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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Class relief was the difference between victory and defeat for Blue Prize Sunday, dropping from graded stakes to listed company. Will the same angle work for Red Knight in Wednesday’s John’s Call?

Quite possibility, and with the same pilot, too, leading rider Jose Ortiz getting Bill’s call today. However, we’re looking for a slight upset in the 13-furlong marathon.

The 4-year-old Pillar Mountain (5-2) has remaining upside potential and we’re thinking his upward mobility will continue here.

A winner of an 11-furlong optional claimer in his course debut, the Pletcher trainee drops four pounds off that effort which means he will be getting two pounds from the likely favorite who is picking up four given today’s conditions.

The lone speed signed on here is the badly outclassed Prequestor (50-1) who likely is doing the racing office and favor and just as likely will be a program scratch. Among the others, no one has a lick of speed.

And given a Who’s Who of the local riding colony, this surely will go to the runner whose pilot has employed the best strategy.

We have no idea how this thing will develop as Ortiz, Castellano and Rosario are all capable of aggressive middle moves in spots such as this. It will be an interesting chess match and we’re hoping we guessed right.

Betting Pillar Mountain to win, needing 2-1 minimum, will box an exacta with the favorite and use recent jump-up winner, Redicean (8-1), shedding a mere 34 pounds to fill out the exacta and trifecta.

SUNDAY: Blue Prize ($3.20) needed all that class relief and Jose’s guile and strength to win the Summer Colony. The $13.40 exacta with 5-1 Vexatious was more than fair.

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7 Responses

  1. When a horse gets class relief she should win easily being ‘much the best’. Blue Prize barely won the race and Ortiz didn’t help with a lousy ride. The plungers (is there a bridge near the track, Alice) and all the other bettors who chased a 3-5 odds-on mare all had wet underwear as the two runners approached the finish line.

  2. Now we get to knock winners because they don’t win impressively enough?! You can bet against her next time, right?

    I subscribe to the MLB theory; in the box score they all look like line drives. I only know my balance went up after Vexatious finished second. And that’s the only thing that matters, that the plodders win, right?

    How many Foster’s do you drink daily, anyway? (Never mind, you don’t have to answer that, it’s none of my business).

    You’re getting close to eliciting sympathy. You seem in danger of ruining the image you’ve so carefully crafted all these years.

    C’mon Wendell, you’re better than this!

  3. Don’t get your above message Mr. Pricci. Sympathy? Image? From the comments thrown at me (darts, Alice) over the years here at HRI, the only image that is apparent to commentators is of a curmudgeon, contrarian, ole fart, et cetera.

    I’ll stand by my comment above that when a horse gets class relief and goes off at 3-5 the plater should win by lengths, not inches and should not give those that bet on the mare heart palpitation and wet pants.

    As to Foster’s; they come in 25.2 oz. oil cans. I consume three cans of God’s nectar every afternoon; no more, no less, none before noon and none after the third can.

  4. A fourth Fosters might bring things into better focus. Let me speak plainer: Lighten’ up, enjoy, live and let live.

    As for the unimpressive winner, as stated previously, you’ve got a bet-against the next time she runs.

  5. The horse does not know it is 3-5. Did not see the race but maybe she was geared down and won by just enough. Many “tons the best” horses don’t win by open lengths, just enough to return to the stall with another win under their bridles. Speaking of lousy rides, I hope Ortiz does better with Tacitus than the abysmal Belmont outing. Wide the entire trip. A joke (a bad joke, Alice).

    1. Don’t be too hard on young Jose, Mal. You are right, not one of his best judged rides, but Tacitus has been a little bit of a goofy boy.

      Let’s see if the blinkers help him in Travers 150. My suspicion? They will.

  6. What a terrific race card at the Spa today. Ya got a hurdle race cancelled) and three two-year-old races, and the feature going off as the fourth race instead of the eighth which once was the norm; but ya can’t get in the way of the Empire 6 now, can you?

    The Penn National card tonight is more inspiring.

    The feature: Only two routers have gone the distance, and only four remain in the race. Golly, you will have time to grab a beer and dog when they are on the turn before they even get near the finish line.

    And the plug that finishes last will earn for the owner more than I or you will win in probably three years! Yup, Saratoga got the best racing in the country (for owners, trainers, and jockeys, Alice).

    For those already in attendance, enjoy the cleavage.

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