Monday, August 31, 2009

Post Race Analysis for Race Day August 29, 2009: The King's Bishop and the Travers Stakes

That fine looking colt in the Adam Coglianese/NYRA photo is none other then Capt. Candyman Can, the winner of the 2009 King's Bishop at Saratoga on August 29th.

OK, I'd be remiss to not mention it was by inquiry and the disqualification of Vineyard Haven.

Vineyard Haven ran a strong race and looked like the dominant two year old he was at this time last year before his Triple Crown bid was ruined by a winter sojourn to Dubai and the home of his owners. It's within their rights, but this horse loves dirt, North American dirt, and he had this race sewn up but couldn't keep it together despite the hard work of Alan Garcia.

All that said, Capt. Candyman Can was bringing it the last few hops and I think would have won this race if not for the double bump that knocked him off stride. A classy ride by Castellano who coolly motioned at the stewards and knew the result of this inquiry from the moment it hit the board.

The Turk loves the King's Bishop. Some of the Turk's favorite runners over the last few years have thrilled me in the Travers warm-up match. While this years edition wasn't one for the ages it wasn't a snoozer either.

SAR Race 11: The King's Bishop Grade I; 7F on Dirt for 3 YOs.

My handicap was good, not earth shattering. I have struggled on Saratoga dirt most of the meet so the Capt. Candyman Can victory and my exacta payout was good medicine.

SAR Race 12: The Travers Stakes Grade I; 1 1/4 miles on NYS Dirt for 3 YOs.

As a handicapper who takes his opinions publicly, you sometimes make a choice and then get buyers remorse. That's exactly what happened with me and Quality Road.

The Turk has said before that he builds his handicaps in a vacuum. I don't like to read any pre race hype from the trainers or the TV talking heads and I don't like seeing the Morning Line until I set my own. That process works for me usually.

In this case, everything I heard and read about the preparation of Quality Road to jump from 6 1/2 furlongs to the classic distance made me feel sorta dumb and by the time the race went to post I regretted my chalk selection. That doesn't happen to me often. His antics going into the gate were all it took to add the -ey to my name.

Would I have selected Summer Bird? No. This Bird did impress me very much and my irrational opinion of his abilities at 1 1/4 miles is now gone. I did bet my base handicap but I boxed the $1 superfecta, but Hold Me Back through a wrench in those works.

It's hard to be down when you pick 4 of the top five, nearly in a row, but a win is a win and a loss is just another ripped up ticket.

Was this one a classic? It established Summer Bird as the current top three year old and it underscored that the class of the 3 YO division is either retired, injured, or a filly.

The Turk is headed to Saratoga for the Woodward. Drop me a line, I'd love to meet any of my readers near the paddock before a race. Either Sister Turk or Little Turk will be joining me. If Little Turk comes, he's prepared to offer his iron pipe locks for the late pick 4 in return for Lego's.

Best Regards, Have Fun, Turk Out!

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