentucky bred by Yankee Gentleman.
RACE 2 - off the turn maiden allowance but a weak, weak field. SIR ADIE, longshot shot ont he board at 9 to 2, led all the way through 9 furlongs for Stephen Pilpott, owner/trainer and won in his 2nd career start. red-hot sire TRAJECTORY is the sire and Hoofprintonmyhart (Storm Boot) is the mare.
RACE 3- CARN BREA was certainly the biggest tip of the day, everyone loved her and she figured to be off at low odds. But 7 to 5!! Wow, she won the mainde claimer, handily for Kelynack Stable and trainer Robert Rose. She is by Tethra out of Julie's Witt.
RACE 4- HOME RUCKUS scored in front running fashion for V and B Stable. The chestnut looked super-good on post parade and he battled early in the maiden race for $12,500 at 1 1/16 miles and then edged clear. His dam Buckys Red Ruckus is out of trainer Tino Attard's champion Buckys Solution.
PARADISE CAT finally won - RACE 5. She had a lot of races this year and was close 2nds in her last 2. Yesterday the track worked in her favour as she went to the front and led all the way for Albert Bozzo and trainer Andrew Smith. She is an Ontario bred by Pergiee Moon and she paid a nice 5 to 1.
If you were in the paddock for RACE 6 (and didn't know the past performance lines) you would have fallen in love with the big moose of a filly PLEASANT AMELIA.
The jet-black amazon looked like a champion next to her rivals and while she had not won in 2 years, the switch to Polytrack for the allowance miss, was the ticket. She stayed close to the slow pace and made an early, wide move to the lead at the quarter-pole under Corey Fraser. She drew off and looked super for Augustin Stables and Mac Benson. She is by Pleasant Tap.
The split of that allowance race (originally scheduled for grass) was RACE 7 and it was instead, 1 mile and 70 yards like the split.
It was also faster than Amelia's race.
ONE QUIET CAT bucked the speed trend of the day and rallied from last to win in 1:41.82, (1:42.53 was the time of the other split). The Cateinus mare had won on grass earlier this year for Ben Hutzel, Sylon and Mike DePaulo, who also trains.
Steve Asmussen borrowed CHANGEING LOVER for a race. The Changeintheweather gelding debuted for Audre Cappuccitti a couple of weeks back, was claimed by Asmussen, and then won his maiden yesterday in fast time (1:10.82). Cappuccitti claimed him back. Nice tidy sum for Asmussen and company.
RACE 9 - Intrepid Inspector was a bit of a surprise only because his last running line was awful - but then again, he reared at the start and was eventully pulled up; before that he was 3rd for $12,500 (yesterday's level) against maidens and voila, he was always within 2 lengths of the lead and powered to a 9 to 1 score for Colebrook Farms.
The 3yo is by Valid N Bold out of the good winner Miss Clouseau.
WANNA TRY THE PICK 7 TODAY?
$13,000 was bet into it yesterday, surely more will be in today as it is a weekend.
The pair of stakes today are on the grass, which could have a bit of give to it. The fields are not very strong for the money offered with the Dance Smartly field being quite disappointing.
RACE 4 - turf? not sure it will stay on. it is 1 1/4 miles with a small field and CAPTAIN MARK will be well bet but is a question at the distance. Perhaps SIMMARD is the play.
RACE 5- MAIDEN'S FOR $16,000 and there is the big class dropper GLORIOUS ARIA from the rail who looks interesting and GOLD SPINNER, who ran like a drunk horse last time, has to be considered.
RACE 6- DANCE SMARTLY STAKES, turf may be a bit on the good side which helps TELL IT AS IT IS who is thriving right now. QUIET JUNGLE is due.
RACE 7- tricky race for 3yo fillies for $20,000. DUNRAVEN looks good, MOONSTRIKER had trouble last time.
RACE 8 - lovely field of NON WINNERS 1 'other than' and YUMMY WITH BUTTER will be odds on and wil have to hurry. HOME FOR HARLAN can bounce back.
RACE 9 - TORONTO CUP STAKES, 3yo's turf. MARLANG just won a stakem has to go farther. Find the Wire could be this good. Secret Getaway has little grass breeding but could be any kind.
RACE 10 - UGH, wrap the bet up with maiden $12,500, big field. LONG HAIR JENNY should have won her maiden eons ago. PERFECT MATCH may get the barn off the scheid.
EXCERPT: JOE JONES
Curlin set to make turf debut
Bucks County Courier Times
Curlin will try to make a statement today when he takes on some tough hombres in the $500,000 Man O' War Stakes at Belmont Park.
The defending Horse of the Year will make his turf debut and is being pointed toward the Prix de l'Arc de Triomphe in Paris in October. A win there would definitely put Curlin in the pantheon of all-time greats in the sport.
No American champion has ever crossed the Atlantic and won the most prestigious race in Europe. Few have even tried.
Secretariat's demolition of his competition in the 1973 Canadian International at Woodbine Racetrack in Toronto on a raw and wet day in October to close out his career is probably the greatest such endeavor by a champion dirt horse on the grass. But then, Secretariat is probably the greatest horse that ever lived.
It is a near lock that Curlin will become the richest thoroughbred in North American history, but no matter what he does, he will not eclipse Secretariat.