The fine looking colt to the left is none other than the enigma of 2008, the Big Brown killer lying in wait at Belmont, 2008 Peter Pan Champion Casino Drive. As reported first at fellow Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance site Striding Thoroughbreds in Japan, Casino Drive recently suffered a severe bowed tendon. We wish Casino Drive a speedy recovery. Photo copyrighted to Vanessa Ng. For more insightful news, commentary and photography from the Japanese racing scene visit Striding Thoroughbreds or Keiba Kate's Racing in the Land of the Rising Sun.
Race 9 BEL: The Peter Pan Grade II; 1 1/8 on NYS Dirt for 3 YOs.
This is an interesting race, and one as a bettor I would walk away from. It's a seven horse field and if it gets any smaller I will surely look somewhere else in NY to give my money, like Albany State Government. I see very little difference in quality from top to bottom, and the morning lines reflect that with the lowest horse, Stately Character at 15-1 (Note: I don't like to look at Morning Lines before I handicap, but I was curious after I handicapped what others thought of this field).
I like Imperial Council to be in the Top Three. Charitable Man and Hello Broadway could turn this into a snoozer and the three likely suspects could fill out the ticket. That's not going to pay much so I'm looking contrarian and I'm going to fashion some tickets with Charitable Man or Hello Broadway faltering and then inserting one of the longer odd horses into the three spot. I like Scorewithcater especially if >8-1.
The Turk will be back later this afternoon to look at the Mervin Leroy at Hollywood which goes off at 7:30 ET. Rail Trip goes for his 6th straight win.
The Preakness is one week away. As a horse fan, these weeks around the Triple Crown are the most exciting of the year. As a handicapper, I'm a bit daunted by the task of 'capping the field that is shaping up for next week, especially with Borel and the Filly just sending everyone into a tizzy.
And the Belmont Stakes , the test of Champions, isn't that far off as well. I suggest anyone trying to keep up with news and opinions on the race read the blogs at the Thoroughbred Bloggers Alliance as well as the blogs at the Belmont Stakes website. Teresa Genaro, Lisa Grimm, Andy Serling and Jenny Kellner lend their intelligence, knowledge and experiences with the Belmont to get this Turk excited about going already.