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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


The Ramsey Farm Stakes is the nominal feature as KY Downs brings down another successful stand Thursday but from a betting prospective, we prefer to attempt the impossible: Beating a sharp and very fast Jorge Navarro-trained favorite. But try we must.

Javier Castellano,, who rode him to victory in a Saratoga listed stakes last time out at 5-1/2 furlongs, likes him enough to make the trip to Franklin, KY. Of course, being 2-1 for a $500,000 pot on a horse seeking his third straight turf-sprint win without defeat is incentive enough.

And, yes, he owns a win at 7 furlongs on dirt so the stretch to 6-1/2 in the G3 Franklin Simpson is do-able, so come on undulations! Maybe the hills and dales will startle the three year old enough to make him vulnerable, and so might some of his graded stakes-toughened rivals.

Two of today’s 15 other entrants, which includes four also-eligibles, look interesting and both could provide value–if hot riding turf ace Adam Beschizza and all-around ace Flavien Prat don’t siphon too much of the valueaway.

The anticipated scratch of G2 Hall of Fame winner Casa Creed by Bill Mott doesn’t help our prices any, either, but one never knows. We’ll let the tote decide, relative to early odds, and choose between The Last Zip (8-1) and The Black Album (15-1).

Both horses are turning back into sprints, albeit a tough distance to negotiate for its demands on speed and stamina, and the course has been playing faster this year than any in recent memory but that uphill climb in the final sixteenth is demanding.

But no more demanding than the one mile of the G1 Secretariat was for The Last Zip most recently. He set a pressured pace throughout and held gamely but could not stave off two stretch rivals and finished third. On the turn-back, his tactical speed will keep him in the game and his recent conditioning can get him most of the way.

In terms of style, The Black Album is a bit of a ‘tweener and stretches back out from 5-1/2 after having run in five straight routes. Exiting the Spa race won by Archidust, he resembles a horse that has been specifically pointed here and reunites with Prat, who was aboard for the two-back victory. Clearly, the connections would love for the colt to get his first graded U.S. score.

We will make a win wager, price dependent for either or both, box an exacta, adding in Navarro–we don’t have a death wish, after all–sprinkle Subbins (10-1) into the exotics mix, and might even try to get the maiden LifeMission (50-1) to finish off the superfecta.

YESTERDAY: Nay Lady Nay, pace compromised, was a very good second to Sorrentino Lemon, who got first run with favorable dynamics, is now 2-for-2 lifetime, and a filly with a future.

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2 Responses

  1. And your point? (he asked rhetorically).

    I’m only hoping the picks are right. Very tough race, but if I’m smart in this spot, I will get paid a lot for a little…

    BTW: Glad you seem to be OK and feisty per usual; we hadn’t heard from you in a few days and we worry about our readers, even the curmudgeons.

    I have a confession to make; I’m not really very good about including sponsor names in stories or selections in races I write about, must do better at that…

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