I had to see it to remember, and perhaps Mast Track needed to see it too. The Hollywood Gold Cup Winner broke his long winless streak yesterday to take the Grade III Native Diver Handicap for new owner , Stronach Stables, and gives trainer Ascanio another win as he emerges from the shadow of lost but not forgotten legend, Bobby Frankel. I'd love to have shown a picture of Rodman winning the Grade III Queens County Handicap from Aqueduct yesterday but I reckon no one could get a good angle from the OTB parlor.
Race 8 Aqueduct: The Queens County Handicap Grade III; 1 3/16 miles on the inner dirt for 3 YO and Up and Race 7 at Hollywood Park: The Native Diver Grade III; 1 1/8 miles on poly for 3 YOs and Up.
At Aqueduct, my base handicap had the top two flip flopped but I felt strongly enough to box the exacta and I was rewarded with a decent payout. I didn't see More Then a Reason being competitive and my lone toss taking Show would have really messed me up if I had pressed my betting, which I didn't. As I said pre race, bet responsibly, and to me that isn't a public service warning telling fellow horse players not to bet but instead The Turk's way of saying don't throw good money at bad fields or bad handicaps. I did expect Honour Devil to look better then he did and he looked unimpressive. Rodman struck the front very early, leading by 2 1/2 lengths at the top of the stretch and won by 5 3/4 lengths in convincing fashion. I read there is talk of a start at the Donn. We'll see.
At Hollywood, a similar race unfolded with Mast Track loose on the lead and unthreatened throughout. Neko Bay made a late run but maybe too late and High Court Drama, my one toss, screwed up any chance I had of cashing a ticket on this race BUT gave us a horse to watch in his next start. Thanks to Steve from Wireplayers.com and Rob from Amateurcapper for chiming in with good points. Also, check out Kate's Keiblog for some fantastic thoughts and pictures of the world of horse racing in Japan.