Sunday, February 14, 2010

Horse Racing Medley

In the world of racing, today there are so many interesting things to talk about. You have the controversial subject of the Santa Margarita Handicap going from a handicap to a stakes, to make sure Zenyatta does not have to much weight to carry, you have some thriller races yesterday that need recapping, Dublin's chances in the Southwest, and a Cuvee Uncorked update. All of these topics seem like excellent potential blogs, so instead of just choosing one I decided to dabble in them all.

The first thing I would like to touch on is the Santa Margarita potentially changing to a stakes. I'm sorry to be so blunt, but really Santa Anita? First you toss away Lady's Secret like she's some dirty dish towel to make a race for Zenyatta, and now you want to do this? C'mon! Great horses of the past like Man o War, Damascus, Dr. Fager, Ta Wee, Forego, and even the Iron Lady herself became great, not only because of their wins, but because of the imposts the toted to victory on a regular basis! Zenyatta is 17.2 hands tall and weighs over 1250lbs, she does not need to be babied. Let her further extend her legacy and greatness by allowing her blow away her opponents while giving away weight.

Ok, now that I've gotten my daily rant out of the way, lets switch gears from future to past, and look over some of yesterdays Derby preps. Let us start off with Rule, who absolutely blew away his opponents yesterday, with an ultra impressive run in the Sam F. Davis. He made every pole a winning one, repelling Schoolyard Dreams in the stretch to draw off to score by three lengths. He is not the flashiest colt on the trail, but he is consistent and just keeps on winning.

Now lets head across the country for the Robert Lewis. Caracortado was very impressive, extending his unbeaten streak to 5-5. The win and the manner in which he won will likely sky rocket him to the top of many Derby Top Ten lists. This was an interesting race because the two heavy favorites, American Lion and Tiz Chrome were both well beaten, with American Lion finishing third and Tiz Chrome fourth. It is true, their performances were disappointing, but there are quite a few things that could've contributed to their loss. One, a long 2 month layoff could've left them a little short for their first time around two turns. Second, the track bias, which works against front runners. All day long you saw horses on the pace tire, while closers ruled the day. The third and final thing, is that they just didn't take to the surface. Pro-Ride plays like turf, and both horses last raced and won over the Hollywood Park strip, which plays like dirt. Any of these factors or combination of them, could've caused the poor showings, which is why I am willing to give these colts a second chance.

Switching gears again, we look ahead to a couple of stakes on Monday, which include the Southwest and the Barbara Fritchie. Dublin is the headliner in the Southwest, even though he threw in two clunkers in the Champagne and Iroquois Stakes. He did have an excuse, when it was found that he had been running with an entrapped epiglottis. After having a surgery to repair the problem, the colt has been working up a storm in preparation for his return in the Southwest. His task will not be easy, for he has nine opponents to dispose of, three coming off top performances in California. Conveyance, Domination, and Cardiff Giant are using this race to test their affinity for a conventional dirt surface, so it should be interesting race, that could very well change the whole Derby picture.

Now onto our last subject, a little Cuvee Uncorked update. In her last start she finished a dull third in the What A Summer Stakes, which was to be used as a prep for Monday's Barbara Fritchie. Cuvee Uncorked has her work cut out for her, as she will be facing the two horses that beat her in her last, Royal Michele and Sweet Goodbye. Cuvee Uncorked seems to be better prepared for this start, firing two bullet works in preparation for this start. However this is a solid field and will test the gritty filly to the limit. It should be interesting to see how much she has improved off her last start.


  1. I agree with you on the Santa Margarita issue. I mean Zenyatta has won carrying 129 pounds, is 130 that much harder? Come on, she's a monster. She can win with heavy weight.

    I'm interested to see Dublin run on Monday. It'll be nice if he can reclaim his form from last summer.

    What did you think of Blind Luck's race? I felt she took a page out of Zenyatta's book, the race reminded me of the '09 Clement Hirsch.

  2. Hey Jasmine,

    I'm being quiet about it, but I think the Dublin of old will come out and trounce these horses in the Southwest.

    On BL, it was a good prep and a good first race back. If I were her connections I'd find a prep or two on dirt to see if she can close that way on a conventional dirt track, since her victory may have been aided by the bias for closers that Pro-Ride has.

  3. The Blind Luck people say she will be better on dirt...she won once last year. Cuvee Uncorked is in a nice spot tomorrow, I like her chances in the big field...hoping for some odds.

  4. Completely agree with your Santa Margarita analysis. Curlin won with 132 pounds in his 2008 debut, there's no reason for Santa Anita to wait on Zenyatta hand and foot other than the fact that she is desperately popular there and the officials want to do everything possible to keep attracting her back.
    I'm glad to see not everyone has jumped off the Dublin bandwagon. I haven't lost faith in him yet, when someone like D. Wayne Lukas speaks I listen, I expect him to win the Southwest like his old self or better.
    Caracotado has totally grown on me. The pictures he got captured in when winning the Lewis reminded me of how Phar Lap looks in his photos. Not that I'm comparing him to that great one, but I love his physical appearance and bearing.