Big Saturday Notes

Last night the Pepsi North America Cup was raced at Mohawk. The weather was cooler, but it cooperated. It was a nice evening.

Garnet has a complete update of the results at HRN for those who did not watch the card. For those of you who did watch, here are a few thoughts.

Trixton won the Goodtimes and looks as good or better than his stablemate Father Patrick. Normally with trotters this time of year they are doing nothing special, but this horse is. Last night he trotted a second quarter in 26.4, cleared and trotted 27.4 down the back for a 54.3 middle. Normally horses (usually pacers, not trotters) get a little soft at the end.  With a 28.4 home he looked great. I worry what a mile like that will do to him for August, but he has cleared the bar each and every time.

A horse a lot of us were worried about was Bee a Magician. We could excuse her first loss, but when she ran in during the stretch of her second (like she did in start one) and got picked off by D'Orsay, it made a lot of bettors wonder. Last night after a perfect pocket trip she backed off bad, coming 9th. It looks like she has some physical problems. Sad. She's a great horse and we can only hope she gets straightened out.

In the big one, a horse I was not playing was JK Endofanera. He paraded funky last week and was washed out. As Garnet mentioned, he did look good on the track this week and he delivered. Good for those of you who played him off that appearance. That's how you get prices in our game.

All the others in the race, did race well I thought. This crop looks deeper than last year's at this stage. It will be fun to see how it plays out.

Evening of Pleasure has always been a super nice horse, but he probably deserved to be over 50-1 in the Gold Cup. He has been sharp, though, and if others don't get the trip they desire, or are a bit flat, he's a horse than can and will win more of these, I think.

Yannick's drive on Foiled Again probably signaled that he feels the now 10 year old has lost a step. Sure he knew he was behind a live one, but nine months ago he is out and driving.

I watched Sunshine Beach closely. I am a fan of the horse and think he might make a good four year old. He raced really well, I thought. I was disappointed in State Treasurer's race.

What a difference a year makes. No sharp Needy, no A Rock n Roll Dance, no Pet Rock, Foiled Again not as sharp...... big difference in the aged stakes ranks this year.

Handle was over 3.4 million last night, up 12% from 2013. Wagering on the Cup was down slightly. There was one more race last evening.

Having the race in the second pick four resulted in a $118k pool versus $138k last year.

The half hour coverage on TSN was really well done. There was a great feature on Bill Cass and John Craig, two of the good guys in the business. Bill was stabled not far from a family horse in the 1980's and I remember him when I was barely a teenager. He's been around, and they've been partners for a long time. I liked when Cass said the relationship has lasted a long while, this despite many people telling Craig to "change trainers and maybe you'd do better." Craig says Cass 'is honest and a friend', so why would he change. I know and a lot of you know: Some crazy things happen to us as horse owners. Trust, openness and honesty and integrity trump a few extra purse dollars 10 times out of 10. We understand where John is coming from.

Dawn made me LOL last night on TSN:

Greg Merton sometimes horse shipper part time harness driver, returned to the Big M last night. Greg is such a good driver, he should ship less and drive more. 

I did not watch one Churchill Downs race last evening for their big card. I was interested to, but when I cut a track out of the rotation it's gone.  I did see the handle numbers: Down about $1.3 million. Even on big days like that one CD seems to be having customer problems.

Have a great Sunday everyone.

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