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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

UPDATE 2: THREE RACES FROM BELMONT, PLUS CHURCHILL, MONMOUTH AND WOODBINE

HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, June 11, 2021 – The Triple Crown chase has been put away for another year and the hope is that the stretch duel between Essential Quality and Hot Rod Charlie lingers long after L’affaire Baffert has been adjudicated.

The Dancer’s Image phenylbutazone positive took for years of legal wrangling before it was resolved, but we have no idea if there’s a statute of limitations on corticosteroids. As we all know, it won’t be anytime soon.

But the show must, and will, go on. We’ve already had close to a fortnight of racing at the crop-less Jersey Shore. Saturday features a deep and competitive two-turn Salvator Mile.

Saturday’s Grade 3 is headed by last year’s winner Pirate’s Punch (5-1), who returns following surgery following last year’s Breeders’ Cup Dirt Mile, and Ny Traffic (9-5) a Triple Crown campaigner and runnerup in last year’s Haskell and a recent sharp returnee.

The more significant event, however, comes the next day when Kentucky Derby runnerup—for now at least—Mandaloun, makes his Monmouth Park debut in the Pegasus Stakes, which trainer Brad Cox hopes will springboard the colt successfully into next month’s Grade 1 Haskell.

Our friends north of the border return today as Woodbine Race Course kicks off its 2021 racing season, delayed this year due to a spike in Covid-19 positives as mandated by the Canadian government. As expected, an 11-race card features many full-field events on turf and the Tapeta Footings.

BELMONT PARK

Allowances RACE 7

STRAIGHT PLAY: 6-Subsidiary (4-1) to win at 3-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box 1-6, Subsidiary with Entreat (3-1)

DANCIN RENEE STAKES RACE 8

STRAIGHT: 3-Good Credence (5-2) to win at 5-2 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box 3-5, Good Credence with Sadie Lady (2-1)

OPTIONAL/ALLOWANCES RACE 9

STRAIGHT: 1-Guildsman (9-2) to win at 4-1 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box 1-3, Guildsman with Ghoul (6-1)

MONMOUTH PARK

G3 SALVATOR MILE Race 10

STRAIGHT: Ny Traffic (9-5) to win, no price restrictions

EXOTICA: Exacta Box 2-7, Ny Traffic with West Will Power (6-1)

WOODBINE RACE COURSE

MAIDEN ALLOWANCES Race 8

STRAIGHT: Speightstown Shirl (8-5) to win at 7-5 or greater

EXOTICA: Exacta Box: 5-8, Speightstown Shirl with Confident (8-1)

CHURCHILL DOWNS

G3 MINT JULEP Race 9

STRAIGHT: Juliet Foxtrot (6-5) to win, no price restrictions

EXOTICA: Exacta Box 2-6, Juliet Foxtrot with Dominga (8-1)

Per usual, the suggestion is that all exotic wagers should be made at the minimums available but straight wagers at the $2 level. This is meant to reference proportion, not amounts per se

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Our staff likes nothing better than to engage with the HRI Faithful and provide a forum for interaction on horseracing and sports. In that spirit, please be kind and reasonable; keep the language clean, and the tone civil. Comments from those who cannot comply will be deleted. Thank you.

19 Responses

  1. So what are we going to do about Bob? He attributes the “I didn’t know that or do that..” concerns of late to the modern advent of the cancel culture world. Can’t I just say sorry guys and keep my prime time hold the trainer of the current era status? Mea Culpa….Maxima Culpa already. Don’t take away my Hall of Fame fame. Don’t mistake me with Pete Rose, The Medicine Man of the baseball world. Red ones, blue ones, whatever and whenever anyone in the locker room needed a quick me up, go see Pete. Far as I know my horse was never on nothin. Cancel culture is all, lol. For the good of the game can’t we just pay a fine and move on?

    1. For the non-Faithful, this is snark multiplied by a thousand from McD.

      And if you’ve lost mild-mannered McD, the water has gotten very deep for Mr. Baffert.

  2. John, Sorry to open with Baffert lines above. “Who needs the static….it just hurts the head.”sang Joni Mitchell way back when. We got past Pete Rose, and we’ll also get past Bob Baffert and all of the like. As with baseball however, it will take some time.

    I commend your latest efforts in support of the sport, and also wanted to add that the updated Photos by Toni are an awesome improvement on the HRI web of racing info.

    Tomorrow I’ll show the photos to my two young grandsons and will be better able to explain the sport using Toni’s updated efforts.

    With the innocents of winning the Belmont Stakes by one picking a name and number combination, and the younger brother to selecting the color blue racing silks, we celebrated the event after with ice cream cones purchased after winning the race. The Belmont has sparked an interest. Did much the same with my son’s over the years with the NCAA March Madness tournament when they were very young. The most important lessons mind you are about moderation and the sharing of good fortune.

    Looking forward to wagering on your selections in the morning John. I enjoy going for the Win and small Ex Bx format.
    Hopefully the Sheriff in charge of the HRI posse also checks in in the morning. Maybe one of you could even key on a wager on a claiming race one day in support of WMC. Most trainers I suspect make their livings on claimers and it would be a refreshing step away from the world of Baffert and Super Trainer affluence. Maybe Wendel can give us his take one day.

    Just a two dollar players take, but what the heck do I know. I’m just trying to score a few bucks for ice cream, and maybe catch a few more captivating Photos by Toni.

    Safe journey to all.
    .

    1. First, Toni is going to love that a reader appreciates her work; no one more than me, of course. But you will have made her day. In fact, I suggested that she put a price tag on the Woodward shot; lots of symmetry going on there then, and considering the race’s place in history…

      And you are right, everything in moderation, which is why we suggest wagering minimums in exotics and $2 for straight bets. If a bettor wanted to add a couple of zeros that’s on them.

      Alas, no claimers, but there’s $123,000 maiden-special from Canada that piqued our interest…

      Don’t know whether I’m flattered that our work helped in the creation of a couple of young fans–which would not have been possible without grandpa’s help and a couple of scoops. Hope you’re not cheap-ing it out and spring for the waffle cones.

      Personally, I don’t know what the proper punishment is, considering the entire history, but racing history, present, past and future, could depend on it. It must be fair but actions are supposed to have consequences. And there certainly has been more than 25 picograms worth of controversy over 30 years.

      And lest I remind you, Mr. Rose never made it to the Hall of Fame and his “crime” was not only breaking of the gambling rule, but actions having a directly impact on the integrity of his sport.

      As far as the Hall of Fame is concerned, if you’re referencing possible ex-duction, Ty Cobb certainly was no model citizen on or off the field. So there’s that…

  3. Saturday June 12, 2021

    8th race-Box the #1,#5 and #6 in your exotics. A repeat of his last makes #1 Fierce Lady the winner. Speed from the rail, get’s Saez, Likes Belmont, in light in his second race this year off a layoff. 6-1 is value.

    9th race- Crap shoot. This race can be looked at several different ways. IMO Duress is venerable. Outside post, off a layoff, for a trainer that’a 0 for this meet, With no real speed in a sprint that practically starts on the turn. 3-1 is not a bargain. The pick here is Battle Station.(7/2). This Horse is in shape with a nice pattern, never runs a bad one in the third race of his form cycle off a layoff. The #1 Guildsman and #8 Second of July are both Grade 3 stakes winners with the latter lightly raced, in light and never lost at Belmont or the distance. Complete your exotics with the #10 Quarky and #11 Holiday Stone.

    10th race- Enter the realm of the unknown.3 first time starters and 3 with one race, a 5 year old Mdn. and a partridge in a pear tree. Let’s take a look at the one’s I like. #2 Sweet Franny Lu, Get’s the 2 hole on grass, has early speed to take a position, off a drop for an underrated trainer. First time weeds, should like the distance, is bred for grass. (6-1). the #4 Mondeuse, a big brown filly, stretching out after 5 straight sprints (3 last year), has very good speed for David Donk and a switch to Ortiz.6-1 is solid and this is her 3rd race of her form cycle. #5 Lady Manhattan. It’s hard for me to believe that Pletcher would run another stinker. dropping to mdn claiming and switching from Diaz to Castellano against these and Barre. Clement/ Rosario off 9 recorded works.She doesn’t need to be much to beat these. So box the 2,4,5,6 in your exotics, watch the board to see if anyone else is taking money, if any of these float to high consider a win bet and get done with it.

    Let’s go get those bad guys, head em up, move em out,
    Enjoy your day, Vinnie O’

  4. Vino, I actually chose two of those races you highlighted specifically because they were crapshoots. Value seems assured whatever the path taken by the horseplayer. All the angles work; there where and when of it, therein lies the rub.

  5. John, Keeping Baffert out of an HOF realm, just like with Rose, will be punishment enough. To me it all comes down to his dismissive attitude of entitlement. I can’t believe for a minute that he doesn’t oversee everything that takes within his stable, and if he doesn’t, shame on him anyway. He is still the guy in charge of it all. He has toed over the line one too many times. Like the term just a little pregnant. No such thing. Doesn’t matter how many times the lawyers want to litigate the size of a urine sample, the medicated oats fed to the horse in this case have already passed through the horse. H.S. is H.S. Forest.

    Saw a good flick last night think most will enjoy. Tom Hanks again wins another HOF nomination. News of the World.

    One for Toni I think she might enjoy. Thinks it was called Wonder Wheel. A Coney Island tale from the fifties. Almost didn’t watch as when my wife put it on I saw Woody Allen, but the parachute jump in the background trapped me. I remember asking the the guy running the ride “Please Mr., I may never get a chance to ever do this again.” I had a cast on my arm from a fall out of a tree fort in the woods a few weeks before. He let me go on, and sure enough the ride was shut down forever and ever Amen.

    Good Rides today Gents. And if we get beat I hope it will be the Lady Players who pass us.

  6. Forever and ever amen. That youthful Catachism is hard to shake.

    “Please Mr.” — like that. As far as Woody and Bobby are concerned, do we leave it at “life’s complicated” and move on? Yes, but with a lot more thought to long-range implications as to racing’s future..

    (Should have mentioned before how Toni appreciated your kind words. Sometimes that’s all anyone needs).

    Glad you like the new look, we’ll keep working on it. A one-man shop– with great IT support for a change–consumes a lot of time and I thought I rated to drop out a little more often and hang out, with my family, without deadlines.

    Love Saturdays, the one day of the week all horseplayers have a moral obligation to wager. Racing should be proud of its best feet forward. There are very good people on one side–the side of the horse.

    It’s important that the Horseracing Integrity and Safety Act get off to a good start. The lack of familiarity just could be a change event that actually works. There are plenty of racing hand-holders on board some not that excuse (lie) again.

    And it’s not against the law to get lucky.

    Anyway, coffee and vape-time is over. Back to the sand and loam… and the ADWs.

  7. Oh, and while we’re touting. Kings, is worthy to be among some of the best of the modern Docs. Extremely well researched, well crafted, cleverly cut, still relevant and a teachable moment, as they say.

    At minimum, Kings is four one-hours of must-see TV. That one’s on me…

  8. Will look for and find the Kings. Actually already found the wise men hanging their crowns at HRI. No wise guys mind you. Only smartest of the smart sharing their skills. Promise not to kill anyone’s price horse. Mea Maxima Culpa from the days of old indeed. Hard to shake the Latin in me still. Forever and ever goes hand in hand. My oldest son used to say pass the basket and let’s get out of here already, Lol. Anyhoot, looking for the NYRA Network as I type. All the best in breaking a leg. No two dollars bills today mind you.

  9. Correction so as not to be misunderstood. Going with “sporting their “Burger King” crowns at HRI.

    P.S. Who needs Baffert when we can cheer for Uriah St. Lewis. Informative won and paid $161.60

    Now that’s taking out some bad guys! Didn’t have ’em but cheer for him nonetheless. Cheers for one of the small barns.

    Maybe Wendell had ’em. That’s a lot of pastrami and Foster’s. Hope you had ’em WMC. Indy as well even if only for a dime.

    1. That was pretty cool… didn’t cost me as I had my chances to beat the favorite and didn’t choose the right one. Although still can’t have the winner right now. Upsets happen.

    2. McD,
      I did bet that race. Thought NY Traffic was a lock, but w/o “encouragement,” he didn’t appear to extend himself in the stretch. Be interesting to see how long the fans put up with odds-on choices performing like that. I’m done w/MTH unless they change the whip rules, and top jockeys want to ride there.

      I actually considered a win bet on Informative since he had recently improved to a competitive speed rating and was ridden by the leading jockey, Ferar, and the trainer had won a G1 statkes in NY, but couldn’t pull the trigger, because I was half-hoping Green Light Go would revert to his Champagne performance for the unlikely duo of Frank Stronach and Jerry Hollendorfer.

    1. And I make up most of the rest, McD. So what? Having a good time? Hope everyone is… that’s what it’s for.

  10. I, I understand your frustration, but the 80-1 chance had the same chance and responded to hands and heels handling. And you know the winner targeted this race whereas the runnerup admittedly was prepping. So there is that….

  11. Geez, the only winner you selected was at Woodbine, a MSW race, paying $3.70 to win. Those stake races are tough and other than an odds-on favorite, who usually manages to lose, most of the blue bloods figure; not so in those damn, cheap, disgusting claimers where the odds-on is almost guaranteed to finish ‘up-the-track’!

    Turn the page.

    1. Indeed, a terrible day, though there was a scratch and the exacta horse won.

      But it doesn’t matter. Do OK, crickets. Do badly, climb the highest mountain.

      #SchadenfreudeWins: $2.40 -out-out

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