Tag Archive | "Will Take Charge"

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Stevens rides Mucho Macho Man to first ever Breeders’ Cup Classic victory

Posted on 03 November 2013 by WNST Staff

ARCADIA, Calif. (AP) — Gary Stevens had never won the $5 million Breeders’ Cup Classic in his long career. Kathy Ritvo came close a year ago with Mucho Macho Man only to settle for second.

The veteran jockey and the trainer who got another chance at life after a heart transplant in 2008 teamed up with the hard-knocking horse to win by a whisker Saturday.

Mucho Macho Man edged Will Take Charge in a photo finish decided by a nose, making Ritvo the first female trainer to win North America’s richest race at a Breeders’ Cup that began tragically with the death of a horse in the first race.

“I didn’t know the photo was as close as it was,” said Stevens, who was 0-for-14 in the Classic.

Stevens capped his comeback at 50 in stellar fashion, surviving a photo finish in the Classic after winning the $2 million Distaff with Beholder on Friday for a sweep of the biggest races at the two-day world championships at Santa Anita.

Ritvo became the fifth female trainer to win a Breeders’ Cup race and got to celebrate a year after seeing Mucho Macho Man finish second by a half-length to winner Fort Larned.

“Thrilling,” she said.

First, though, Ritvo had to sweat out the results.

Mucho Macho Man stretched his neck to hold off Will Take Charge, trained by 78-year-old Hall of Famer D. Wayne Lukas.

“I was just hoping he got it,” Ritvo said. “When I saw Gary shake his stick, I was confident. He ran a fantastic race.”

Game On Dude, the 8-5 favorite who was 5-0 this year, finished ninth on his home track for trainer Bob Baffert and co-owner Joe Torre, the retired Dodgers and Yankees manager.

Baffert had an up-and-down day. His filly, Secret Compass, broke her leg in the opening Juvenile Fillies race and had to be euthanized. Then he won two races before Game On Dude lost as the favorite for the second straight year.

“When I saw him going real fast on the backstretch, I knew I was in trouble,” he said. “Then when Mike (Smith) asked him, there was nothing there. You always feel bad when you get beat, but I feel worse for the horse.”

Fort Larned wound up fourth.

Mucho Macho Man ran 1 ¼ miles in 2:00.72 and paid $10, $4.60 and $3.60 as the 4-1 second choice. The victory likely earned him champion older male honors and may get him consideration for Horse of the Year honors, which Game On Dude could have wrapped up with a win.

Current Horse of the Year Wise Dan repeated in the $2 million Mile, winning by three-quarters of a length under Jose Lezcano, a late replacement for Velazquez. He paid $3.60 to win as the 4-5 favorite.

Will Take Charge returned $7.20 and $4.80.

“It’s just a heartbreak that he lost,” said Lukas, who won his only Classic in 1999 with Cat Thief. “He did everything right. The jump after the wire we got him.”

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Analysis & Selections for the 3rd Leg of Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes and Closing Day at Pimlico

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Analysis & Selections for the 3rd Leg of Triple Crown, The Belmont Stakes and Closing Day at Pimlico

Posted on 07 June 2013 by Gary Quill


Drawing courtesy of Mel @dailyracefunies. To see more of Mel’s work, click here.

On paper, the Saturday’s 145th running of the Belmont Stakes shapes up to be a great betting race, which isn’t a bad consolation since the luster of the race was tarnished by Orb’s loss to oxbow in the Preakness. There are fourteen (14) 3 year olds scheduled to break from the starting gate at Belmont on Saturday, for the $1 million 1½ mile classic, Post Time is 6:36pm EDT. NBC-TV will have “live” coverage from 5pm-7pm.

The weather forecast for the New York metropolitan area, location of Belmont Race Course, is “iffy”. The rain that fell all day on Friday may be gone by Saturday morning. MOstly cloduy skies and winds of 10-15 mph won’t be enough to dry out the track. So look for the track condition to be MUDDY.

Here’s how I see the 145th running of the Belmont Stakes playing out, listed in my predicted order of finish. Morning Line Odds are shown in comparison to the Early Betting Odds only from NYRA tracks, Fort Erie in Canada and Twinspires.com, which was only $39,552 in the WIN pool.

1st – Winstar silks #9 – Revolutionary
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / Javier Castellano
Running Style: Closer
He was my pick to win the Kentucky Derby, but could only manage a 3rd place finish, while running on at the end. Skipping the Preakness was a wise move for this lightly raced son of War Pass. His granddaddy (A.P. Indy) on his Mom’s side won this race and there’s enough early speed in here to provide an honest pace to run at in deep stretch.
Early Betting Odds : 5-2 compared to Morning Line Odds: 9-2

2nd – Horton silks #10 – Will Take Charge
Trainer / Jockey: D. Wayne Lukas / Jon Court
Running Style: Tactical Speed
One of three colts who will have run in all 3 Triple Crown races (Orb and Oxbow are the other two), he was sort of a Wise-Guy horse in the Preakness after his strong run into the Churchill Downs stretch was abruptly stopped when Verrazano swerved in front of him. Unfortunately for his backers in the Preakness, he never fired, finishing 7th but during during Preakness week he wasn’t “on his toes” in the A.M. as he was during Derby week. Based on video from Belmont Park workouts, he looks “fit as a fiddle” again. Therefore, at a price he’s a must use in my exotics.
Early Betting Odds : 23-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 20-1

3rd – Dogwood silks #12 – Palace Malice
Trainer / Jockey : Todd Pletcher / Mike Smith
Running Style: Stalker
His Daddy (Curlin) lost the 2007 Belmont Stakesby a head, so there’s no question this colt can get the 12 furlongs. Mike Smith retains the mount after a less than stellar ride in the Derby, but the addition of blinkers likely caused Palace Malice to be way too aggressive and uncharacteristically go to the lead. The blinkers come off which should translate into a more relaxed run with a nice stalking trip.
Early Betting Odds : 10-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 15-1

4th – Repole silks #3 – Overanalyze
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / John Velazquez
Running Style: Mid-Pack
Has the same sire (Dixie Union) as last years’ Belmont Stakes winner, Union Rags. So one would the distance should not be a question. Trainer Pletcher has 4 others in here but his #1 jock rides this one. If you believe in patterns, then look at Overanalyze’s past performances. He wins then loses, wins, loses He lost his last race.
Early Betting Odds : 11-1compared to Morning Line Odds: 12-1

5th – Janney silks #5 – Orb
Trainer / Jockey: Shug McGaughey / Joel Rosario
Running Style: Mid-Pack
The Derby winner was prematurely anointed a strong choice to be the first Triple Crown winner in 35 years, but it wasn’t to be as he was a distant 4th in the Preakness Stakes. So what makes him so special to be the favorite here? I’m thinking he may have peaked on the first Saturday of May and could be a tired horse.
Early Betting Odds: 5-2 compared to Morning Line Odds: 3-1

6th – Repole silks #13 – Unlimited Budget
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / Rosie Napravnik
Running Style: Tactical Speed
The only filly in the field will try to become just the 4th filly in 145 runnings of the Belmont Stakes to enter the Winners’ Circle. She has the bloodlines and an impressive resume’ (4 wins in 5 career races; 3 in graded stakes). In an effort to compare her against her male counterparts, we can look to her Feb. 23rd race at Fairgrounds. A winning effort but her time was 4/5th of a second slower than the winner of the Risen Star, run 50 minutes after her victory. Neither the winner(I’ve Struck a Nerve) nor runner-up (Code West) are in here, but Palace Malice ran 3rd just a half length behind the winner.
Early Betting Odds : 12-1compared to Morning Line Odds: 8-1

7th – Calumet silks #7 – Oxbow
Trainer / Jockey: D. Wayne Lukas / Gary Stevens
Running Style: Speed
 Winner of the Preakness in gate-to-wire fashion, many believe he got away with a slow pace and put his competition to sleep. That won’t happen in this race as at least 3 others (Freedom Child, Giant Finish, Midnight Taboo and possibly Frac Daddy) will keep him company throughout the early stages. I see a carbon copy of his Derby run where he had the lead entering the stretch but didn’t have the stamina to seal the deal.
Early Betting Odds : 16-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 5-1

8th – Fipke silks #14 – Golden Soul
Trainer / Jockey: Dallas Stewart / Robby Albarado
Running Style: Closer
After his second place finish in the Derby at 34-1, it seems that all the experts have now discovered this hard-knocking colt who just keeps running, but only has beaten maidens in his 6 race career. Add the fact no horse has won the Belmont Stakes from the 14th post in at least 105 years.
Early Betting Odds : 16-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 10-1

9th – West Pt silks #2 – Freedom Child
Trainer / Jockey: Thomas Albertrani / Luis Saez
Running Style: Speed
Romped by 13+ lengths in slop in the G2 Peter Pan Stakes at Belmont in most recent outing. One problem. He did it alone on the lead, dictating the pace. That won’t happen in this race. Though he only lost to Orb by 2 and finished ahead of Revolutionary by 2¼ in the same maiden race at Aqueduct in November, he’s likely to be a pace victim.
Early Betting Odds : 8-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 8-1

10th – Magic City silks #1 – Frac Daddy Trainer / Jockey: Kenneth McPeek / Alan Garcia
Running Style: Tactical Speed
A quarter crack derailed his Derby Trail but still ran for the roses (16th). Been training lights out at CD since, but upon arriving in the Big Apple, he walked (1:04.60) through 5 furlongs in his final tune-up. Word has it he’ll gun from the #1 post, joining early speed. Looking for a glimmer of hope? In his career debut, he ran a nice second going a mile on a muddy Belmont surface.
Early Betting Odds : 23-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1

11th – Godolphin silks #6 – Incognito
Trainer / Jockey : Kiaran McLaughlin / Irad Ortiz, Jr.
Running Style: Tactical Speed
It’s hard to believe the number of experts picking this one to pull a huge upset. I don’t see it. Other than having the pedigree to “run all day”, he lacks the seasoning. Making his seventh career start, took four tries to break his maiden, then followed that up with a win by a nose in a $25k Optional Claimer for N1X. Throw in the fact he’ll carry 10 more lbs. than he did in his last race, which is 6 more than he has ever carried. Early Betting Odds : 19-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 20-1

12th – Pick Six silks #11 – Vyjack
Trainer / Jockey: Rudy Rodriguez / Julien Leparoux
Running Style: Tactical Speed
Went from an undefeated, potential Derby favorite heading into the Wood Memorial, to an afterthought for the Belmont Stakes. An 18th place finish by 52 lengths will do that to a horse, but is he really all that bad? From the looks of his recent workout (5f in 59 flat) over “Big Sandy” (aka Belmont), on paper is impressive but he was ridden hard in order to get that time. Derby jock Garrett Gomez opted for a bigger longshot in here (Midnight Taboo) rather than stick with this guy.
Early Betting Odds : 31-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 20-1

13th – Sunrise silks #4 – Giant Finish
Trainer / Jockey: Anthony Dutrow / Edgar Prado
Running Style: Speed
He’s a NY-bred who does his best within that company and/or on synthetic surface tracks. Ran in the Kentucky Derby without embarrassing himself (10th by 13¼) but never threatened, simply ran a “even” race. Expect Prado to get him up close early in order to have a fighting chance, but the distance will be too much for him.
Early Betting Odds : 34-1 compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1

14th – Repole silks #8 – Midnight Taboo
Trainer / Jockey: Todd Pletcher / Garrett Gomez
Running Style: Speed
He’s basically just starting his career with only 3 career races, is overmatched and is only runner in here that has never faced graded stakes company. The owner also has Overanalyze and Unlimited Budget. Both of those will need a quick pace to run at, so Midnight Taboo appears to be the sacrificial lamb.
Early Betting Odds : 37-1compared to Morning Line Odds: 30-1

Based on my analysis of the Belmont Stakes, I’ll play…

$10 WIN, PLACE, SHOW on #9 (Revolutionary) – Cost $30

$1 EXACTA BOX on #3 (Overanalyze) #9 (Revolutionary) #10 (Will Take Charge) #12 (Palace Malice) – Cost $12

$1 TRIFECTA PART-WHEEL 3, 5, 9, 10 w/ 3, 5, 9, 10 w/ 12 (Palace Malice) in 3rd spot – Cost $12

Selections for Pimlico’s Closing Day, Saturday, June 8th card  are on Page 2.

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Preakness Contender List Holding at 12; Thursday Selections at Pimlico

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Preakness Contender List Holding at 12; Thursday Selections at Pimlico

Posted on 08 May 2013 by Gary Quill

Less than 12 hours after the blanket of roses was removed from Kentucky Derby winner Orb, representatives from the Maryland Jockey Club (MJC) were busy at Churchill Downs recruiting Derby runners for the second leg of the Triple Crown.

One of the first to commit to running in the Preakness and shipped in to Old Hilltop was Goldencents, 17th in the Derby. The 3-year-old son of Into Mischief, trained by Doug O’Neill is following the exact schedule as the 2012 Derby and Preakness winner, I’ll Have Another.

Goldencents arrived at Pimlico in the wee hours of Tuesday morning (1:30am) with assistant trainer Jack Sisterson and much of the same crew who handled I’ll Have Another while in Baltimore. The only diversion is the jockey. Last year Mario Gutierrez was the jockey, but this year Kevin Krigger got the call, as he is the only jockey who has ever ridden Goldencents in his seven career starts.

In an unusual move, Krigger came to Pimlico 10 days in advance of the Preakness to prepare, gallop and workout Goldencents. At the same time, Krigger is sacrificing mounts on the west coast in return for dedication to Team O’Neill. It’s a gamble the St. Croix native has no qualms taking.

Preakness Funnie with Crab

As of this writing (Wednesday, May 8th) the list of Preakness contenders stand at 12, they are:

 Goldencents (Krigger/O’Neill; 17th in KY Derby) – confirmed; arrived on May 7th

 Orb (Rosario/McGaughey; 1st in KY Derby) – confirmed; will ship on May 14th

 Departing (Hernandez/Stall; 1st in Illinois Derby) – confirmed; will ship on May 15th

 Oxbow (Stevens/Lukas; 6th in KY Derby) – confirmed

 Will Take Charge (M. Smith/Lukas; 8th in KY Derby) – confirmed

 Itsmyluckyday (J. Velazquez/Plesa; 15th KY Derby) – confirmed

 Titletown Five (Leparoux/Lukas; 4th in Derby Trial) – confirmed

 Vyjack (TBA/Rodriguez;18th in KY Derby) – probable

 Governor Charlie (TBA/Baffert; 1st in Sunland Derby) – possible; decision after workout on Sunday or Monday

 Normandy Invasion (TBA/Brown; 4th in KY Derby) – possible; decision over the weekend

 Mylute (Napravnik/Amoss; 5th in KY Derby) – possible; decision will be made Saturday

 Street Spice (Sanchez/Geier; 5th in Illinois Derby) – possible; decision after weekend workout

Recapping Pimlico Day 20 selections from “Chalky” Sunday 10-race card posted had 6 winners (4 Top Selections in BOLD type) having $2 WIN pay-offs of $4.40 (2nd race), $8.00 (3rd), $3.80 (4th), $10.20 (5th), $4.00 (8th) and $2.60 (9th).

The BEST BET (19 8-2-2) Sir Cotton (R3 #5 3-1 PT; 2-1 M/L) received no early action at the betting windows (6-1) which is never a good sign for a 2-1 M/L. Come Post Time the foolish public thought they were getting a deal with those odds, and bet him down to 3-1, but he ran like a 6-1 or worse, racing along the rail towards the back, outrun beating just 1 rival in a six horse field.

The LONGSHOT PICK (19 4-1-2) Star Maneuver (R5 #7 13-1 PT; 20-1 M/L) was forwardly positioned early, turned for home in the four path while in contention to hit the board, but weakened in the final 1/16th to finish 4th.

The JockeyWorld.org racing term of the day is #129…  “Getting In

Selections for the Day 21 Pimlico Thursday, May 9th card will be on Page 2.

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