Burlington Recap

On Saturday night three divisions of the Burlington Stakes went forward at Mohawk Raceway in Campbellville. I found the races far more entertaining than I usually find them.

In division one Dali got the lead that I thought he would. But it was not a walk in the park. Luc kept him going pretty good speed, paneling back to back sub-28 quarters. At the top of the lane he looked to be perhaps beaten, but Miller’s horse Sand Shooter had not much to offer, and Stonebridge Magnum in the pocket was just keeping up. Out of the clouds came Ty Buter and Art Official, which if not for Somebeach’s effort in division two, would have easily been the talk of the evening. He flew home in a speed not seen at Mohawk, ever. He paced wide in the last three panels and clocked those in 120.3, with a 52.4 back half. Astonishing speed.

In the second division, Somebeach was, well Somebeach. Despite getting soundly stung in a 26.2 second quarter, and having to back that up with a 27.4 third quarter, he cruised home and jogged. Handicapping 101 says that if a horse is used a big quarter in the middle and gets zero rest, his last 100 yards will be slow, and he will be vulnerable. We see that every single day. That is a rule for regular horses, not this one. I also honestly thought that he would be somewhat short after seeing the fractions and knowing that they could not get proper work into him with the injury he had two weeks ago. By all reports he just went a 158 mile as a tune up. I was extremely impressed. Jeff Gillis’ horse – Santanna Blue Chip had a good tightener from the ten. I am not sure I have ever seen a horse pace sounder, or straighter. He might not be Somebeach, but he is darn good and should have a super season, as they point him to the stakes. Last night was clearly a conditioning mile.

In the last division, I expected Lonestar Legend to romp when he made the lead. It did not happen. Keystone Horatio sprang off cover and won fairly easily, defeating a tripped out Deuce Seelster. Y’know I never give Horatio too much credit. That is clearly a mistake. He is a nice horse who shows up every single week. These are the types that you look at their card, they have a mark of 151 and have made $900,000. or so. Time for me to give him the credit he deserves for being a damn nice horse.

Barring some sort of mishap, Somebeach is a clear favourite for the Cup. Fair odds? I honestly think he is even money to win the race. Big Brown was even money to win the Triple Crown after the Derby, which I thought was too low. Two races to win and even money with all that can go wrong? Not my cup of tea, but with this horse I can’t conceivably make him any higher odds. He simply looks to be everything that everyone has said – a complete and utter freak.

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