Some items catching my eye this Sunday:
The World did not end, apparently.
Shackleford confounded many of those who thought a hot pace might fold the leading group. He ran a 103, which is not a bad number for this group, and carried his speed nicely. Animal Kingdom I thought raced well, firing from off the pace, and leaving two horses with 100 type capabilities (Sway Away and Dialed In) in his wake. I thought they were clearly the two best horses yesterday. There was no bounce for the Animal, and Shack's Florida Derby and Derby were not fluke efforts. Sometimes as handicappers (especially those looking for a score) we make things more complicated than they are.
Big Jim won his 2011 debut in impressive fashion. The last 50 yards showed (in my opinion) he was tired, but schoolers and one qualifier can only do so much. What happened to Lookingforadventure? The top rated colt early last year simply could not stay with Big Jim. The super-fast and freaky Grams Legacy stayed flat and roared home nicely. Is it possible to keep this horse sound? Seeing that Takter had spreaders on him recently makes one think not, but if he does, watch out.
The Molson Pace elims are in the books. Foiled Again just might be the best horse in North America and he proved it again Friday. This weeks final has the two elim winners with good posts; Foiled Again with the three and Atochia with the 8. The other good performer, and post time chalk in elim one, Art Professor, drew poorly. It could be worse - Piece of the Rock drew seven in his elim, and seven in the final. The post gods can be very unkind.
The A-news report below:
Crunk: Crunk says the inside bias is back at Monmouth for those who are playing the Shore today.
The Big M Free For All last night shows, to me, the need for us to do a better job with barn instructions. It is pretty clear for handicappers that Hypnotic Blue Chip is better covered up, and he has gotten away from that at times. Last night one can surmise they wanted him covered up at all costs, and Sears did that, getting locked in. The problem is, how are bettors supposed to know that? He was 6-5 and no doubt a lot of bettors were looking for the license plate of the truck that just ran over them.
Saturday is blues-day at Mohawk. With so much product, Saturday has become a time and place for smaller than average pools. Some tracks, like Charlestown and Hawthorne, found their niche mid week. Monday seems to be a night - with massive TV coverage and hopeful TVG coverage, that Woodbine/Mohawk can do some damage with from a betting perspective. Last evening the $75k pick 4 guarantee could not break $60,000. Is it time to race some good cards with betting opportunities on Monday's?
Marketing geek notes: If you are in racing and you're not taking advantage of Facebook like buttons, it's time to. According to Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan, social plugins are delivering the goods.