Thursday, July 2, 2009


Heading to the oval for the fireworks tomorrow. Hopefully it brings out the nice suburban families and they swell the pools, which funds my fourth brisket. And if not, I'll be in the parking lot with a siphon in mouth trying to score some gas to get back home.

Southern Anthem is prolly the most exciting horse on the card, losing to local hero Giant Oak last out. He'll try 8 and a half furlongs in weak allowance company and will pray for some speed to close into. There are some interesting claiming races from a handicappin perspective, especially in race four -- the fourth. Hmmm. Here we go.

Race 3 18k Claiming F/M, 6f Main
This is one of those Groundhog Day claiming rematches. I swear they collude and send up a new winnner from the same field every time. Just can't figure the rotation.

It's silly to look too hard at breeding at this level, but Sky Mesa has a daughter in the frey, SkyNMighty who clipped home nicely last out giving trainer Hugh Robertson the 1-2 exacta with Sassy Shore Breeze on her heels. This race shortens up a half furlong but more speed is in play with Oil Money's Dream entered. Gentle Lana closed well last out with Razo hugging the rail. I can't imagine a better trip for her with less ground to cover, but she could improve; she has before. I'll be watching the tote closely to see what kind of value I can get with those horses, but with all things equal I see the following finish. Note: Watch SkyNMighty in the paddock -- this fiery filly has a tendency to act up.

(focuses her energy)
Sassy Shore Breeze
Gentle Lana

Race 4 10k Claiming 6f Main

Here we have a handicappin quandry. Go Bucky Go looking to make it 4 in a row drops from a 25k in which he romped, to this modest level. Dale Bennet claimed him for 14k then moved him up to 25k and now down to 10k -- with about a month between his last 3 races. So what happened here? Works are sterling. Either Go Bucky has gone south or they're going for the high churn. BRIS actually has a stat for "Alarming Class Drop" and Bennet has done it 4 times this year, winning half. So this seems a plausible explanation. Sometimes you see a trainer pick up a 10k horse then drop to the nickels to pick up a low-hung purse and some claim money -- Catalano and Reavis do this well. Could be the case here, but still a headscratcher. We'll see what the tote's verdict is.

Though the versatile son of Elusive Quality drops alarmingly, this is one of the toughest 10ks I've ever seen with more than half the field hitting above 90 in their last out. Erdiston from Calabrese/Canani (related to Julio???) will joust on the tote with Bucky. Jaygar Dancer could merit some looks and Maddys Bobcat and Red River Aggie are all in good form, and the front end will be pounding with Pickinupbits and Rocket Rodd set to square off.

I'm looking for a dogfight between Erdiston and Go Bucky. Jockeys Emigh vs. Baird. Baird rode with "ice in his veins" according to John Dooley last out, waiting for a slice of daylight along the rail. Emigh got Bucky bucking early in the 5 and a half furlong sprint in last. My guess is that Bucky will assert his class and Jaygar Dancer closes out the frame.

Go Bucky Go
Jaygar Dancer

Race 5 FM S Alw31500n1x

Here's a nice soft allowance for the ladies. I've cultivated a tepid love affair with Heart Thief -- yeah, I'm one of those you see with the tissues on Maury Povich who people now conclude get what they deserve for fear of seeming an enabler. But, as I said, tepid; this filly could use some gate training, off slowly in all her races I think the jocks are told to go easy on her in the backstretch then let her roll. Hopefully that's what she does, but pay attention to what speed has been doing in the previous races.

There's a coupled entry in here that should be called Value Thief: City Royale and Wildwood Meadow from the Becker barn. No price to be had with this field, so you'll just have to pick the winner and reward yourself with the notion that you're a smart feller or lass. Holly at Law should complete the frame as she usually does.

Heart Thief
Wildwood Meadow
Holly At Law

Race 6 Maiden Claiming 30k 6.5f Main
Another auspicious claiming race oozing with class. Trainer Wayne Catalano squares off against a Calabrese/Miller horse. Calabrese took his horses from Catalano over the winter and now splits them between trainers Canani and Miller, but Catalano still posts a win record north of 30%. Who knows what inner squabbles precipitated this, but Calabrese lacked class in his dismissal. So I'm looking for the Catman to beat up on him. West Web, a former Barclay Tagg charge fills that role for the Catman and Palace Tenor for Calabrese. West Web has been on the bench for over a year, and Palace Tenor has had some trip trouble. But they may be vying for the coins at the bottom of this purse thanks to Lumen, sent to the gate by Hector Magana who got this horse from the powerful Mott barn and tries the polyexperiment.

West Web
Palace Tenor

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