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Sunday, March 08, 2009


Another Kentucky Derby monster..
I WANT REVENGE - 113 Beyer


(some files from ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Running for the first time on a synthetic surface, the Brazilian-bred EINSTEIN turned in a virtually picture-perfect performance to win Saturday's $1 million Santa Anita Handicap.
Benefitting from stalking a slow pace in the classic event, Einstein held off a big run from the closers who were handcuffed by the dawdling pace, CHAMPS ELYSEE and COURT VISION were two of those, to win for trainer Helen Pitts-Blasi.
Pitts-Blasi, who trained Curlin before he went on to glory, became the first woman to win the prestigious Big Cap.
"He's a good horse on the turf. He's a good horse on the dirt. He's a good horse on anything," jockey Julien Leparoux said. "We didn't really know about this track, but we were pretty sure he as going to handle it.
"And he did."
Helen Pitts-Blasi, Einstein's trainer, said, "He rode him beautifully. It's an unbelievable feeling, just means the world to me. Einstein was very comfortable with this track from the time he got here."
The 7-year-old son of 1985 Kentucky Derby champion Spend a Buck held off Champs Elysees down the stretch to win by one length. Pacesetter Matto Mondo finished third, another neck behind.
Einstein, who had won on both dirt and grass in his 23 previous races, carried high weight of 121 pounds and covered the 1 1/4 miles in 2:01.93.
His Beyer Figure was 100.
The Santa Anita main track woes continued however. BLUE EXIT, a promising Pulpit colt owned by Canadians Jim and Susan Hill and Harlequin Ranches along with the Blue Exit partnership, broke down on the backstrtech and was put down after the race.

With probable favorite Colonel John scratched from the Big 'Cap,' Einstein went off at 5-1 in the wide-open, 13-horse field. The winner paid $12, $7 and $4.60. Champs Elysees returned $19.40 and $11.60, and Matto Mondo paid $5.20.

Leparoux had Einstein relaxed and in good position in the early going, keeping him third or fourth behind the front-running Matto Mondo before urging him into the lead early in the stretch.

Striding easily, Einstein gamely held off Champs Elyees.

"The winner had a real good trip," said Jose Valdivia Jr., who rode Champs Elysees. "Even though I had a great trip, I think if the pace had been a little hotter, we would have had a better chance at the end.

From Mary Forney's Blog... a tribute to BLUE EXIT


One won, the other didn't, in teeny weeny photo finishes in Grade 1 races yesterday at Santa Anita.And both possibly could have won by a clear margin had it not been for downright awful journeys.

Giving away 4 to 7 paths on the last turn of a 2 turn race when trying to make a rally does not usually work but when the horse is exceptional, then it could work.

STARDOM BOUND (Tapit) is always exciting because she is slow early and then rallies.
But she is not fast, overall, and even though it was a thrilling score with the bad trip, her 87 BEYER SPEED FIGURE does not put her anywhere in range of the colts headed to the Kentucky Derby in 2 months.

"It seemed like she got lost out there early," rider Mike Smith said. "We had a terrible trip. When I moved out with her turning for home, everybody else went out at the same time and we got caught really wide.

"At the wire, though, she put her ears up. Maybe this is the kind of race she needed."

Part owner Mike Iavarone, asked if the Santa Anita Derby might be next for Stardom Bound, said, "I think she worked pretty hard today against the girls. She's going to have to really prove herself to handle horses like Pioneer of the Nile.

Track announcer Trevor Denman somehow knew VENTURA had been beaten by the boys by a tiny nose in the Frank Kilroe Mile later in the card.

The mare, 2nd in the Woodbine Mile last year, made her move to the lead in early stretch but was nabbed late - she too made a full throttle while widest move and that cost her.
GIO PONTI (Tale of the Cat) was the 5 to 1 winner.


Wow, a bunch of smacks with the whip and I WANT REVENGE left Mr. Fantasy in his dust in the Gotham Mile yesterday and posted a 113 Beyer Figure, the same as Quality Road's Beyer when he won the Fountain of Youth last weekend.

The pace in this race was slow and the winner, a homebred for David Lanzman (a $95,000 buy-back at auction) dueled with Mr. Fantasy to the top of the stretch before turning on the jets.This colt, by Stephen Got Even out of an Argentine family and a mare by Roy, had been chasing Pioneer of the Nile in California recently.

He has to be considered a top Derby candidate now based on his apparent love for real dirt.
Jockey Joe Talamo said: "I had so much horse the whole way around. Me and Alan (Garcia aboard Mr. Fantasy) were going pretty slow, but at the 1/4 pole, my horse just took off. There is no comparison between real dirt and synthetic – he really took to it. I had so much horse, I was smiling once he inherited the lead. Just an unbelievable animal. When we went past the 3/16 pole, I was smiling. We'll be back in four weeks. (Wood Memorial)"

Champion, a Canadian-bred and a Canadian-trained gal

At Oaklawn today for the Grade 3 Azeri Stajes, Canadian champion BEAR NOW, sold by Bear Stables last fall, is meeting Canadian-bred 4yo Maren's Meadow and Josie Carroll trainee SMART SURPRISE in the 1 1/16 mile race.
Sunday, Oaklawn Park, post time: 5:11 p.m. CDT

AZERI S.-GIII, $150,000, 4yo/up, f/m, 1 1/16m

1 Acoma Empire Maker Carroll 2-1
2 Devil House Chester House Whiting 8-1
3 Bear Now Tiznow Stall Jr. 5-2
4 Smart Surprise Smart Strike Carroll 3-1
5 French Kiss Hussonet Hartlage 10-1
6 Color Me Up Aptitude Lukas 12-1
7 Initforthekandy Kandaly Talley 12-1
8 Maren’s Meadow Meadowlake Jones 10-1

Virgina-bred wins by Daylight

DAYLIGHT EXPRESS, bred by Edward Evans in Virginia, was up to win the Sandy Lane Gold Cup at Garrison Savannah yesterday in Barbados.The Seeking Daylight colt was ridden by Anderson Ward.
Woodbine jockey JONO JONES was unplaced aboard PURE TEMPTATION.

SANDY LANE BARBADOS GOLD CUP S.-Listed,Bds$210,375, Garrison Savannah, 3-7, 3yo/up,1800mT, 1:51.20, gd/fm.


1--DAYLIGHT EXPRESS, 125, c, 4, Seeking Daylight--Ransom Dance, by Red Ransom. ($1,000 yrl >06FTMOCT). O-Lord Michael Taylor-Clifton Racing;B-E P Evans (VA); T-R Peirce; J-A Ward; Bds$120,375.Lifetime Record: 11-6-2-0. *1/2 to Hidden Ransom(Silver Ghost), MSW, $182,307; Diamond Spirit (HolyBull), MGSP, $173,292; and Ghost Dancing (SilverGhost), SW, $163,897. Werk Nick Rating: B.Click for the eNicks report and 5-cross pedigree.
2--Bouncebak (Bar), 117, m, 5, Janak--Rebound (Bar),by Boomerang (Fr). Bds$40,000.
3--Preach To Me, 125, c, 4, Pulpit--Tajannub, by DixielandBand. ($235,000 wnlg >05 KEENOV; $35,0002yo >07 OBSMAR). Bds$20,000.



on Coincidence, commerce, tragedy

Bill Dwyre
March 8, 2009

Like the floor surrounding a giant Christmas tree, the Santa Anita Handicap had something for everybody Saturday.

There was history made.

The winning horse, a brainy Brazilian-bred named Einstein, gave the 72nd running of the race its first winning female trainer. Helen Pitts-Blasi, at 34 a relative newcomer, brought her 7-year-old turf specialist from the East because she liked Santa Anita's synthetic surface.

"I wanted to see if he could become one of the first to win graded stakes races on three surfaces (grass, dirt and synthetics)," she said.
And so he did, finishing in front by a length with a strong stretch drive under jockey Julien Leparoux.
"Julien couldn't have ridden him better," Pitts-Blasi said.
There was coincidence.

On the same synthetic surface that never seemed to feel quite right for the two-time horse of the year, Curlin, when he made his quest last fall to win the Breeders' Cup Classic at Santa Anita and failed, Pitts-Blasi's second-best horse won nicely.

Her best horse had been Curlin, whom she had nursed to health and trained to the day he broke his maiden early in 2007 at Gulfstream Park. When he won by more than 12 lengths that day, the wealthy suitors came calling and Curlin was soon owned in the majority by Jess Jackson of Kendall-Jackson Winery.
More coincidence.

Back in February of '07, Pitts-Blasi was somewhat more willing to open her stable to the Jackson bid because Jackson's trainer, Steve Asmussen, is assisted by Scott Blasi, whose brother, Greg, is Helen's husband.
And more coincidence.

The owners of Einstein are lawyers Bill Gallion and Shirley Cunningham Jr. of Lexington and Midnight Cry Stables, who sold the majority of Curlin to Jackson and are currently involved in a court case over how much their portion of Curlin is worth.


  • At 2:02 PM, Blogger Amateurcapper said…

    RE: "The Santa Anita main track woes continued however."
    I recently read that the track had not had any racing related fatalities since the rash to begin the meeting.

    In the Kilroe, VENTURA beat herself. Once she hit the front she started getting in, looking around, and lost all momentum. That's four losses in two turn miles on the turf. I think she stays around one turn the rest of her career, possibly a repeat of her G.1 Just A Game on turf, culminating in another BC F&M Sprint win.

  • At 8:35 PM, Blogger Jen Morrison said…

    Hi A/c

    thanks for the note...
    interesting about Ventura...a hanger perhaps!??
    The lovely Canadian filly Glorisouly broke her leg while winning late in a race on Feb 14 - that is at least one major one i remember off the top of my head.
    They write that for sure - certainly they don't want bad press.
    There have been lots, and lots.

  • At 7:44 AM, Blogger sarah said…

    I have to agree with Jen. I've been watching Santa Anita for many years and I don't recall this many fatalities. I did see the article that Amaturecapper is referring to, but I believe this only discusses main track injuries only; the stats do not factor in the turf course. But when you add those 2 together, the numbers are quite high. Furthermore, from what I understand, those those stats do not tend to include horses who were not immediately euthanized. Horses that were injured and then taken back to be evaluated but eventually euthanized hours or days later (like Indyanne) aren't always factored in to those status either. And Gloriously's death wasn't publicly reported. I found out about it from "unofficial" channels.

    2009 has already been a very bad year for racing accidents. We can only hope this trend does not continue. As a 20+ year racing fan you would think that you'd harden to those things but you never do, and you never should. Blue Exit's death has hit pretty hard.


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