Anticipating a WET track at Aqueduct for Thursday…good day to try the new PLUS—>
The Risen Star – 3 year old race of the week:
The Risen Star is named for one of the best horses I have ever seen. Risen Star was the best son of the great Secretariat and he did his prep racing in Louisiana. At the start of his career, he was extremely lightly raced — not seasoned enough when it was time for the Kentucky Derby. In the KD, he ran on beautifully in the stretch to finish 4th (I believe), his stretch run was so spectacular, that nobody was surprised to see him dominate the Preakness. And then a true tour de force in the Belmont. So like Point Given, he was much the best of his year, but didn’t win the KD. Unfortunately, his racing was very limited, and I am not sure, but I don’t think he ever ran after the Belmont… it’s something for historian’s to review and confirm — for me it’s not so important, what is important is my memory of his domination in the 2nd and 3rd legs of the Triple Crown… It was something to see.
The Risen Star Stakes at The Fair Grounds was run in a slightly slow-ish clocking — relative to other races — on a track that seemed a little on the faster side. Considering the type of Speed Figures others are running around the country, this race was NOT spectacular. But it really doesn’t have to be, it’s really just a stepping stone in the ongoing development cycle. Gun Runner seems to be a very nice horse, but at this point, based upon his best speed figures is about 12 lengths behind Nyquist and Mohaymen and Mor Spirit, while only a couple of lengths behind a nice colt like Smokey Image. He certainly could develop in the next few weeks to be competitive with them, so we will continue to look him over as he tries to qualify for the KD…
I have a take on racing from Louisiana. Over the years, I have noticed that the horses that ran their personal best numbers, tended to do poorly in the upcoming Triple Crown races. However, the horses that ran mediocre personal numbers, often performed much better when they got to other tracks. it’s one of those things in our great game that goes under the heading of “it’s hard to know” what is going on. Should we look at a horse that is under-performing in Louisiana as a potential to perform better in subsequent races, such as Oxbow and Lukas monster (name is eluding me at the moment) as a function of the Louisiana racing surface itself. Or maybe it’s just the developmental cycle?
These are some of the tough questions and why we get odds when we play. Because we need odds. Here is one insight, that I think you can definitely take to heart, there have been very few horses, that raced in Louisiana for their Winter/Spring meet of their 3 year old year that have produced the goods on the 1st Saturday in May. And frankly, New York which was the mainstay at one time, is also falling back in the past 20 years. If place has anything to do with the winning of the KD, then So Cal and Florida are the places to be training and prep racing… But we know, that even 20 years is a “short sample” and we also know that at anytime, there can be an unexpected change in outcomes. In the end, it’s a particular horse at a particular time, that we are trying to get a handle on… Right now, I am really liking NYQUIST… But I have about 75 days to re-consider!
3 year olds that rate!
- Mor Spirit
- Smokey Image
As you all know — I am goo-goo-gah-gah over Nyquist, even though he won the BC JUVY, which has proved to be a real negative in the form cycle of Kentucky Derby hopefuls. But I really don’t care. BUT – and the truth always follows the BUT — we have another monster in Mohaymen. I can’t help but believe this is setting up much like Affirmed and Alydar and then Believe It. Nobody under 50 even remembers Believe It. Woody Stephens describe Believe It as the strongest horse he was ever around! And yet he was always chasing Alydar and then Affirmed and Alydar home — never to catch them…something like a bad dream.
Without any question, as far as I can see, the greatest rivalry by a couple of furlongs was Affirmed and Alydar. To me they were both Triple Crown Winners, by just an inch or so, Affirmed was the better horse.
So here we have the same situation, Nyquist, the more handy horse, should be able to attend any pace scenerio and either Mohaymen or Mor Spirit can play Alydar to Nyquist’s imitation of Affirmed. In this scenerio, can Alydar finally get the nod — maybe — we shall see…
Bias Report for Sunday:
Aqueduct: Again, track seems to have returned to HONEST…
Santa Anita : Returned to a strong SPEED FAVORING BIAS!
Race Day Plays for Sunday:
Aqueduct: Race #8 — Eye Luv Lulu — The price was enough at 5/1 to follow, this closing sprinter,who made an effort for the lead , but was outrun! This type of scenerio is almost always a big negative at the cashing line, but not a bad horse to follow on the return to the sprint distance. Tab going forward…
Santa Anita: Race #3 — Uninvited – off as 2nd choice — at 2/1 — taken back, made a big wide menacing move on the far turn and ran on for 2nd — clearly racing against the strong speed bias, good effort here for the PLACE.
Santa Anita: Race 7 — Casino Fever — off at 5/2 – went to the front, made all the running in relatively SOFT fractions, and tired late in what I would call a poor effort, one I would not be likely to follow — the finish might be consider substandard!
ROI = 1.17 Total Plays = 63, —- wins = 14, —– place = 8, —– Total exacta 12/63
Total return $147.00
Total Cost $126.00