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  1. #211
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    I cannot believe what just unfolded. (Don't worry, nobody died or got hurt.) This has to be one of the most intellectually defective owner/trainer decisions I have seen in my limited time following thoroughbred racing closely.

    But to tell the whole story, first I must go back to the 2002 Keeneland September Yearling Sale. It was there that a yearling filly who went on to be named Marylebone was purchased for a hefty $725,000 by a guy who used to be a fairly prolific and successful owner, Michael Tabor. Todd Pletcher was hired to train her.

    Marylebone won her first race in her debut at Saratoga as a 2-year-old. In her next race, still as a 2-year-old, she won the Grade 1 Matron Stakes at Belmont Park. After that, she only raced four more times and never finished higher than second, earning $147,000 in a short racing career. She delivered her first foal in 2007.

    As a broodmare, Marylebone has had modest success. Her 2010 filly, Bow Bells, earned $92,000 as a racer. Her 2012 colt, Chiltern Street, fared better, earning almost $240,000 on the track. Both were sired by Giant's Causeway--a top sire.

    Fast forward to 2016 when the decision was made to breed Marylebone to the new Triple Crown winner, American Pharoah. That mating produced a colt now named Sambam. At some point, that colt was purchased privately rather than at public auction by two men, Len Rosemen and Jack J. Armstrong. I know nothing about them except that they never purchased a racehorse before as a team and, given the pedigree, they almost certainly paid six digits for this colt with very lofty expectations.

    Fast forward again to today's 4th race at Parx in Bensalem, PA north of Philadelphia. I will sometimes scan racing cards looking for first-time starters with exceptional pedigrees. Sambam jumped out at me for a few reasons. First, the pedigree obviously caught my eye. But then I read the racing conditions. Sambam was making his debut as a 3-year-old, which means it took longer than usual to get him in racing condition, and the 4th race at Parks was a maiden claiming race.

    This meant that, without ever running a race, Sambam was not only making his debut; he was also for sale.

    The claiming price? A measly $10,000.

    I immediately think, "Man, this horse must be really, REALLY bad and have zero talent if the owners and the trainer (Scott Lake, a fairly successful trainer who clearly is not an idiot and does well with first-time starters) have already given up on him and are willing to sell him for $10,000." After all, that had to be a fraction of Sambam's purchase price--not to mention what else they had invested in him (feed, board, training, vet bills, etc.).

    The race starts. Sambam breaks poorly and immediately is near the back of the pack (a field of 11 horses running in mud). But he does well to make up ground on the backstretch and makes a sweeping move on the turn to pass a bunch of horses. He finishes the race a rapidly closing third. Had the race been a mile instead of 3/4 of a mile, he probably would have won his debut.

    Fast forward again about 30 minutes later. The news gets posted on Twitter. One trainer put in a claim on Sambam, purchasing him for $10,000.

    The connections (owners, trainer, etc.) sold this horse they certainly purchased for six digits for a paltry $10,000 and a third-place purse of $1,650. The buyer? Carlos Soto, a fairly successful trainer in his own right.

    Sambam could have debuted in a maiden special weight race (not for sale) to see what he might do in a real race. If they hated him that much, they could have run him in a different maiden claiming race for a price of $50,000 or $75,000, hoping to get a larger portion of their purchase price and expenses back. In spite of slow works, someone would have taken the chance.

    But no. They dumped this horse in the lowest-level maiden claiming race that Parx offers.

    And I guarantee you... Carlos Soto is already drunk with glee (if not literally). Because not only does he have an impeccably bred horse in his stable at a dirt-cheap purchase price; he also has a horse that, given the pedigree and regardless of racing results, would easily command a $5,000 (or larger) stud fee if he elects to go that route.

    Intellectually defective doesn't even come close to describing how dumb this was.
    SAMBAM UPDATE: Sambam just finished his second race--first race off the claim on July 6. He stretched out to 7 furlongs (7/8 of a mile) for this one. Track was dry and fast.

    He won by a head, in spite of nearly getting mugged down the stretch when another horse lugged out into Sambam's path, forcing the jockey to check for a second. Many horses would have stopped running after that. But Sambam got his momentum back quickly, darted inward to get away from the 4 horse, and passed two more horses to win.

    This race was a Waiver Maiden Claiming race. I cannot see the waiver conditions (the "option" to not have the horse up for sale might only be available to Pennsylvania-bred horses in the race with all others being required to be eligible to be claimed--Sambam is a Kentucky-bred). If he was for sale, the claiming price is $20,000--that would be in addition to winning a purse of $12,600. I'll edit this post once Equibase publishes it.

    EDIT: From what I can tell thus far, Sambam was NOT claimed, though he WAS for sale for $20,000. So Carlos Soto claimed this horse on July 6 for a paltry $10,000. He races him today, August 5, and wins a purse of $12,600. It costs roughly $3,000 a month to properly maintain a thoroughbred. So Carlos Soto almost has all of his original investment back in 1 month.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  2. #212
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Belmont Stakes winner, Tiz the Law, ran his final prep race for the Kentucky Derby yesterday in 2020 Travers at Saratoga.

    In other news, my filly, Bold Article, arrived in Saratoga last week and will stay there until the end of the current move. I am suspect of Saffie's decision to ship her there. But it tells me he has faith in her. The plan continues to be to get her to Churchill--but now after the Saratoga meet is over.

    As for my colt, Tiz the Dude (I hate that name so much), Saffie has put in a request that Gulfstream write a race specifically for Tiz the Dude. I guess you get to do that sort of thing if you're the #1 trainer at a track.

    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  3. #213
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Race of the Day: Today's 6th race at Woodbine outside Toronto.

    I honestly don't know how the #6 horse, and his jockey, Justin Stein, pulled this off. On paper going into the race, the #6 was the slowest horse in the field at this distance, which is why he went off at 9/1. But not today. Justin Stein deserves at least some of the credit. He's been tearing it up at Woodbine over the past few days.

    You have to feel for those who bet the 8 to win, which couldn't have been that many people... He went off at 22/1 and led the whole way--except for the moment that pesky finish line arrived.

    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  4. #214
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    SAMBAM UPDATE: Sambam just finished his second race--first race off the claim on July 6. He stretched out to 7 furlongs (7/8 of a mile) for this one. Track was dry and fast.

    He won by a head, in spite of nearly getting mugged down the stretch when another horse lugged out into Sambam's path, forcing the jockey to check for a second. Many horses would have stopped running after that. But Sambam got his momentum back quickly, darted inward to get away from the 4 horse, and passed two more horses to win.

    This race was a Waiver Maiden Claiming race. I cannot see the waiver conditions (the "option" to not have the horse up for sale might only be available to Pennsylvania-bred horses in the race with all others being required to be eligible to be claimed--Sambam is a Kentucky-bred). If he was for sale, the claiming price is $20,000--that would be in addition to winning a purse of $12,600. I'll edit this post once Equibase publishes it.

    EDIT: From what I can tell thus far, Sambam was NOT claimed, though he WAS for sale for $20,000. So Carlos Soto claimed this horse on July 6 for a paltry $10,000. He races him today, August 5, and wins a purse of $12,600. It costs roughly $3,000 a month to properly maintain a thoroughbred. So Carlos Soto almost has all of his original investment back in 1 month.
    The good news is that I'll finally get my wish for Sambam... He is entered to run a turf race at Parx on Monday at a mile and 70 yards. That should be right up his alley, even though he'll be facing other winners for the first time.

    The bad news is that he is now a gelding--confirmed by Equibase. I am just sick. Pennsylvania has a dire shortage of stallions that can't keep up with a rapidly growing brood mare base. For Pennsylvania, even a BAD son of American Pharoah (out of a stake's winning mare and daughter of Unbridled's Song) would have been a step up in the PA pedigree pool.

    And they castrated him. I am just sick, I tell you...
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  5. #215
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Meanwhile, I didn't say anything about it beforehand, but one of my fillies, Bold Article, raced today at Saratoga. This time it was a sprint (3/4 mile) on dirt. She went off as the 9/5 favorite at post time after being 8/1 on the morning line.

    She finished second by 4 lengths. It was a respectable race, but she was wide the whole trip and clearly tired at the end. Her overall Equibase speed figure, however, improved over the debut at Gulfstream.

    ::

    After the race, however, there was some drama. This was a maiden claiming race, which means all of the runners were for sale for a price of $50K. When the Equibase post-race chart was first posted, it indicated that Bold Article had been claimed by Tom Morley. I was a little gutted.

    But it turns out the Saratoga office made a mistake. Morley actually claimed a different horse from the race (#5), and the chart was subsequently corrected.

    So I still own a tiny bit of her.

    The Saratoga meet ends in 2 weeks, I think, so I'm about 95% sure her next race will be at Churchill. As a KY-bred, she'll get some special treatment there in terms of racing options. But the quality of competition will go up yet again. We'll see how that goes. But she improved. Not getting mugged on the turn helped. But being so wide didn't as the #2 horse was able to save ground on the rail.

    Still waiting for video to be posted that I can use here. Will share it once it's available.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  6. #216
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    The race is up. Sorry, it is one video with all of today's Saratoga races. Bold Article is #6. Race starts at about 1:48:50.

    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  7. #217

    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Dry, with the Derby on deck (man, that is a weird phrase to write right before the US Open...), I'm trying to explain to another friend why I have an interest in Tiz the Law even though I don't typically get behind favorites horsey-wise. Are these the correct terms...

    Tiznow = damsire of Tiz the Law
    and also great-great-damsire of Tiz the Dude?

  8. #218
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Ribbons View Post
    Dry, with the Derby on deck (man, that is a weird phrase to write right before the US Open...), I'm trying to explain to another friend why I have an interest in Tiz the Law even though I don't typically get behind favorites horsey-wise. Are these the correct terms...

    Tiznow = damsire of Tiz the Law
    and also great-great-damsire of Tiz the Dude?
    Almost! Tiznow is the damsire of Tiz the Law and the second damsire of Tiz the Dude. (Translation to be sure it's clear: Tiznow is the grandfather of Tiz the Law on the dam's side and the great-grandfather of Tiz the Dude on the dam's side.)

    ::

    Fun fact: In most livestock industries, I would say that my filly, Bold Article, is a half-sister to Tiz the Law because they have the same sire, Constitution. But in the horse industry, Bold Article and Tiz the Law would only be considered half-brother/half-sister, at least in terms of how people talk about it, if they had the same dam. Two siblings with the same sire doesn't count.

    I think that's weird. But it is what it is.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  9. #219
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    The Kentucky Derby draw is out. It didn't do the heavy favorite, Tiz the Law, any favors. He drew post 17.

    The good news is that is primary rivals, Honor A.P. and Authentic, drew the posts just inside and outside of him, respectively.

    King Guillermo drew post 6.

    The Kentucky Derby field, from the rail out, with riders and morning-line odds:

    1. Finnick the Fierce, Martin Garcia, 50-1
    2. Max Player, Ricardo Santana Jr., 30-1
    3. Enforceable, Adam Beschizza, 30-1
    4. Storm the Court, Julien Leparoux, 50-1
    5. Major Fed, James Graham, 50-1
    6. King Guillermo, Samy Camacho, 20-1
    7. Money Moves, Javier Castellano, 30-1
    8. South Bend, Tyler Gaffalione, 50-1
    9. Mr. Big News, Gabriel Saez, 50-1
    10. Thousand Words, Florent Geroux, 15-1
    11. Necker Island, Miguel Mena, 50-1
    12. Sole Volante, Luca Panici, 30-1
    13. Attachment Rate, Joe Talamo, 50-1
    14. Winning Impression, Joe Rocco Jr., 50-1
    15. Ny Traffic, Paco Lopez, 20-1
    16. Honor A. P., Mike Smith, 5-1
    17. Tiz the Law, Manny Franco, 3-5
    18. Authentic, John Velazquez, 8-1
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  10. #220

    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    A lot of jockey names I don't recognize at first glance. My mom, who used to frequent Santa Anita when she lived in LA, always told me to bet the jockey, not the horse. So really not sure what to think about this one. And the posts are very interesting.

    For Tiz the Law, I know he's the heavy favorite and Manny has been great on him, but the Derby is a different animal entirely. Has he raced it before on a different horse? Going up against 8-10 horses vs. 18 horses tends to be a significant difference, knowing how to get out of all that traffic.

  11. #221
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    A lot of jockey names I don't recognize at first glance. My mom, who used to frequent Santa Anita when she lived in LA, always told me to bet the jockey, not the horse. So really not sure what to think about this one. And the posts are very interesting.

    For Tiz the Law, I know he's the heavy favorite and Manny has been great on him, but the Derby is a different animal entirely. Has he raced it before on a different horse? Going up against 8-10 horses vs. 18 horses tends to be a significant difference, knowing how to get out of all that traffic.
    I'm pretty sure Manny Franco has ridden in Triple Crown races (besides this year's Belmont), but this year's Belmont is the only one he won. One thing I can tell you about the Derby... If Manny gets Tiz the Law on or near the lead coming around the second turn, looks under his right arm, and does nothing spectacular in reaction, he thinks he has it in the bag.

    The post draw really made a mess of things, though. Which is why I think King Guillermo's stock will probably go up. His recent works have been blistering (not that I put much stock in workouts).

    Back to Tiz the Law. Two things that have been bouncing about in my head today:

    1) To win the Derby, Tiz the Law will have to win a race in a way he's never done before. Based on what you know about him, do you think he can do it? I'm inclined to say yes, but I am far less certain of it compared to how I would feel about it if he had drawn, say, post 5.

    2) Tiz the Law is about 2 or 3 races overdue for a bad day at the office. Or maybe he's just so good that a bad day at the office isn't in his arsenal.

    ::

    So that brings up a question all betters face when they are trying to beat the favorite: If not the favorite, then who?

    And that question, in the context of THIS field, makes my head hurt. Especially with the defection of Art Collector.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  12. #222
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Quote Originally Posted by JazzNU View Post
    A lot of jockey names I don't recognize at first glance. My mom, who used to frequent Santa Anita when she lived in LA, always told me to bet the jockey, not the horse.
    This point deserved a separate post. I am very sympathetic to your mother's argument. I have used it several times, e.g., Irad Ortiz in a turf race (on any track), Justin Stein on just about anything at Woodbine, Emma-Jayne Wilson on a filly or mare on turf at Woodbine, Umberto Rispoli or Flavian Prat in a turf race at Del Mar, or Paco Lopez on dirt at either Gulfstream or Monmouth (though former apprentice rider, Ferrin Peterson, has been causing Paco ALL sorts of problems at Monmouth recently--so much so that she graduated from being an apprentice last weekend).

    It's a thing. Just wanted to validate that.

    Alternate post: Your mom is one smart cookie. I know that from other things we've talked about, too. So I would be remiss to quibble with her about anything.
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

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  14. #224
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    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Quote Originally Posted by Ribbons View Post
    I was wondering where Rosario was...

    https://www.courier-journal.com/stor...of/3447928001/
    Yeah, Saratoga is one of the tracks that has fairly strict restrictions on jockey travel. Joel would have had to leave Saratoga over the weekend (missing lucrative races) to arrive in Louisville in time to run in the Derby, then go back to Saratoga and then quarantine for a while before he could race again. Basically, 2-3 weeks with no riding income. Same deal with Irad Ortiz and Jose Ortiz. I think Luis Saez is in Saratoga as well. (But he recovered from COVID weeks ago--tested positive at Del Mar, I think.)
    Winston, a.k.a. Alvena Rae Risley Hiatt (1944-2019), RIP

  15. #225

    Re: Horse Racing Random Random

    Quote Originally Posted by dryrunguy View Post
    So that brings up a question all betters face when they are trying to beat the favorite: If not the favorite, then who?
    I'm not betting the Derby this year, but if I was, I would for sure put money down on Honor AP and Authentic. I'd also likely take a flier on King Guillermo because those are some damn good odds for someone getting talked about this much.

    I've bet names I've liked before, but this year, nothing is pulling me at all based on name alone. Kind of disappointing. Yes, I know Major Fed. But I don't know, feel like it could've been a more creative tribute.

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