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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, July 15, 2023 –  First Saturday of the meet; track dried out nicely—damp-fast—turf was on the good side of firm.

Pirate lived out to advance notices—Todd and Irad, but 1-5 on a first-timer crazy short, even in sixth horse field. Colt was pressed hard throughout, disposed of rivals, and finished willingly while tiring some; terrific effort, stakes likely next stop. 

Calf nearly kills the butcher as 007 Bond first-timer Why Waste Words just missed by a short head after making a strong, late run by a short head. Epic Miss Justice, overlay at 23-1 took lead in final sixteenth, just holding late and giving Joel Rosario his first Spa win. Graham Motion maiden Heavenly Appointed was surrounded throughout and never had a chance to run, stable mail please…

Chad Brown won his eighth Diana unexpectedly with Whitebeam who picked a most opportune time to give a lifetime best performance to run down seemingly invincible mate In Italian who, a less than firm course notwithstanding, had no excuse in defeat…

Mark Casse’s third finisher Fev Rover might have been best given circumstances. Obstreperous at the break unseating Javier Castellano, he was reloaded, chased the pace throughout, was shuffled a bit leaving headstretch, angled out  inside the final sixteenth and was running the Chad duo down late, failing to get up by a diminishing half-length. Flavien Prat did everything right throughout, getting up in final jump. Great ride…

No surprises in the second graded run of the day as the speed set the table for the two classy run runners with Casa Creed getting the jump on the odds on Annapolis for a solid score in the G3 Kelso as the Bill Mott bandwagon rolls on. Both look as if the G1 Fourstardave remains squarely on their radar screen.

It wasn’t quite Man o’ War but 1-5 Gold Sweep met defeat in the Sanford but in fairness had a major exchange, bobbling badly soon after the start, losing all position and any chance to remain undefeated. Indeed, he showed high class to recover and make a solid rally late. But Yo Yo Candy, who lugged in badly when beaten by the favorite in the Tremont, finished straight and strong in his new blinkers.


Here are the Feature Race Trip Notes for Sunday’s G3 QUICK CALL STAKES, listed in post order:

NO NAY NEVER (6-1) restrained speed 3-4 wide all, angled out, surged 6 wide entering stretch, finished strongly 5 wide stretch, driven out but taken in hand late—big improvement with new patient tactics.

KIGALI (20-1) broke sharply, good speed inside backstretch, pushed making inside move at 3/8s to open the lead, won ridden out, much the best.

EYE WITNESS (4-1) restrained speed between horses early, still restrained 3-wide covered up at turn, angled out and asked 5-wide into lane, gamely in stretch, driven out.

DR OSERAN (8-1) broke 3 lengths behind last horse, angled out when asked 5-wide entering stretch, finished strongly between horses in 3-path late, gamely surged to win show photo.

TWO OF A KIND (8-1) [KEE, Apr. 18] restrained speed inside behind fast pace, angled out moving 4-wide into lane, left lead all stretch, late change four jumps from the wire.

CHARGING (10-1) sharp speed from gate, rated speed 3-wide backstretch, re-break leaving headstretch, in hand final sixteenth.

BRITEDAYZAHEAD (6-1) restrained speed stalking backstretch 3-4 wide, pushed for speed between horses head-to-head turn, driven hard while tiring late stretch.

SON OF A BIRCH (30-1) pushed for speed bet horses on the chase backstretch and turn.

UNCASHED (5-1) [on dirt, no turf form] sharp speed from gate, pushed for speed getting separation on turn, jock look around for final three furlongs, not asked from sixteenth pole, won geared down late stretch.

GASLIGHT DANCER (7-2) restrained speed in a pocket trip, angled out 4-wide moving into the lane, driving but stayed one-paced stretch, not asked nearing wire when apparently beaten.

JOEY FRESHWATER (9-2) Main track Only. [MAY 12] asked for speed from gate, angled out on move into lane, hung late stretch.

ACOUSTIC AVE (6-1) Main Track Only. Sat trip behind hot pace, a Brad Cox fave, pushed to move 3-wide turn chasing, driven 4 wide, appeared to need race, eft lead through stretch.

The Skinny: Eye Witness has shown versatility in both distance ability and running style. Comes in fresh and working with purpose for Wesley Ward at his Keeneland base. Need 3-1 straight.

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11 Responses

  1. Diana: Five horses, four of them trained by one trainer. It feels like reading charts from a Saudi Arabian racetrack… ‘America at the Races’ is carrying some six or seven handicappers, talent, racehorse insiders or whatever. In short fields with odds-on favoriteS, shouldn’t they at least pick some exactas…? Trying to figure out what may be going on in Turf races not an easy thing to discern at Saratoga with so many visiting horses/trainers… Why cheap claiming races to start the day, on a Sunday? Oh, almost forgot…On Friday there was a Shannon Uske sighting on a 90/1 longshot.. I guess Gary Richards was not available.. Still wonder why Hall of Fame Allan Jerkens used this jockey so many times moons ago… And Noel Winter, too! And still got into the Hall… Stay cool.

    1. The handicappers, especially Maggie and Acacia, are always pointing out price shots that look good in the prelims, so you need to pay a little closer attention…
      As for “cheap claiming races,” cards need to be filled and those owners and trainers deserve their share of the Spa spotlight. Besides, there’s more than enough quality stock that races every day…
      Same thing re lesser known riders who exercise horses in the morning to make their ends meet; they deserve a chance at a payday or, at the least, staying loyal to those horsemen who give them a piece of work…
      And that’s why The Chief was the best, and among the most beloved trainers of all time, at least in my nears half-century on the job: He gave everyone a chance. Forgetting Johnny Ruane and Robyn Smith? He was instrumental in their careers.
      Meanwhile, venting is good, up to a point ..

      1. venting is good, up to a point ..

        67 horses in 10 races on a Sunday. The meet is 4 days old and NYRA has offered the public 2 races of 3 horse fields.

        Call this an InfoVent.

        1. As long as the owners, trainers cash those exorbitant, generous purses nobody’s going to lament besides the wimpy, addicted, harmless bettors. Which is like what it must feel when crying in the middle of the Sahara, ” Water, Water”… Another of my reasons why I automatically skip several races ..To me, it’s Not an inducement to bet more $$ on verticals. PS: Check the purse $$ on those early, cheap claimers today.. ” Gotta be in it, to Cash it “! And they’re not even watchable races, those ‘ matches ‘.It ain’t Alydar vs Affirmed ( just to mention two rivals of he past)! There’s no Shame , just more greed. Take it or leave if it were not x the Casinos ,Racinos they would Really notice declining numbers on an average horse betting day.. So , they offer you a buffet ( of addictions, from tables to bandits to cards ) and, yes,those running horses over there… both of them, or all four of them.. whatever.. Until Next week… Stay cool..

        2. I’ve been doing this for 46 years and I don’t have an answer about what to do when races come off the grass. Owners and trainers don’t want to run their grass horses on a wet track. This is what happens at every track in the country that doesn’t race on an All Weather surface. Is that the answer, to convert all dirt tracks to Tapeta to avoid scratches?

          I wrote before the meet opened that NYRA would have an issue filling races and when the skies open they can’t keep the races in tact. If anyone has a fix, please share it…

  2. I’ll take Gaslight Dancer in a very contentious race. Uncashed maybe the speed of the speed, reaching for Ortiz Jr. , Two of a kind made a good account of himself in last two vs. Gaslight Dancer, Dr. Oseran broke dead last, came third, gets Prat and Eye Witness will be over bet and probably post time favorite while never going 5.5 furlongs on grass, he’s had one work since June 24th. I’ll take the 10 to win and box him with the 4,5,9.

    1. Noted Vincent, I really struggled with this race, could have chosen any of five, most of whom you touched on. Gaslight Dancer very logical and will vie for favoritism in my opinion; don’t believe Eye Witness will be over-bet, though that’s certainly possible given connections.
      To me, Dr Oseran is the most intriguing at anything approximating early line odds. Meanwhile, thanks for playing the home version of out little game” May they all run well and come back well.

      1. Like you, I love this game of ours and you make it just a little better John. Thanks for all the hard work every single day.

  3. Now on wet dirt, seriously considering that Uncashed will run back to his Prairie Meadows romp in the rescheduled Quick Call. Will be checking the tote…

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