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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

TAMPA BAY TODAY – JAN 7

Early Pick 5 players won’t need a road map to find a single in Friday’s sequence thanks to an appearance by the Pletcher/Saez team in today’s second event. Emmanuel is a worthy 4-5 choice.

Never mind that he broke maiden on debut at Gulfstream by nearly seven, a win termed “handily,” or that he returned with the third fastest work among 53 peers that week, but how many times do you see a horse whose final pace figure going a mile matches his first-quarter fraction?

Quite right, hardly ever. But the story is behind him, too. There are several well bred, expensive sales purchases behind him that hail from top barns. This is no gimme, and who will complete the exacta if it is? There are some videos to see before answering:

Emmanuel’s if from Gulfstream Park, DEC 11, Race 7. But do check out Golden Glider (7-2), also a debut winner for Mark Casse. How often do you see this in the short comments in a 12-horse two-turner; “last to first?” See his race at Woodbine, NOV 27, Race 6.

And what about Larry Rivelli’s 9-1/4 length Hawthorn debut winner at 2-5 (green, easily), Trigger Happy (5-1), or Eion Harty’s Boitano (8-1), a competitive-figure winner over today’s surface, also around two turns.

The Pletcher colt is the only one making his route debut. There’s much to consider behind the obvious likely winner.

All showed class in various, asundry ways but we must shade the favorite to win with some trepidation because Golden Glider had to overcome a poor start, weave his way through rivals, forced to tip very wide at headstretch, requiring a wide-horse finish to win it.

That’s a boxed exacta for us, using the other two third only in trifectas

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