Wednesday, Jan. 26, 2011
Dutrow Pulls 'Boys' from 'Bull'
Boys at Tosconova (Looking Good) will not run Sunday in the Grade III Holy Bull, trainer Rick Dutrow announced this afternoon--not even with its purse pumped from last year's $150,000 to $400,000. The defection comes as a surprise since the Breeders' Cup Juvenile runner-up has been pointed to this race for some time.
“I don’t see anything wrong with him," Dutrow claimed. "I don’t think it would be smart to rush him into a race when we have a lot of time heading up to a race. He’s not showing his usual high energy. It would be stupid to rush him.”
--By Dick Downey
Name Game in Second at SA
The second at Santa Anita on Saturday is a six-furlong dash for 3-year-old maidens featuring the interesting name Tokubetsu, trained by who else, Bob Baffert. The trainer also has the more traditionally named Midnight Interlude in the field of six, and Martin Garcia, who was finally able to get back into the U.S, rides him.
Meanwhile, John Sadler has one with a run-on name, Runflatout, and the now Zenyattaless John Shirreffs sends out Unbridled Kimanchi, another in the tradition of California horses with misspelled Native American names like Jeranimo. Mike Harrington's Big Business--I can hear Trevor Denman enunciating that one now--and Steve Asmussen's elegantly-named Le Mans round out the field.
--By Dick Downey
Another Storm Cancels Thursday at AQU
Due to anticipated snow, Aqueduct Racetrack will not have live racing on Thursday. Aqueduct and the Belmont Café will be open for simulcasting, and NYRA Rewards telebet and internet wagering will both be available as well.
Printing Press Needs to Advance
Trainer Terri Pompay says she’s always known she has a good horse in Printing Press, but now he must improve to win the Grade III Holy Bull Stakes on Sunday. More....
Laurel Closed Today
Due to a wintry mix of snow, sleet and freezing rain in the Baltimore-Washington D.C. region, Laurel Park will not conduct live racing today. Laurel and Pimlico will be open for simulcasting, and Laurel says it expects to have live racing on Thursday. Aqueduct reports it will be open for live racing today.
Holy Bull Probable Field Size Middling
Entries close on Thursday, but probable so far for Sunday's one-mile, Grade III Holy Bull are Black N Beauty (Worth Watching), Gourmet Dinner (Looking Good), Mucho Macho Man (Worth Watching) and Printing Press (Worth Watching). Leave of Absence (Worth Watching) or Rescind the Trace (Worth Watching) (both from the Rick Violette stable) are possible. Dialed In (Looking Good) will probably be added to the field after being scratched from the Gulfstream allowance race won convincingly by Soldat (Looking Good) on Jan. 21. Boys at Tosconova defected with a Wednesday afternoon announcement by trainer Rick Dutrow.
Sports Day (Just In Case) is entered in a six-furlong maiden special weight at Fair Grounds on Thursday. It's race 8 with a post time of 5:14 ET. Eight are entered, including 5-2 morning line favorite Saracen, trained by Bret Calhoun, and second choice Ghost Is Clear (7-2), trained by Mike Maker. Sports Day, at 9-2, is trained by Neil Howard, who's had a hot hand at the current meet in New Orleans.
One for Our Subscribers
“We are very happy here,” a trainer new to Oaklawn Park said last weekend. And he said more, in a very circumspect way. But we can tell he believes he has a shot at the big one, and it's with a horse whose name hasn't been in the headlines. We're saving this one for our faithful subscribers--let's just say we've put two and two together, and it equals one horse. Subscribe....
A component of our Performance Points factors has always included this one: "raced three or four times at age three before the Derby." The trend has gravitated away from this method of training. In the past 10 years, Super Saver (2010), Mine That Bird (2009), Big Brown (2008) and Street Sense (2007) each started only twice at age three before the Derby. The other six Derby winners in that decade each started either three or four times.
We are going to study the past 10 years and see what weights result from both "raced three or four times" and "raced two times." We will inform you of the results of the study in plenty of time before the 2011 Kentucky Derby.
In addition, we regret to announce that we're eliminating the Spiral Stakes (formerly the Lane's End Stakes) at Turfway Park as a component of The Downey Profile. The synthetic track form from this race just hasn't translated to the Kentucky Derby. We love this race and go to it every year, but realistically speaking, the race hasn't been producing Derby success.
Experimental Free Handicap: The Jockey Club doesn't publicize it in advance except to say it's coming in "late January," so be looking for it any day. We'll post it here.
Early Triple Crown Nominees Release: Feb. 13 at 12:01 a.m. ET
Road to the Roses Contest: Opens Feb. 14
Derby Future Wager Pool 1: Feb. 18-20
Derby Future Wager Pool 2: March 11-13
Derby Future Wager Pool 3: April 1-3
Kentucky Derby Post Position Draw: May 4
Kentucky Oaks: May 6
Kentucky Derby: May 7
Preakness Stakes: May 21
Belmont Stakes: June 11