Friday, December 24, 2010

Santa C and Santa A

You have Santa Claus arriving sometime tonight and you have Santa Anita’s opening day on Sunday. Shhhh….I think I’m a little more excited about opening day!

I love the fact that they are back to dirt at Santa Anita because I enjoy the challenge of handicapping an “off” track once in a while. But Southern Cal has had way more than their share of rain there recently. Let’s all hope that going back to dirt was the right thing to do and that the track is as safe as it can possibly be. There are four  stakes on the opening day card, including the Grade1 Malibu and Grade 1 La Brea (both at 7 furlongs.) plus the Grade 2 Sir Beaufort, which is on the turf ( But will it be?).

In the Malibu, I like Noble’s Promise. He has had one very good race back from a freshening, and that was 7 weeks ago, He has had 4 works in between and he’s seems to be a sturdy little horse that tries every time. I am curious about Setsuko, because I had my eye on him this spring. He was put on the shelf then, but has been working steadily for his return. I think he will prefer the switch to dirt. There are a couple in here coming back from their Breeder’s Cup races. I have to take a pass, as I have fallen for that angle so many times before, yet few perform at their best so soon after a Breeder’s Cup effort. And how good is Alcindor? I will wait and see.

In keeping with the Christmas spirit, this seems like a good time to thank you all for visiting my blog. I appreciate that you have taken the time to give your opinions, make comments and share information. Blogging is even more fun than I thought it would be and I have learned a lot in the 7 short months that I have been part of the blogosphere. I am thrilled to have a format where I can write about anything and everything to do with horses. My goal is to continue to learn, to improve and to evolve, while providing my insight and perspective on our Sport of Kings.

To all my friends, both old and new, I wish you a joyous holiday season!


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  2. You truly have one of the most informative and best written sites on the subject of racing. I look forward to reading your new posts because I know they will be original, informative and so well delivered.
    When does your book come out?
    Thanks & Merry Christmas,

  3. Haven't tackled the card yet, will get back to you when I do.

    Merry X-mas!

  4. Greetings Track P.
    Did you already start drinking that eggnog? Thank you for the kind words, now where do I send that check?
    Enjoy the Holidays!

  5. AmCap
    Thanks, I will look forward to it. I need all the help I can get!

  6. Susan,

    I love the two you mentioned in the Malibu. NOBLE'S PROMISE is the top choice and will take a lot of beating for the reasons you suggested. Also, he was the second-best 2y.o. last year to LOOKIN AT LUCKY and nearly beat him in the Rebel this year. Elongated sprints are his game and he's my early choice for the Met Mile and Dirt Mile. The winning, recent form is an advantage.

    Good efforts vs. L@L is the key angle in this race. THISKYHASNOLIMIT was 2nd to this year's should-be Champion 3y.o. in the Indiana Derby and was freshened after being overmatched in the Dirt Mile. Gomez for Asmussen, bullet work, and handled slop well (if it rains). CARACORTADO should adore dirt, undefeated in two Cushion Track starts (most dirt-like synth) and 1-for-2 on dirt. The gelded May foal may not be at his best until the spring/summer after he turns chronologically 4. Ditto SETSUKO, a striking colt, trained by his sire's trainer, Mandella, who beat L@L when that colt had huge trouble. Also a May foal, if he's to be G.I winning caliber it'll be later in the year. If he runs on well for a piece it'll indicate he's maturing into his frame.

    ALCINDOR is the only one with a chance at being racing's older horse poster child, undefeated in two very impressive races. Figure players may look for a bounce from him, but visually that last win suggested he absolutely could play with these more experienced horses. Must deal with contested pace from DON TITO (P. Val on a tactical sort), TWIRLING CANDY (1:10 4/5 work in 16th), and SMILING TIGER (3rd BC Sprint, dual G.1 winner). ALCINDOR a freak? Wait and see? That's what I said early on about ZENYATTA!

    One thing's certain, no rain and I'll be out taking pics of all the race on the card!

    Enjoy the races!

  7. Thanks for your in depth analysis. I agree that Alcindor could be an exciting horse, as he has been visually impressive. Not sure what was behind him though, so he has to prove a little more to me. The Unbridled Songs are mostly all runners, especially middle distances.
    I think Setsuko will LOVE dirt, I don't think that the May foal thing is an issue at this time of the year, by now they have all caught up. I look forward to seeing a good picture of him from you!
    Have a great day at the races. Wish I could be there, instead I will be waiting for a blizzard traveling up the east coast.