Category Archives: Monmouth Park

BIG BROWN vs OLDER HORSES & and OFF TRACK

Big Brown is such a star that Monmouth Park has carded a race just for him, the Monmouth Stakes at 11/8 miles on turf.  I suppose the idea was to get an easy prep in for the BCClassic, but this has turned out to be anything but for the presumptive 3yo champ.  The half-million dollar purse has attracted a full field of Graded stakes winners, older turf specialists itching for the chance to take down the Derby winner. 

SHakis, trained by Keiran Mclaughlin for Darley, just won the Baruch at Saratoga.  11/8 miles is his bitch. 

Proudinsky was 6th by only 2lengths in a blanket finish to Shakis in the Baruch, and Frankel has him tuned up for a victory this time.  He may get it, too, because along with the older horses and the grass, Big Brown may also have to overcome turf less-than-firm.  Weather predictions are calling for rain saturday, which could even pull the race off the grass and onto the main track. 

Silver Tree has a win over the Monmouth turf course already, and was game in his last narrow win in the Oceanport. 

How sweet would the stretch call be if Fugeddaboudit Sal won? 

Despite his record thus far, Big Brown does not have me wholly convinced of his greatness.  He has been beating a questionable crop all year.  His peers, whom he so thoroughly wolloped, have been barely beating each other (sloowly) .  What will happen when he gets in with the senior class? 

I like Proudinsky and Silver Tree, or Shakis on top if the course is dry.  Drum Major may be a dangerous upset play, after a year layoff and a 7th place finish in the Baruch.  Get Serious, BAllonenostrikes and Kiss the Kid are local Monmouth horses looking for some big-time cred.

If Brown can pull off a win here, it will go a loooong way in convincing me — like Curlin last year.  I was not on the Golden Warrior’s bandwagon until he beat my buddy LAwyer Ron in the JCGC. 

At least Brown is attracting positive attention to the sport.  Memphis is the dead zone of racing coverage, and even people here are talking about him.  They may even flip over from the Southern Heritage CLassic to catch the race on TVG (3:30pm Central).  Who am I kidding?  Memphians skipping a football game?  LOL…

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Filed under Graded Stakes, Handicapping, Monmouth Park, Turf racing

Insert “Big Brown” related pun Here…HASKELL GREATEST HITS!!

Saturday’s Haskell Invitational at Monmouth marks the return of Kentucky Derby winner Big Brown. I am sure he will win this one.  Easily.  He has been working up a storm the last month or so, unlike his pre-Belmont training program. Only 6 others are projected to face him, and unless Atoned steps up big time (which ain’t happn’in) I just don’t see another horse good enough.

A lot of people have tried to extrapolate Da’Tara’s loss last weekend into some dire symbolism of Big Brown’s career.  That’s a bit unfair, considering how other Belmont winners have fared lately.  Just checking the surface, only 4 of the past 10 Belmont winners have won a subsequent start (Point Given ’01, Birdstone ’04, Victory Gallop’98, Lemon Drop Kid, ’99).  The upset winners have done exceptionally bad: Sarava(’02) never won again, Jazil (’06) never won again, Commendable (’00) never won again … Even a few of the “good” winners couldn’t pull it together after the 1.5 mile test: Rags to Riches (’07) made one more start & was retired, Empire Maker (’03) ran in one more race & was retired,  and Alfeet Alex (’05) was retired after the Belmont.

I am certain Da’Tara’s fate will be similar to the Sarava & Commendable years.

As for the Haskell, my favorite was the 1996 running:

Followed closely by the 1995 version:

The 1988 Haskell was a terrific battle between two future major sires, Seeking The Gold & Forty Niner:

War Emblem used the Haskell to redeem himself after his chaotic Belmont.  The vid quality sucks in this, but I still get chills when I see WE on the early lead & the crowd cheers:

Of course, I can’t forget the magnificent Point Given, whose Haskell win was the 3rd of his 4 consecutive Gr1 Million-dollar races.  You’ll just have to imagine his brilliance in that race, because it’s *gasp* NOT ON YOUTUBE!!  Bitches!

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Filed under Graded Stakes, Monmouth 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