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Nov 23, 2011

ALONG FOR THE RECORD

By: JOHN PIESEN


Kudos to Rapid Redux and his connections.

While you may have been occupied watching the second half of the Pats-Chiefs thriller on Monday night. Rapid Redux was busy winning the eighth at Mountaineer Park before a handful of cold-weather faithful.

That made it 20 straight wins for Rapid Redux, an all-time record in thoroughbred racing.

Eight were entered in the race, but the field scratched down to four, enabling management to cancel show betting. But place betting was allowed, and bridge-jumpers poured $200,000 into the place pool.

Even the Mad Bomber got involved.

"I didn't want to go crazy," he was saying Tuesday morning, "but I felt a little sentimental about the horse, amd I'm having a good year, so I bet $5,000 to place."

I knew we could count on The Bomber coming along for the ride.

The Bomber dodged a bullet two weeks back when he passed on the Rick Dutrow-trained Rail Trip. RT attracted $300,000 to show as the 2-5 chalk in a first-race allowance at Aqueduct.

Alas, jockey Dominguez tumbled to the ground leaving the gate...and school was out.

The Mad Bomber, again ever the sentimentalist, could only say: "I'm glad the horse and jock are OK. It's a tough game."

Dutrow of course seems to be dodging a bullet of his own. First, he's suspended 10 years. Then he gets a month stay, and now he has an indefinite stay.

So -- at least for now -- it's business as usual.

Dutrow since the original suspension has run 25 horses at the current Aqueduct meet and stands 13-5-2...or 52 per cent winners. That's Harvey Pack territory...and Harvey got to pick AFTER the race.

I know I've learned my lesson. Last Saturday, I made two selections on the John Piesen Hot Line (666 612 2283), and RD got 'em both.

Last Saturday wasn't a good one either for trainer Baffert, and those folks who blindly bet him.

Bullet Bob shipped three horses from California to Louisiana for the big-money races at little Delta Downs - and all went favored.

The results:

  • Hooray for Hollywood finished second in the $100,000 Delta Mile.
  • Candrea finished ninth in the $500,000 Delta Downs Princess.
  • Drill finished seventh in the $1 million Delta Jackpot.

Drill was particularly onerous because his rider, Martin Garcia, got involved in a speed duel from the bell with My Adonis, Elvis Trujillo up through :22, :45 1/5 fractions in the multi-turn race... and both horses were meat by the quarter-pole.

Would have loved to have been a fly in first-class on the flight back to California.

Speaking of losing, jockey Cohen, despite riding a $41 winner last week at Aqueduct, remains in a rare New York slump. At last count, Cohen, always a Top Three rider at Aqueduct, is a horrid 4-for-64, although he does have 14 seconds and 10 thirds.

The feeling here is the tide will turn, and it won't be long. Maybe in time for Thanksgiving.

One of Cohen's better Thanksgiving Day calls is Parent's Honor in the $100,000 Fall Highweight Handicap, the tradiitional six-furlong Turkey Day headliner at the Big A.

Truth be told, there's not much in the race so Parent's Honor, a winner of his last two allowance starts at Philly Park for trainer Tony Dutrow, might be worth a play at a price.

Another with a shot is Flat Bold at 5-1 for Rudy Rodriguez.

Rudy won his first-ever graded stake in the '10 Fall Highweight with Endless Circcle so he he's looking for lightning to strike again with Flat Bold, a three-back $7,500 claim.

Meantime, Todd Pletcher has entered three -- Driven by Success, who raced just last Sunday; Caixa Electronica and Calibrachoa -- and they are grouped as the 6-5 morning-line favorite.

But the Toddster says even he doesn't know which of the three will run... if any.

Calibrachoa is the best of the three, and he's drawn widest in the field of 10 as the 135-pound topweight.

That may look like a lot of weight, but I can remember the day when Ta Wee (a filly!) won this race under 140 pounds.

Can you imagine the NYRA racing secretary putting 140 on a horse these days?

You'd find him at Mountaineer in a heartbeat.

The FH field is completed by Smarty Sunrise, a Smarty Jones colt from the Mike Hushion barn; Frazil. Escrow Kid, General Maximus and Nathan's H Q.

Rick Dutrow is sitting out the Fall Highweight, but he'll have two major uncoupled players in C C's Pal and All Due Respect in Friday's feature, the $150,000 Go For Wand Handicap for fillies and mares.

Dutrow already has two handicapping factors going for him with C C's Pal.

C C, named for a prominent New Jersey-based internest, gets in light at 115 pounds, and she's drawn outside in the one-turn mile race. Trainers would kill for the outside going a mile at the Big A.

All Due Respect, co-owned by Paul Pompa Jr, the original owner of Big Brown, is training well for her first start since May when she was third to superstar Blind Luck in the La Troienne on Derby Eve at Churchill Downs.

Curatolo rides CC, Alvardo pilots All Due Respect.

Bill Mott has the highweight and likely favorite in Arena Elvira, fresh from a victory in the Turnback the Alarm Stakes, but this filly is also cross-entered Friday at Churchill.

Lovely Lil is the speed from the one-hole in the Go For Wand, and the field is completed by Risky Rachel, Indian Legend, Spa City Princess, Persuading, and Katy Now, who will be making her graded stakes debut for The Toddster, still rehabbing from his 12-ofer in the Breeders' Cup.

Speaking of the Breeders' Cup, Flat Out, who blew his shot at Horse of the Year with his sixth-place finish in the BC Classic, can salvage the older-male Eclipse with a victory in the Clark Handicap Saturday at Churchill.

Thanks for tuning in. Have a great holiday weekend, check out the JP Hot Line, and see you back herre next week.



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