Sunday, May 26, 2013

Wishing Stone in Gate-to-Wire Effort in Maxie Lee

CHESTER, PA— The sixth edition of the $250,000 Maxie Lee Memorial was one of two Invitationals that headlined the Sunday card at Harrah’s Philadelphia, attracting eight open trotters. The Burke-trained Wishing Stone took the co-feature in a track and stakes-record 1:52 mile.

Wishing Stone, under a hand-drive, winning the Maxie Lee
(Ken Weingartner USTA Photo)
Wishing Stone got the lead, while Uncle Peter settled into second and Sevruga into third. Ice Machine got away fourth and Modern Family behind him fifth. The field was single-file by the quarter in :27.1. Passing the stands, Modern Family was flushed first over by Blacktuxwhitesocks and he managed to flush Sevruga out as cover. Wishing Stone was unpressured and was rated by the half in :56.4 (:29.3).

Sevruga attempted to challenge Wishing Stone in the sprint down the backstretch. Uncle Peter was trotting in the pocket third and Modern Family was on Andy Miller’s helmet, second over in fourth. Wishing Stone held the lead by three-quarters in 1:24.1 (:27.2). He began to kick away from the field approaching the top of the stretch. Modern Family was fanning wide with a bid, but lost ground in that attempt. Uncle Peter tried to gain ground at the inside and Sevruga was making a quick retreat. Wishing Stone opened up his lead to 3 lengths and won in 1:52. Uncle Peter held on for second, Modern Family was third and Sevruga was fourth.

Wishing Stone ($4.40) is a six-year-old horse by Conway Hall, out of the mare Meadowbranch Magic by Valley Victory. He is owned by Cowboyland Aalborg, T L P Stable, Jerry & Theresa Silva Stables and Deo Volente Farms, trained by Ron Burke and Yannick Gingras guided the colt third victory this season.  

Economy Terror Saves Ground to Take Betsy Ross

CHESTER, PA— In her third start at four, Economy Terror sat a pocket trip through fast fractions and slid up the pylons to take the $250,000 Betsy Ross final in 1:51.1 at Harrah’s Philadelphia.

Drop The Ball was wide around the first turn, attempting to clear the lead from Economy Terror. Romantic Moment was wide in third and already had mares following her. Anndrovette was second over and Rocklamation was third over through a :26 first quarter. There was no change in order at the half, timed in :54.1 (:28.1). Romantic Moment faltered down the backstretch, forcing Anndrovette three wide. Rocklamation tracked her move, as did Feeling You in the back of the pack. Royal Cee Cee N began to split horses and weave her way to the far outside. Drop The Ball paced three-quarters in 1:22 (:27.4).
Economy Terror crossing the wire in 1:51.1 in the Betsy Ross
(Ken Weingartner USTA Photo)

Rocklamation took the lead heading down the stretch. Drop The Ball was fading, Anndrovette was attempting to rally and Royal Cee Cee N was pacing fast in the center of the track. Meanwhile, the rail was open for Economy Terror and she slid up the cones to win by three-quarters of a length in 1:51.1 (:29.1).

Economy Terror ($21.80) is a four-year-old mare by Western Terror, out of the mare Mattatonic by Matt’s Scooter. She is owned by Chuck Pompey, Howard Taylor and Ed Gold, trained by Chris Oakes and Matt Kakaley was in the bike. 

Patient Drive for Bolt The Duer Leads to Dan Patch Winners’ Circle

ANDERSON, IN— Saturday night at Hoosier Park showcased the Indiana track’s signature event, the $200,000 Dan Patch Invitational pace, entering its twentieth renewal this year. The race went to the public’s second choice, Bolt The Duer, in 1:49.3.

The pace was set by Up The Credit, with Bolt The Duer getting into his favorite position in the pocket and Fred And Ginger got away third. Hurrikane Kingcole sat in fourth passing the quarter in :26. Up The Credit had no challengers pacing down the backstretch, yet still paced the half in :53.4 (:27.4). Around the turn, Fred And Ginger pulled out of the pocket and Hurrikane Kingcole tracked his cover from fourth. Bolt The Duer was still in the pocket, while Aracache Hanover was gapping his cover being third over. Up The Credit was under pressure from Fred And Ginger at three-quarters in 1:22 (28.1).

Bolt The Duer slingshotting to the victory
in 1:49.3 (Linscott Photography)
Bolt The Duer could leave the pocket, as Hurrikane Kingcole had no pace to offer second over. Widger guided Bolt The Duer to the two-path, preparing to pass Fred And Ginger and Up The Credit. Fred And Ginger gave chase, while Up The Credit retreated the battle. Bolt The Duer had the lead entering the sixteenth pole and secured it by a length and a half in 1:49.3 (:27.3). Fred And Ginger was second, Rockincam was closing to finish third and A Rocknroll Dance was alongside him, but settled for fourth.

Bolt The Duer ($7.60) is a four-year-old horse by Ponder, out of the mare Wonderbolt by Artsplace. He is owned by All Star Racing Inc., trained by Peter Foley and Sam Widger picked up the drive on Bolt, as Mark MacDonald reportedly had issues with transportation to Indiana.   

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Sevruga Takes Photo in Cutler Thriller

EAST RUTHERFORD, NJ— The KDM Stables trotter Sevruga set the fractions for the mile and held off all challengers to take the Cutler in a gate-to-wire 1:51 effort. Guccio finished alongside Wishing Stone in second and Modern Family was with the three on the wire, but got fourth.

Sevruga took the top, with Modern Family tucking into the pocket and Opening Night backing into the three-hole. Sevruga trotted the quarter in :27, at that point Dave Miller sent Undercover Strike first over. Him and Sevruga battled by the half in :55.4 (:28.4), with Modern Family third and Wishing Stone gapping cover in fourth. Sevruga was holding off Undercover Strike, as Wishing Stone tipped three wide and Mister Herbie went four wide.

Sevruga (6) defeats three rivals in Cutler photo (Lisa Photo)
Through three-quarters in 1:22.1 (:26.4), Sevruga kicked to a 2 length lead. Modern Family left the pylons and began to trot down Sevruga. Wishing Stone was coming off cover and Guccio was making up lost ground. Sevruga still had a narrow advantage over Wishing Stone and Guccio was moving up as well, with Modern Family in contention. Sevruga held on to the lead by a nose at the wire, with Guccio and Wishing Stone dead-heating for second and Modern Family finished fourth.

Sevruga ($16.60) is by SJ’s Caviar, out of the mare Stunning Lindsey by Malabar Man. He is owned by KDM Stables Incorporated, trained by Julie Miller and Andy steered the trotter to a 1:51 lifetime mark.

Also on the Cutler card was the $100,000 Meadowlands Maturity for four-year-old pacers, where the Burke-trained Sweet Lou sat off a mild pace to nose-out Warrawee Needy in 1:49.

Hillbilly Hanover took the lead, with Bolt The Duer getting into the pocket and Warrawee Needy was first over in pursuit of the lead through a :27.1 quarter. Warrawee Needy cleared the front past the three-eighths and Hurrikane Kingcole began to chase down the leader. The two were wheel-to-wheel at the half in :54.4 (:27.3). Hurrikane Kingcole cleared the lead into the far turn, Mel Mara was left first over and Sweet Lou was second over.

Hurrikane Kingcole led the field by over a length at three-quarters in 1:21.4 (:27). Warrawee Needy snuck out of the pocket and took over the lead. Sweet Lou fanned off cover, closing hard down the center. Bolt The Duer was showing late pace with Domethatagain, but Warrawee Needy and Sweet Lou hit the wire together in a photo finish that Sweet Lou got in 1:49.

Sweet Lou ($11.20) is by Yankee Cruiser, out of the mare Sweet Future by Falcons Future. He is owned by Burke Racing Stables LLC, Weaver-Bruscemi, Lawrence Karr and Phillip Collura, trained by Ron Burke and Yannick Gingras piloted the four-year-old to a 1:49 victory, a seasonal-mark. 

Friday, May 3, 2013

Kentucky Derby Field Set; 139th Renewal Wide Open Affair

Today is the day marked on every horseman’s calendar around the world, the first Saturday in May is coined for the biggest race in Thoroughbred racing, the Kentucky Derby. The 139th renewal of the Run for the Roses has been scratched down to a field of 19, with Black Onyx scratching out early Friday morning. The also-eligible Fear The Kitten does not draw in, leaving a wide-open event set to go off at 6:30pmEDT. Now, listed below is the preview of the field horse-by-horse as I analyze the horse and their chance of winning. My top 5 selections are listed at the bottom of the column. Good luck to all and enjoy the festivities offered today!

But first, here is the field heading to the gate for the mile-and-a-quarter journey!
Post - Horse / Trainer / Jockey / Odds
1 -- Black Onyx / K. Breen / J. Bravo / 50-1 
2 -- Oxbow / D. Lukas / G. Stevens / 30-1
3 -- Revolutionary / T. Pletcher / C. Borel / 10-1
4 -- Golden Soul / D. Stewart / R. Albarado / 50-1 
5 -- Normandy Invasion / C. Brown / J . Castellano / 12-1 
6 -- Mylute / T. Amoss / R. Napravnik / 15-1 
7 -- Giant Finish / T. Dutrow / J. Espinoza / 50-1
8 -- Goldencents / D. O'Neil / K. Krigger / 5-1 
9 -- Overanalyze / T. Pletcher / R. Bejarano / 15-1 
10 -- Palace Malice / T. Pletcher / M. Smith / 20-1 
11 -- Lines of Battle / A. O'Brien / R. Moore / 30-1 
12 -- Itsmyluckyday / E. Plesa / E. Trujillo / 15-1 
13 -- Falling Sky / J. Terranova II / L. Saez / 50-1 
14 -- Verrazano / T. Pletcher / J. Velazquez / 4-1 
15 -- Charming Kitten / T. Pletcher / E. Prado / 20-1 
16 -- Orb / S. McGaughey / J. Rosario / 7-2 
17 -- Will Take Charge / D. Lukas / J. Court / 20-1
18 -- Frac Daddy / K. McPeek / V. Lebron / 50-1
19 -- Java's War / K. McPeek / J. Leparoux / 15-1 
20 -- Vyjack / R. Rodriguez / G. Gomez / 15-1

1 Black Onyx – SCRATCHED

2 Oxbow – He is coming off an odd effort in the Arkansas Derby, where he did not break well and did not try to get into the race. The fractions in the Arkansas Derby were similar to those in which he stalked the pace. He’ll need to break well in order to be in contention late.

3 Revolutionary – Broke very slowly in the Louisiana Derby, but made up 12 lengths in that race to win off a fast pace. I do not like how he broke out of the gate in the Louisiana Derby, where he dived to the inside and was caught in traffic up until a seem opened. In this race, he will either break fast and have shot to win or try and stalk the pace and end up caught in traffic, since he didn’t draw too well.

4 Golden Soul – An oddball in this field. He has a great closing kick, but only when things work out for him. There has to be a fast pace for him to be in the mix late, which is unlikely.

5 Normandy Invasion – Developed a habit of breaking off the pace. He showed a ton of talent in the Wood Memorial last start, where he got away slow and managed to close off the slow fractions. He’ll need to break a little faster and lead the cavalcade of Derby stalkers around the turn if he wants a chance at the crown.

6 Mylute – Generally a front-runner, trainer Tom Amoss changed his strategy with Mylute, breaking near the back instead of the front. It proved successful, as Mylute was a game second to Revolutionary in the Louisiana Derby. My only fear with this one is the fact that if he breaks slowly, he may be caught in traffic for most of the journey. I see him being under horses in exotics, but not winning.

7 Giant Finish – Not a fan of horses that make the switch from artificial dirt to real in their next start. He raced okay in the Spiral and in a non-graded event at Turfway; not much of a factor today.

8 Goldencents – This horse is tricky to predict what he will do out of the gate. He likes to be close to the leaders, but the fractions he has been in contention with are those unlikely to appear in this Derby. In his last four starts, he has been within 2 lengths of the lead through half-miles timed in sub-:47. He seems to be the only horse in this race that has a ton of speed and can still have something in the tank, although the quality of the Santa Anita Derby can be questioned. If he is near the top through a moderately timed half-mile, he could be in the clear.

9 Overanalyze – Another tricky horse to predict tactics in this field. He can break fast, slow, mid-pack, etc. He could be in the mix for minor honors, but will not be near the winners due to the quality of fields he has competed against.

10 Palace Malice – Could provide value in exotics, but an unlikely contender for win. Seems to need a fairly slow pace, which is not possible in this field (although most speed comes from Goldencents).

11 Lines Of Battle – He won the UAE Derby in Dubai. That’s all he’ll win at the moment.

12 Itsmyluckyday – In a slightly similar situation as Goldencents, he loves to stalk the pace but can close in all certain types of fractions. He took the lead in the Gulfstream Park Derby through a :44.4 half-mile, then going to win by 6 lengths in 1:34.2 for a mile. He then stalked moderately fast fractions in the Holy Bull, taking that race as well. He was overtaken by Orb in the stretch of the Florida Derby, as the tempo was very slow. He’ll likely be placed near the leaders and stalk moderate fractions with a move late to charge after the lead.

13 Falling Sky – Horse has speed and will press the pace, but won’t be a contender after three-quarters.

14 Verrazano – I am questioning how this one will stretch out with moderate fractions being set, seeing as he almost lost the Wood when the tempo was slow. He’ll try and press the pace with Goldencents likely, but should run out of steam into the final furlong.

15 Charming Kitten – This horse was made for the artificial and turf surfaces. I’d be surprised if the colt finished in the top five in the Derby.

16 Orb – He loves to stalk the tempo. He has proven he can do it to fast and slow tempos, but the part that worries me is the position he likes to be in the race. He’ll likely be caught in a herd and could end up like Union Rags last year. He’ll likely have an advantage breaking from the outside gate, but may take the turns badly.

17 Will Take Charge – Won the Rebel not so impressively. Not a fan.

18 Frac Daddy – He was desperate for points, going into most of the preps during the championship series for the Derby. He did bad in Florida, but finished second in the Arkansas Derby to a weak field. If this horse wins, then the brass monkeys shall fly out of the jungle and bombard a local Native-American tribe.

19 Java’s War – He is a deep closer. He does need some kind of pace to close into. Problem with closers in the Derby is the fact that they have to close. He’d have to get away very well in order to be in any sort of contention.

20 Vyjack – He is a questionable longshot from post 20. He has shown he is not a one-dimensional horse; he can stalk the pace and close. It seems that the main reason for his loss was due to the fact that the tempo was very slow in the Wood Memorial. He has a good kick around the turn, which is a useful skill to have in the Derby. As long as he does not get into any traffic, he should finish well.

Selections – 12-8-16-20-5

Hoping that Itsmyluckyday! Happy Derby day all!