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The Conscience of Thoroughbred Racing

CIRCLE MARKS BELMONT SPOT

“Circle Marks the Spot” used to be the catch phrase when local breeders tried to get the New York-bred noticed.

There are many examples of horses that put New York-breds on the map, like the day Fio Rito shook Saratoga’s Whitney rafters, or as late as yesterday when Pat On the Back took Belmont’s G2 Kelso.

Of course, it was the day Funny Cide was draped in Kentucky Derby roses that the program had arrived to stay.

No one’s going to compare for state-bred four year old filly Carrera Cat to any of her more famous Empire-bred relations but she is 8-1 in today’s Grade 2 Gallant Bloom, heady company, and she’s worth a flyer.

On paper, she has no chance against the big mare, the 1-5 Come Dancing, winner of the Grade 1 Ballerina last out. But this is a bridge race to the Breeders’ Cup F & M Sprint, lugging 125 pounds and giving ‘Carrera’ nine pounds, 125 to 116.

Further, the NYB is 2-for-2 at the hybrid 6-1/2 furlong trip and is 2-for-3 over Big Sandy and enters this with a bullet in her holster. She can settle a few lengths off the pace, save ground, and maybe trip out. So, why not?

We’ll bet her to win, thinking 6-1 would be fair, and box the exacta with the very classy favorite.

YESTERDAY: War of Will chased the pace throughout the PA Derby, was trying hard in midstretch, loomed for perhaps one stride, then stayed one paced, driving hard and hanging on gamely for third.

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4 Responses

  1. The Gallant Bloom with a purse of $300,000 drew only five entrants! And the owner of the sprinter that finishes dead last will receive at least $12,000 after spending $3,300 to get into the race. So much for purse amount attracting entrants.

    Don’t see how weight figures going 6 1/2 F. Come Dancing rightly figures to be bet down to odds-on; she will be tough to beat. With jocks now wearing a protective vest, I have doubts as to what the weight carried really is.

    Always had admiration for Star Guitar (the sire of Minit To Stardom, Alice). Star Guitar won 24 of 30 races and always stayed along the Louisiana/Texas coast. Minit’s last at Saratoga was a beauty, digging in deep in the stretch. Am going with Minit; the filly will probably be second favorite.

    ——

    You still have a ‘bug’ in the system.

  2. Tip of the cap, good analysis of proceedings. Meanwhile, would love to know what my rider was doing quarter-horsing to the lead. Unless riding to instructions, don’t know how he could foresee a possible upset by making himself the target.

    Obviously, I was wrong, I thought he’d sit off my filly and try to get a jump on the favorite, taking advantage of nine pound concession.

    Of course, this is all rhetorically, the best filly–by a lot–won, by a lot!

  3. Doc, I’ve known Carlos since he was a teenager who occasionally would hang out in the press box. I was friendly with his dad and in awe of his grandfather. Made a special visit to Hialeah one morning a long, long time ago just to pay my respects. He may or may not have had Sham at the time. I’ll be rooting in my heart, but don’t believe with my bankroll.

    Come Dancing is extremely classy in the old school sense of the term. But today’s Thoroughbred, on today’s racetracks, speed is class and class is speed. If she doesn’t leave the SA gate alertly, I’m afraid you may be right.

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