Power Cap

Power cap- existential handicapping

20 August 2010

The turning point

This is the time of the year when championships are decided. On Saturday, there are key divisional races being held including the Alabama Stakes and the Arlington Million with its support cast of the Secretariat Stakes and the Beverly D Stakes.

Alabama Stakes

After months of slow buildup and races leading to this moment there will be a winner decided, too bad this line isn't being used for Rachel Alexandra and Zenyatta. The Alabama has two showcase names in the three year old fillies division squaring off, Devil May Care and Blind Luck. Blind Luck should have been voted best juvenile filly of 2009 based on her dominating win in the Hollywood Starlet and Oak Leaf win, but that is last year. So far she has done little wrong in 2010 with four graded stakes wins on both synthetic and dirt, her last win she was all out to defeat Havre de Grace on a sloppy Delaware strip with a final time that bested stakes colts that ran earlier by nearly two seconds. Outside of the Derby misadventure from Devil May Care she has scored easy wins in the Coaching Club American Oaks, Mother Goose, and Bonnie Miss.

The Tomlinson pedigree figure does show something revealing about the six fillies that are entered in the Alabama and that is their lack of stamina pedigree. None of them have a figure near 320, the highest is Devil May Care with 288 (no longshot angle there). For the contrarian bettors Havre de Grace could be of interest with four works (two of which are bullets) since her last start and the pace advantage of breaking from the outside in a small field.

Arlington Million Day

Gio Ponti returns from his narrow victory in the Man O' War on July 10 to face mostly American opposition in the Arlington Million. Only three of the ten entered are making the trip from Europe to run in this race and the American runners with the exception of Gio Ponti would have a tough time against international competition, which exposes the weaknesses of the turf racing in North America. Just to drive the point across, most years all a European invader has to do is win the Breeder's Cup Turf and they win the eclipse award for best turf horse.

The Secretariat has Paddy O'Prado as its main attraction and the Beverly D could very be confused with a Grade 3 race any other weekend. If they didn't have the Secretariat, we could have had a Million that had Paddy O'Prado and a few other of the turf standouts from the three year old division in the entries. The Secretariat has worked against the Million like this in the past, in 2006 Showing up dominated his three year old rivals in the Secretariat and with The Tin Man wiring the Million field that year you could have made a case that Showing Up would have won the Million if entered for that event. Kitten's Joy won the Secretariat in 2004 and ended up dominating the competition that primarily ran in the Million later on in the Turf Classic Invitational at Belmont that October.

The Odyssey of I Want Revenge

I Want Revenge maybe running underneath the radar this weekend with all of the high class racing taking place elsewhere. This is his second start since scratching out of the 2009 Derby is the Iselin Handicap and the competition isn't going to be any easier in this round, Redding Colliery is having a very good year and is coming off a convincing score in the Lone Star Park Handicap. Chances are I Want Revenge will probably go to the Jockey Club Gold Cup from this race due to the spacing of the races. It would be nice to see a win out of I Want Revenge in this race followed by starts in the Woodward, Jockey Club Gold Cup, Breeders Cup Classic, and the Cigar Mile. If a horse was to run the table with those races at the end of the year, it would be hard to deny them Horse of the Year, just throwing that out there.

The Monmouth prep for this race was the Salvatore Mile and ended up being a very slow edition of the race in contrast to recent runnings that had Lawyer Ron lose to Gotcha Gold who set a track record time in 2007 and Coal Play a fifth of a second away from that record in 2009. This year's edition had fractions of 25, 50, 1:14, and a final time of 1:38. That is a great time for a one mile and seventy yards race, but not so much for a one mile race. Duke of Mischief and Gone Astray are coming out of this race, I don't see either taking a lot of play in the Iselin Handicap

The next three weekends are loaded with important division altering races that will have an impact on this year's Breeders Cup and it will be interesting to see how things shape up in the next few weeks.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I like the Devil over Blind Luck if anyone cares.