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Feb 11, 2011

THRU THE BINOCULARS

By: John Piesen


John Hits 1-for-3 At Gulfstream Thursday!
R3: Superior Selection WON $7.60

SUPER SATURDAY

Forget about Super Sunday. It was another Super Saturday for the clients of the The Season Of Piesen.

Six days after Dialed In, Piesen's winter-book Derby choice, won his 3-year-old debut at Gulfstream Park in the Holy Bull Stakes as the $7.40 best bet on the JPHL, Piesen nailed Toby's Corner in the Whirlaway Stakes at Aqueduct, last weekend's main event for Derby hopefuls. Although listed at 6-1 in the morning line, Toby's Corner took some action and came back $10.60 for his easy triumph.

I liked Toby off his Maryland form, while at the same, I was not inspired by the local talent. Moreover, TC had the one-hole, a huge advantage going two-turns on the inner track, and his trainer, Graham Motion, has a good history with young horses.Oh, yes. Piesen that day also nailed Primal Baby ($10.40) at the Big A, and Cherokee Queen at $11.60 in the Suwanee River Stakes at Gulfstream.

The bottom line: 3-for-5 for the day.

John's Horses To Watch
AQUEDUCT
ANNUAL APPEAL
THE ZIPSTER
MAGIC IN THE STARS
LINDSAY'S POINT
DIVINE CHILD
MASTER SPLASH
MIAMI HAMMER
SHE'S GOT RULES
QUICK MONEY
ELECTRIC GOLD
GULFSTREAM
LILY RULES
STAR PLAYER
ROCKIN ROBBIE
CROSSBOW
FEEL THAT FIRE
SPEAK EASY GAL
BALETTI
LIBERALLY
MISS WORLD
PRIVATE PRIZE

After a break, I returned to action Wednesday, and gave out Fashionable Elsa ($12) at Gulf plus the $143.20 trifecta...and Number One Cherry at $18.60 at Aqueduct. The trick at the Big A is as follows: every day, jockey Dominguez is off the board with three or four (or more) odds-on favorites.Most -- if not all -- of his horses are overbet, affording overlays up and down the board.

Yes, I know that Dominguez dominates New York, and, thanks to his numbers, was voted Eclipse jockey for 2010, but, confidentially, he's not that much better -- if at all -- than his colleagues.His edge? He's a nice fellow, with a winning personality, and one who treats the horsemen and media with respect. There's never been an ounce of scandal...and, of course, he gets his choice of mounts every 30 minutes.

Back to last weekend for a minute.

Speaking of Gulfstream, all eyes will be on the Fountain of Youth Stakes, to be run in two weeks on Feb. 26. Derby prospects To Honor and Serve, Boys at Toscanova and Soldat are being pointed for the $400,000, nine-furlong stake...and it's 40-60 that trainer Zito will run Dialed In that spot. More likely, Zito will await the Florida Derby, and if he wins that, Dialed In will go to Louisville 3-for-3, and no worse than second choice.

Zito also plans to ship Fly Down and Morning Line to the Dubai Cup. The man has no conscience.

This weekend, the two main Derby preps are in California -- the 250K Robert B. Lewis at Santa Anita, and the 200K El Camino Real Derby at Golden Gate, both at nine furlongs. Comma to the Top, considered California's top prospect for the Derby off his CashCall Futurity blowout, was cross-entered by trainer Peter Miller in both races. Comma would be 3-5 against the Steve Asmussen-trained Tapizar in the Lewis, and 1-9 from the one-hole at Golden Gate. So obviously we'll have to take a wait-and-see approach on Comma, who has developed from a claiming horse to multiple stakes-winner, and is 6-for-10 lifetime. Comma looked very sharp last Sunday when he worked five-eighths in :59..

We'll know more after Saturday. There's also the Sam F. Davis Stakes Saturday at Tampa Bay Downs, and Todd Pletcher plans to run the unbeaten Brethren, a half-brother to 2010 winner Super Saver, in the 225K race st 1 1/16 miles.The opposition may include Monzon, the Count Fleet Stakes winner; Beamer, Litigate and Washington Rules.

In the meantime, the folks who play Oaklawn and Philadelphia Park (Parx) are hopeful to get back into action. Obviously, the name change from Philly Park to PARX hasn't helped. Since Jan. 30, thanks to the bad weather and unsafe track conditions, they've run a total of six races at the facility. Fortunately, the casino hasn't missed a day. Same thing holds true at casino-fueled Oaklawn. Thursday marks the 11th straight raceless day at the Hot Springs facility. Last time they raced at OP was Jan. 30. Management is hopeful to resume (racing) action on Friday.

In the meantime, jockeys Gryder and Rose have bailed.

And jockey Borel will be in Dubai next week to compete in an international jockey festival. He'll be back in time to ride Elite Alex, his current Derby prospect, in the Southwest Stakes. In the meantime, hopefully Louisville coach Pitino will recover in time from Wednesday evening's OT loss at Notre Dame to get to Gulfstream to see his favored Soaring Empire compete in Saturday's 150K Gulfstream Sprint Championship.

Soaring Empire will go favored off his last race, a victory in the Hal's Hope Stakes, a race from which runners-up Rule and Morning Line came back to run two-three in the Donn.

This brings us to the latest chapter of the Piesen Derby Top Ten. Has it really been three years since the PDTT listed Big Brown, Eight Belles and Denis of Cork 1-2-3 the week before the Derby? And that's how they finished.

HORSE TRAINER NEXT RACE
1. Dialed In Zito Florida Derby
2. Uncle Mo Pletcher Tampa Bay Derby
3. Rogue Romance McPeek Risen Star
4. To Honor and Serve Mott Fountain of Youth
5. Comma to the Top Miller El Camino Real
6. Tapizar Asmussen Robert B. Lewis
7. Boys at Toscanova Dutrow Fountain of Youth
8. Soldat McLaughlin Fountain of Youth
9. Caleb's Posse Von Hemel Southwest
10.Pants on Fire Breen Risen Star

Thanks for tuning in. I've got an exciting weekend of winning planned at Gulfstream, starting on Friday. Click here to check it out .




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