Sunday, June 21, 2009

Way to go Fort Prado!

Time vanishes in the summer. I wanted to post my picks for the Prairie State Festival this year, but I was too busy eating cheeseburgers and staring at odd cloud formations. Next thing I know it's sunny, boggy and time to hit the train for AP.

The big story is Fort Prado. An 8YO that ran down his fourth Black Tie Affair, beating a Chester House horse topped with Calvin Borel. If anyone watched Yeats notch his 4th consecutive Gold Cup at Ascot, well this is the Chicago version. A week of four-peating hard-knock horses. Many thought the gray millionaire was slipping. He'd lost 16 in a row, and the connections were trying any sort of distance and surface to wake him up. They kept him running though, so big props to them. The wire came at just the right time for Fort Prado and Eddie Perez. For Block this was his 2nd win of the day, his other breadwinner, Apple Martini (sister of Giant Oak), won despite holding a jockey who didn't know where the finish line was. AP uses a shorter finish for the 1 1/16th, and the race moved to the main, so perhaps Razo should be forgiven. The photo went in his favor. He edged Emigh atop a Janks horse. Both Janks and Block had good days and Williams had a 1-2 finish. Hopefully they'll take the blinks off Agnostic next out, if he can relax he won't get collared. And I don't miss my exacta.

River Bear was the big surprise getting a stakes nod after a 35k claiming race, going off at about 25-1. Thorton rode superbly. Rusty Hellman is more a Hawthorne trainer, it was nice to see him get a handsome check. Speaking of Hawthorne, Bow Tie Pasta showed he can run on the rubber at Arlington, taking the Purple Violet decisively. It seemed beneficial to run off the pace but not too far back. Rene Douglas had a way of making a charge on the outside look easy, but few jockeys can do it without getting into trouble.

It was a successful weekend for me. Fort Prado being the biggest ticket. I'm also enjoying the nice price you can get on Catalano's string. It was unthinkable to get 7-1, even 9-2 on what his barn sent out. But the races are now littered with these tantalizing prices.

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