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A Great (Secret) Weekend of Racing

Note to Big Brown - I'm the real dealThere is a great weekend of racing to look forward to – it’s a shame it’s going to be hidden away on HRTV and TVG. Check out today’s Green but Game for a fantastic open letter to the NTRA on this very topic; she is spot on!

Here’s what anyone who does not receive those channels is missing — first, let’s check in with Delaware Park. The Obeah (finally a G3) sees Unbridled Belle aiming to take this race after a second-place finish last year which set her up nicely for victory in the Del Cap. She faces some real competition (especially as this is her debut for the year) from Lexi Star, who has Jeremy Rose aboard (and Jeremy Rose is tough to beat at Delaware Park); I also like Best Vow as a longshot.

Staying on the east coast, we next head toward Belmont (and one hopes the bathrooms are working again, even if there’s not a crowd). The first race of note is the Scottish Monk, which features turf milers Like Now, Wood Be Willing, Cosmonaut and Tam Lin. Storm in May is entered here as well after being scratched from the True North on Belmont day, but this race is not much easier for him. He could still get up for third at a price.

Eclipse-winning mare Ginger Punch reappears in the Ogden Phipps and is giving four pounds to Spring Waltz (who,like Ginger Punch, is also trained by Bobby Frankel — so one presumes she’s the understudy), her closest rival; I also like Moon Catcher. Ginger Punch is aiming to collect her third win for the year and should be tough to beat, weight or no weight.

Then the action moves to Churchill Downs – while Curlin is the headliner (and there is more on him below), it’s a great card overall. The Fleur de Lis is the first stakes race on the card and Hystericalady, Cowgirls Don’t Cry and Peach Flambe are all short prices for a reason.

The Regret features Pure Clan heading back to turf in search of a win; she also gets a break in terms of weight as Zee Zee gets 122 pounds to her 116. Here’s hoping if she wins certain portions of her ownership group can simply graciously accept the trophy and fade into the background…but I digress.

The Northern Dancer is a return to racing for many of this year’s Derby horses: Recapturetheglory, Pyro and Visionaire are all back to see if 1 1/16 at Churchill is a little more to their liking. I’m curious to see how Pyro does, and I still really like Visionaire, who gets to carry a few pounds less than his other two Derby brethren. It should be a much better race by which to judge their abilities than this year’s Derby (or about half the Derby preps).

The Jefferson Cup is also for 3-year-olds, but this time over turf; I’m looking forward to seeing Old Man Buck again and am intrigued by Tizdejavu. Halo Najib is also in the mix.

The Mint Julep is run after the Steven Foster, so I’ll discuss it first; I like Street Sounds (who is a nice 8-1 on the morning line) even though she’s facing a tough competitor in Dreaming of Anna; Danzon is also a nice filly. Dreaming of Anna’s high weight of 123 is a full eight pounds heavier than the next highest assignment; she is giving as many as 12 pounds to some in the field. She’s classy enough to pull it off, but given her odds, I’d be betting against her.

The feature of the day, of course, is the Stephen Foster. Curlin will certainly face some adversity (layoff since Dubai, inside post, high weight, good field) but this is a chance to continue to discover just how good he really is. I will naturally be rooting for Einstein and Brass Hat to finish well, but Curlin has looked phenomenal of late — if you want to see what a real champion looks like, make sure you tune in.

In other news, were you aware there is a documentary on Lost in the Fog making the rounds? It will be premiering Saturday at the CineVegas Film Festival. Here’s hoping for a warm reception.

Finally, don’t forget to create and activate your Road to the Breeders’ Cup stable, since scoring starts tomorrow; I only happened to see it because it was on Facebook. Peculiar.

5 comments to A Great (Secret) Weekend of Racing

  • Winston

    Thanks for the heads up on the Lost in the Fog documentary. I look forward to seeing it.

  • dana

    Ditto on Lost in the Fog & the Road to the Breeders’ Cup (RTTBC?) + great headline!

  • Anonymous

    trying to get permission from Mr. Harry Aleo to let us put Lost In The Fog on the Carousel Of Legends…Mr. Aleo is very sick with cancer(cancer is what put The Fog down)…but his people are going to help us Mon. am…The Fog trained with my very first Race Horse Mr. Squeaky in FL. before Mr. Aleo bought him…EXPOSURE is nwhat its all about…Long Live The King!!!

  • Anonymous

    Bellwether /James G. Staples…posted the previous blog…thanks

  • ljk

    And in a true sign of how screwed up the racing industry is, I can’t bet the big day at Churchill on their own ADW site. Geez.

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