Category Archives: Hollywood Park

Grass 1, Curlin 0 – Red Rocks rattles Man O’War

Red Rocks Defeats Curlin in the Man OWar, photo from Thoroughbred Times

Red Rocks Defeats Curlin in the Man O'War, photo from Thoroughbred Times

I still can’t get over that crazy Man O’War on Saturday.  The pacesetters, Mission Approved and Sudan, took off at the break and put 8-10 lengths on the rest of the field.  Red Rocks settled in an easy third, about a length ahead of Curlin and True Cause.  As expected, the sprinters gave out in the stretch and Red Rocks took over with Curlin on his heels.  Then, just when I thought Curlin would surge by Red Rocks, he…um…didn’t.  He hung on like laundry on the line in the backyard.  Better Talk Now came on gamely for third.  SO much for the BC Turf winners being off form.  So much for Curlin going over to France.  I’d like to see Curlin at least once more on turf, maybe in the Arlington Million.  They say Curlin does better the second time he races over a track.  Maybe he’ll win next time.  There’s also the Sword Dancer at Saratoga if they want to try again.  The ownership has been pretty open to trying different things with Curlin, but they also say the BC Classic is out because it’s on plastictrack.  If I had such a good horse, I’d at least try the tires — he couldn’t perform worse than he did on turf.  If they want to try different stuff, they my even try that new BC Dirt Marathon at 1.5 miles.  He’d outclass any other horse in that field and give ESPN a reason to broadcast the race.

Other Races: HYSTERICALADY dominated the Delaware Handicap by 4.  She defeated Lemon Drop Mom and last year’s runaway winner, Unbridled Belle.  I have always liked Hystericalady and she hasn’t disappointed me this year.  Plus, she’s given me a lot of points in the Road to the Breeders’ Cup contest!

ARLINGTON HANDCP Gr3: 1)STREAM CAT $7.00 2)Cosmonaut $2.10 3)Corrupt EX pays $12.80 (Distorted Reality scr)

AMERICAN DERBY Gr2: 1)TIZDEJAVU $3.40 2)Sir Henry 3)Ablaze With Spirit (Blue Exit SCR, Boss LAffite 6)

DELAWARE OAKS Gr2: 1)PROUD SPELL $2.60 2)African Violet 3)She’s All Eltish (Maren’s Meadow 4)

AZALEA Gr3: 1)INDYANNE 2)Dubai Majesty 3)Dancing Allstar (Grand Obsession 4, Dites Moi 5)

CARRY BACK Gr2: 1)GOLDEN SPIKES 2)Gentleman James 3)Lantana Mob (Salute the Sarge 5, Carson’s Legacy 7)

PRINCESS ROONEY Gr1: 1)MISTICAL PLAN 2)Miraculous Miss 3)Dream Rush (Looky Yonder 5)

SWAPS Gr2: 1)TRES BORRACHOS 2)Two Step Salsa 3)Colonel John (Nownownow SCR)

POKER HNDCP Gr3: 1)KIP DEVILLE $2.80 2)Tam Lin $2.90 3)Operation Red Dawn (Sensational Humor 4)

NOt as good this week as last week, but not a total disaster.  Sarge needs to pick it up!

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Filed under Belmont Park, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Hollywood Park

Man O War Stakes Gr1 Turf — CURLIN vs GRASS

Salute the Sarge, photo by Benoit Photo

Salute the Sarge, photo by Benoit Photo

Saturday’s running of the Man O’War at Belmont is the 35th anniversary of Secretariat’s victory in 1973, the Triple Crown winner’s turf debut.  Secretariat defeated Tentam and Big Spruce by a devastating margin, and many horsemen said afterwards that Big Red was better on turf than dirt.  This year, reigning Horse of the Year, CURLIN, will try his luck on the emerald track.  If he succeeds, owner Jess Jackson will send the chestnut colt out of the country, to France for the Arc.  Despite Curlin’s powerful victories on dirt, he’s no sure thing on the grass.  His field this time around is not the easy pickings he faced in the STephen Foster — 2 previous Breeders’ Cup Turf winners are in to make Curlin sweat.  Better Talk Now, winner in 2004, is the most experienced in the field and, at 9 years old, is looking to make history as the race’s oldest winner.  Red Rocks won the BC Turf in 2006 (the year I attended & I saw this horse up close! woot! /fangirlfreakout) but is lightly raced and has not won since May, in an allowance in Europe.  Also in are Mission Approved, the speed in the field; True Cause, a Godolphin hopeful; Sudan, Bobby Frankel’s trainee; and Grand Courtier, winner of last year’s Sword Dancer Stks under Calvin Borel. 

Curlin is still the horse to beat – if anybody is gonna do it I think Sudan can (it’s the Frankel), with Grand COurtier coming on for 3rd.  Better Talk Now & Red Rocks, while talented in previous years, have lost a few steps and it would be a surprise to me if either one ran away with the field.  Still and all, a great race that I will actually get to watch LIVE! on TV.

OTHER RACES:

POKER HANDICAP: KIP DEVILLE returns, but I like TAM LIN better.  Sensational Humor to show.

PRINCESS ROONEY Gr1: 1)DREAM RUSH 2)LOOKY YONDER 3)MIRACULOUS MISS

CARRY BACK STakes Gr2: 1) SALUTE THE SARGE 2)GENTLEMAN JAMES 3)CARSON’S LEGACY

AZALEA Stakes Gr3: 1) DANCING ALLSTAR 2)GRAND OBSESSION 3)DITES MOI

SWAPS Gr2: 1)COL. JOHN 2)TWO STEP SALSA 3)NOWNOWNOW

AMERICAN DERBY Gr2: 1)BLUE EXIT 2)TIZDEJAVU 3)BOSS LAFITTE

ARLINGTON HNDCP Gr3: 1)COSMONAUT 2)STREAM CAT 3)DISTORTED REALITY

DELAWARE OAKS Gr2: 1)PROUD SPELL 2)SHE’S ALL ELTISH 3)MAREN’S MEADOW

DELAWARE HNDCP Gr2: 1)HYSTERICALADY 2)UNBRIDLED BELLE 3)BUY THE BARREL

And that’s it for me…it’s too late and I’m too tired to do all the stakes this weekend.  WATCH CURLIN ON ESPNEWS SATURDAY!!!

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Filed under arlington park, Belmont Park, calder race course, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Hollywood Park

Weekend Results

My birthday was Sunday, so now that I’m over the hangover let’s go over the weekend’s races: 9 Winners, 8 placings, 5 showings out of 13 races!  ZENYATTA & INDIAN BLESSING continue their legendary seasons, ANY LIMIT showed again just why they call Allen Jerkens the Giant Killer, and Myspace helped me pick the Bashford Manor winner, though I originally had him 2nd (get it?  You gotta “screen your friends” to add them to your list…) Late scratches killed a lot of my picks at Belmont, but that’s unfortunately a chance I take posting them 2 days before the races are run. 

BELMONT:

First Flight Handcp Gr2:1)ANY LIMIT, $13.60 2)Wild Gams, 3)Rite Moment (Baroness Thatcher 6th, Looky Yonder scr)

Tom Fool Hdcp Gr2: 1)LUCKY ISLAND, $5.00 2)Tasteyville, $2.50 3)Premium Wine (Not For Love scr)

Mariensky Stakes: 1)Chestonia 2)Paris Winds 3)Carriage Trail, $2.40 (Vacare, Spectacular Malibu scr)

Prioress Stks Gr: 1)INDIAN BLESSING $3.30, 2)By The Light, $3.40 3)Indian Way (Tale of the West 5th)

HOLLYWOOD PARK

Flawlessly Stks: 1)Starry Pursuit 2)Ginger Pop, $9.80 3)Runforthemoneybaby (Sweeter Still 4th, Lethal Heat 6th)

Triple Bend Gr 1: 1)Street Boss 2)Elite Squadron, $3.20 3)Tropic Storm, $2.40 (Desert Code 7th)

Cashcall Mile Stks Gr 2: 1)Diamond Diva, $6.60  2)Ventura 3)Lady of Venice, $2.10 (Wake Up Maggie 6th)

American Oaks Gr 1: 1)PURE CLAN, $7.00 2)Satan’s Circus 3)Clearly Foxy, $9.80 (Caribbean Sunset 4th)

Vanity Stks Gr 1: 1)ZENYATTA, $2.60 2)Tough Tiz’s Sis, $3.40 3)Silver Swallow (Sealy Hill 5th)

Hollywood Juvenile Champonship Gr 3: 1)AZUL LEON, $4.20 2)Making Dreams 3)Fassnacht (Seismometer 4th, Conclusive scr)

CHURCHILL DOWNS

Firecracker Hndcp Gr2: 1)THORN SONG, $5.60 2)Einstein, $2.10 3)Steve’s Double (Inca King scr)

Bashford Manor stks Gr3: 1)SCREEN YOUR FRIEND, $38.00 2)Lyin’ Heart, $4.20 3)Segal $3.00 (Medaglia D’Onore 5th)

MONMOUTH

United Nations Hndcp: 1)Presious Passion 2)Strike A Deal, $4.00 3)Equitable $4.20 (Champs Elysees 6th)

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Filed under Belmont Park, Brag sheet, Churchill Downs, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Hollywood Park, Monmouth Park, results

4th of July Weekend Picks

Zenyatta, photo from horseracing.about.com

Lots of stakes this holiday weekend — breaking it all down by track — For FRIDAY & SATURDAY:

BELMONT:
Fri. July 4

TOM FOOL Handicap Gr2:

1)Lucky Island
2)Not For Money
3)Tasteyville

FIRST FLIGHT Handicap Gr2:

1)ANY LIMIT
2)Baroness Thatcher
3)Looky Yonder

Sat. July 5:

MARIENSKY Stakes:

1)CARRIAGE TRAIL
2)VAcare
3)Spectacular Malibu

PRIORESS Stakes Gr1:

1)INDIAN BLESSING
2)Tale of the West
3)By The Light

HOLLYWOOD PARK:
Fri. July 4:

FLAWLESSLY Stakes:

1)GINGER POP
2)Sweeter Still
3)Lethal Heat

Sat. July 5:

TRIPLE BEND INV. Handicap Gr1:

1)TROPIC STORM
2)Elite Squadron
3)Desert Code

AMERICAN OAKS Gr1:

1)PURE CLAN
2)Caribbean Sunset
3)Clearly Foxy

CASHCALL MILE Gr2:

1)LADY OF VENICE
2)wake Up MAggie
3)Diamnd Diva

VANITY Stakes Gr1:

1)ZENYATTA
2)Sealy Hill
3)Tough Tiz’s Sis

HOLLYWOOD JUVY Championship Gr3:

1)SEISMOMETER
2)Azul Leon
3)Conclusive

CHURCHILL DOWNS:
Fri. July 4:

FIRECRACKER Handicap Gr2:

1)INCA KING
2)Einstein
3)Thorn SOng

Sat. July 5:

BASHFORD MANOR S Gr3:

1)MEDAGLIA D’ONORE
2)Screen Your Friends
3)Lyin’ Heart

MONMOUTH:

UNITED NATIONS HANDICAP Gr1:

1)CHAMPS ELYSEES
2)Strike A Deal
3)Equitable

Gahhh…Too many races, not enough time to handicap them all…GOOD LUCK!!

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Filed under Belmont Park, Handicapping, Hollywood Park

Crash and Burn!! What a way to start a blogging career

I hate my real job sometimes.  I work every weekend and miss all the live racing action, then when I finally get a chance to sit down and youtube the races I am too beat to do a decent blog.  So here I am 4 days late with the weekend wrap show.  It ain’t too pretty, and not a reflection of my usual handicapping, as you’ll find in the weeks to come.

BELMONT PARK:

Some people complained of the quality of the field here, said the Gr1 status was laughable, but hey, those glorified allowancers gave a helluva run.  Frost Giant, 40-1, trained by the traina non grata Rick Dutrow, won a hard-fought stretch duel with Larry Jones’s Solar Flare.  Frost Giant took the lead after a good break, set the opening quarter in 24 and change with Solar Flare second.  NAughty New Yorker charged up on the rail to grab the lead at the half and held it into the turn, where Frost Giant and SOlar Flare again made moves for the lead.  At the top of the stretch, Solar FLare was a half-length in front with Frost Giant running hard in second.  It looked like Solar Flare would get it, but in deep stretch, Frost Giant found another gear.  He drew even again with Solar FLare and drew off to win by a half length.  Damascus and Dr. Fager they aren’t, but it was a fun race anyway.  Frost Giant is a 5yo son of “Iron Horse” Giant’s Causeway, and he is owned by IEAH Stables.  Frost Giant will be one of the racers going off all meds but Salix this fall, so I am interested to see how his career progresses from here.  I had Frost Giant to show in this race, with Solar FLare on top and AP Arrow to place.  Close, but no cash.  The main reason I had Frost Giant on my radar at all, aside from his trainer, is that he shares a name with a virtual racehorse from an old fantasy racing game I used to play.  That Frost Giant was the “sire” of some “great” virtual thoroughbreds!

The stretch drive of the Mother Goose was a mess – aside from winner Music Note.  The blue-blood filly by AP Indy out of a Sadler’s Well mare easily made off with the field of 4 because she was the only one who was runnng a straight line.  In Music Note’s wake, Proud Spell had a rough time of it after a stumbling start.  Shuffled all the way back to 3rd at one point, she burst through on the rail beside Never Retreat, only to bump that filly before the wire.  Proud Spell got a DQ to 3rd.  Another losing ticket for me!  W00T!

At Hollywood, things weren’t much better for me.  My “can’t lose” pick, Daytona, lost badly to another huge longshot, Whatsthescript.  Whatsthescript blew by pacesetter Storm Military to win by 1 and 14 lengths.  Daytona looked great laying second most of the way, but in the stretch he just lost his run.  It was a little surprising, so I hope no physical problems caused it.  The winner was one of 4 stakes winners last weekend for trainer John Sadler.  He also trained A Gleam winner Dearest Trickski, my 3rd choice who beat Magnificence and Intangaroo (my win pick).  Sadler’s other winners were Emmy Darling (off my radar) in the Landaluce stakes for 2yo fillies, and Black Mamba in the Beverly Hills stakes on turf for classic-distance running fillies.  Sadler is new to me, but he’s on my list now of people to pay attention to when their horses run.  

Thank goodness TVG has the Hollywood signal.  I was able to catch the ESPN coverage of the Hollywood Gold Cup, but I wonder if casual observers knew what race they were watching —  all the talking heads could find to discuss was BIG BROWN!!!  Big Brown wasn’t even running Saturday!  Most of the pre-race coverage consisted of the Belmont excuse train, from the missed Winstrol injection to the loose shoe to the non-sweating to the lone gunman on the grassy knoll!  I flipped from ESPN to TVG several times during the Gold Cup show because ESPN spent too much time dumbing down the proceedings.  TVG knows there are new fans, too, but they actually spent their airtime talking about the horses who were actually in the race they were actually broadcasting that day!!

What a race, too! Mast Track, owned, bred and trained by Bobby Frankel, pulled off a wire-to-wire upset in the Gold Cup over Go Between and Student Council.  The only similarity to the Belmont was the Da’Tara-like performance of the winner.  Soft early fractions kept Mast Track fresh for a super stretch drive.  Go Between threatened, but could not catch the son of Mizzen Mast.  The old man, Perfect Drift, was never in it and finished 7th.  Maybe they can card a race just for the old guys, like Lava Man, Perfect Drift and Evening Attire.

I’ll have my Independence Day Stakes picks tomorrow!!

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Filed under Belmont Park, Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Hollywood Park, polytrack, rants

Hollywood Park Saturday Stakes Picks

The first step to becoming a nationally-recognized Thoroughbred blogger is to be a good handicapper.  I correctly predicted Big Brown would bomb the Belmont (just ask my boss, who *still* hasn’t heard the end of it), but I did not put it on the interweb — that’s gonna change starting now.

photo of GO BETWEEN from equisportphotos.com/horseracing.about.com

HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP Gr1:

1) GO BETWEEN – It is time for this son of Point Given to score another big win. 

2) Heatseeker

3)Perfect Drift

American Turf Invitational:

1) DAYTONA – The best grass horse in the west just doesn’t have any competition in this Gr2 event.

2)Hyperbaric

3)Storm Military

A Gleam Invitational Handicap Gr2:

1) INTANGAROO – love this filly on dirt & plastic, right distance, still sharp after racing on the Derby undercard

2)Dearest Trickski

3)Dawn After Dawn

Landaluce Stakes :

1)ATKA – daughter of Swiss Yodeler has been improving & will step up

2)Trifecta King

3)Cosmic Queen

I will have my picks for Belmont tomorrow.

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