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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, July 19-20, 2023 – Horseplayers were the winners as sunshine prevailed in the opening day of Week 2. All races remained on turf, same expected for Thursday, but precipitation currently in the forecast for Friday and Saturday. Here’s hoping…

Belfast Banter excellent on the flat after moving out behind cover into lane, won like a run-off through the lane; impressive Smithwick winner looking like a Jonathan Sheppard repeater next out… Dontbelate parlayed great form into third straight but Souper Catch unlucky to be beaten with hickory game last finish to save the place with terrific ride  from Kendrick Carmouche

Travers preview, Belmont Stakes redux? Either way, Jena Antonucci and Javier Castellano team-up to win the fifth with Rock the Weekend. We’ll take Run Smitty Run who lost contact early, was urged angling out into the stretch ad finished willingly thereafter, sure to benefit; note…

Mucho Macho Man girl Queen’s Martini angled out smoothly, leveled off approaching the eighth pole and widened powerfully with long strides to win debut for Gargan and Saez; ultimately distance bound; note…

At the turn, favorite Sixththreecaliber was going the wrong way but Tyler Gaffalione stayed with her, roused her into the stretch where she engaged, tipped 3-wide between fillies to win the allowance co-feature, a great example of courage by the filly and the strength of her pilot; good job all around…

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HRI Trip Notes for Thursday’s colt division of the New York Stallion Series, listed in post order with early line odds:

GEM MINT TEN (6-1)  [May 2 trip today’s distance] showed speed from gate then ridden for position, took back at ¾ pole to sit behind 3-day speed battle, driven out 3-path gamely nearing finish.

ITSALLCOMINTOGETHA (6-1) recovered from roughed start, restrained speed stalking leaders thereafter, ridden into contention between horses approaching headstretch, driven out stretch, good effort.

LAUREL VALLEY (20-1) restrained speed behind duel, ridden moving into contention approaching lane, driven out, loomed winner but outgamed at the line.

VACATION DANCE (5-1) restrained speed between horses much of the way, steadied near 5/8s, bobbling action while making turn move, driven out through stretch in even finish.

MAMA BANNED ME (30-1) [on May 13] alternately ridden and restrained racing between horses throughout, angled out clear into stretch, finished strongly while driven out in slow race.

WILLINTORISKITALL (20-1) raced head to head throughout, dueled head to head through stretch, driving gamely inside to win bob, haltered by sharp claiming barn.

RAMBLIN WRECK (7-5) came out pulling up after getting roughed at start, 5 lengths last behind the group, restrained behind horses thereafter, angled out 6-wide while moving well into stretch, finished strongly, bold turn of foot.

TWENTY SIX PACK (5-2) stalked the speed throughout3-4 wide all, asked to move up 3-wide mid-turn, driven to lead entering, gamely stretch, very good second to one-run winner.

The Skinny: Rematch between the two favorites who were 1-2 in first race of series. Twenty Six Pack did the dirty work but was nailed by bold-finish last run winner; tough call beyond an exacta box; it’s wide open underneath.

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