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Other Races You Won’t See This Weekend

With all the excitement over Rachel Alexandra’s run in the Woodward, it is easy to overlook that there are a few other exciting races that won’t be on national television this weekend either. The Woodward undercard on Saturday at Saratoga also feature the Forego, and Sunday is Pacific Classic day at Del Mar. I’ll merely point out here that in the past, ESPN has managed to carve out some time in the schedule for the Pacific Classic at the very least – it seems odd that it’s no longer an option now. Ahem.

The Forego offers Pyro another chance to live up to his early promise, but he’ll have plenty of competition – Kodiak Kowboy, Riley Ticker and Ready’s Echo (now with blinkers) all seem like legitimate threats in this race. Whether they are all truly sprinters or simply did not want to face Rachel Alexandra in the Woodward is a question, but it’s an interesting spot for many of these now-older horses (no 3-year-olds opted to run this year).

After the Forego comes the Woodward – but more on that tomorrow. Sunday at Saratoga, hard-knocking Commentator will get a chance to say goodbye to his fans as he heads off to a well-earned retirement; his activities include a chance to stretch his legs and a mint-flavored key to Saratoga Springs to munch on in the winner’s circle – not a bad way to bow out, by any means.

And so to California – Sunday’s Pacific Classic is looking like a compelling one. Blog favorite Einstein (pictured) is looking to come back after bad luck (terrible traffic, then a soggy course) in his last two races; the drama was ratcheted up today when it was announced that Stronach Stables has bought the son of Spend a Buck. The best news is that Einstein will remain in the care of Helen Pitts – and getting his ownership out of the hands of People In Jail cannot be a bad move. Colonel John, who won his first race back after a long layoff with pneumonia, was made the morning line favorite. It is, perhaps, somewhat unique that both headline horses have shown an affinity for dirt, turf and synthetics – I would certainly find that appealing as a breeder – and a good effort should set them both up for the Breeders’ Cup.

But they are hardly the only two horses in the race – Awesome Gem may finish second quite often, but he’s made a lot of money doing it. This is his third crack at the Pacific Classic. Mast Track has also hit the board quite a few times, and it’s curious to see Global Hunter and Tres Borrachos in the field. You may recall that Global Hunter won the Eddie Read last time out, finishing ahead of Awesome Gem after favored Thorn Song decided to turn right instead of left on the first turn – it’s unlikely something that peculiar will happen again in this race. Tres Borrachos seemed to have peaked at 3, but has been on the improve in California of late. The lone 3-year-old in the race, the Bob Baffert trainee Misremembered, is also worth watching; his sire, Candy Ride, was perhaps the most impressive winner of the Pacific Classic.

As ever, we will be rooting for Einstein, but Colonel John’s long road back from pneumonia will strike a chord in our household as well; everyone except me has had it in the past few weeks.

Tomorrow we’ll analyze the Woodward – check back then!

1 comment to Other Races You Won’t See This Weekend

  • Drayton

    There is no doubt who wins this race. They will try to squeeze Rachel at the half mile pole but she will simply go on and for a quick pace and run older horses into the ground. Rachel in a walkover by 8.

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