everyone, two down and one to go! "Bring it on! We're ready to
go. Super pumped! I can't put into words how incredible it is. We're
just on Cloud 9. It's super exciting." Those quoted words from
Doug O'Neill, the trainer of I'LL HAVE ANOTHER, sum up not only how
the connections of the horse are feeling, but what the entire racing
world is experiencing as we await the Belmont Stakes on June 9th. Could
this be the year that we finally see a Triple Crown winner? The Belmont
Stakes is held at 1 1/2 miles
and is billed as the true "Test Of Champions," for being the
final and most challenging race of the three-race series. The Belmont
Stakes field is starting to take shape, and despite some prominent names
trying too play spoiler, the Kentucky Derby-Preakness winner certainly
looks like horse with
a serious chance of sweeping the Triple Crown. The fact that he is still
a relatively fresh horse, gives him every chance. It sure is an exciting
time in thoroughbred racing. I'll be rooting for the colt, he is such
an amazing horse. Yes bartender, I'LL HAVE ANOTHER...and make it a Triple...as
Away from the races since winning the Group 1 Queen Elizabeth II Stakes
at Ascot last October and recovering from a hurt leg suffered just over
a month ago, horse of the world, FRANKEL, made a successful return in
the Group 1 Lockinge Stakes at Newbury last Saturday. Making his 4-year
old debut, the international star named after Hall of Fame trainer Bobby
Frankel, ran his record to 10-0 with an easy victory. With 2 furlongs
to run, jockey Tom Quelly cut loose FRANKEL and the son of Galileo looked
in top form as he exploded with a burst of acceleration to win going
away by 5 lengths, covering the one-mile in a time of 1:38.
ERIE RACING JOURNAL:
After the first 3 days of live thoroughbred racing at Fort Erie were
conducted over a 9 day span, the track got into full swing with its
standard 3 day race week (Sunday through Tuesday), which got underway
May 20th. Also on that day, handicappers were treated to the first turf
race of the season.
In our last issue, the journal covered opening day. In this edition
my journal looks at days 2 and 3, as well as the first three-day session.
The entry box was relatively light, with 40 races averaging 5.9 starters.
There were just 13 races featuring fields of eight or more starters,
and it probably was no suprise that three of the five biggest-priced
winners came from these races. There was just 3 races with fields of
ten or more. Despite seven double-digits winners, six of which went
off at odds of at least 20-1, favorites won a whopping 42.5 of all races.
28 of the 40 races run were won by horses who last raced at Woodbine
or another track. Such a glaring statistic isn't out of the ordinary
as Fort Erie-based horses return from winter vacation. Also, because
of its proximity to Toronto, Fort Erie racetrack gets frequented by
shippers from Woodbine. Horses at that major circuit who can't compete
successfully, especially at the lower end of the claiming scale, are
sent down by their connections for the 1 1/2 hour van ride to Fort Erie
to race in a class level where they can be competitive at and win. Many
of them do, as the stat points out. This early in the Fort Erie meet,
shippers not only hold a class edge over the locals, but also a fitness
edge as well.
Note - a wire-to-wire winner is identified as any winner who was on
the lead, or within .50 lengths of the lead, at every call.
May 13th - Fast. SPRINTS - 8 races - Three wire-to-winners: Five other
winners were bewteen 1.0-4.0 lengths back at the second call.
May 14th - Fast. SPRINTS - 7 races - Four wire-to-wire winners: Three
other winners were between 1.5-3.5 lengths back at the second call.
ROUTE - 1 race - Lone wire-to-wire winner.
May 20th - Fast. SPRINTS - 6 races - Two wire-to-wire winners: Four
other winners were between HD-1.5 lengths back at the second call.
ROUTE - 1 race - No wire-to-wire winner: Lone winner was 13 lengths
back at second call. TURF - 1 race - Lone wire-to-wire winner.
MAY 21st - Fast. SPRINTS - 5 races - Two wire-to-wire winners: Three
other winners were .25-2.75 lengths back at second call.
ROUTES - 2 races - One wire-to-wire winner: One other winner 4.0 lengths
back at second call. TURF - 1 race - No wire-to-wire winner:
Lone winner 4.75 lengths back at second call.
May 22nd - Fast. SPRINTS - 4 races - One wire-to-wire winner: Three
other winners were between .50-1.0 lengths back at second call.
ROUTES - 3 races - No wire-to-wire winners: Three winners were between
HD-8.0 lengths back at second call. TURF - 1 race - No wire-to-wire
winner: Lone winner was 5.5 lengths back at second call.
POST POSITION PROFILE:
5 FURLONGS - 4 races - 0 winners from the rail: Widest winner from post
5.5 FURLONGS - 16 races - 2 winners from the rail: Widest winner from
6 FURLONGS - 6 races - 0 winners from the rail: Widest winner from post
6.5 FRLONGS - 4 races - 0 winners from the rail: Widest winner from
1 mile 70 yards - 7 races - 1 winner from the rail: Widest winner from
5.0 FURLONGS - 1 race - Lone winner from rail.
7.0 FURLONGS - 1 race - Lone winner from rail.
8.0 FURLONGS - 1 race - Lone winner from post 10
28 different trainers sent out winners, with 7 finding the winner's
circle multiple times.
Dominating the 5 days covered were trainers RAVENDA RAGHUNATH and JOHN
SIMMS, each sending out 4 winners. All of RAGHUNATH'S winner's came
sprinting on the main track with NEIL HUSBANDS aboard. One was a betting
favorite. All of SIMMS' winning horses were ridden by TERRY HUSBANDS.
3 were on the main track, two of them sprints. One was a betting favorite,
and none of his runners were higher than 4.5-1 odds.
Another trainer managed to send more than two winners, and that was
GARY CHUDOBIAK with three. All were sprint races on the main track.
2 of the winners were betting favorites. ELDRIDGE LINDSAY was the only
jockey to ride multiple winners for the barn.
The following trainers had 2 wins each.
DARRYL EZRA - Both wins ridden by MARTIN RAMIREZ.
SHAWN RIDEOUT - Both wins came in sprints.
JAMES SMITH - Both wins came in maiden claiming.
NATHAN SQUIRES - No common betting angles.
Thats all for this edition, until next time, hope to see you At The
Races Nick can be contacted at email@example.com or read his blogs
Photo credits: I'LL HAVE ANOTHER by Getty Images. FRANKEL
by the Racing Post.