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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


Hallandale Beach FL, July 27-28 – And while sprint fans await Saturday’s Grade 1 action, three year old speedsters will battle to see which of six runners will become the next elite power in the sprinting ranks.

See what we did there?

Anyway, we’ll provide our trip notes for the G2 Amsterdam next but we admit we can’t wait until Saturday.

Will Elite Power make it eight straight scores dating back to June last year?

Will the new ‘cheater’ blinkers enable juvenile champion Forte to narrow his focus on the three-year-old title in a chaotic division loaded with talent and potential?

The answer to the first of these two queries is scheduled to be answered at 4:26 pm two days hence.

It’s difficult to know which runner Bill Mott has done a better job with: America’s leading Horse of the Year candidate Jody’s Wish or five year old Elite Power? Either way it doesn’t matter; it’s what Hall of Famers do.

Elite Power’s (126 pounds) principal competition will come from close second favorite—4-5 vs 8-5—Gunite (124), whose last two sprint victories took 1:08.40 and 1:08.60 to complete, compared to a pair of 1:09s for the favorite.

The 9 furlong Jim Dandy is fascinating, even with five runners. Three of the five have never lost at the trip, the other owns a (2) 1-1-0 slate.

The fifth never has gone the distance but is very fast and looms the only speed. Forte and Angel of Empire tote 126 pounds as the field’s only Grade 1 winners.

The only fly in the high class ointment is the possibility of a wet track clouding the final results.

The Jim Dandy is, of course, the local prep for the Derby of Midsummer on August 26. But the field is so quality laden that it could serve as a divisional tie-breaker at year’s end if needed.

Steward’s Got This One Right

Irad Ortiz was loaded with horse on the rail in midstretch but had nowhere to go in the seventh race on turf. But he made his way out, forcefully, and doing so eliminated a rival to his outside who was forced to check to avoid clipping heels. After a long deliberation, the stewards disqualified favorite Eyes On Target. Landbiscuit, placed first, was the beneficiary. It will be interesting to see whether the incident leads to a suspension for the meet’s leading rider…

HRI Trip Notes for Friday’s Amsterdam, listed in post order with early line odds: 

DREW’S GOLD (9-5) had speed from gate, chase/stalk 4-wide 3-wide backstretch, pushed speed head to head battling leaders, 3-wide entering, driving inside, go well until inside 1/16 pole, then tired.

JOEY FRESHWATER (15-1) [May 12, 6F] good position throughout, good trip behind duel midturn, good moving angling 4-5 wide into lane, no excuse for notch catching runnerup in late stretch. (One-paced in off-turner last out].

DEER DISTRCT (5-1) had speed from gate, took back, rated behind hot pace, ridden out while moving 5-wide entering lane, drew off rapidly and strongly, won with something left [willing third in key race prior this trip].

GILMORE (5-2)  good position 3-4 wide backstretch, perfect position midturn behind battle, carried 5-wide into lane, outrun through stretch by speed speed, ridden out through stretch, willingly, improved for Walsh.

RYVIT (3-1) [May 20 key race, Grade 3] good speed from gate, ridden to lead backstretch, pressed stoutly on rail turn, ridden out late stretch, clear.

NEW YORK THUNDER (6-1) [3-for-3, makes dirt debut; last race Tapeta Track] ridden out to lead soon after start, rated speed comfortably throughout under loose rein, asked after entering straight, took off powerfully when asked, (top prospect).

The Skinny: Drew’s Gold placed gamely behind Arabian Lion in G1 Woody Stephens, has versatile running style, continues to train energetically, attracts Jose Ortiz. Note: New York Thunder’s half-mile in :47B at Monmouth was fastest of 105 three-year-olds to work week of 0721.

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8 Responses

  1. Irad Ortiz was reckless !His bullying ,undisciplined ways are costing bettors ,owners, trainers money and respect ! One of these days….

  2. I’ve been critical of Irad here early and often here re his race-riding/intimidation tactics. Can’t necessarily blame him yesterday as he was blocked and loaded with horse, one which ultimately finished first.
    But you know what? If you’re saving ground, always a good idea, but then get trapped and blocked, you have no choice: You say trapped and blocked, if for no other reason for safety’s sake–clearly enough of a reason.
    In that context, if I were a racing official, I would have to levy days for ‘careless riding’ yesterday. We’re sure his intent was not to hurt anyone in his zeal to win, but the stewards need to rein in the rough riding that going on in NY — and it’s not always or only Irad.
    As you say JG… one of these days…

    1. Agree with this. He made the right play saving, but a certain % of the time it is going to mean you get stuck. Long term it is a very profitable decision, but in that overall profit there are a handful of times where it means you just have to eat that run you had and take the unlucky loss. If you are not willing to pay that small cost, you have no business making a habit out of saving ground. Can’t have it both ways though.

  3. Nice call out on New York Thunder’s morning work John. Moved the chains for another first down. Thanks!

    1. Yeah ,he’s won on all types of tracks, wonder if he can run on water..Love it when five ” race analysts” pick four horses in a short field race,,and the fifth equine wins the race !! …The way Stronach is willing to invest $$$ these days I had to check if the Saudis were owning it with their ” Liquid Black Gold” !! Could it Revive Santa Anita to the level of past glory years ?

      1. FYI, it’s Belinda Stronach who is guiding the fortunes of 1st these days. And, oh yes, schadenfreude is a very popular trait in horserace betting. Like the late, great Frenchy Schwartz always said: “The game ain’t hard and nobody’s barred.”

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