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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


We’re going to take a gamble without placing a bet. With Sunday’s feature scheduled for a mile and a sixteenth on the turf, we’ll follow the weather handicappers and the fact there are five Main-Track-Only entrants, we’re going to analyze this route for a wet dirt track.

And the truth is the form of the dirt runners are superior on performance figures to those of the turf specialists. Additionally, a number of these were slated for turf debuts but their best form is all on the main track.

We made a similar observation about the winner of the G1 Flower Bowl yesterday, that improving Chad Brown turf horses is not dine every day yet Shug McGaughey has won four straight with the turf mare.

In that context, how many people can move up former Jorge Navarro trainees? Rare indeed, but Rob Atras has done that with gelded five year old Lil Commissioner (7-2).

After a three month break, the ‘Commissioner’ came back not only a winner but also with a lifetime best career performance dropping to the $20K claiming level at Belmont Park.

He reacted negatively to a big boost in class and trip next out out but on SEP 20 at Monmouth, he took a preliminary two turn allowances and showed a forward move, cycling back to the career best three starts back.

The spacing of 37 days for his return looks perfect, given that Atras is a profitable 25% with similarly-timed turnarounds and has chosen proper placement for his reintroduction to turf which, as noted earlier, appears extremely unlikely.

And even if it does remain on grass, there’s no telling how much he might improve once again. After all, he did win on turf last fall at Delaware Park. He’ll be good to go writing paper either way.

Taking Lil Commissioner to win, no price restrictions, and an exacta box with sharp working Galerio (7-2) for Team Gonzalez/Cruz.

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