Saturday, October 4, 2008

October 4th 2008: BEL Race 9

G1, The Champagne for 2yos. 1 Mile on Main track.

"...I have a contrarian position the chalk. I like the 7 horse Ventana, whose ML is 8-1. This Baffert horse won at 6f his last time out and since has had a string of constant and solid works at Belmont. I'll be looking for real value here on a win bet. "

The Turk is never ashamed to admit he missed. It's part of critical analysis and getting better at the craft of handicapping. I really believed that Ventana would not only compete, but possibly win. The Baffert colt finished dead last and never challenged.

The only G1 winner before this race was today's winner, Vineyard Haven. The knock on Vineyard Haven was that the G1 Hopeful had a bad start and he won by default. I didn't buy that after looking at the Equibase Race Chart ($1.50). That said, Cribnote and Munnings came to run today and the top three today were the top three (with Munnings and Cribnote flip flopping) from the Hopeful. We seem to have some juvenile contenders finding their pecking order.

Said Vineyard Haven's jockey, Edgar Prado "I saw the horse win in Saratoga. I’ve ridden him a couple of times (in the mornings). He broke nice and easy. I had pressure, but he kept pricking his ears and going so easily. I was moving along a little bit, but when I called on him, he just accelerated. How many horses do you know that can do that: go fast, relax on the turn and then find another gear? I had to ease up in the last part because he was opening up too much on the group.”

The ML chalk, Tagg's Hello Broadway finished 5th. Another horse I liked and bet, Gone Astry, closed quickly but ran out of ground. I'll be looking for him at 1 1/16 the next time out.

Vineyard Haven paid $10.40 to win. Sometimes value stares you right in the eyes.

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