Don’t mess with Dan !
The Clark Handicap at Churchill yesterday was one of the most roughly run Grade One’s I have seen in sometime. Successful Dan was rank throughout, but still had something left to hold off Giant Oak. Unfortunately, he was DQ’d from first to third because of his bearing out and slamming into Redding Colliery inside the 16th pole.At the same time, Demarcation who was up front, interfered with stable mate Dubious Miss, and was placed last for that infraction. Are you still with me on all this? It took the stewards at least ten minutes to sort it all out. Congrats to the winner, Giant Oak, who ran a big race,stayed out of trouble and had a dream trip. A Grade One is a Grade One win anyway you can get it and I am happy for the horse and his connections.
But the real story was the out-of-control Successful Dan. Usually when horses are this rank, they never finish up. This horse seemed to be loving all the trouble he gave Leparoux, and didn’t mind intimidating Redding Colliery either. He was just full of himself the whole trip and as trainer Charles Lopresti said after the race “It was a winning race” It sure was. You don’t want to get in a fight with this horse. He is a warrior. We’ll just file this away for next time.
Aqueduct is full of stakes action today. In the Grade I Gazelle, I like No Such Word. Another win machine, she has certainly kept good company this year and is the class of the field. It would also be nice if Cindy Jones finishes up with a nice win here, while handing the reins back over to Larry.
Looking at the Grade I Cigar Mile, I am all about Bribon. He loves to win, and he loves the Big A. I am taking a stand against the 4 horses in here who last raced 3 weeks ago in the Breeder’s Cup, though 3 of them have worked since then.
In the Grade II Remson, I am going to take a long look at Bandbox. I know, I know, To Honor and Serve is the “now” horse, and I will go back and take a look at the replay. But it was a 5 horse field. And he will be odds on. I like Ramon on Bandbox, I like that he has already won on two surfaces, and I like the bullet at Laurel. He may be outclassed, but I may take a shot. Another horse in here that’s interesting is Mountain Town, who ran a big one to Uncle Mo, who will be this year’s 2 year old champ.
Over at Churchill, in the Grade II Kentucky Jockey Club, I like Cane Garden Bay. He will appreciate the added distance. Of course if To Honor and Serve blows away the field earlier in the day in NewYork, then I will be forced to re-evaluate just how good Astrology is.
Enjoy the good racing this weekend and good luck if you are playing in the NTRA/West Point Handicapping Contest.