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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing


HALLANDALE BEACH, FL, July 28-29 – Two important graded stakes on the Spa docket for Saturday – with a 70% chance of a wet track, however.

The first of two stakes, the Grade 1 Alfred G Vanderbilt, has a scheduled post time of 4:26 pm. The Grade 2 Jim Dandy Stakes has a scheduled post of 5:45 pm.  Here’s hoping…

The Vanderbilt features Elite Power, America’s top rated sprinter and ranked send overall in the NTRA Thoroughbred Poll.

The Jim Dandy features newly blinkered 2022 juvenile champion Forte vs four rivals—three trained by Brad Cox.

Track condition always matters, of course, but to what extent? Will it be speed-favoring slop, or something a little deeper and stickier?

Assuming a prime effort by all, a look at the six furlong sprint shows that Elite Power has never run on a wet track. By Curlin, from the Vindication mare Broadway’s Alibi, he should handle wet.

Three of the five Jim Dandy horses; Forte, Angel of Empire and Disarm, have all won on sloppy tracks. Hit Show and Saudi Crown have not run in wet footing but both are from grandsires that get wet-track runners.

Elite Power’s seven straight scores has earned him 4-5 favoritism. Gunite’s rapidly won Aristides and wet-track King Cotton win makes him the 8-5 early-line second favorite.

It should be noted these two are next to each other in the stalls and that two speedsters breaking outside of both are 2-for-2 on wet tracks. So there’s that.

The Jim Dandy boasts proven or promising Grade 1 talent. Two, Forte and ‘Angel’ have won at that level, two late developers, Saudi Crown and Disarm are on the make.

Hit Show lost by a bobbed nose in the Wood Memorial after getting buffeted about between horses the final sixteenth of a mile. But wait there’s more…

DAY 13: HRI’s Trip Notes for the Jim Dandy five, listed in post order with early line odds:

DISARM (6-1) restrained showing good speed inside backstretch, tipped out 3-4 path, into top stride up late, driving.

FORTE (7-5) [APR 1, FL Derby, today’s trip] good speed from gate, ridden out 3-4 across first turn, showed speed under restraint 4-5 backside, ridden to rally 4-wide 3/8s, 6-wide into stretch too soon to lead, re-broke, won driving.

HIT SHOW (6-1) [APR 8, Wood Memorial, today’s trip] post 12, ridden out 5x 4x first turn, restrained speed 4-5 wide backstretch behind leaders, good position, head to head between rivals turn, bumped between final sixth, was best

SAUDI CROWN (5-2) ridden to lead soon after start saving ground 2 to 3-path backstretch, pressed hard inside on turn, driving hard inside head-to-head, lost head bob, gamely!

ANGEL OF EMPIRE (5-2) [APR 1, Arkansas Derby, today’s trip] restrained speed 2-3 wide first turn, ridden for position 3-4 wide backstretch behind the leading pack, asked to rally 4-wide midturn, 4-5 wide into lane, clearly best, continued well on gallop out.

The Skinny: Saudi Crown is tempting as lone speed and getting six pounds from both G1 winners. But the lean is to classy Forte who would run over broken glass and loved the improved focus in that half-mile breeze with blinkers, leaving his company willingly on his own. Price, bias final arbiters.

Florida Thunder. Canadian Thunder. NowNew York Thunder!

Can’t say we didn’t provide a heads-up. Don’t get me wrong, thought Drew’s Gold looked best on paper and New York Thunder needed to be taken on faith–and belief in workouts, such as his last at Monmouth Park, the fastest work of 105 three year olds to work the week of July 21.

And the faith Jorge Delgado showed. To win over two disparate All-Weather surfaces, and on turf, and to win them all, wow! Talk about confidence; shipping to Saratoga to make a dirt debut in a Grade 2, the Amsterdam with its roll call of sudden speed. Good job all around. Love good horsemanship.

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5 Responses

  1. Angel of Empire might offer surprising value, what with Forte and buzz horse speed, Saudi Crown. A safe and speedy journey to all…

  2. Thanks, Again , Fox I, Fox II and its Sports network management with another interrupted, fragmented Saturday card at Saratoga with some $ 2,000,000 day in purses and intriguing racing, being replaced by some Girl Soccer highlights of games already played and shown in replay !! Really!! Why have they been postponing the last race , the 5 the one I believe , because it’s raining ? Don’t horses run in the rain ? ( Maybe, there were signals of thunderstorms ?) I dunno I,got bored listening to who thinks what about the better races in small fields coming up today.. It was as good as listening to Perry Como ‘ s songs… Zzzz! Come on , Sux, I mean Fox, snap out of it !!! Show some respect , logic !!! Gotta walk my dog, or vice versa. Come on, Cleo !

  3. Maybe the Stewards all left to walk their dogs as well. Did they even look at a replay? “Official” went up faster than I can type.

  4. I Ortiz must be a Nascar and Roller Derby fan the way he elbows his way! Even with a winning cold triple and exacta in hand, I was livid! Here we go again with the ‘ Untouchables’ like this jockey , the trainer and the ‘ billionaire’s Queens owner , who by the way, was threatening that he’d leave the sport( of rich people like him) if some ‘ changes’ would not be made… like what,have the judges and everyone else,in your pockets ? Run the sport like owners run the NFL ? Does anyone of these stiffs see, sense the damage that they’re causing to this sport whose followers keep on being more skeptical than ever before? In many sports the judges, referees, arbiters are announced before a match…. Who are these anonymous masked men/ women that supposedly make these decisions ? Do they answer to anyone else besides the usual( Untouchable) suspects? What are their qualifications other than political raccomandations ? Anyway , days ago, I just wanted to mention Ms Kate Davis as she seems to be so far ,no, not Julie or Rosie, not yet , but mush have a profitable ROI since she rides sparingly and when she does , she will move her mounts well, even if she lost her whip, as it happened today ,beating her older sister for a cold Davis sisters exacta! Best wishes to her and her riding family whose name usually reminds some of us of their father Robbie Davis, a NYRA jockey fixture x so many yrs, when bullying ,forcing your way to a win was Not Allowed !

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