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Oct 07, 2009

THRU THE BINOCULARS

By: John Piesen


BIG RACES MEAN BIG PROFITS
Cashing In At Belmont Park Saturday...
Cashing In Again On Wednesday's Pick-6!

Big races generally mean big profits for the followers of the John Piesen Best Bet Service, both here online and by phone toll-free(888 612 2283)...and last Saturday at Belmont Park was no exception as the JPHL nailed Kodiak Kowboy at $11.60 in the Vosburgh, and best bet Pure Clan at $7.20 in the Flower Bowl.

On the flip side, the Hot Line swung for the fences with Quality Road against Summer Bird in the Jockey Club Gold Cup on the theory that Summer Bird was due to bounce off the Belmont, Haskell and Travers.

Wrong! Summer Bird just gets better with each race, so much so that, in the flush of victory, jockey Desormeaux told what's left of the racing media that SB is the best horse he's ever ridden.

That says something because Desormeaux has won Kentucky Derbys on Real Quiet, Fusaichi Pegasus and Big Brown.

But the big mistake was taking Quality Road inasmuch as his trainer was working on an incomprehensible 49-race losing streak in New York Grade Ones.

That's right. Todd Pletcher, the very same three-time Eclipse Award-winning trainer Todd Pletcher, now has lost 50 straight New York Grade Ones, dating back to Unbridled Belle in the 2007 Beldame.

There may be a more compelling statistic in the history of North American thoroughbred racing...but I'm damned if I know of one.

Naturally, The Toddster came back Sunday at Belmont to win a pair of Grade 3 stakes...both with maidens -- Dad's Crazy ($10.20) in the three-horse Miss Grillo, and Eskendereya ($7.20) in the five-horse Pilgrim.

Dad's Crazy received a Beyer figure of 69, which just may be the lowest number ever given the winner of a New York graded stake.

Incidentally, the other winners in that Pick Six sequence were Allalea ($14), Anjorie ($3), Her Latest Flame ($24.80), and El Borracho ($5).

Hard to believe, but the Pick Six went unhit, producing a $52,446 carryover into Wednesday's program (see below). I read and heard that Super Saturday would be and was worthless as far as having an impact on the Breeders' Cup, scheduled for Nov. 6-7 at Santa Anita.

Wrong!

Despite that, after scratches, the five Grade Ones attracted a mere 30 runners, at least four of them are headed for the big dance. Music Note, the Beldame winner, is going to the Distaff. Pure Clan is going to the Filly and Mare Turf. Gio Ponti, the Turf Classic runner-up, is headed for the Classic or the Turf, and, of course, Summer Bird is going to the Classic, a race for which he will be favored -- or at worst second choice in the unlikely event that Arc winner Sea the Stars shows up.

One would think that Summer Bird, who became the first horse since Easy Goer in '89 to post a Belmont/Travers/Gold Cup hat trick, wins the BC Classic, he would be a deserving candidate for Horse of the Year.

Unfortunately, SB would have no shot because he was beaten six lengths by Rachel Alexandra in a nine-furlong slopfest in the Haskell at Monmouth Park.

Would the 10-furlong BC Classic be another story?

Unfortunately, we will never know.

Outside of New York, the most impressive winners of the weekend were Careless Jewel in the Cotillion at Philadelphia Park (jockey Landry rides most of the race standing up in the irons); and the unbeaten Lookin at Lucky in the Norfolk at Santa Anita.

Lucky, now 4-for-4, no doubt will be the favorite in the BC Juvenile...and I'm hearing that trainer Baffert has a better one in the barn in an Indian Charlie colt.

Another horse to watch is an unraced 2-year-old named Showmanship. You'll see him in the entries next month at Aqueduct or The Meadowlands.

A jockey to watch is Ricardo Santana Jr., a talented 16-year-old Panama native who has won seven races in the last month at Delaware Park. He will make his New York-area debut on Thursday evening at the Big M, and will ride regularly at Aqueduct this winter.

Now let's take a look at the Wednesday Pick Six at Belmont. To say the sequence is inscrutable is an understatement. Four of the six races are for maidens, one for 10K claimers, and the other an allowance for which the favorite was claimed two races back for 35K.

But with a 52K carryover on the line, let's take a shot:

Race Four

Senada, an 800K filly from Lael Stable and trainer Tagg. went off favored in her Saratoga debut and closed in traffic for third. Dominguez has the return call on the Pulpit filly, who will be bet -- maybe overbet? -- in this 44K maiden-special for 2-year-old fillies at a mile on the grass.

The West Rim and Caminadora (scratched from Monday's fifth at The Meadowlands), will be the major dangers under Maragh and Prado, respectively, off their three-four finish to Hatheer on Woodward Day at the Spa.

Pearly Blue was a troubled fifth in that race, and gets a rider switch to Garcia.

First-starter Impolite Lady is owned by Mal Burroughs, who trained and drove a Hambletonian winner years back.

Ouch! They paid 130K for I'm With You, beaten 41 lengths at 48-1 in her debut.

Race Five

More 2-year-old maiden fillies.

Ms. Thanksgiving is the one to beat in this six-furlong grass event for 2-year-old filly maiden-claimers.

Trucking magnate Paul Pompa Jr. (see Big Brown and D'Funnybone) claimed Ms. T. from Ken McPeek out of a second for 75K at the Spa, and runs her back for 50.

What's wrong with this picture?

First-starter Lion Cub has been in serious training for Clement for four months, and gets hot jock Maragh.

Key Quality, a three-time beaten favorite in maiden-specials for Mott, drops in for a tag, and gets a rider switch to Johnny V.

Alwaysinmydreams was beaten 42 lengths by Ms. T., so why does Dominguez take the call?

Race Six

Pletcher vs. Rice!

Sound familiar?

The Toddster takes the blinkers off Eire's Run, third three times in four starts, for this 41K maiden-special for New York-bred 2-year-olds at 1 1/16 miles on the lawn. Castellano has the return call.

Linda counters with In Te Domine, who will be favored off her closing second to entrymate Gitchee Goomie from a tough post in her Spa debut.

Linda spent all her paddock time that day tending to GG, while an assistant saddled In Te Domine.

Race Seven

This can be a tough game.

They paid $350,000 for a son of Vindication at the 2006 Keeneland Fall yearling sale. Doing business as Bordeaux Bandit, he is 1-4-3 from 19 starts for earnings of $68,019, and the now 4-year-old gelding is entered in this $10,000 claimer for 3-and-up at seven furlongs.

BB will be a short price under Lezcano...and clearly doesn't have to win.

Was it that long ago when Murray Durst and Frank Martin campaigned the brilliant Lil's Lad? Now they are reduced to running a 50-1 shot named Gimmee Getme in this heat.

Sinister Storm, a dropdown from Team Toscano, is first-time Dominguez.

Race Eight

Remember Luv Guv from the Preakness and Belmont? The Lukas colt, now 1-for-12 and counting, turns up at double-digits in this 46K allowance for 3-and-up at 1 1/16 miles.

Look for Hoopoe (blinkers on) to show speed for Zito and Johnny V.

Trainer Barbara tells DRF that Stevil is a lock.

Success Fee is getting good again for Hennig. Possible upsetter with Dominguez.

Race Nine

Apprentice Saez, a star at Calder, makes his New York debut on Everybodywantsone in this 25K maiden-claimer for 3-and-up at seven panels on the grass.

Native Mambo is the chalk off his closing second for Peitz on the Spa weeds.

Check out some of the yearling prices:

Jove (250K); Seven Day Holiday (165K); Thorogood (225K); Native Mombo (130K); Macho Mambo (125K), and, last but certainly not least -- Delta Miner (500K).

Obviously, there are days it's cheaper to bet 'em than to buy 'em.



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