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Kentucky Derby and Horse Racing at The Downey Profile®

Gotham Stakes: Give the Man What He Want

3/3/2011

By Dick Downey
The Downey Profile

It's refreshing and unusual to hear an owner flat-out say in so many words that "we are here to win this race, and I'll be disappointed if we don't," but that's pretty much what Mike Repole said about this Saturday's Grade III Gotham Stakes. Should we ignore this obvious intent or jump on board?

I'll be on board, but the reward may not be that great since Stay Thirsty is likely to be bet down from his 9-5 morning line. Not only does he have high visibility, but Ramon Dominguez is in the saddle.

Repole wants to showcase this horse in his own stomping grounds, and there's little reason to doubt his stated intent. For his own part, Todd Pletcher says Stay Thirsty has handled his workouts in tandem with Uncle Mo well. That was not so much the case when they breezed together at Churchill Downs several days before Breeders' Cup, so maybe Stay Thirsty has grown up and is ready to roll.

Repole from the beginning has felt Stay Thirsty needs a distance of ground, and the Belmont Stakes could be more in focus for Stay Thirsty than the Kentucky Derby. As the clock tower at The Curragh says, "Time reveals all."

Toby's Corner, a son of Bellamy Road, looked very handy winning the Whirlaway on a muddy/sealed track. The forecast calls for a fast surface on Saturday. Toby's Corner is right on schedule for trainer Graham Motion, posting a breeze at Fair Hill 19 days after the Whirlaway, exactly the same timetable used going into the Whirlaway. On paper, he looks a little better than Stay Thirsty at this point, but we can't help but think a fully-cranked Stay Thirsty wins. If this pair runs one-two, we have a short-priced exacta.

Dawly, claimed off of Shadwell Stable for $50,000 two races back, is an upset candidate at a more luctrative morning line than the top two. He won a six-furlong allowance at the track--which was muddy-sealed--on Feb. 6 and showed some courage doing it. Pushed four wide on the turn in a field of eight, he won going away. He's a son of Awesome Again out of a Tiznow mare and could make serious noise at the extra distance in the Gotham for trainer Steve Asmussen.

Of the other six in the Gotham, three are showing consistency on the worktab--Norman Asbjornson, Preachintothedevil and Starship Caesar--and of of those three Preahintothedevil has the edge based on past performance.

DICK'S PICKS:

1. STAY THIRSTY
2. TOBY'S CORNER
3. DAWLY
4. PREACHINTOTHEDEVIL


Sorry to be so chalky, but that's how I think they stack up. Good luck!

Saturday, Race 10
Grade III Gotham Stakes
Aqueduct
Purse: $250,000
Distance: 1 1/16 Mile (Inner Track)
Surface: Dirt
Post Time: 5:12 ET

Post
Horse
  ML Jockey
Wt
S
M
Trainer
1
The Fed Eased (FL)    8-1  J. Valdivia, Jr.
 116  C L
 R. Violette, Jr.
2
Nacho Saint (KY)    6-1  J. Bravo
 116  C  L  K. Breen
3
Starship Caesar (FL)    15-1  E. Da Silva
 116  C  L  P. Parboo
4
Toby's Corner (FL)    5-2  E. Castro
 120  C  L  G. Motion
5
Stay Thirsty (KY)    9-5  R. Dominguez
 116  C  L  T. Pletcher
6
Isn't He Perfect (KY)    30-1  J. Rodgriguez
 116  C  L  D. Shivmangal
7
Preachintothedevil (NY)    6-1  J. Alvarado
 116  C  L  G. Contessa
8
Norman Ashbjornson (PA)    20-1  J. Pimentel
 120  C  L  C. W. Grove
9
Dawly (KY)    12-1  C. Velasquez
 116  G  L  S. Asmussen

Owners:  1 - Klaravich Stables, Lawrence, William, H.; 2 - George and Lori Hall; 3 - Parbhoo, Sherry; 4 - Cotter, Dianne, D.; 5 - Repole Stable; 6 - Kharag Stables; 7 - Crossed Sabres Farm; 8 - McClay, Thomas, G., Nye, Harry; 9 - Dubb, Michael, Bethlehem Stables LLC

 
Breeders:   1 - Ocala Stud; 2 - Robert E. Courtney, Jr. & Rick Stivers; 3 - Starship Stables & Laurence Leavy; 4 - Diane D. Cotter; 5 - John D. Gunther & John Darren Gunther; 6 - Diamond A Racing Corp.; 7 - Jeffrey Tucker; 8 - Thomas G. McClay, Harry C. Nye III &Horseshoe Valley Equine; 9 - Shadwell Farm, LLC

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