Sunday, December 19, 2010

Junior Big A Alvarado

Over the past few years, Arlington's races haven't always been scintilatinig affairs with Calabrese and Catalano stacking the deck for their respective told-you-so titles. Playing the claim game mercilessly, buying for 10 dropping to 5, etc. etc. But one thing that has been really fun to watch has been the emergence of Junior Alvarado.

I was watching a 2YO race at Aqueduct today, trying to avoid christmas shopping. It was a two turn race, the course was playing fast. He was on the second choice from the hot Violette barn (It was race 3). Jeremy Rose was on the first choice. Neither made the lead, but Rose kept moving his horse forward, ensuring the race wouldn't be stolen maybe. Alvarado often got penned in, as jocks were thrusting their horses to the inside and outside of him, he sat chilly. He wouldn't get first go at the leader around the turn but he would have horse under him and a clear lane three wide. In the stretch he pounced with a little urging. But his 2YO didn't want to decimate the slowing horse along the rail. So Junior gave him a slight tap as a reminder then went back to a steady hand on the reins. It was perfect.

Maybe it was watching the Edgar Futurity last week that's made me sensitive to the way jocks ride 2YOs. The power and the aggression are there in both human and equine athletes; how smart you are in channeling it makes all the difference. Easy said, but watch the replay to see how it's done.

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