HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, May 30, 2021 – Hope your holiday weekend got off to a faster than ours, which wouldn’t be hard. When you blow a very tight photo after believing that your horse was a certain winner a half-mile remaining, nothing good can follow. And it didn’t.
Bad performances and good races were doled out in equal measure Saturday: I’m talking to you, United. I’m talking to you, too, Tap It to Win. WTF? But then there were terrific performances: Fulsome and, to a lesser degree, Gam’s Mission, that were, in the vernacular, worth the effort.
The latter was making her graded stakes and 9-furlong debuts and passed those turf tests the same way she twice did previously, with a W. For a rallier she seems handy enough to not leave herself with too much to do.
Adam Beschizza fits like OJ’s glove and props go to Cherie DeVaux for notching her first graded score.
It did an old-schooler good to see Forego’s colors back in the winners’ circle. Gam’s Mission was bred by Cornelia G Corbett’s Lazy F Ranch, keeping the family stable name alive. The prominent nursery that raced the legendary Forego for late Turf Exemplar Martha F. Gerry.
As an aside, Ms. Corbett might consider turning over one of the Lazy F horses it cares over to Angel Penna Jr., who developed major stakes winners Auntie Mame and Royal Pennant for Lazy F Ranch, not to mention champions Christmas Past and Laugh and Be Merry and the great sprinter, ill-fated A Phenomenon. I wouldn’t think that he’s forgotten how to develop a champion.
It appears that Juddmonte has another three-year-old colt who will make his presence known in the second half of the stakes season. Fulsome is now 3-for-3 on dirt, taking his graded stakes debut, the G3 Matt Winn, in high style for Team Cox/Geroux.
Asked for his best while notably wide on the second turn, he moved into the most demanding part of the pace and, despite the ground loss, caught the leaders relatively quickly soon after entering the straight and drew off with powerful late strides before cruising under the finish line.
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All races we looked at were chosen randomly at three tracks; Belmont Park, Lone Star Park and Santa Anita Park. I chose the richest races on the respective cards:
COMMENTATOR STAKES Race 4
BEST VALUE PLAY: Yankee Division (5-1) to win at 4-1 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Box 3-4, Mr. Buff (7-5) and Yankee Division
CRITICAL EYE STAKES Race 9
BEST VALUE PLAY: Band Sting (6-1) to win at 9/2 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Box 6-8 Espresso Shot (7/2) and Bank Sting
LONE STAR PARK
BEST VALUE PLAY: Warrant (7/2) to win at 3-1 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Box 5-9, Warrant and Get Her Number
OUIJA BOARD DISTAFF STAKES
BEST VALUE PLAY: Summering (5-1) to win at 9/2 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Key Box: 5 with 1,3. Summering with Laura’s Light (1-1) and Curlin’s Journey (15-1)
G3 STEVE SEXTON MILE
BEST VAL.UE PLAY: By My Standards (5-2) to win at 8-5 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Key Box 3 with 4,8. By My Standards with Warrior’s Charge (3-1) and C Z Rocket
SANTA ANITA PARK
G1 SHOEMAKER MILE
BEST VALUE PLAY: Whisper Not (5-2) to win at 2-1 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Key Box 6 with 2,7. Whisper Not with Smooth Like Strait (4-1) and Say the Word (4-1)
G1 HOLLYWOOD GOLD CUP
BEST VALUE PLAY: Rushie (5-1) to win 4-1 or great
EXOTICA: Exacta Key Box 5 with 2,7. Rushie with Country Grammer (5-2) and Express Train (2-1).
G1 GAMELY STAKES
BEST VALUE PLAY: Keeper Ofthe Stars (5-2) to win at 5-2 or greater
EXOTICA: Exacta Key Box: 6 with 2,5. Keeper Ofthe Stars with Charmaine’s Mia (5-2) and Red Lark (12-1)
Suggested wagers are always at allowable minimums with $2 straight wagers. Win plays should be at minimum equal to dollars wagered in exotic pools
“As an aside, Ms. Corbett might consider turning over one of the Lazy F horses it cares over to Angel Penna Jr., who developed major stakes winners Auntie Mame and Royal Pennant for Lazy F Ranch, not to mention champions Christmas Past and Laugh and Be Merry and the great sprinter, ill-fated A Phenomenon. I wouldn’t think that he’s forgotten how to develop a champion.”
Good on you, John. I couldn’t agree more, and Angel is also one of nicest men in the game.
Tink, I never do this, but I called him before posting this to ask if he would be embarrassed by something like this. He said wouldn’t and thanked me for thinking of him. A nice man, and a high class individual…
So enjoy reading the latest give and take out of Hallandale this morning and I look forward to playing and watching today. Missing the Met Mile, but the bounty of races offered is a great consolation. One quick sideline comment I took away from the two responses above, my thoughts drifted years back to a Ron Howard directed a movie on the subject of the long past network show “The Sixty Four Thousand Dollar Question” and the scandal that followed after “the fix was in” disclosure” was released.
Ron Howard had commented about the movie that he was trying to capture the concept of innocence lost in society on the film. For years I presented the same concept of loss discussion using simple Topps baseball trading cards. As youngsters, I presented, we all traded Mantle for Williams, Snider for Mays, and at times, even the same aforesaid could sweeten the pot in a game of “flippies” and “leaners”. The guys who were not of the same “High Echelon” would always find a home on the spokes of a hand me down bike, attached with a pinched off the line clothes pin. What a time we grew up in.
At any rate, you both Tinky and John have captured my sense of loss lately employing the neglect of oversight and protection within the racing industry itself. Forego leads me to Wajima, and so many championship other challenges we witnessed over the years prior to the destructive forces of race day medications. It will take quite some time to restore that trust we held, and the stamina of the breed itself has been greatly diminished. We can only hope that each new morning’s brings a rising sun for racing. So hope my grandkids one day may recapture the innocence lost to unbridled greed. Maybe the answer lies in the bloodstock in Europe.
On the positive, looking forward to today’s action. Nice to learn Indulto’s vision is on the improve, and so refreshing to read once more of Angel Penna Jr. There is a huge amount to be grateful for on the rising sun Memorial Day. Thanks to all the Vets who paid the ultimate price and allow for all of us another shot at recovering our innocence lost.
A horseplayer’s prayer on Memorial Day could not be more appropriate. Good job McD !