Friday, July 31, 2009

Weekend Stakes - Fri/Sat

Lake George Stakes
This is as wide open a race as you will find.  The filly who looks the most promising is the wonderfully-bred Lady Shakespeare.  There are also a couple fillies in here who look like they will go off at a decent value (Mary's Follies and Strike the Bell), and then there is the crowd favorite, Shug McGaughey's Consequence.  I could go on and on, but I will make a quick prediction.  Kiawah Cat is trained by Mott and moves to the arms of Julien Leparoux.  Leparoux is amazing on horses with her come-from-behind style.  
1. Kiawah Cat
2. The Best Day Ever
3. Consequence
4. Lady Shakespeare

West Virginia Derby
It's hard to pick against Mine that Bird, especially in this field, but I have to say that the pace scenario is dead-against him.  I will take a shot and pick the Canadian, Monty's Best, who is a really quality colt.  He ran a great second in the Iriquois in his lone dirt start last year.  Since then he has won both his starts back at 6 and 8.5 furlongs over Woodbine's Polytrack.  He may be better on
 conventional dirt, though, and his pedigree can stretch to the distance.  He should do well sitting right off Big Drama and Soul Warrior and out sprinting Mine That Bird to the wire.
1. Monty's Best
2. Mine That Bird
3. Big Drama
4. Soul Warrior

Diana Stakes
It will take something huge to stop Forever Together from winning this race.  Rutherienne may go to Monmouth to avoid her, and Criticism would have to set a :52 half on firm turf to win this over the Champion.  Look for the other Clement filly to run well, also.  
1. Forever Together
2. Rutherienne
3. Criticism
4. Carribean Sunset

Jim Dandy Stakes
Charitable Man gets a pace set-up and distance that fit him.  He's a talented horse and if he's right, he wins this- no matter how good Kensai is getting.  The six pound distance between Warrior's Reward and Kensai will come into play, though, and Convocation is improving
 quickly enough to make some noise.  
1. Charitable Man
2. Warrior's Reward
3. Kensai
4. Convocation

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Thoughts on the Man o' War-G1

11 Furlongs - Turf
Grade 1

The feeling here is that it is a lot tighter than it seems. I think Marsh Side and Quijano are being overlooked. To me, Dancing Forever is the horse to beat, not Gio Ponti (as the odds will tell you). Additionally, Grant Couturier is really dangerous if he is in better shape than his trainer is letting on. Midships is a wild card, but I doubt he will run to his lofty expectations here. For value's sake, I would throw Marsh Side on top and see if he floats up to 10-1.

4. Marsh Side
8. Dancing Forever
9. Gio Ponti
3. Quijano
2. Grand Couturier
7. Midships
5. Interpatation
6. Chinchon
1. Musketier

Friday, July 10, 2009

Fasig Tipton Saratoga Top Picks

From the upcoming Saratoga Select Sale:

My top 4 hips to watch for this sale are as follows:

1.)  Hip 7   Ch. f. 08 (Henny Hughes-Sass Me*Carson City) (4/30)

This daughter of the first crop of speedster Henny Hughes (by Hennessy), comes from a sire who could carry his speed around one turn up to 8.5 furlongs (second in the Breeders' Cup Juvenile at Belmont), while coming from a dam whose half sisters are two of the fastest female sprinters we have seen in quite some time: Madcap Escapade and Dubai Escapade.  The former was able to carry her speed up to a mile around two turns, and was also a daughter of Hennessy, making this filly a very close relation.  Add to this the bold precociousness and damsire prowess of Carson City (arguably the in the best three juvenile sires of our time, along with Meadowlake and Phone Trick... and he is also the damsire of Barbaro), and you have a filly who looks like she will absolutely fly.  And, fly early.

2. Hip 66  B.c.08 (Mr. Greeley-Angel's Nest*Storm Cat) (3/14)

Mr. Greeley always shocks me with his quality as a sire.  He was a stellar sprinter/miler his entire career, but never flashed the kind of brilliance that hinted at his chances as a stallion.  He tends to beget good milers with high cruising rates, on all three surfaces.  Add to this the best-bred dam in the sale, Angel's Nest (Storm Cat-Miesque), and you have a colt who is bred to run on anything, and be a superior miler.  Miesque has given her offspring the same brilliant turn of foot that she had, and Storm Cat adds speed, grit, and classic brilliance to his offspring.  This colt should be the sale topper, but Mr. Greeley still is not as flashy as the A.P. Indys and Unbridled's Songs.  

3. Hip 110  DB.f.08 (Giant's Causeway-Dancethruthestorm*Thunder Gulch) (2/15)(ONT)

This filly has Queen's Plate written all over her.  By Giant's Causeway, from the great Sam-Son family of Dance Smartly, with the endurance and classic grittiness of Thunder Gulch added.  This filly will run on everything short of broken glass.  Enough said.  

4. Hip 221  Gr.c.08 (Unbridled's Song-Pure Symmetry*Storm Cat/Serena's Song)(3/15)

What has to be the second-best bred colt in the sale is this son of Unbridled's Song, out of Pure Symmetry (Storm Cat-Serena's Song).  Not only was Serena's Song an amazing racemare, but she has passed on her genes to produce multiple G1 and G2 winners.  If you add in the Unbridled's Song influence, you have a colt with a similar genetic makeup as MGSW Harlington (Unbridled-Serena's Song), but with more speed with the addition of Storm Cat, and more scope (Trolley Song/Caro).  This colt has classic distance and tactical speed written all over him.

Adolphson Thoroughbred Consulting

Washington, D.C.