Saturday Fun & The Captain

Yesterday was quite an interesting day in racing land.

At Belmont there was a collection of stakes races, which (other than the coupling of entries) made for some good betting affairs. I got my butt kicked, but still enjoyed it.

In the Beldame, Royal Delta was a strong favorite at Betfair (1.33) but lost to the three year old - Princess of Sylmar. Junior on Roman Invader appeared to think the race was seven furlongs; how else do you explain the 22.4 second quarter, and that seemed to put Royal Delta in a precarious position. She wanted to engage, went fairly uneven fractions, and could not hold off the filly, who was stalking on the best part of the racetrack. The time was a sparkling 147 and change.

Someone on twitter said, she 'might be good enough to try the Classic', and that might not be wrong. She was full of herself at the line, and if one wants to extrapolate, she probably could've went another eighth in 13 seconds, which would have put her with Palace Malice in the JCGC. Princess of Sylmar seems to be an anti-Pletcher horse. She was not wound up early (she was 40-1 earlier in her career) and seemed to be behind a few others. She has matured, or left to mature (one of the two) and has become the best filly in racing, this fall.

Speaking of the JCGC, inside speed bias or not, that was a great performance by Bill Mott's Ron the Greek. From the top of the lane home there was one horse raring to go, and it was him. Orb was asked before the three quarters and had zip, while some of the others, like Alpha and Palace Malice, raced their race. They just weren't good enough.

How did I lose the last pick 4? Like a lot of you, by not using Little Mike. If Little Mike walked up to me on the street Saturday and said "Bet me, I am going to win" my only response would've been, "holy crap, a talking horse". 

Over at Santa Anita, Mucho Macho Man was in fine form. He was about four wide on both turns and he was so much the best it did not matter one iota. 

On to harness.......

The Captain beat up on some also-rans at the Red Mile in his division of the Blue Grass. Normally you could not read too much into it, however, that effort was really, really good. Often times at this stage of a three year olds season he has trouble being sharp - the travel and the kinks take hold. If you thought you were seeing that with the pedestrian last quarter in the Cane Pace, that was extinguished last evening.

The Captain's season, bad crop or not, is looking more like the Beach's or Rock n' Roll Heaven's, where they are finishing stronger than they started. That's great management.

Many times early in the year, the Captain could be, and looked, easily beatable. The only time a horse had tactical advantage on him, in fact, he was beaten. Other times, like holding off a first over Vegas Vacation by a nose, or Captive Audience by the same margin at 40-1 in the Cup elimination, he held that advantage. The way he looked last evening, that Captain might be gone. He looks stronger and better gaited.

Last up in Harness, we have a column in HRU about the rules and regulaions, specifically the kicking fines at the Delaware State Fair last week. Give it a read if you'd like. PDF page 5

Have a great Sunday everyone.

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