Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Showdown at the Spa: Day 23

DiDonato: Monday - It was hard to believe that Quick Flip went off at 12-1 in the Coronation Cup S. considering that it seemed like everyone on the planet liked her, but she ran like she should have been 120-1.  

Wednesday - Race 3 - Msw, 5 1/2f, 3yo/up - #4 Curve Ball (10-1)
   I’ll be honest, I don’t know if I’ve ever had less interest in a Saratoga card than this one. The races seem competitive enough, but they’re just not the types of races that I normally look to bet. I’ll tread lightly and wait for the quality to pick back up after this mid-meet lull. In the third, favorites Wild Target and Rockin Boogie are a combined 14-0-7-3. Their best races tower over this field, but neither seems to have much interest in graduating. I’m looking for a fresh face to jump up and pull off the upset and landed on Curve Ball. Unveiled for $20K by Wayne Catalano here July 25, the bay put in a nice late weaving move to finish third, beaten a nose for second. She was obviously facing weaker, but sharp conditioner Dominic Galluscio saw fit to put in a claim off no prior race form and now sends Happy Horse Stables’s new acquisition on a major class climb. He has decent stats in most of the relevant categories, and has been having a stellar Saratoga meet. Among Galluscio’s wins at the stand was a 14-1 off-the-claim score. Curve Ball should get a bit of pace to close into and could jump up and beat a pair of favorites who might not put up much of a fight. Play: $15 Win. Bankroll: $905 - Record: 19-2-2-3.

Sherack: Monday - Knock Rock (11-1) was taken out of his game after lunging at the break, but still ran a big one while showing a new dimension, rallying from the back to finish third--beaten only a nose for second--with a very wide trip, too. Already can’t wait to bet him back next time.

Wednesday - Race 2 - Md 25000, 3yo/up, f/m, 1mT - #9 She Be Bunny (6-1)
   Hmmm... DiDonato hates the card, and I have at least four races that I’m looking forward to fire away on. Can’t be a bad sign for me...
   I was immediately drawn to the second race to play against the two morning-line favorites--Crypto Kitten and Accent--and it didn’t take long for me to land on She Be Bunny. The dark bay made her first three starts in maiden special weight company for trainer Wayne Catalano in Kentucky, and ran a pretty good race at first asking over Keeneland’s Polytrack in April. She Be Bunny was fast enough that day to race right with the fleet Jamaican Smoke through fractions of :22 1/5 and :46 1/5 before tiring in the stretch to finish fourth. She switched up the tactics to rally from seventh to repeat that performance at Churchill May 12, but offered little in her next start beneath the Twin Spires, reporting home a well-beaten seventh going seven furlongs in June. Transferred to Eoin Harty and switched to the grass for the first time at Arlington, She Be Bunny set an uncontested lead (not quite sure why the fractions are unavailable), but got a tad leg weary late (rightfully so stretching from seven furlongs to 1 1/8m), and crossed the line a very respectable third in a 10-horse field. Love the turn back to a mile here and she picks up Joel Rosario, who certainly knows a thing or two about riding a speed horse. If she can clear Chessrate, I will be waiting in line to cash my tickets before they hit the backstretch. Play: $30 Win (Turf Only). Alternate 1: Race 7 - $20 Win on #8 Double the Energy. Alternate 2: Race 6 - $20 Win on #1 Writingonthewall. Bankroll: $1,296.80 - Record: 22-6-4-2.

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