This last weekend closes the door on another live race meet at Assiniboia Downs. Just for something a little different, I’d like to give my opinion on a few things before I get into what everyone wants, the picks and analysis.
Most Impressive Performances of the Meet NOT by a horse sired by Flashy Bull
The three performances that impressed me most came courtesy of Plus Ultra, Miss Victoriana and Lucy with Diamonds. In the Chantilly Stakes Plus Ultra broke poorly, rushed up to make the lead easily, then cruised for a bit before holding off My Daddy’s Girl and She’s Copacetic. Miss Victoriana won her third Matron in a row under a hand ride. She made a strong move between horses on the final turn that took her from last to first and won with ease. Lucy with Diamonds in her MSW victory crushed an okay field of fillies in 1:12 and change. But she won with ease and domination and looked like an emerging champion.
Best Ride of the Meet
This award has to go to Jennifer Reid for her paint scraping victory on Lake Sawyer in the Wheat City Stakes. She saved ground, rallied and won by the slimmest of margins. A runner-up award goes to Tyrone Nelson for his ride on Moment of Song, skimming up the rail on Wednesday night.
Leading Rider Pick
I’m going to go out on a limb and pick a tie. I know it’s so lame but I’m going to take Jen Reid and Paul Nolan tying at 75 wins, with Rohan Singh being one win back at 74. I really believe Tyrone Nelson is going to have a huge final weekend and that will put a kink in the top three’s plans.
Thoughts on the Bull
A lot of people recently have come out and said that Balooga Bull is the best horse ever to run at Assiniboia Downs, ever, period. I was not alive for a lot of the meets here, but looking through some record books there have been some extremely nice horses that have run here.
Overskate holds the Assiniboia Downs track record for 1 1/8-miles and also won the Breeders’ Stakes along with the Bowling Green Handicap (G1) at Belmont Park. L’Enjoleur won the Laurel Futurity (G1). Fanfreluche ran second in the Queen’s Plate (CG1) and Canadian Oaks (CG1). Gold Strike won the Woodbine Oaks (CG1) and ran third in the Queen’s Plate (CG1). Fancy As, who begins my memories of Manitoba racing, made almost $700,000 and ran third in the Strub (G2) and the San Fernando (G2). In the Strub he defeated Orientate, eventual champion sprinter of 2012 and Breeders’ Cup Sprint (G1) winner. The horses he beat in those races and many of those who beat him, would have annihilated many good horses from these parts.
Balooga Bull has raced against some weaker competition. He has won with the greatest of ease in the fastest of times, but he does get a loose lead in almost every race. At ASD he is in a class of his own. I will appoint him as a true super horse when he beats legitimate stakes horses in the USA. At this point in his career he has beaten Pleasant Closing, a horse claimed at Oaklawn Park, along with a few other added money winners. Balooga Bull has beaten one black type stakes winner, Up Jumps a Monster, who was so far back in the Derby he had no shot. Yes, Balooga Bull is a monster locally, but he needs to go elsewhere to prove that he is not just 10 lengths better than lesser horses.
Time only matters in jail, is the old saying, and at times it is a theory that is valid in racing. A horse racing loose on the lead will almost always run his best ever races. When he is hooked by a legitimate speed horse and is then forced to withstand a cavalry charge down the lane, we will see how big the Bull’s horns are.
The first race Friday looks to be Let’s Rocket’s race to lose and she is definitely the speed. Cool Lion in the second should get a dream trip and will be a price. Johnny Nicolett may inherit the win in the third. Oxford City Slew will be a big favorite but he is vulnerable. I really like Muted Word with Waronthehomefront in the featured fourth race. Dixieland Gold is cutting back on short rest and he is vulnerable again. I would look to Yourhouseisclean and Northern Fancy as upsetters in that race. Sunday Victory is my pick in the sixth, while I really like Dottir and Atta’ Girl in the seventh. My bomber in the last race is Moved to Perma to go wire to wire. Other than that I like Apt to Pay and No Gimmick.
The first race is wide open, as is the second on Saturday night. The handicapping contest looks very chalky in my opinion, so one bomber and you could take it all. In the third race I love Northern Twister, his race went much faster than Bettina’s Rose’s on the same day. Spectacular Slew cruises in the fourth race. The fifth is a wide open, while the sixth should come down to the closers Going for a Few, Pelee Island, Big Leap and Artic Fire. Baronshill and Toccet’s Charm are my horses in the seventh race, and the last evening race of the year should go to Charlie Waffles.
Critical Choice should cruise in the first race. Daughter’s Pride will be tough in the second off of an impressive win. Tannat should crush at a low price. I Am Awesome and Cahill Chrome outclass the field badly and will be tough in the fourth. I can never, not like Quaker Shaker Tony, and he should be very live in the fifth. Rascal on Tour and Hello Beautiful will be tough in the sixth race, while Hooves on Fire, Double Clutch and Forchtenberg are the main marathon contenders. Key Largo will run better in the eighth and should be a major player. The Buffalo will be a race to see who is still standing at the wire. Look for a bomber or Arstar by many, take your pick. The last race of the year is wide open and is also a pick ‘em affair. Bob’s blog mentioned winning the first and last races of the year. Plus Ultra has a shot to do just that. She won an MSW in the first race on opening day, and she is a contender in the tenth and final race of the live meeting on Sunday.
This Weekend: September 21-23, 2012
Record-to-Date: 20-7-8 from 56 starts
Wagered: $805.00 Returned: $768.25 Profit: -$36.75
Friday Best Bet: Race 4 - Muted Word
Friday Longshot: Race 5 - Yourhouseisclean
Saturday Best Bet: Race 3 - Northern Twister
Saturday Longshot: Race 6 - Pelee Island
Sunday Best Bet: Race 1 - Critical Choice
Sunday Longshot: Race 9 - Katie’s Bigboy
Thanks for reading!
Next Post Time for Live Racing: 7 p.m. Friday, September 21, 2012